Viewed as one of the best countries in the world when it comes to standards of living and human interaction, Canada is a model for many. Perhaps it’s exactly that high standard of living that makes over 60% of Canadians participate in different forms of gambling at least every week. The main focus goes to lotteries, however, Canadian bookmakers are also chosen by a large number of players. As for gambling legislation, Canada is what you can call a grey market, as there are different regulatory bodies for each province and territory. Therefore, since the nation’s online betting laws are not preventing international bookies from operating and delivering their services to local bettors; everyone is free to enjoy any online bookmaker he wants.
5 things to know about bookmakers in Canada
- You can bet on any foreign or local bookmaker in Canada as long as you are over 18
- Canadians who bet on international bookies generate around C$4 billion every year
- The Kahnawake Gaming Commission issues licenses to online bookies
- Single-event sports betting is not allowed on local bookmakers
- There are no fees or taxes applied to your winnings
Best bookmakers in Canada for 2022
How Canadian bookies operate
According to the country’s Criminal Code, that dates back to 1892, gambling is considered illegal. Nonetheless, this piece of legislation has been amended several times throughout the years in order to tolerate some gambling activities. For instance, in 1910 pari-mutuel gambling was legalized. Nowadays, the most significant provision of the law is that single-event sports betting is illegal. Gambling however is currently considered legal in all its forms when it is regulated by a provincial government.
As regards sports betting, it falls into the grey area, primarily due to the fact that Canadian laws are outdated. More specifically, it is not illegal to bet online; however, the laws around bookmakers state that any online operator which is based in Canada should hold a government-issued gambling license. As a matter of fact, betting falls under the jurisdiction of the country’s provincial governments. They actually offer sports betting in the form of a program known countrywide as Sport Select. This program consists of several betting games powered by lottery corporations. It is also worth noting that each of the 10 provinces (and 3 territories) has its own gambling authority, which is responsible for the province’s sports betting games, casinos, lotteries, video lottery terminals (VLTs) and slot machines.
Nevertheless, Canada is home to the renowned Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) which issues licenses to online bookmakers and casinos. Sports Interaction is the leading local online bookie, holding a license issued by the Commission. Except for it, the KGC has also granted licenses to some other big online bookmakers Canada has to offer, like 22bet, 20Bet, Bet99 and Spin Sports.
Last but not least, keep in mind that in Canada bookmakers that are not domestically licensed are technically not considered illegal, since the laws are not clearly mentioning anything about international online operators. Therefore, international bookies manage to operate freely in the country.
First and foremost, Canadians can rest assured that no taxes are levied on their online betting winnings. It is also important to highlight the fact that those who choose to place their wagers on the international bookmakers Canada has to offer are not prosecuted by the authorities.
And for the record, most local bettors opt for international online bookies that operate in the country, since they have optimized their platforms based on Canadians’ needs. More specifically, they offer French and English as standard languages, as well as support agents who speak both of them fluently. Moreover, they accept Canadian Dollar (CAD) deposits and offer local payments like iDebit, Instadebit and Interac. They also offer a wide range of events on popular North American sports, like ice hockey, football, baseball and basketball.
Another important fact is that single-event sports betting is finally going to become legal in Canada. More specifically, in June 2021 the Senate approved Bill C-218, which is going to amend the Criminal Code’s provision around betting on a single game. This means that bettors who like to place their bets on local CA bookmakers will soon be able to do so without having to include on their betting slip at least two games.
After highlighting the way in which Canadian bookies operate, it is only natural to take a closer look at the most popular payments among local bettors. Instant banking methods that allow secure transactions straight from a player’s bank account, namely iDebit and Instadebit, are by far the most widely used ones. The same applies to the local mobile payment Interac, which allows instant deposits, fast withdrawals and the possibility to add a debit card to it. Furthermore, e-wallets like MuchBetter, vouchers like Flexepin, credit cards and bank wire are also very popular among Canadian players. So, international bookies in Canada make sure to cater to their bettors’ needs and offer the aforementioned payment options.
The future doesn’t seem very promising in terms of the establishment of new gambling legislation in Canada. Since this is the case, the vast majority of bettors will keep on gambling on international bookies. More specifically, those who bet on international online bookmakers, do so from the comfort of their home, deposit funds to their betting account via their preferred payment method, get higher odds on sporting events and are eligible for great bonuses. On the contrary, those who opt for sports betting games (i.e. Sports Select), powered by provincial governments at land-based shops, are offered fewer betting options and significantly lower odds. So remember that if you’re looking for a bookmaker Canada is full of decent international operators which are way better than the local ones.
Full list of online bookmakers in Canada
After analyzing in depth the local gambling market, we bring you below the complete list of Canadian bookmakers. Check them all out and opt for the one that better suits your needs.
Both offline and online betting are allowed in Canada. Consequently, local bettors do not have to worry about any legal actions taken against them for enjoying online sports betting on the top bookmakers Canada has to offer.
There are many international bookmakers that offer their services to Canadian bettors, however there are some that stand out due to their high odds on North American sports and availability of local payments. So, the best online bookies Canada has to offer are 22bet, 20bet and Bet99.
Bet365 operates legally in the country, since it holds a UKGC, MGA and GLA license. Apart from that, it is one of the top bookies in Canada since it caters to local bettors’ needs, by offering local payments, such as Instadebit and iDebit.
No they are not. Consequently, if you wish to place your bets on a CA bookmaker that is licensed domestically, or even on an international bookie that operates online in the country; then all you win is yours to keep.
No it isn’t. More specifically, Betfair has stopped offering its services to local bettors as it has withdrawn from the Canadian betting market. Nevertheless, in Canada, bookies like 1xBet and Neo.bet serve as some good alternatives.
If you want to place your wagers on a betting exchange in Canada, we have some bad news. Betting exchanges are no longer available in the country. Plus, nobody has a clear answer on why Betfair left Canada. However, on our list above you can find some strong alternatives and start betting with high odds right away.
Although William Hill doesn’t possess a license issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, so technically it isn’t legal to operate countrywide; it still accepts Canadian bettors. As a matter of fact, it is one of the best CA bookies due to its competitive odds and high winning limits.
According to the rules and regulations of the Canada Revenue Agency, you won’t have to pay any taxes or fees on the funds won on lotteries or through sports betting. So if you opt for a bookie, Canada won’t apply any fees on your winnings.