Sports Betting Canada

Last Updated: Feb 18th, 2021 By: Chet Fussman
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Sports betting laws in Canada vary by province, so it’s important to find the most trusted and reliable online sites to wager. Bookies.com can help guide your search for the best Canadian betting site.

Our award-winning staff independently evaluates every legal online sports betting site to provide Canadian players with the best overall wagering experience. That means playing at a safe, secure site that offers fair pricing and the most up-to-date sports betting odds. Our goal is to provide every sports bettor with as much information as possible, enabling them to make the most informed decisions when choosing an online betting site.

There is no shortage of Canadian sportsbooks to choose from. Our list of most recommended sites is above.

Why Trust Bookies’ Sportsbooks Reviews?

Bookies.com has spent years evaluating and analyzing sportsbooks in North America. We know what to look for in an online bookmaker. We sign up for accounts, make wagers, monitor response times and provide unbiased recommendations.

Regulation of Canadian sportsbooks can be confusing. Sports betting in Canada is overseen by the federal government and individual provincial governments that set their own rules and laws. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission licenses and regulates all online sportsbooks that operate across all 10 Canadian provinces.

Bookies.com only reviews Canadian sites that are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. We do not review or recommend offshore-based sports betting sites. While offshore sites may offer more betting choices, they are unregulated and not properly licensed, fail to provide adequate safeguards and may leave bettors with no recourse if they unexpectedly shut down.

What Makes a Great Sports Betting Site

Sports bettors have different needs, so there is no one-size-fits-all online sports betting site that works for everybody. While many factors are considered, the best online sportsbooks deliver in the following categories.

Security and support: The site must be licensed and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and proper governmental body. This ensures your account and personal information will be safe and secure. Your operator should also be responsive to any questions regarding your account.

Odds and pricing: Finding and locking in the best prices is a key to sports betting success. Books that charge higher vigorish in moneyline wagers diminishes profit margins for players. In addition, does your sportsbook provide an option for wagering with Canadian or U.S. dollars? Exchange fees can cut into profits.

Betting lines: How soon are betting lines posted? Are lines offered on the games or events you want to bet on? Have the lines significantly moved compared to other sportsbooks?

Streaming options: It’s more fun to wager on games you can watch. Several sportsbooks provide live sports streaming options on their online betting sites or through their mobile sports betting app.

User experience: Comfort level is key here. Is the interface simple to use? Can you easily find what you’re looking for? Do you like the software? These questions apply to both gambling sites and sports betting apps.

Customer service: If a sports bettor has questions about a result, payout or any issue with your account, the online bookmaker should be both responsive and prompt. Most offer a choice of communication options, such as live chat, phone or email.

Betting options: What specific bets are available? Canadians are mostly limited to placing parlay wagers. Single-game wagering is not permitted, though recent legislation may change that in 2021.

In-game wagering: This fast-growing betting segment allows bettors to electronically place wagers in real-time after sports events have already started. Odds are determined by computer algorithms.

Withdrawal times: Withdrawals should be as easy and hassle-free as deposits. Each sportsbook offers slightly different options. Payout times are determined by the withdrawal option chosen, with e-wallets and Play+ among the fastest.

Sports offered: Some Canada betting sites offer a wider range of sports than others. Bettors should be able to choose from a large number of Canadian, American and international sports.

Loyalty program: Nearly all online sportsbooks offer some form of rewards program. Generally, the more you wager, the higher the rewards in cash or prizes.

How to Choose the Best Betting Site for you

Step 1: Establish what matters to you in terms of an online sports betting website. Not all players are looking for the same online betting experience. Some are looking for specific market coverage or deposit options. Others might do all their betting on the go and are looking for a strong mobile sports betting app. Understanding what matters to you goes a long way in choosing the right bookie.

Step 2: Read independent expert reviews. It would be impossible for most people to sign up with every available licensed operator, so reading independent reviews from experts can save you time while still providing an opportunity to compare all the top sites.

Step 3: Choose a sign-up offer. Since a majority of the top brands offer similar features, sometimes the choice comes down to the sign-up offer available to new accounts. Comparing those offers with us ensures you get the best welcome bonus when you join a betting website.

Step 4: Create an account. Creating an account is usually fast and easy. Bettors provide some personal information such as name, address, province of residence, email address and other identifying information. Once complete, you need to visit the cashier or banking section of the online betting site and make a deposit.

Step 5: Compare odds. The last step in ensuring you choose the best betting website is continuing to compare the odds available across other sites in case value is offered elsewhere. Also, new betting sites pop up and are worth a look, so don’t settle just because you’ve joined one gambling site.

Canada’s Best Sports Betting Markets

Among the most popular sports leagues and markets for wagering at Canadian betting sites:

NHL: Hockey is the country’s sport of choice, with seven Canadian franchises in the NHL. NHL odds on games and NHL futures are a sportsbook staple.

NBA: The Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship in 2019, continuing to raise the sport’s profile and wagering levels in Canada.

NFL: The NFL is a betting powerhouse throughout North America. Many Canadian sportsbooks handle more betting dollars on pro football than any other sport with a robust selection of NFL odds.

CFL: The Canadian Football League, formed in 1958, currently has nine Canada-based teams. The 2020 season was canceled due to travel restrictions and social distance mandates imposed due to COVID-19. The CFL, which uses a larger playing field and has different rules than the NFL, hopes to resume play in 2021.

MLB: The Toronto Blue Jays are among the 30 teams in Major League Baseball. The Montreal Expos played in MLB from 1969-2004 and the city is often named as a potential candidate if MLB chooses to expand.

English Premier League (EPL) Soccer: The English Premier League is the most popular soccer league in the world and has a large audience in Canada. Odds are available for EPL future bets and all matches.

Politics: Yes, there is a political betting market in Canada, and it’s an active one. Unlike the U.S., bettors can wager on items such as which political party will win an election and how many governmental seats will be split between parties.

Horse Racing: Both thoroughbred and standardbred racing are popular throughout Canada. Woodbine (about 20 miles from Toronto) was home to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 1996, the only track outside the U.S. to host the event. Total wagers on Canadian horse racing (thoroughbred and harness) exceeded $1 billion in 2019. The country is home to more than two dozen horse tracks.

College Football: Wagering on NCAA football is available at most Canadian sportsbooks. Bettors can wager on point spreads, moneyline or make college futures odds.

College Basketball: Same as college football with added interest in Ontario due to the popularity of the Toronto Raptors.

How to Pick the Best Betting Offers

One of the advantages of wagering on sports online is the available bonus offers from sportsbooks vying for your business. The most common form of online bonuses are listed below. It’s important to read the fine print in each bonus offer. Several include specific terms and wagering conditions that must be met before bonus money can be fully redeemed.

No Deposit Bonus: A small bonus is placed into your account just for signing up. No initial deposit required.

Deposit Bonus: Most commonly offered in the form of a deposit match. Make an initial deposit and your sportsbook operator will match up to 100% of that amount.

Reload Bonus: Offered to players whose accounts have been depleted or inactive for a period of time.

Bet Insurance/Cashback: Sportsbook operators may offer insurance on parlay tickets of five legs or more. If only one leg of the wager losses, you receive a credit or refund. Or an operator may reward loyal account holders with a simple cashback bonus.

Price Boost: A frequent promotion in which an online sportsbook will boost the odds on a specific team or game in favor of the bettor.

New Betting Sites in Canada

As sports betting continues to grow across North America, so does the number of betting sites. To compete for your business in a crowded marketplace, online sportsbooks offer generous welcome offers and promotions. Bettors are free to sign up and claim bonuses at multiple sites. Bookies.com can be a valuable resource to alert you when a new sportsbook launches.

Potential changes to Canada’s sports betting laws are another reason to keep an eye out for new sites. Most wagers at Canadian sportsbooks are parlays, but single-game betting could become available in 2021. A bill permitting single-game sports wagering was introduced in 2020 with the backing of several major sports leagues, including the NHL, NBA, MLB and CFL.

Why Online Sports Betting is Superior to Offline Betting

Wagering online is the betting method of choice for sports bettors in North America. In several U.S. states which offer both mobile betting and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, online wagering accounts for upward of 90 percent of all wagers. Among the reasons why:

Convenience: Mobile sports betting allows players to place wagers on their smartphone or tablet 24 hours a day, 7 days week. No need to drive anywhere.

Odds shopping: Signing up with multiple online sportsbooks allows bettors to compare sports betting odds and prices in real time, without running from casino to casino. Finding the best point spread creates value and can make the difference between winning and losing a sports bet.

Bonus and promotions: Bonuses offered to online sports bettors are not available at brick-and-mortar facilities. While some bonuses and promotions include restrictions, they also provide free cash, parlay insurance and odds boosts.

Variety of games: If you are interested in wagering on events beyond the major sports, online sportsbooks offer more options for bettors to choose from.

Streaming options: If the game you’ve wagered on isn’t on national TV or cable, online sportsbooks offer free streaming options, so you won’t miss any of the action.

How to Sign Up to Canadian Sportsbooks

Compare Canadian sportsbook sites, read independent reviews from sources such as Bookies.com, then select your sportsbook(s) of choice. Make sure it is properly licensed and regulated.

The next step is to sign up for an account. Go to your sportsbook’s website or download the app. You will be asked to provide some personal information, such as name, address, province, phone number and email address.

After the account is set up, you will need to deposit funds for wagering. Most sites offer a variety of deposit methods, such as credit card, e-wallet, e-check/bank transfer and prepaid card. Once funds are deposited, you can begin wagering.

Betting Tips to Beat the Bookies

Winning at sports betting takes a lot of hard work and a little luck. Some ways to improve your odds:

Shop for best odds and prices: In spread betting, a point or less can mean the difference between winning and losing a wager. In moneyline bets, higher odds increase payoffs. Shopping around gives bettors the best chance to find value.

Pay attention to trends: Just because something happened before doesn’t mean it will happen again. But players and coaches tend to be creatures of habit and past performance can be a helpful tool in predicting the future. These trends can include team vs. team matchups; how specific teams fare when playing consecutive road games; and how teams historically perform against the spread as double-digit underdogs. The information is out there and available, allowing bettors to make more informed decisions.

Follow the money: If point spread or moneyline odds in a game move significantly, find out why. Is it player injury or some other reason? If the reasons are valid, considering following the money trends. If you don’t believe they’re valid, you will get value for taking the other side.

Money management: Handicapping is only part of the battle in sports betting. Proper money management also allows bettors to build and conserve their bankroll.

Check out our betting guides for more great tips.

References

1. Kahnawake Gaming Commission

2. Canada Safety Council

3. Gamblers Anonymous Canada

4. Gambling.com Responsible Gambling Website

5. The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS)

Online Betting FAQs

Is online sports betting popular in Canada?

Yes. Online sports wagering is legal, convenient and popular, and the number of Canadian online sports betting sites continues to grow.

What betting sites offer free bets?

Many Canadian online sportsbooks such as 888sport and bet365 offer free bet promotions. If your wager loses, you lose your free bet but not your own funds. Other types of free bets may also be offered. Bettors should always read terms and conditions for each free bet offer and what is considered a qualifying bet.

Are betting sites legal in Canada?

Yes, online sportsbooks are legal in Canada, with each site required to hold a government-issued gambling license.

How do I place a bet online?

Select an online sportsbook, go to the website or download the app, and then register for an account. After the account is set up, choose a method to deposit funds. When funds are deposited, you are ready to bet.

How long does it take to sign up to betting sites?

It should only take 10 minutes or so to create an account. You will need to provide some personal information and create a password. If you experience sign-up issues, online sportsbooks provide customer service assistance.

Do all betting sites offer mobile betting?

Yes. Canadian online sportsbooks offer mobile sports wagering with the latest, tech-savvy betting apps. You can wager, make deposits/withdrawals and manage your account on the apps, which are usually compatible with both Android and IOS operating systems.

What is the best betting app in Canada?

There is no one betting app that’s best for everybody. Find the online sportsbook that best fits your wagering needs and download the app. The one that provides the highest comfort level is the best app for you.

How do I use my free bet offer?

Generally, free bets are offered to new account holders. If the wager loses, the free bet money is lost, but not your own funds. If the wager wins, the winnings are added to your account. Note that there are different kinds of free bets and bettors should always read terms and conditions.

About the Author

Chet Fussman for Bookies.com
Chet Fussman

Chet Fussman is a writer for Bookies.com. Fussman is a former horse racing writer and longtime sports editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He's a poker and blackjack player and frequent sports bettor, who plans to send the U.S. Supreme Court a thank-you card for clearing the way for states to adopt sports wagering. Fussman's philosophy: Don't let the bad beats overshadow your winning ones.