Best sports betting sites in Canada

If you’re looking for a new site where you can bet on all your favourite sports in Canada, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here at Online Casino ZED, we look at the best Canadian casinos around, analyzing and comparing them so that you get the very best experience possible.

Read on for everything you need to know about how to find the best sports betting sites in Canada.

Sport betting online Canada

Introduction

The origins of the sports betting industry can be traced all the way back to the Ancient Greeks when spectators made bets on the results of the early Olympic Games 3000 years ago.

Since then, the concept of betting on sports has spread all over the world and has now turned into an $85 billion dollar industry.

Fourteen billion dollars of this comes from Canada, so let’s take a look at the best sites where you can get in on the action.

Best Canadian sports betting sites

As online gambling has grown in popularity, so there has been a boom in online sites offering sports betting.

With so many to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one to use. But don’t despair, here at Online Casino ZED, we look at the different sports betting sites out there and see what they have to offer Canadian players in the way of sports, banking options, bonuses and more.

To start, let’s look at the best sites for betting on-the-go. Keep reading to find out more.

Top sports betting apps/mobile-compatible sites

These days, being able to play your favourite casino game or place a wager on a sporting event whenever and wherever you please has become the norm. We took a look at some of the best mobile-compatible sites out there that accept Canadian players.

Online betting in Canada

Understanding the legalities of sports betting in Canada can get a little complicated, as there are different rules that apply to different regions.

Back when gambling began in Canada, it was completely legal in all its forms. However, when the Canadian Criminal Code was written in 1892, it stated that all forms of gambling were, in fact, illegal as of then.

Things have started to ease up as time has passed, though, and the more socially-acceptable forms of gambling that were taking place illegally were generally ignored by police, making way for progressive thinking on gambling.

The early 1900s saw bingo games and raffles legalized, as they were used for charity. This was followed by the legalization of horse racing in the 1920s. Then, as the government started to realize the financial benefits of gambling, lotteries started to appear during the 60s and 70s, along with the first land-based casinos. In 1985, slot machines were made legal too.

Canada does have its own regulatory body for gaming – the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. This is in charge of land-based casinos located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. There are now regions of Canada where gambling is legal.

These include Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan – but there are also areas where it is categorically not allowed.

Online gambling has brought another new element to this already pretty confusing situation. However, there are no direct rules stating that Canadian residents cannot gamble online. This means that it is technically not illegal for Canadian players living in Canada to make bets online – there have never been any arrests associated with Canadian players making bets online.

Depending on your region and the type of gambling you are engaging in, the minimum age you can be to bet legally is either 18 or 19.

Popular sports betting sports in Canada

Hockey

As every Canadian (and probably many non-Canadians around the world) knows, the most beloved sport in Canada is ice hockey.

First played in 1875, this exhilarating game of thwacking that puck into the net is the sport most people would associate with Canada – and with plenty of sites offering NHL betting throughout the year, there’s always something interesting to bet on.

Baseball

If hockey is there for us all year round, baseball betting tends to catch the eye (and the wallets) of many Canadians during the summer.

This is a great sport to bet on because there are so many games – the MLB teams play a total of 162 games throughout the season, giving bettors an abundance of opportunities to place bets and potentially win cash throughout the warmer months.

Basketball

Did you know that basketball was created by a Canadian? Yep, we have Canadian James Naismith to thank for America’s (second) favourite sport, as he invented the game in Massachusetts in 1891.

With a history like that, it’s no wonder that basketball is becoming more and more interesting to Canadian bettors – especially as we keep churning out fantastic players such as RJ Barret, who was drafted into the Knicks in 2019 at the age of only 19.

Golf

Just like baseball, golf is another favourite of Canadians in the summer months.

With a four-day tournament, you’ll feel like you’ve managed to get your money’s worth – especially if you make the right bet and end up wagering on the winner.

Football

Finally, who could talk about sport without mentioning football? Football betting is popular around the world, including in Canada, with many Canadian residents opting to bet on the professional leagues of the CFL and the NFL. Following that, NCAA college football betting is also a popular choice for die-hard football fans.

Live betting

Most of the sportsbooks and casinos available online in Canada offer live betting services, including the ones listed at the beginning of this article.

If you would like to watch your favourite sport and experience the feeling of getting caught up in the action the way you only do when you have something invested in it, but you can’t make it to the event itself, live betting may be the solution for you.

Live betting allows players to stream live video feeds of sports events and fully embrace the excitement of watching them, getting caught up in the moment and even being able to make a quick buck out of it.

With live betting, you can place bets on the game you’re watching as it happens – which can also mean you have a higher chance of placing an accurate winning bet.

There are a variety of live betting options available. You could place a live bet before the match starts or just after it starts. You may also wish to place a bet on the likelihood that a particular team will win or lose and are not limited to making that choice before the game begins – rather, you can make your mind up as the action unfolds in front of you.

Sports betting bonuses

When betting on sports games, you may be eligible for a variety of bonuses that can help you with your bankroll and give you that much-needed boost.

Risk-free bets

A risk-free bet is where a new player places a wager with a sportsbook or casino for the first time.

If the player is unlucky and loses, they will be awarded a bonus bet according to the amount of their lost bet.

It may not be the complete amount of the original wager, but risk-free bets allow players to place bets safe in the knowledge that if it goes wrong, they won’t lose all their money.

Welcome bonus

Then there’s the welcome bonus, which all seasoned casino-goers will be familiar with.

This is a gift that a casino gives a new player creating an account for the first time. It will often take the form of a match bonus, in which the player deposits an amount of cash and the casino matches it up to a certain amount.

This way, you can end up with double or more what you deposit. In sports betting, the welcome bonus often takes the form of free bets.

Wagering requirements

Bear in mind that bonuses often come with wagering requirements, which is the number of times you need to play through your bonus before it becomes real money that you can withdraw.

Calculating the odds

Betting odds are the most fundamental element of sports betting.

There are odds calculators out there to help you if you can’t get your head around them, but it’s always better to learn how to calculate them yourself, as not being able to understand the odds is generally the biggest reason gamblers lose bets.

Analyze the data

The first step is to analyze the data carefully. What you’re trying to figure out is how likely it is that a specific event will occur during a match.

This can be very tricky, so the majority of sportsbooks hire specialists to do this, along with using cutting-edge tools to make sure that they reduce their margin for error and wind up with the most accurate results possible.

Cash projections

The next thing to take into account is the cash projections. Sportsbooks do this by using algorithms to calculate the cash flow that will be put into a particular market.

They also use previous cash projections to help them do this. This helps them keep the outcomes and bets balanced so that they don’t wind up losing money.

Odds margins

After this is done, the sportsbook posts the odds. But first, the odds need to go through a margin.

This is what allows sportsbooks to make money. The margin could be high or low – it depends on how popular the sport is.

The bookmakers take this margin and use it to offer odds that are just a little lower than they ought to be. If the likelihood of both outcomes occurring is equal, then the odds should in theory be 2.0 – even.

This means that if you place a bet of $100 and you win, you should make $200. However, the odds offered by the sportsbook are usually lower than that – the sportsbook might offer, say, 1.7 instead of 2.0.

The margin is the difference between the odds. To get the best odds, you should look for a sportsbook whose margin is approximately 3-5%.

Frequently asked questions

Can I bet on sports on my mobile?

Yes, there are many online casinos that have apps that you can download to your Android or iOS devices. And even the casinos that don’t have specific mobile apps often have their websites optimized for mobile devices, so they should run smoothly no matter what device you’re using.

Is it legal for Canadians to bet on sports online?

As discussed, the legality of gambling in Canada is complicated. However, there is no specific law that states that Canadian residents can’t gamble online, so as long as your chosen casino accepts Canadian players, you can gamble there legally.

Can I play for fun while making sports bets?

You can always choose who you think will win without wagering any cash, but in order to make money from betting, you must bet with real money.

Do you have to pay taxes on gambling winnings in Canada?

No, Canadian players do not have to pay taxes on any money they obtain while gambling. Win-win!

How do I find a good sports betting site?

The best things to remember when looking for a sports betting site are the licensing of the casino, the sports and odds on offer, and whether or not the casino is available to players based in Canada.