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Is Online Gambling Legal In Canada?
Can You Gamble Legally Online in Canada?
Yes! Canada legalized online betting at a federal level in the 1990s. Up until June 2021, only parlay bets were allowed, but Canada has now legalized single-event sports betting. It is up to each province to regulate sports betting, so what you can or can’t do depends on your location.
Finding websites to place legal bets in Canada is not as easy as it should be. We’re here to help you navigate a world of sports betting legislation, state lotteries, and international betting sites to find the best betting options for you. We even have a betting site comparison tool!
Where is Online Betting Legal in Canada?
Online betting is legal throughout Canada, but the options available can vary from one province to the next. As of August 2021, each province can decide on sports betting regulation. They can allow private operators to operate in the regulated market, or leave it limited to the provincial monopolies.
Since it’s still early days, it is yet to be seen how each province will tackle this new legislation. Early indications show that the majority of provinces will expand their selection on the provincial betting sites. The LegalBet Canada team will be following all updates from provinces, so stay tuned!
What are the Most Recent Gambling Laws in Canada?
The Canadian Criminal Code is the most important piece of legislation currently regulating online gambling in Canada. The Code, as it’s commonly known, disallowed all sorts of gambling activities from being run as a business, with one notable exception: pari-mutuel betting for horse racing events.
However, with the approval of Bill C-218 in June 2021, the Code has now been amended to allow a provincial government, entity, or person licensed by the Lieutenant Governor of that province to conduct and manage a lottery scheme.The lottery scheme can involve betting on a race, a fight, athletic event, or a single sports event in that province.
Is Single-Event Sports Betting Legal?
Single-event sports betting is legal as of August 2021! After years of unsuccessful bill attempts, Bill C-218 managed to get approved by the Senate and receive Royal Assent to pass into law.
This comes after decades of only allowing parlay bets at provincial betting monopolies. Legalizing single-event sports betting will drastically improve legal betting options for Canadian players.
What Gambling Sites are Legal in Canada?
As things stand, you have a few legal betting options. One option is betting at the provincially owned sites like PlayNow. Since the betting selection tends to be limited at the provincial sites, a lot of Canadians opt for international gambling sites instead. These sites are not operated in Canada, so you can bet at these offshore betting sites without any legal repercussions.
Our experience tells us that brands like Bet365, Sports Interaction, and Betway are some of the best online betting sites that cater to a Canadian audience. This might soon change for provinces like Ontario, with the end of 2021 likely to see other private operators like theScore entering the Ontarian market as a regulated operator. However, this is still a few months away and we will always keep you updated with the latest recommendations!
Is Online Betting Taxable In Canada?
Canada is one of the best places to live if you’re into online betting.
Why? Because gambling winnings are, for the most part, tax-free!
We say “for the most part” because professional gamblers may be taxed.
As long as you bet for fun and your gambling activity can’t be considered a business, you’re tax-free!
Did you you know don’t even have to pay taxes on your winnings if you win the lottery?
Although your online betting winnings themselves are not taxed, any income derived from them is.
For instance, if you deposit them into a bank account and then accrue interest, that interest will be taxed.
Online Gambling Legislation in Canada: The Latest Updates
August 27, 2021
Single-event betting is officially legal in Canada. Provinces can now regulate single-event betting as they wish.
Ontario, Québec, BC, and Manitoba are all offering single-event betting on their provincial lottery sites from today.
August 12, 2021
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, announces that single-event sports betting in Canada will go live on the 27th of August.
This will give provinces the chance to set their own rules and regulate sports betting in the region.
June 29. 2021
The Bill receives Royal Assent from the country’s chief justice, Richard Wagner.
The Prime Minister and his cabinet will now set a date for the legislation to come into force.
June 22, 2021
The Senate approves Bill C-218 without any amendments. The bill’s next step is to go to the Governor General to receive royal assent.
Once it receives royal assent, it will be passed into law and a date will be set for its launch.
Interested in learning more about the latest legal updates?
Read our detailed guide on single-event sports betting legislation!
Best Sports Betting Sites with Bonuses
Check out our recommendations below!
Selecting The Best Online Betting Site
International gambling licenses may not officially apply in Canada, but they’re a good sign of the brand’s reputation. They signify a commitment to put your safety first!
Yes, you should judge a (sports)book by the cover! How the website looks and feels is important. Your experience should be seamless, intuitive, and above everything, fun.
There’s more to any bonus than meets the eye, and more money doesn’t always mean more value. Confused? We’ll help you figure it out. Hint: our reviews may have the answer!
Odds and Markets
It doesn’t matter if you’re placing a parlay bet or single bet: a good sports betting platform should offer competitive odds on all the top sports and markets.
In our books, the ideal betting site has a vast array of payment methods. More than that, however, it lets you deposit and withdraw money with ease and as cheaply as possible!
It’s 2021, so it goes without saying: betting Apps (or well-optimized mobile sites) are almost mandatory. Other features such as cash out and live streaming are also welcome.
Different Bet Types
Moneyline is the most common and straightforward bet. If you bet the moneyline, you are betting on the team or individual who will win the game.
With a point spread bet (also known as a handicap bet for some sports), you wager on which team will win the game and the points margin by which they’ll win.
For decades, parlay bets were the only legal option at Canadian betting sites. Also known as accumalators, these bets combine multiple wagers and have bigger payouts.
Sometimes referred to as Over/Under bets, these bets are on the total points scored in a game and whether the amount will be over or under that indicated.
Do you want to bet on the first team to score? Or if there will be overtime? Or which player will score most points? You’ll definitely find a prop bet that will cover this!
Live bets are placed while the game is in full swing. Not only is it thrilling, it also gives you the chance to spot value betting opportunities while the game develops.
Best Features On
Online Betting Sites
Discover some of the best tools and resources available to Canadian gamblers!
The Cash Out feature allows you to close a bet before the event is finished. You can use it to both assure a win or reduce a loss. Some betting sites, like Betway, let you choose between cashing out the full bet or just a part of it!
Live betting is fun, but it’s not the same thing if you can’t watch the game. Some betting sites recognize this and let you live stream the match. This way, you can keep a close eye on those thrilling in-play bets everyone’s always boasting about.
Stats And Scores
Forget diamonds: stats are the better’s best friends. Learn all you can about the teams and players, then use all the knowledge you acquired to make an informed bet. At websites like Bet365 with thorough statistical databases, your task is much easier!
Looking to bet on the go? The best brands offer a stellar mobile betting experience, right at the tip of your fingers! Most Canadian betting sites support both Android and iOS. Stay away from those that don’t offer a fully optimized mobile experience.
Make Online Betting Great Again
Play For Fun
Rule number one of online betting? It’s a hobby, not a profession. Placing a sports bet should always be fun – and if it’s not, something isn’t right about your experience. It’s important to see online sports betting sites as a source of entertainment, not of funds, and the bets themselves as a way to make your favourite sports even more exciting. Your winnings? They’re the cherry on top, not the cake!
Expect The Unexpected
Remember when the Giants destroyed the Patriots at the 2007 Super Bowl? When Leicester City won the Premier League? Those were epic moments, sure, and will be etched forever in our memory… but they also prove one thing: there is no such thing as a sure bet or a guaranteed win in sports.
Learn From Experience
Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice… Losing is part of every gambler’s online betting experience, but it doesn’t have to be a wasted chance. Learn from your mistakes. More importantly, perhaps learn from your biggest triumphs as well. What does your best bet tell you about your overall strategy?
Analyze Your Betting History
There’s a reason why “don’t chase losses” or “stop while you’re ahead” are such clichés: they’re true. Keep an eye on your sports betting history and analyze it with a clear mind. Don’t let the rush of a win or the frustration over a loss influence your decisions. Stay on top of your finances, set a budget if you must, and stick to it!
Best Casino Sites for Canadians
The online gambling sites we review also offer casino options!
We have a full guide dedicated to the best online casinos in Canada, but the following list is a good start.
Frequently Asked Questions
⚖️ Is online betting legal in Canada?
In short, yes, but the full answer is a bit more complicated, depending on where you live. Only some betting sites (especially state-sponsored lotteries) are licensed to operate in most Provinces and Territories. However, it’s perfectly legal to play at international websites that are not licensed in Canada.
🏆 What is the best online betting site?
It depends on what you’re looking for! Betway, for instance, is arguably the best eSports betting site, so if that’s your thing, then go for it! Bet365 has an incredible market and sport variety, and Sports Interaction is somewhat of a local favourite. Our Comparison Tool lets you see the brands side by side, helping you discover which one is the best for you.
❓ What are parlay bets?
A parlay bet is one sports bet that combines two or more different events together. To win, you must guess all single bets in the parlay correctly: if only one of the events disappoints, your full bet is lost!
🧾 Is sports betting taxable in Canada?
No! Gambling winnings are not taxable in Canada, making it one of the best countries in the world to bet online.
🏅 Which sports can I bet on in Canada?
From hockey to darts, from basketball to curling, Canadanian punters are spoilt for choice. The most popular sports, with multiple markets on virtually every website, are hockey, basketball, football, and tennis. Competitions like UFC and eSports are on the rise and already have a passionate following – and online betting sites offering these sports are likely to succeed!