Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in Canada?
Check out the table below with the best betting sites in Canada. Choose that one which will meet your expectation. Information for their welcome bonus amount, percentage of sign up promotion, minimum deposit and odds.
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Canada, along with the UK and Australia, is one of the global leaders in betting, both in terms of the popularity of the pastime and the quality of the services that those countries offer. Although the laws surrounding gambling in Canada are somewhat confusing and outdated, there is a healthy market for the pastime.
Gambling in brick and mortar bookmakers is legal in several states in various capacities (both sports betting and casinos), and although online gambling is less legitimate, its’ popularity is growing, due in part to its convenience.
Interesting Facts about Gambling in Canada
- Over 18 million Canadians are active gamblers
- Gambling is a $16 billion industry in Canada
- The most popular form of gambling in Canada is lotteries – 49% of all Canadians have partaken in at least one lottery in the past year
- 27% of Canadian adults gamble at least once a week
- Betting is the most popular in the province of Ontario
Gambling Legislation and Laws
According to national law, online gambling is considered illegal. There are several sections of the Canadian Criminal Code. Specifically, Section 201, 202, 206 and 209 all pertain to illegal gambling or illegally offering gambling services. These laws are relatively lenient, and generally only exist to prevent organized crime from maintaining a hold on the gambling industry, as they had in the past.
However, each province is responsible for creating and regulating their own legislation in regards to gambling. As a result of this, gambling is legal in some form everywhere. This also results in potentially different regulations depending on the geographical area. For example, in some provinces, bettors only need to be 18 or older, while in others, punters must be at least 19. It also results in the legalization of certain types of gambling in certain areas but not others.
Canada has strict legislation for companies operating within the country. However, these rules do not apply to international bookmakers wishing to serve the Canadian population.
Competition between Operators
The physical betting system in Canada does not operate under a monopoly. Instead, there are several different casinos and sports bookmakers that offer their services to the community.
However, there is currently an online monopoly. Each state is the sole provider of legal betting sites. This is because the Criminal Code states that only provincial governments can offer gambling services. However, the government cannot prevent Canadians from accessing international betting sites, and they recognize that the illegal betting scene is only growing. There is the talk of at least some of the Canadian provinces rescinding their betting monopolies to benefit from the tax they would receive, although this has not yet occurred.
Bonuses from Canadian Bookmakers
Canadian bookmakers provide a number of different bonuses and promotions to their clients. The point of these bonuses is to encourage users to return and continue to play, so companies have gotten competitive to ensure they offer the best options.
Most bookmakers will offer a welcome bonus of some kind. Sometimes this will be in the form of money that can be used to make bets, or it might be free spins. Many sites may offer different bonuses for casino players and sports players so that there is something for everyone.
There are also constantly-changing bonuses for existing players. These vary depending on whether they are sports bonuses or casino bonuses, they might be increased odds or free spins on a particular game. But generally there is something for everyone, and the changing nature means that people continually come back to check them.
Betting Features and Options in Canadian Bookmakers
Canadian bookmakers are some of the best in the world, and they strive to provide the best services possible, with the latest features available. These include:
Available Payment Methods
Canadian betting sites all offer the standard forms of withdrawing and depositing money that international sites provide. These include Mastercard and Visa, Skrill, 1-Tap, PayPal, Neteller, and bank transfers. Most sites will offer a variety of other methods, but these are the standard options that are always available. These are all free and instantaneous, except for bank transfers, which often incur a fee and can take up to a few working days to process. The exact same options are available for deposits and withdrawals.
All local bookmakers will accept the Canadian dollar (CAD) to be deposited, bet, and withdrawn. Many international sites will also accept CAD, although not all do this. Therefore customers should be aware that although many different sites will provide currency exchanges, these often incur hefty hidden fees. Therefore customers should be aware of this, and aware of any specific fees of the site they are signing up to.
Mobile Betting in Canada
Mobile betting is becoming an increasingly popular form of online gambling, and the Canadian bookmakers are catering to the demand. All reputable sites have free apps available to download on both Apple and Android devices. These allow users the convenience of playing anywhere on the go.
Alternatively, there are always mobile versions of the websites that can be utilized on phones or other devices. This does not require any downloading and allows users to access the desktop version in an easier-to-navigate way.
Online casinos are somewhat legal in Canada, although the law is somewhat confusing. Although at a federal level, online gambling is illegal, there are certain areas of the country (such as the Kahnawake Reservation) that have legalized online gambling and can offer licenses to companies. Therefore although it is considered illegal by law to operate an online gambling service, at a provincial level, there are ways around this. As a result, there are Canadian online casinos available for players to bet at.
It should be noted that the laws regarding online gambling are related to providing services, not to players who wish to bet. Punters do not need to concern themselves with being prosecuted, as chances are highly unlikely.
Leading Sports for Betting in Canada
Sports betting is one of the oldest and most popular forms of betting in Canada, and sports bookmakers offer many different options for punters, so there is something that interests all bettors. Here are the most common sports to bet on in Canada:
- Ice Hockey
Ice hockey is a favoured sport in Canada, and the national team excels at international levels. Canadian ice hockey is popular enough that the majority of international betting sites will also offer a range of betting options on the sport specifically with Canadian teams, as well as local betting sites.
- American Football
One of the neighbours of the United States, the love of American football inevitably spread across the border. Most sites will offer several different leagues to bet on, the most popular being the NFL that culminates in the Superbowl, but also college-level football.
Basketball betting in Canada has always been slowly rising in popularity, but has experienced a recent surge after the national team, the Raptors, won against the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA finals, the largest basketball association in the world. All reputable sites offer coverage and betting on the NBA, as well as smaller, local games.
Another famous American pastime that travelled across the border. The only Canadian team in the MLB, the Blue Jays, are a source of pride for the country, and betting on the sport always spikes when they play. Aside from Major League Baseball, several sites also offer several different matches to bet on.
This is another sport that Canada quietly thrives at. This is actually the most popular sport to play in terms of participation rates, and thus it stands to reason that bettors would love to gamble on it also. Canadian sites (and a lot of international sites) offer many different local leagues to bet on, such as Major League Soccer, United Soccer League, and the Canadian Premier League.
The Profile of a Canadian Bettor
Canadian bettors are most likely to be males, as they are 80% of the betting population in the country. Canadian bettors are also more likely to be relatively young, with betting being the most popular in the 18-34 age bracket.
It is even more common to bet offline compared to online. However, the online sector is continuously growing.
Are sports betting legal in Canada?
Legally, sports betting occupies a grey area in Canadian legislation. Despite federal law, states can determine whether or not to legalize sports betting. While some states have done this, others have legalized it in certain forms (for example in Ontario, it is only legal to place sports bets in parlay/multi bet form, and not in single bets).
Despite this, there is very little stopping punters from accessing international sports betting sites. Many offer their services to Canadian customers, and Canadian law is focused more on the provision of gambling opportunities, as opposed to the consumption of them. Therefore if punters live in a province where sports betting is illegal, they can still choose to utilize an online site.
Are online casinos legal in Canada?
Similar to the legal issues surrounding online sports betting, online casinos operate in a grey area. Some provinces have legalized them, however not everywhere allows them to manage from their geographical location.
Again, that is not to say that online casinos are not accessible in Canada, with minimal risk of prosecution.
How to find the best Canadian sports betting app?
What is the best website to bet on sports?
There are a number of different websites that offer great sports betting options for the Canadian market. But one of the best that stands out is Bet365. They provide a range of sporting options and bet styles so that all sports fans will find something that interests them. Although the site is not licensed in Canada, it is licensed in other countries with strict regulations, such as the United Kingdom. This means that players can rest assured that it is a reputable and safe site.
Are there any betting restrictions for Canadian players?
Not all international sites offer betting services to a Canadian market. This includes some of the largest global companies. However, there is still an adequate number of services that do cater to Canadians, so punters are not missing out on any opportunities.
Are players taxed?
No, bettors are not taxed on their wins. However, if punters gamble as a profession, and register consistent and significant winnings, then they might be taxed.
The lack of cohesive laws surrounding betting, both in-person and online, make it difficult to fully analyze the Canadian betting market as a whole. Although gambling is legal in some form everywhere, the law itself bans it. Despite all of this confusion, the gambling scene in Canada is thriving and appears only to continue to grow.
Canada provides some of the best bookmakers in the world, and customers are not short of opportunities to gamble, both physically and online. The only downside to this is that only Canadians are allowed to access these services, as online companies are not allowed to serve international punters.
Only time will tell if Canada updates its’ gambling laws, to offer more protection to online punters, and to allow international customers to utilize Canadian online bookmakers. But until that happens, the current climate provides Canadian customers with adequate access to high-quality services, so that they can enjoy betting.