Canada Sports Betting Guide

By  //  April 21, 2022

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Gambling has always been a part of Canadian culture despite the stricter laws compared to other nations. Yet, regulations keep changing, and Canada is no exception. 

Before you get started, it’s essential to understand the legal aspects of Canadian sports betting, whether you’re wagering on sports or playing live casino games. This guide will walk you through the laws and bets gamblers can place throughout Canada.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Canada?

Short answer, yes. The first sports betting laws were issued in 1892 and allowed horse racing bets. However, these laws weren’t too imposed, which means Canadians could keep gambling as they used to. Fast forward to nearly 100 years later, sports betting became legal in 1985 but only parlay or multi-game bets were allowed.

Around the same time, the 10 Canadian provinces were also given the power to regulate and oversee gambling. Provinces can run horse races, sportsbooks, and lotteries, whether offline or online.

Though, the most significant change in gambling laws came in 2021. August onwards, the Canadian government decided to allow single-game sports betting. Despite this, provinces still have the power to regulate betting as they please.

Nowadays, when it comes to sports betting, Canadian gamblers have two options:

Parlay Bets

Initially, only parlay bets were legal. This measure attempted to tackle the match-fixing issues, meaning gamblers had to bet on a minimum of two games in a single betting slip.

Single Game Bets

Since August 2021, Canadian gamblers can now enjoy single-game bets, which means betting slips no longer require a minimum of two games.

Canadian Sportsbooks

Canadian sports enthusiasts could only gamble through the Pro-Line, an offline betting service available throughout Canada. However, thanks to the most recent online sportsbooks legislation, bettors can now place several different types of wagers anywhere in Canada.

Canadian Gambling Taxes

Unlike in other countries, gambling in Canada isn’t subject to taxes. Gamblers don’t have to pay taxes on any betting, including sports bets.

Despite this, the laws have a few exceptions. Professional gamblers must declare they don’t play for leisure and therefore pay taxes. Bettors who invest their earnings must report their winnings through the T5 form.

Most Popular Sports in Canada

It doesn’t come as a surprise Canadians are enormous sports enthusiasts. Here are the most popular sports you’ll find when placing wagers online:

■ Hockey: Canada’s national sport. The biggest league is the American NHL, which features seven Canadian teams.

■ Basketball: Canadians are also huge NBA fans, given the fact the league has a Canadian team.

■ CFL: The CFL is the Canadian counterpart of the NFL and has a huge following.

■ Football: Just like in the US, the NFL is pretty popular in the country.

■ Curling: This is one of the most popular winter sports in Canada.

■ Horse Racing: This sport is part of Canada’s past and is still very popular.

Types of Wagers

In general, there are five types of wagers Canadian gamblers can place. Here’s what they mean:

■ Moneyline: A single wager, win or loss.

■ Over or Under: Gamblers can bet if the combined scores will be over or under a specific value.

■ Spread: This is the Canadian equivalent of handicap bets.

■ Futures: With this wager, bettors can bet on the champion of a league or a championship.

■ Props: This type of wager involves betting on specific players or situations in the game.