Best online betting sites in Canada
Welcome to our guide to the top online betting sites for Canadians, where we will guide you through the many great online sportsbooks that are available in 2020. Not only are many of the best international betting sites available for CAD deposits, but there are also some Canada-based betting companies that also accept bets on many popular sports, including the NBA, NFL and even local competitions like the Canadian Football League. The best online betting sites in Canada in 2020 are:
Because offshore online betting sites are not addressed in Canadian legislation, nor are single-game wagers allowed at locally regulated sportsbooks, most looking to bet on sports or racing do it with betting companies based in places like the United Kingdom and Malta. The following are the best Canadian betting sites adjudged by the WGL team:
Overview of online sports betting in Canada
Canada has a plethora of online sports betting sites available to its citizens, with many of them prominent around the world. Because of the lack of true regulation in Canada, they are based in places such as the Caribbean and Central America, although more and more licences are being granted by Canada’s own Kahnawake Mohawk Territory.
The most popular sports in Canada to bet on include ice hockey, basketball and baseball, although the betting landscape is much more diverse than that with the online sportsbooks available hosting thousands of different markets daily, on hundreds of different events and sports.
Best online betting sites
As we have previously stated, most of the top Canadian betting sites are based offshore, hence they do not legally have the right to operate in the country, although they continue to do so. While this may make you sceptical of using their services, these betting sites include brands such as Bodog.eu and BetOnline.ag which have built up massive client bases since launching many years ago.
It seems almost certain that in the coming years Canada will take a more proactive approach to regulating the online sports gambling sites Canadians bet at, but for now it pays to do your homework before committing to a site that is based offshore. Read sites such as this one and many others out there and make informed decisions.
The Kahnawake Gambling Commission sites that offer sports betting generally don’t feature as many markets as their overseas counterparts, but you do have the added layer of security of gambling with a site registered in your country.
Top 10 sports betting sites 2020
Because Canadians has so many online betting sites available to them, it can be really hard to gauge what the top 10 online sportsbooks are if you are not familiar with the industry. There is no excuse for Canadians to bet with bad betting sites, when we have many of the world’s best betting companies at our doorstep. These include betting giants like William Hill and Bet365, while other big company’s to have a firm foothold in Canada include Betway and Intertops. The WorldGamblingList believes these are the top 10 betting sites for 2020:
Betway.com: Another website licensed by both the UK and Malta, Betway is a leading brand in the sports betting industry. Features markets on everything from US sport right through to international events. The esports and horse racing sections are areas that set Betway.com apart. Betway is comfortably among the top bet sites for Canadians and has some great promotions surrounding various popular events. Read our Betway review for further information.
WilliamHill: One of the leading betting brands on the planet, the UK-based WilliamHill has a firm foothold in Canada. You will find all of the Canadian domestic sports, like hockey and football, plus every international sport and racing event you can think of. Boasting one of the most exceptional sportsbooks in the world, William Hill also features a highly-rated casino product, which is largely powered by Playtech.
For more information, check out our full review of William Hill.
LeoVegas.com: A UK-licensed company that is very popular with casino players, however we can confirm that its sports betting product is also top notch. If you are looking for soccer markets, particularly European leagues, Leo Vegas can be a great option for you. While there are limited markets on Canadian sporting events, Leo Vegas does price most major international events. If you’re searching for a top notch casino (just check out the mobile version!) with a very serviceable sportsbook attached, LeoVegas.com might be for you. Read the LeoVegas review.
Bodog.eu: The Bodog brand was founded by Canadian Calvin Ayre, but has had a tumultuous relationship with the local government. While Ayre no longer resides in Canada, his brand still has a big following. Bodog.eu caters extensively to the CA betting market and offers some unique deposit options, like bitcoin that many of the best betting sites do not offer. While not as flush with rare markets, Bodog.eu has a long and rich history in sports betting.
Read our Bodog.eu review.
SportsInteraction.com: One of the few half-decent sports betting sites based out of Canada. As always, the flaw with the locally licensed product is that there os no single game wagers available. Despite this drawback SportsInteraction has plenty to like, with a fully-equipped sports book, as well as 100s of real money casino games. Because Sports Interaction is only focussing on Canada, you will often find prices on events that you won’t find elsewhere.
Read the Sports Interaction review for further information.
Bet365: One of the most well-know online sportsbooks in the world and easily fits into the best betting sites Canada category. Bet365, accepting players from over 200 countries, has a huge selection of sports betting markets to choose from, has a great selection of live sports to watch and has a good reputation for paying out quickly. If there is one criticism about the Bet365 betting site, it might be that they are known to restrict successful punters.
Read our Bet365 review for further information.
888Sport: One of the best sports betting sites in the UK also has a large footprint in Canada. 888 Sports has both sports and racing odds on offer and has some specific free bet offers available. 888Sports is on our top 10 betting sites list because they are extremely trustworthy and cater to a large audience, including casino and poker. Payment options are plentiful, including local options like iDebit and Interac.
Read our 888Sport review for more information.
Sportsbook sign-up offers & promotions
ULTIMATE GUIDE: SPORTSBOOK BONUSES FOR CANADIANS
I’m not joking when I say there are 100 Canadian betting sites you could sign up at and successfully wager with. This means they need hooks to attract you to join a given bookie; these usually come in the form of incentives. Anyone looking to open a new account at a betting site can realistically double their initial deposit, with bonus bets. While it is true, these bonus bets come with wagering requirements attached, we have profited handsomely from them many times. Some of the more common free bet offers available at the top online betting sites include:
Sign-up bonus offers: These generally involve matched deposit bonuses. It’s as simple as joining a chosen bookie and making your first deposit. They will then match the deposit at a certain percentage. For instance, it might be a 200% matched deposit up to the value of $200. This means you could deposit $100 and then receive an extra $200 to bet with. Every bookie will have different stipulations attached to their offers, so read the terms and conditions before accepting; there is no point to it if it’s next to impossible to clear the wagering requirements.
Promotions: These generally run on a specific event and could be anything from boosted odds on selected NHL betting lines to cash-back offers, where if your team leads at quarter-time but goes on to lose, you receive your money back. Check out sites such as this one in the lead-up to sports and racing events to find the best bonus offers that are available.
Cash back: This has become very common, particularly with UK bookmakers, where a punter places a bet and if a certain instance occurs and they lose, they either get paid as if they won, or they get their money back. These types of bonus bet offers vary greatly from betting site to sportsbook, but they are definitely something to keep an out for.
Cash back VIP programs: This is when regular punters are rewarded with a percentage of their losses back as cash. Not very common at Canadian online betting sites, but if you bet big, it can pay to try and organise some sort of betting rebate scheme. Those few extra bets you could place in a few months, might be the difference between winning and losing.
Free bet: Traditionally a free bet was given when you opened an account, but regulation around the world and abuse of the system by punters, means free bets are now usually referred to as bonus bets. If you can find an online sportsbook site with a free bet (where you can place a bet before depositing) we recommend taking advantage of it, but be aware it probably has hefty wagering requirements.
Sports betting in Canada
Ice hockey is the No.1 sport in Canada and any sportsbook targeting this market will have extensive markets available on the National Hockey League and many other domestic competitions. Betting lines are one of the most popular way to wager on hockey and the bookies we recommend will definitely cater to those punters. Some will even have Canadian lines, which are available only on hockey.
Obviously basketball, baseball and football (both American football and soccer) have many followers in Canada and they are all gambled on heavily. Lines are again prominent at online sportsbooks accepting bets on these sports, while player and team props are also popular ways to bet.
Because most of the betting sites you will gamble at will have far more bettors than just Canadians, you will be able to bet on everything from cricket, various football codes around the world, politics, reality television and much more.
In April of 2019, the first whistle will blow for the Canadian Premier League, which will be first professional soccer league ever established. The competition will have seven teams for its inaugural season and will feature a mix of the best domestic and international stars.
Basketball betting sites
All of the best Canadian betting sites online will feature extensive markets on basketball, with major leagues covered including the NBA and the National Basketball League Canada, plus various other International competitions.
The best basketball betting sites for Canadians will offer 100s of markets on each individual game, plus in-play betting and the option to place parlays. Often the best basketball betting sites will feature promotions and bonus offers surrounding basketball events or matches.
Ice hockey betting sites
Ice hockey is probably the no.1 sport in Canada and betting on it is very popular right across the country. The best ice hockey betting sites are generally based overseas, with this largely because you can’t place single-result bets under Canadian law.
Popular hockey competitions to bet on include the US-based National Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League. The Canadian teams in the world-best NHL are the Calgary Flames, the Winnipeg Jets and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Football betting sites
In Canada we refer to grid iron as football, which can be confusing to much of the rest of the world, where soccer takes that name. Canadian or American football is commonly found at the best sportsbooks online, including those based in places like the United Kingdom and Malta.
The National Football League is the no.1 American football competition in the world, but Canada does not feature any teams in it. Instead football is all about the Canadian Football League which is the biggest breeding ground outside the states for the NFL.
Horse racing betting sites
The best horse racing betting sites in Canada will feature markets on the big international events such as the Kentucky Derby and rest of the US Triple Crown, the Melbourne Cup, The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and many more.
Read: Horse racing in Canada
Although it is not a mainstream pursuit in Canada, daily horse racing events will also be covered extensively, with everything from win/place bets, parlays and your exotics such as trifectas, quinellas and others among the options.
The Canadian Triple Crown is the biggest horse racing event on the local calendar, with a quirk of its existence (it was first held in 1959) being that the three races — Queen’s Plate (1¼ miles), Prince of Wales Stakes (1³/16 mile) and the Breeders Stakes — are raced over the same distance as the American version.
Race tracks in Canada include Fort Erie, Woodbine, Kawartha Downs and Grand River.
Top Mobile sports betting sites
Come on, it’s 2020. Of course you can bet on your mobile device. It’s not hugely difficult and most online sportsbooks will have fully functional mobile betting sites that will run just fine in your browser. You will be able to access nearly as many markets as when you’re on desktop, although you may find there are fewer methods of depositing money into your account. Many of the best online sportsbooks servicing Canada also have apps available to download, with these coming on both Android and iOS phones and tablets.
Sports betting apps
Canadians have some great apps available to them in 2020, with these available on both smartphones and tablets. These free betting app downloads are available for both Android and IOS devices. Here is a quick explanation how to bet on sports via an app:
Android betting apps
Android, most commonly found powering Samsung phones and tablets, allows users to download betting apps directly from the gambling company. These are known as third party apps. In regulated betting markets, Android users will be able to download apps directly from the Google store, however Canadians will not find these here.
iOS betting apps
If you’re an Apple user, your device will be powered by iOS. To download a betting app from Canada is an easy process. Simply pick the sportsbook you want to sign up at and then make an account. They will then prompt you to download the iOS app when you visit them on your device.
Another app option good for those who regularly like to bet, is to create a web app. Web apps create a shortcut on the desktop of your device, directly to the betting company’s website.
Live streaming at CA sportsbooks
One of the greatest things about the best online betting sites is that they are always looking for an edge over their rivals, hence they spend up big securing the streaming rights for sports leagues or events.
Often the streams will only be available on mobile, although many will also be available on PC. You can expect this space to continue to grow in the coming months and years, particularly when Canada gets proper regulation surrounding sports betting.
Live betting at CA online betting sites
Live, or in-play betting, is readily available at many of the best betting sites online, with it simply meaning that you can bet via the internet after an event has got underway. After it starts, prices for the events dynamically update on your screen. Some of the bigger sports Canadians can bet on after they are underway include ice hockey, baseball, basketball, tennis and MMA.
If done well, live betting can be a great way to find increased odds on events, although it has proven to be contentious with lawmakers, who say offering these types of markets promotes problem gambling and can lead to punters chasing losses. This means many countries have banned “in-play” betting at online betting sites.
However Canadians, with their grey laws surrounding gambling, are legally allowed to bet on in-play events right around the globe, as long as they do it with an offshore betting company.
Payment methods at Canadian bookies
Funding your sports betting account is extremely easy, with most online betting sites accepting credit and debit cards. Deposits can be made using your standard card such as Visa or MasterCard. These deposits will be instant and will allow you to start betting straight away.
Other popular ways to fund your betting account in Canada include prepaid cards, such as Visa, web wallets (Skrill, Neteller) and even Canada’s own Interac e-transfers which allow you to access your online bank account and simply transfer the money over instantly.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are also becoming more prominent as a sportsbook deposit options, with the Canadian government yet to formally address gambling and bitcoin.
Withdrawals at CAD betting sites
Withdrawing from the top Canadian sports betting sites will also be easy, with simple transfers back to your bank and checks in the mail just some of the available options.
Withdrawal times at betting sites will vary, with this depending on who you are withdrawing from. For instance a cashout from locally regulated Sports Interaction might only take 24 hours. While a online sportsbook based offshore could take between 5-10 days.
For a long time cashing out at an online sportsbook was the biggest problem for Canadians, but this has dissipated as banking and practices surrounding it in the gambling industry have improved.
Sports betting laws in Canada
Placing a bet on sports via an offshore site in Canada is not illegal, however if a gambling company’s physical location is in Canada, they must hold a gambling license, issued by the local authorities.
The Provinces in Canada have got bodies set up to deal with gambling, but their reach does not extend to banning offshore online betting sites. Instead Canada continues to operate as a gambling grey area, meaning sportsbooks and in turn, punters are allowed to do as they like when betting on the web. No individual Canadian has ever been prosecuted for betting with an offshore company.
In time, Canadian lawmakers are likely to introduce legislation which will allow them to tax offshore betting companies. This means it is likely sports betting sites will have to be regulated by authorities, before being allowed to operate in Canada.
Despite the global pandemic, and Canadian Parliament not sitting again in 2021, there is growing momentum to regulate sports betting single wagers. This would essentially regulate the Canadian market and ban offshore betting sites. This would provide a much safer environment for the top betting sites Canadians use, and give them a course of action, if they experience any issues.
It remains to be seen how Canada will regulate sports betting, whether they form a National Regulator like the model places like the United Kingdom use, or whether they take a state by state approach. The latter seems likely with several betting sites based out of places like Ontario, and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. This model could follow somewhere like Australia, which regulates online betting sites at state level, but they also must abide by a National Framework.
Conservative MP Kevin Waugh has been a big driver in the push for single event sports betting, with his belief that inaction is costing the country money in taxes, and also hindering local betting sites efforts to attract customers. It would also bring Canada in line with many US States that have regulated sports betting.
While the picture looks rosy for regulated sports betting in 2021, we have been hearing this for close to 10 years. We will find out how true it is when the Senate sites in the Spring.
Customer service at CA betting sites
Even if you have a successful betting session at a betting site, you won’t be too happy if you can’t cash out for some reason, and then cannot contact the website in question. It’s so important, especially because of the free nature of the Canadian gambling industry, that you do your homework and confirm that the betting sites you choose to bet with have customer care available. Some of the ways you can contact sports betting sites include:
This has nearly become the norm at the top sports betting sites for Canadians, with live chat generally provided by a console on their website. It’s usually instant responses, although with many of the betting sites Canadians use being based offshore, it pays to make sure the customer service is available during the correct times. Most of the bigger betting sites have 24/7 live chat.
Often a betting site will provide an email address, with a promise to respond within a certain amount of time. Alarm bells should ring if this is the only contact method for the betting site you have signed up at.
Most of the bigger Canadian betting sites will have a phone number available. Again not all of them will be open for calls during Canadian hours, so do your research.
While social media has long been a venting platform for frustrated punters, betting companies are now using it to monitor for chatter about their brands. Some online betting sites are even taking customer feedback via social media.
Popular sports teams in Canada
Canada has a proud sporting history and boasts some globally popular teams across different codes. In no particular order the most popular sports teams from Canada include the following:
Toronto Maple Leafs: A true powerhouse of the NHL, the Maple Leafs are a divisive force in Canadian hockey, but undoubtedly the most popular sports team in the country. They play in the Atlantic Conference of the Eastern Division of the NHL.
Montreal Canadiens: Another hugely popular Canadian NHL team. Have a reputation for having the nicest fans in the game, unlike their bitter foes the Maple Leafs. But 24 Championships says it all – they simply are a juggernaut in world sport.
Toronto Blue Jays: Have traditionally had little success in Major League Baseball as they slug it out in one of the toughest divisions — the American League East Division. But despite this the Blue Jays have a massive fan base and are even popular with rival fans, who have a soft spot for their entertaining style of play.
Commonly asked questions about CA betting sites
Fractional, Decimal and American odds are the three common types you will see online in 2020. At Canada’s top online betting sites you will generally find the odds in decimal format, although often you will be able to change the odds format to suit.
Unfortunately because sports betting is not really covered in Canadian law, Paypal does not process gambling payments, including betting sites. This is in-line with the global policy of Paypal only operating in regulated betting environments. There is every chance that Paypal will enter the online betting realm when Canada eventually regulates and taxes online sportsbooks.
This question gets posed a lot and it’s hard to answer with so many countries not having regulated sports betting. The most recent stats we have seen show Australians bet the most per head in the world. It’s very hard to gauge how much Canadians use betting sites because so much money goes to offshore sportsbook sites.
Yes, the majority of online betting sites will have downloadable apps for both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It is more likely an online betting site will have an Android app than a Apple mobile app, largely because it is much harder to market apps via the App Store.
This is question we are constantly being asked by those looking for a CA sportsbook, with so many betting sites touting themselves as Canadian. While there are many good online betting sites, we really like brands like Betway and William Hill, that are licensed elsewhere, but cater extensively to the Canadian dollar, have promotions and bonuses and have plenty of deposit options.
There is hope that Canadian single event wagers will be made legal when the senate sits in Spring 2021. This will pave the way for legal sports betting sites and taxation of the industry.