Sports Betting in Canada – Legal or not?

On August 27, Canada passed a law that regularized sports betting. Provinces and territories in the North American country have the freedom to manage the games in their localities as they see fit.

Canada has discussed in the last decade the possibility of legalizing sports betting in the country. With Canadians gambling online or illegally, billions of dollars raised by this industry were not staying in the country.

In April 2020, the bill had already received positive signals from the ‘Chamber of Deputies.’ The Canadian government’s decision boosted betting in the country. The purpose of the regulation is clear, to take this market share away from US and foreign companies, transferring it to companies legalized in the nation. For those looking for the best places to bet in Canada, check out the list made by the experts at

With the regulatory framework in place, each state in the country will decide on the best ways and paths to implement legal betting on sporting events. Some of these states have already announced that they will proceed faster, as the country is one of the most consuming sports globally and has a variety of options available to its citizens and, consequently, gamblers.

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Understand Canada’s Single Betting Ban

Lawmakers, punters, and industry powerhouses have been criticizing the Canadian government’s ban on betting on individual sports for some time. The law is considered outdated and would only be founded to protect the fairness of events. Still, in the distant past, when betting did not involve the sums, it moves today and also did not have strict regulations to prevent arrangements and other situations in the criminal field. Furthermore, by banning this possibility, Canadians are still betting. However, on foreign sites, causing the local industry to lose revenue.

In Canada, people are allowed to bet on sports through provincial and territorial lottery companies, including online in some cases, but only through parlay betting, where the ticket must include at least two games.

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The gaming industry in Canada

Gambling is both a live casino and an online casino completely legal in Canada. In Canada, there are over 100 land-based casinos where you can play. These casinos are located throughout the country, except New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Since the 1970s, each province in Canada has almost autonomously managed gambling legislation. According to industry experts, this explains the growth and proliferation of casinos across the country.

Canadian law makes it illegal to make gambling available over the internet, but it is legal to play online poker, blackjack, casino, or place online sports betting. The country has been moving towards accelerating the regulation of the sector to secure the country’s customers, guaranteeing jobs, development, and taxes for the operation of these bookmakers.

Canadian sports betting market could generate $25 billion a year

The Canadian legal sports betting market could generate $25 billion in retail and online betting annually under a best-case scenario, which would include legalizing single-game betting across all provinces and territories, according to an article authored by PlayCanada, a leading source for news and analysis of the fledgling Canadian gaming market.

Co-authored by Eric Ramsey, Dustin Gouker, and Robyn McNeil for Play Network sites, which includes PlayCanada, “Legal Sports Betting in Canada: A preliminary analysis of the prospects of single-game betting” explores the nuances of the market.

These are some things that can be expected in the coming years.

  • The entire Canadian market could generate up to $25 billion in annual betting, over 80% of which online sports betting operators would come.
  • These bets would mean more than $2 billion in operator revenue and, depending on regulatory frameworks, between $200 million and $400 million in annual tax revenue.
  • Ontario would be the most valued Canadian market, potentially generating $11.1 billion in betting and more than $800 million in operator revenue annually. That would make it one of the biggest markets in North America.

Even if all provinces adopt single-game betting, regulators in each area will have to answer important questions about the market structure. This includes the possibility of creating an open market where multiple sportsbooks can openly compete with each other, similar to Nevada and New Jersey. Or regulators could adopt a closed model, where the province limits the number of operators in exchange for a revenue-sharing deal that directly benefits the government.