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Online Sports Betting in Canada

If you are new to online sports betting with real money, you will find this to be a comprehensive guide to all things sportsbooks, which can be a goldmine of knowledge and will set you on the right path to raking in the money. If you’re a veteran on the search for a new sportsbook you’ll find that we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is sit back and choose your favorite from our list of top sportsbooks in Canada.

Let’s jump straight in so you can get back to placing your bets as soon as possible:

What is a Sportsbook in Canada?

By this point, you’ve probably heard the slang ‘bookie’ at one time or another. Maybe you’re a fan of peaky blinders or you’ve just heard it in passing in any one of the countless casino or mob movies around. Taken in the context you’ve also likely assumed the words connected to gambling and you’re not wrong.

Now don’t worry, unlike peaky blinders or the mafia, what you are doing is perfectly legal but more on that later.

Bookie is short for the bookmaker and it is someone who accepts bets on some form of contest or event. They provide payouts based on previously agreed-upon terms and wagers. The terms are commonly referred to as lines or odds.

A sportsbook is in fact very similar but with one key difference, it is on a much larger scale. The term sportsbook refers to a business, company, or corporation that facilitates wagers on sports or events of any kind.

The Sportsbook will offer lines or odds to you, the bettor, which gives you a chance to win real money. If the given outcome is less probable then the odds will be higher which will deliver a larger payout. On the other hand, if the outcome is more likely then the odds are lower as well as the winnings.

While the betting sites in Canada offer odds on any number of events, sports games are by far the most common.

Here are some of the most popular sports to bet on in Canada:

  • Hockey

Canada just wouldn’t be the same without this adored national sport. It is no shock that it comes in as the number one sport to bet on in Canada. Not only is this due to the fan base within Canada and their love of the game but the way it’s set up makes it ideal for avid sports bettors.

Hockey has an exceptionally long season so there is very little downtime when it comes to placing your wagers. Not only that but the structure of the season provides many appeals to bookies and bettors alike. The regular-season games, playoffs, and finals provide the opportunity for a high volume of wagers of various types.

  • Football

Whether you’re a fan of the NFL or you prefer to keep it local and follow your favorite CFL players, you’re sure to find the team you’re after in your chosen Canadian betting site.

While the NFL is likely the second most popular league to bet on in Canada, the CFL has its place among online sportsbooks.

For NFL wagers expect to find seemingly endless varieties of odds, wagers, and bets. Similar to hockey the NFL consists of the regular season, playoffs, championships, and of course the Superbowl. Again this structure makes it highly appealing to bookies.

You’ll likely find that sports betting sites in Canada will offer similar possibilities for wagers in the CFL albeit with more limited options.

  • Basketball

While there may only be one Canadian-owned team in the NBA this has not stemmed the growth of its fan base here in Canada. Even if you’re not a Raptors fan, if you follow the NBA you’re sure to have heard of some of our country’s rising stars within the organization.

This growth in popularity has created a demand from bettors that sportsbooks are happy to meet. Not only do some people love watching the fast-paced games but it also provides some new betting opportunities that aren’t available in other sports.

  • Soccer

While soccer may not be the most common sport in Canada it’s definitely on the rise, and it being the most popular sport worldwide, sportsbooks would be missing out if they didn’t offer odds on the matches.

Internationally speaking, the amount of wagers on soccer is lucrative and this can be reflected in the Canadian markets as well. Whether it’s for your love of the game or to take advantage of unique odds, it’s worth keeping an eye on the season for those who enjoy sports betting.

  • UFC

Canadians are regarded as some of the friendliest, kindest, and most welcoming people in the world and we pride ourselves on that perception. However, perceptions aside, that does not stop us from betting on the brutal combat sport- the UFC.

Surprises and upsets come with the nature of the sport and this can make it one of the most exciting, or frustrating, events to bet on. While there is never a sure thing in any sport, the fact that a fight can come to an end at any second with a well-placed right hook or flying knee is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

This aspect of the UFC also makes it a great place to capitalize on high odds if you’ve got faith that the underdog fighter will prevail and it turns out you were right.

Are Sportsbooks Legal in Canada?

As we briefly mentioned earlier, any one of the best betting sites in Canada operates well within the gambling laws. While sports betting in Canada has been legal since 1990, with the introduction of the online gambling world, many regulations became overly limiting, ambiguous, and not well suited to online sports betting. This created many grey areas within the laws that were difficult to interpret.

Initially, this led many bettors to venture into black-market gambling and illegal betting. Following this, there were opportunities for companies to register overseas obtaining their license from a governing agency outside of Canada yet still offering their services to residents of Canada.

The federal government finally realized that this industry, worth an estimated billions of dollars annually, was being needlessly pushed out of the country and overseas. Hence the passing of Bill C-218 in June 2021.

In previous years bettors within Canada were limited to what is known as a parlay bet. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of bet let us explain. A parlay bet is made by combining multiple picks or bets into a single wager. All of your chosen outcomes must be correct to win, otherwise, the entire wager is lost. While parlay bets are still quite common if they are your only option they can be extremely limiting.

Bill C-218 allows individual provinces to regulate single-event betting as they see fit. This has allowed the provinces to issue new licenses and expand the betting possibilities within their borders.

The bill was passed in an attempt to bring the revenues of sports betting back within the country and it is working. Various provinces have already taken advantage of the newfound freedom and have provided more possibilities for bettors in their cities.

That being said, not all provinces are the same. It is worth looking into the gambling laws for the province that you currently reside in, or should you travel to another province be sure to check.

How We Review Sportsbooks?

At Viabonus we take pride in finding you the best sports betting sites in Canada that you can rely on. We spend hours researching and reviewing online sportsbooks so that you don’t have to.

We treat this as no light task and consider all aspects of a site when compiling our list of best Canadian sports betting sites. And we don’t stop there. We are continuously updating our list so you don’t have to worry about missed opportunities or outdated sites, we’ve got you covered.

Here are just a few of the factors we consider when making our top picks.

  • Reliability and Customer Service

Arguably one of the most important attributes of a sports betting site. We never want you to question the safety of your money or the legitimacy of a sportsbook. That is why we only recommend online betting sites that have proven to be safe and secure.

A high level of customer service is also priceless when it comes to online bookies. Whether it be prompt response times to inquiries, quickly resolving issues, or providing support in any way, customer service is key. The best online sports betting in Canada offers trained professionals at your disposal, day or night.

  • Promos and Bonuses

Ahh bonuses, who doesn’t love free money? Ok maybe it’s not as simple as that but some are closer than others and that’s exactly what we look for in an online gambling site. Competing sites are constantly vying for your bets and incentives are a great way to attract new bettors or retain current ones.

We are constantly on the lookout for the biggest and best bonuses so you can maximize your odds, deposits, and wagers. But bigger isn’t always better. We also consider how valuable the promotions are when compared to any restrictions or required investments that may be in place.

Of course, we only recommend sites that stay true to their promise and deliver bonuses securely and promptly, without any shady business.

  • Odds and Lines

Another way for sportsbooks to attract your business is by offering higher odds when compared with their competitors. This only stands to benefit you as the higher the odds, the bigger the winnings.

But it can be difficult to discern which sites have the best odds as you begin to sift through all of the options. We are constantly monitoring the best sites for changes in odds and always update our list accordingly.

  • Payouts

When it comes time to collect your winnings the last thing you want is unnecessary delays or banking issues. That’s why we always check how quickly payouts are made at various sites and only the fastest make the list.

The best sportsbooks in Canada payout quickly and reliably without undue restrictions or wait periods. While the chosen banking method can affect payment times, the operator should process the request immediately.

  • First-Hand Experience

Rest assured that here at Viabonus we love sports betting just as much, if not far more than you do. While we keep referring to it as research, it does not come without a bit of fun.

Our team gains real experience with countless sites which allows us to extend our wealth of knowledge and experience directly to you. If there is a site that we wouldn’t place bets on, there’s not a chance you will find it on our list.

How to Choose the Best Sportsbook in Canada?

While the above mentions just a few of the factors we review when choosing the best Canadian betting site you’ll want to be aware of everything you need to consider when choosing which one of our top betting sites in Canada to register with.

As you work your way through the list, be on the lookout for these features and see which one suits you best.

  • Security

There are various levels of security that go into making an online sportsbook safe and reliable. One of our biggest concerns here at Viabonus is security and it should be a top priority for you as well. Luckily most operators agree and it’s not hard to find a safe sportsbook site, as long as you stick to the more reputable options.

Be sure to check what security measures the site offers and compare this to any needs you may have. This can vary from anything including deposits, withdrawals, personal information, encryption, guarantees, and more.

Be wary of new or unpopular sites as they may not have been verified. It’s always good to check users’ reviews to see what others have to say.

  • Betting Variety

You may have a favorite sport or already know which events you intend to bet on but don’t underestimate the allure that sports betting adds to an event. You may find a newfound love of soccer or football once you add in the excitement of wagers.

For this variety is key. The best online sportsbook sites should offer a wide array of events to bet on. That being said, also check that the chosen sportsbook offers your favorites as well.

When a sportsbook offers a large variety of sports, it can often be the case that they can offer more attractive lines and odds. This is due to the fact that their risk is minimized by holding lots of bets on lots of events. If a sportsbook specializes in only one sport or event, they may be able to offer more creative and detailed bets, but the odds might not be as good. This is because the sportsbook will need to balance the sheet as much as possible, and this is harder and more riskier to do on limited events.

Some sporting events you may want to consider include: Hockey, Football, Basketball, Soccer, UFC and MMA, Horse racing, Boxing, Baseball, Tennis & Cricket

  • Banking Methods

With the progression in online banking, you now have a huge variety of options to choose from when it comes to payment methods and withdrawals. Various sportsbooks offer some similar options yet others may have specific payment methods that are not as commonly offered.

You may have a preferred banking method that you are on the lookout for but it’s worth being aware of the benefits of each. Here are some of the most popular payment methods when it comes to online sports betting.

  • Debit and Credit Cards

While it’s likely that debit and credit cards will soon join the ranks of cash payments and be phased out, this is not yet the case. You will likely find that most sportsbooks will still offer this as a viable payment option.

If you find yourself resorting to card payments out of preference or just old habits be aware that the payment time can be a bit longer than other methods when it comes to withdrawals.

  • E-Wallets

Using a third-party service for online payments only increases the safety of your transaction. With this method, deposits tend to happen within seconds, and withdrawal time is substantially reduced when compared with card payments.

E-wallet providers offer various levels of additional security including encryption, as well as withholding your personal information from the gambling site. Additionally, many offer insurance policies should anything happen to your funds.

While the fees when depositing into a sportsbook account will likely be negligible for most providers, be aware that these fees can increase substantially should you transfer money from your e-wallet to your bank account.

Some popular E-wallet operators that tend to be compatible with many sportsbooks are Paypal, Neteller, and Skrill.

  • Cryptocurrency

With the constantly growing popularity of cryptocurrency, many online betting sites have followed suit with other businesses and begun to offer this as a viable payment method. It’s easy to see why the appeal of such a currency is a top choice for avid sports bettors.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum offer extremely fast transactions speeds, nearly zero fees, and a whole new level of security.

The downside is for the time being crypto is quite volatile and can shift in value. Should you leave investments for a prolonged period they may drop in value. We recommend using crypto as a go-between, but for gamers to be aware of how much money they have locked up in certain currencies.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cryptocurrency we do recommend having a look as it will likely become more stable and has the possibility of becoming a primary payment method for many sites.

  • Transaction Speed

In addition to the type of payment method you choose it’s worth noting the speed at which the site performs the transaction. You’re chosen payment method can affect how long transactions take but a lot of this also comes down to the operator. The faster they process the request, the faster you get your money.

The speed at which winnings are placed in your sportsbook account is also a key aspect. Sometimes gambling can be time-sensitive and to place your wagers you’ll need access to your funds.

Choosing the fastest paying sites will allow you to place your bets when and as you please.

  • Bonuses

As you may have already read, bonuses are the bread and butter for many online gamblers. With online sports betting sites constantly offering promotions and bonuses to draw in players, it’s crucial to know which ones are the best and most valuable.

These incentives can come in many forms from free bets, match bonuses, improved odds, or even small cash bonuses that equate to online real money.

Be sure to read the terms and conditions as most if not all bonuses will have certain rules and restrictions. The best Canadian gambling sites won’t have overly restrictive terms and you should be able to easily meet them to reap your rewards.

Should you find a site that offers betting bonuses that seem overly generous or too good to be true you may want to trust your instincts. Double-check the reliability and legitimacy of the site before proceeding any further.

  • Licensing

We mentioned sports betting is legal in Canada but not all sportsbooks are created equal. There are still laws and restrictions in place requiring certain licenses from the government that allows sportsbooks to operate.

The legality and liability primarily fall to the operator and not yourself but should your chosen online gambling site be shut down for shady business practices you won’t be seeing your money anytime soon, if ever.

Also, be aware that some sites may not be able to payout to residents of Canada due to these laws. Be sure that your chosen sportsbook accepts people within Canada’s borders.

Of course, all of the sites included in our best sportsbook review are safe and reliable for Canadians.

Using a Sportsbook in Canada

After you decide which online sportsbook site is best for you it’s time to jump in and get started. Let’s cover a few things you can expect when registering with an online betting operator.

Any respectable sportsbook will need to have some of your information on file. This may pertain to law, transfers, or so they will be better able to assist you.

It’s common to ask for information such as

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Physical address

The sportsbook site may ask for additional information or documents as is necessary. As with many online providers whose business revolves around real money deals and the transfer of funds, they may ask for proof of identity. Depending on the province you’re in and the provider’s regulations they can request various forms of documents to confirm this.

You may have the option to skip some steps of verification until a later date but we don’t recommend this. As full verification of identity is usually required for withdrawals it’s good to get this sorted immediately. While making a deposit will be easy enough, you may run into issues collecting your payouts should you have any problems verifying your identity.

Following the verification process, you’ll be able to get started on the fun part. It’s as easy as making a quick deposit which is usually available for play within minutes if not seconds and finding your sporting event of choice.

When it comes time to place your bets you’ll be able to choose from various types of bets and odds. While the type of bet you place will greatly depend on your personal preference and are fairly self-explanatory, the betting odds may take a minute to wrap your head around.

This is not because odds are overly complicated but because they can be portrayed in different ways in different areas. To help with the process we have included the information you’ll want to know.

What are Betting Odds?

As we previously mentioned, betting odds are provided by the sportsbook as an indicator of both the potential winnings of a wager and the likelihood of that outcome. If the odds are high this means the outcome is less likely but offers more bountiful winnings. For lower odds, the outcome of the wager is more probable yet the potential winnings are less.

Where it can become a little confusing is when odds are presented differently. There are three general ways that they will be displayed.

  • Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are something you are likely to see when using a sports betting site in Canada. They are one of the most widely used formats in both Canada and areas of Europe.

The number provided shows the amount you can win for every dollar that you wager. To calculate the winnings the wager is simply multiplied by the odds which will equate to the total.

For instance, let’s say the odds provided for a specific bet are 3.5 and you choose to wager $100.

Should your predictions come to pass and you win the bet you can expect a payout of $350. This odds format includes your initial investment and the additional money won, for a total profit of $250.

(100 x 3.5 = 250)

  • American Odds

As the name implies these are the main odds found in America, stemming from the betting capital Las Vegas. American odds are quite different from other formats and cant take a moment to come to terms with.

The easiest approach is understanding that these odds use $100 as a baseline to determine payouts.

The number is presented with either a + or – symbol in front of it. A negative number represents the amount that needs to be bet to win $100. A positive number on the other hand would represent the amount that would be won from a $100 bet.

For example, you choose to place a wager of $100 on an event that offers +250 odds.

Assuming you’re having a good day and your team wins, you will be receiving a payout of $350. Unlike decimal odds, the calculated winnings are profit only. You get back your initial stake of $100 plus $250 of winnings as the odds were +250.

  • Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are also a very popular format to use in various sportsbooks but itøs most popular in the UK. The odds are portrayed in a fraction which indicates the potential winnings. The number implies the fraction of a dollar that would be one for every dollar wagered.

For example, Your favorite hockey team is playing and they are the underdog but you are convinced they will prevail. As they aren’t predicted to win the odds are 5/2 and you place a $100 bet.

Given the 5/2 odds, this means you stand to win $2.50 for every dollar wagered. So a $100 wager, if won, would work out to $250 in winnings. Similar to American odds the projected winnings do not account for your initial wager. Meaning in this case you would receive a total payout of $350.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there is a lot that goes into finding the best betting sites in Canada and it can take a bit of research. We at Viabonus want to provide you with all the information you need to get started or continue in the world of online gambling.

If you are a sports fanatic who wants to try your hand at wagering some money, or maybe you’re an avid gambler who wants to branch into sports events, we want you to have the best chances possible. The first step to that is choosing the sportsbook that is right for you.

Here at Vianbonus, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find the best bonuses, odds, services, and providers in the sports betting world. We promise you won’t regret following our recommendations, all you have to do is pick from the list and you’re off to the races. Excuse the pun.

 

FAQ - Sportsbook Canada

Most Frequently Asked Questions about Canadian Sportsbetting & reviews

 

The short answer is yes. Sports betting in Canada has been legal for quite some time now albeit with some overly restrictive regulations. However recently the laws have been updated to allow for more flexibility for sportsbooks and more options for bettors.

Individual provinces are now allowed to offer to bet on singular sporting events and regulate the process how they see fit. While previously bettors were limited to solely placing parlay bets, they now have the opportunity to place any number of bets including spreads, futures, game total, and more.

Granted the final decision still lies with the government in the province that you will be betting. While many provinces are taking full advantage of the opportunity and expanding their gambling horizons, some provinces may choose otherwise. Be sure to review the gambling laws within your specific province before placing your bets or registering with a given online sportsbook.

 

 

While the odds do clearly show who the favored team is, and alternately the underdog as well, there is a bit more that goes into setting the lines or odds aside from projected winners. There are some great sportsbooks out there but at the end of the day, they are a business and need to maintain a sustainable approach to betting.

There are no cut and clear instructions on how to set odds and this can vary substantially between vendors. But as we mentioned this can work in your favor as operators constantly offer better odds than competitors to attract bettors.

From the sportsbook’s point of view, they try to keep the wagers fairly balanced so they don’t risk substantial losses. This means for a given match and the odds provided for each team, regardless of the winner, the sportsbook doesn’t stand to lose too much money.

 

Sportsbooks, like any other business, do need to make money to keep operating. To do this they take a commission from losing bets.

This is commonly known as the vigorish or ‘vig’ for short but is also often referred to as the juice in slang. The vigorish is only taken from losing bets.

The first focus of the sportsbook is to maintain a balance and not have unexpected losses in a match. Following that of course they want to make a profit. Generally speaking, the average would be about a 4% profit margin on their handle.

As long as you choose a safe and reliable site, determining which one is best will primarily come down to your personal preference.

You will want to compare various features such as security, bonuses, payout speeds, viable payment methods, and more. See our guide above on how to choose the best sportsbook for more details.

At the beginning of this article, you can find a comprehensive list of the best sportsbooks in Canada. All you have to do is choose your favorite.

While many types of bets are placed before an event begins or even before a season if you’re into futures, this is not your only option. Many sportsbooks offer live sports betting also known as in-game betting.

This type of betting lets bookies update the odds as games are progressing and will accept additional bets throughout the event. This has continued to grow in popularity as many find it exhilarating to both watch the teams battle it out and place bets as circumstances change.

Wager amounts on various events are normally determined by the sportsbook and laid out in terms and conditions. When looking for unique sporting events such as an MMA fight, betting sites often offer higher winning odds due to the decreased frequency of the events. Big events that command large audiences often carry great betting opportunities.

Research each sportsbook to determine wager and withdrawal limits. Deposit and payout methods differ between sportsbooks. Be sure to find one that works best for you.

Like any other form of gambling, there is always a risk when it comes to wagering your money. What we enjoy about sportsbooks is that there is a reduced element of luck and an increased element of skill.

For sports enthusiasts that take their research seriously, sports betting offers some great opportunities to earn some rewards. By ensuring that the sportsbook you are signing up for is credible and legit, you will minimize your risks and increase your enjoyment.