Sports Betting in Canada
Canadian fans of sports betting are set to enjoy a whole host of new opportunities, with a regulated market set to operate in the country soon. The province of Ontario has revealed plans to liberalise the market and end its lottery-run monopoly on online gambling, while the Canadian government has also announced that it intends to end the federal ban on single-game sports betting.
Those changes in the law will prove significant, with gambling operators ready to step into the newly expanded marketplace. Here, we’ll take a closer look at these changes in legislation and how they will affect the Canadian betting industry. The country’s status as a so-called ‘grey market’ is likely to change very quickly.
- 1 Sports Betting in Canada
- 1.1 How will this affect the betting industry in Canada?
- 1.2 What do these changes mean for bettors?
- 1.3 Why is legal betting important?
- 1.4 Current options for legal sports betting in Canada
- 1.5 Final Remarks
- 1.6 Sports Betting in Canada - FAQs
How will this affect the betting industry in Canada?
Obviously, these alterations to the law will mean pretty big changes for the Canadian betting industry. The decision by Ontario to allow private operators into its market could generate significant amounts of revenue for the province as well as those private operators. To put the numbers into some context, Ontario has 15 million citizens – a tally that would make it the fifth-largest state in the USA.
That means that it has 2.5 million more people in it than the American state of Illinois. Illinois launched its market in spring 2020 and in September $305 million in bets was placed in the state.
“The potential numbers are staggering,” said Yaniv Spielberg, chief strategy officer of Toronto-based provider Bragg Gaming. “Even compared to mature markets like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Ontario could be much greater.”
On a national level, a new law is being put forward – C-13: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (single-event sports betting). The aim of the bill is to make gambling legal, regulated and safe. While specific details about the legislation have been sketchy so far, it looks likely that there will be no ‘tethering’ and operators will not need to partner with local casinos to obtain licences.
Operators who are currently active in Canada’s ‘grey market’ will be able to obtain licences. The new market is expected to be active in Canada by the second half of 2021.
What do these changes mean for bettors?
Bettors in Canada will soon be able to enjoy enhanced security when it comes to placing bets. Regulated operators are much more reliable when it comes to factors such as site security, customer service and payment of winnings.
Why is legal betting important?
The legalisation of betting is important because it ends Canadians’ reliance on using off-shore and unlicensed operators. This means that taxable revenue stays in Canada rather than being sent overseas. This revenue can then be used, at least in part, to fund gambling harm reduction programmes. Tax revenues can also be used, of course, to improve governmental services more generally too.
The casino industry in Canada has also been hard hit by Covid-19. The legalisation of online betting and the further liberalisation of the gambling marketplace more generally will certainly help to alleviate this damage. Around 90,000 casino workers were unemployed over the summer of 2020 in Canada, and casinos in many jurisdictions have only been allowed to open at reduced capacity.
Current options for legal sports betting in Canada
Of course, there are currently some legal options for online bettors to take if they live in Canada. These sites are safe and secure too. Bet365 has emerged as one of the main players in the Canadian marketplace, and you can find a tempting welcome bonus there as well as a superb range of betting markets. Bet365 is a UK market leader, and Canadians are in good hands if they place bets there.
Another safe and legal option for Canadians is 1xBet. A particular strength of this bookie is the live betting options that are available. There is also an extensive choice when it comes to esports markets at this bookie, so fans of CSGO betting should take note.
TonyBet is another great option for Canadian bettors that they can currently use both legally and safely. There is a host of great betting options at TonyBet, as well as the chance to play games in a very well-stocked casino.
New changes to Canadian legislation have been overdue for some time, in the view of many campaigners. While there is still some way to go before the new laws kick in properly, especially at a national level, the changes will certainly clarify the legal situation around gambling for Canadians. The additional revenue provided by taxing legal activity will also stimulate wider benefits for Canada, including more resources for gambling harm reduction programmes.
Operators in the gambling marketplace will also benefit from being able to obtain licences and subject their services to proper regulation. The changes in the law will therefore benefit both operators and their customers, allowing the Canadian gambling industry to grow and develop properly.
Sports Betting in Canada - FAQs
The law is currently pretty opaque in Canada regarding online betting, and you should always check the local regulations where you live. You can access offshore websites to place sports bets but this activity is only quasi-legal as things currently stand.
You can use Bet365 to place sports bets if you live in Canada. You need to be at least 18 years of age, and there is nothing in current Canadian law that prevents you from using a Bet365 account to place sports bets.
Yes, you can place online sports bets in Canada, but there are still grey areas in much of the legislation in the country. We would advise you always to check local laws and how they may apply to you before you decide to place any sports bets online.