Sports betting in Canada is available across the provinces. And as of November 2022, you can place online sports bets from coast to coast in some way.
If you are interested in the status of sports betting in Canada, you’ve come to the right place. We will keep you up to date and in the know about what is happening in each province, what might be coming in the future, and what to do if you want to place a bet.
Can I bet on sports legally in Canada?
Yes. Sports betting is legal in every single Canadian province in both online and retail formats.
Canadian sports bettors have had the opportunity to bet parlays with their provincial lotteries for many years. However, thanks to Parliament’s passage of C-218 in 2021, the lottery commissions gained the ability to offer single-game wagering as well.
The Ontario government soon took things a step further by passing provisions to allow a full commercial sports betting market to open its doors. Commercial sportsbooks like DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM flooded into the province in April 2022, and there are now more than two dozen online sportsbooks active in Ontario.
Sports betting sites in Canada
The following sports betting apps and sites can be downloaded from anywhere in Canada. However, to place a bet, you must be located in Ontario and age 19 or older. Read more about Ontario sports betting and how to bet in the province.
Where can I bet on sports in Canada?
Online sports betting is available in every province in Canada now. The last holdout, Saskatchewan (and its associated areas), joined the party in November 2022.
However, with the exception of Ontario, the lone sportsbook option for Canadians in their individual provinces is the sportsbook operated by each province’s lottery. Most of the provincial lotteries have chosen to use the Proline product as their representative, but British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan (et al) offer Play Now as the sportsbook of record.
Here’s the complete list of lottery sportsbooks in Canada:
|British Columbia||Play Now||PlayNow.com|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Proline||ALC.ca|
|Prince Edward Island||Proline||ALC.ca|
|Saskatchewan (Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories)||Play Now||PlayNow.com|
Ontario does offer sports betting through its provincial lottery, but Ontarians have far more choices than that. Since a rule change became effective in April 2022, commercial sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, and PointsBet have gained licenses and opened for business in the province. There are now more than two dozen sportsbook operators in Ontario who are legally offering service. For a complete and up-to-date list, consult this page from Ontario iGaming.
Why Legalization Is a Good Thing
You may be wondering why it’s a big deal that sports betting is now completely legal. After all, there have been parlay options for many years, and plenty of sportsbooks have offered sports betting in the “grey” market.
However, aside from the parlay options, the grey sites have represented a terrible risk for their customers. If you happened to play with one of these operators, you took the chance that you might be a victim of theft, identity theft, and other poor outcomes.
With legal sportsbooks now available, you have gained the following benefits:
- Consumer protection – Whether you play with one of the provincial lottery sites or through the commercial market in Ontario, you have plenty of government entities and enforcement agencies to which you may turn if you have any problems.
- Fair odds – Because sports betting is universal in every province and available competitively in Ontario, you can find fair odds across the board at every sportsbook in Canada. It does no good for the provincial lotteries to set their lines less favourably as Canadian sports bettors can simply cross a border and find a better deal.
- New tax infusion – A legal and regulated environment means that the sportsbooks must pay taxes back to the government. In turn, the government has a new source of revenue with which to better your life as a provincial resident.
How to Get Started with Online Sportsbooks in Canada
No matter the province in which you reside or are currently occupying, the procedure for getting started is fast, easy, and largely the same. Although you may find a few quirks and wrinkles at different outlets, beginning your journey with one usually follows these steps:
- Download the app. Most sportsbooks have options for both Apple (iOS) and Android users. If you prefer to play through your browser, that’s usually fine, too.
- Register for an account. Be ready to submit your name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth, and occupation. You will also need to designate login credentials (a username and password), and some app/sites may want you to choose and answer an additional security question.
- Make a first deposit. Choose the deposit method that works best for your financial situation. Bear in mind that you’re likely to receive withdrawals through this method, too.
- Start betting. Select the bet you want to make, and the choice will appear in your betslip on the right or up from the bottom of the display. From the betslip, you will choose the amount of your wager and finalize the bet.
You can expect to go from zero to betting in less than 15 minutes, and often much less time than that.
Sports betting 101: In-depth sports betting information
History of Legal Sports Betting in Canada
Sports betting has been legal in some form in Canada since 1985. However, a ban on single-game wagering prevented provincial lotteries from allowing sports betting to proceed as a full-service endeavour. It took almost four decades of wrangling in Parliament before single-game sports betting became legal in Canada. Here is a brief rundown on the recent history of sports betting in the country.
- 2013 – MP Brian Masse makes the first serious attempt to legalize single-game sports betting in Canada in many years. Unfortunately, the legislation makes little headway in Parliament.
- 2016 – Masse circles back around once again to end the single-game ban. His efforts, though dogged, still come up empty.
- 2020 – MP Kevin Waugh finally succeeds where Masse failed twice before. His C-218 receives support from many different stakeholders and is added to the docket in November.
- 2021 – As expected, C-218 moves forward through Parliament and receives its royal assent to become law. Single-game sports betting launches in August in seven provinces, and it is available throughout the country by the end of 2021.
- 2022 – Ontario takes things a step further and allows its sports betting market to become a commercial market. Major sportsbook operators began flooding into the province in April, and there are now dozens of options for Ontario sports bettors to use.
Responsible gambling in Canada
Four of the five provincial lottery corporations are members of the World Lottery Association, which provides a tiered framework for its members to execute responsible gambling plans. In turn, each of the four provincial lotteries maintain their own resources for helping gamblers in need.
The fifth, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation, provides information about the individual responsible gambling options in each of its constituent provinces. Manitoba residents should contact the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba. Alberta players can find more information through the Alberta Health Services Addiction Helpline or through Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis’ association with GameSense. Saskatchewan inhabitants can look to Saskatchewan Health for assistance or call the province’s problem gambling helpline.
If you are looking for broader educational items about problem gambling, you can also contact the Responsible Gambling Council. The RGC has been assisting in informing the public about responsible gambling strategies and concepts for nearly four decades. They’re your best resource for comprehensive coverage on the topic.
Canada sports betting FAQ
Who regulates the sportsbooks in the provinces?
For the most part, the provincial lottery commissions serve as the oversight bodies for the sportsbooks in their areas. You may also take up any complaints with the provincial government proper if the lottery commission cannot give you satisfaction.
The only major exception, of course, is Ontario. In Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) serves as the regulatory body for Canada’s only commercial sports betting market.
Do I need to live in a province to play its sportsbook site?
No. You need only to be physically inside the province and above the appropriate gambling age. The geographic requirement is universal, but you’ll have to check with each resident provincial lottery to determine the age of eligibility where you are.
Do I have to pay taxes on my sports betting wins?
For the most part, no. The Canada Income Tax Act generally upholds the legal precedent from the British common law and does not tax proceeds from a windfall. The only exception, however, is if you can be shown to gamble as your profession. In that case, you may find your sports betting defined as a business, rather than a windfall, and be taxed as income. This situation is incredibly rare, though, and you mostly don’t need to worry about it.
What is the legal gambling age in Canada?
It varies by province. For the most part, you need to be 19 years old or older in order to place a wager. However, Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec require their players only to be 18 years old.
Is commercial sports betting coming to other provinces?
Possibly. Alberta’s government has indicated that it plans to offer competitive sports betting in the near future, and it’s likely that other provincial governments have it in mind, too. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything more definite.