Online Betting in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

Canada’s rich history with sports betting is ever-evolving. In this guide, we delve into the intricate landscape of online betting in Canada, the pivotal laws that shape it, and what the future holds for the passionate bettors of this nation.

A Brief History of Sports Betting in Canada

Canada’s relationship with sports betting is storied and dates back over a century. From the inception of parlay bets in provincial betting monopolies to the well-known pari-mutuel horse racing, Canada’s betting scene has been vibrant. The landmark shift occurred in June 2021 with the Royal Assent of Bill C-218, which ushered in the era of single-event sports betting.

Understanding the Canadian Criminal Code and Online Betting

The Canadian Criminal Code plays a pivotal role in determining the legality and the nuances of online betting in Canada. Until June 2021, the Code was stringent, limiting sports betting activities. However, the introduction of Bill C-218 revolutionized the landscape. The amended code now permits provincial governments or licensed entities to conduct and manage lottery schemes, which can include betting on athletic events or single sports events.

Interestingly, while the Criminal Code was stringent against those facilitating betting, it was lenient on individuals participating in sports betting activities. This latitude led many Canadians to explore international sports betting sites.

The Landscape of Provincial Sports Betting

Each Canadian province possesses its unique approach to sports betting. While Ontario stands out with a fully regulated sports betting market, other provinces have a more traditional approach. In Ontario, operators with an official license can freely cater to the betting demands of the province. This progressive stance has led to numerous international websites seeking and acquiring licenses to operate in Ontario.

Horse racing, a favorite among many, operates under a different set of rules. The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency oversees this segment, ensuring it remains distinct from the single-event betting legislation. For bettors in Ontario, it’s crucial to understand that only the governing agency can accept horse race betting wagers.

The Revolution of Single-Event Sports Betting

Bill C-218’s passing was a watershed moment for Canadian sports betting. It paved the way for provinces to offer single-event sports betting. With the newfound freedom, provinces could decide whether or not to welcome private operators into the fold. Ontario led the charge, granting its iGaming Ontario license to several international operators. This move not only liberalized the market but also spurred competition, ensuring bettors got the best experience.

International Betting Sites: Pros and Cons

International betting sites have always been a lure for Canadians, especially when provincial monopolies limited their options. These platforms often provided better odds, a wider array of sports and casino games, and added features such as live streaming. Yet, there’s a caveat. It’s imperative to select reputable international websites. A failsafe method is choosing sites with an iGaming Ontario license, ensuring fairness and commitment to responsible betting.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission: A Unique Entity

Situated within Quebec’s borders, the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory stands out due to its distinct gaming regulations. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, a recognized regulatory body, licenses numerous online betting sites. Though it primarily targets the North American audience, we recommend bettors to prioritize sites with an iGaming Ontario license for an added layer of security.

Tax Implications for Bettors

One of the appealing aspects of sports betting in Canada is the tax-free nature of gambling revenue. Be it sports betting or lottery winnings, Canadians aren’t taxed. However, if one invests their winnings and garners additional revenue, that supplementary income becomes taxable.

A Glimpse into the Future

The world of online betting in Canada is dynamic. With provinces like Alberta contemplating welcoming international operators, the future looks promising. As of now, the Canadian online betting industry, worth billions, is leaning towards more liberalization and inclusivity.

In Conclusion

For bettors in Canada, the future shines bright. With evolving regulations, a plethora of options, both local and international, and a tax-friendly regime, Canada is truly a bettor’s paradise.


  • Is online betting legal throughout Canada?
  • Absolutely! Each province has its regulations, but online sports betting is legal across Canada.
  • What’s the status of single-event sports betting?
  • Thanks to Bill C-218, as of June 2021, single-event sports betting is legal across all provinces.
  • Can Canadians bet on esports like CS:GO?
  • Certainly! Betting on CS:GO and other esports is legal. Bettors can use provincial platforms or international sites like Betway and Rivalry.