Sports Betting in Canada

Canadians have been able to bet on parlays through provincial lotteries at less than fair odds for more than 35 years. However, a real push for legal, single-game betting is now here with a new bill gaining support in Canadian Parliament.

Most Provincial Gaming Commissions and Lottery Corporations are raring to go as single-game betting is a promising a new source of tax revenue, jobs for Canadians, and an end to the flow of billions of Canadian dollars to illegal bookies and offshore online sportsbooks.

The plan is to allow each province to determine how to regulate sports betting on its own. It will be a game-changer for both the provinces that go for it and sports fans across the country. Insiders think legal single-game betting could come to Canada as soon as the start of the NFL season in September, 2021.

Here’s a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about the kind of online sports betting soon coming to Canada.

When will Canada legalize single-game sports betting?

Single-game sports betting is currently against the law in Canada. There is, however, a carve out in the law that allows provincial lottery corporations to offer parlay betting.

A new bill that would ultimately allow each province to determine how it wants to regulate sports betting and launch single-game sports wagering passed a second reading in the House of Commons in February 2021.

With legal single-game betting looking more like a reality here in Canada every day, here’s a look at each Canadian province’s current stance on the issue:

Ontario

Ontario is considering breaking up the monopoly the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation currently has on online gambling by opening up the market to private online sports betting operators at the very least. New legislation would allow the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to conduct and manage all Ontario online gambling activities and act as a regulator. Plus, it would push the federal government to legalize single-game betting for Ontario sports betting.

AGCO COO Dave Phillips spoke on a Betting on Sports in America panel in 2020 and said Ontario can be ready to launch rules and procedures to govern a new sports betting market as soon as the federal government allows it.

“Ontario has been an advocate of single-game sports betting for at least a decade.” he said. “AGCO has long been preparing for the legalization of single-bet sports betting and we’ll be in a position to move as quickly as possible.”

British Columbia and Manitoba

BCLCWhen one of the bills seeking to legalize single-game sports betting in Canada passed second reading in February 2021, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s Director of eGaming, Stewart Groumoutis, called on all Members of Parliament to work together to get it done.

“Our players want single-event sports betting, and we are ready to provide this enhanced offering to them in a safe and responsible manner while also generating additional revenue for the Province of BC,” he said to the House of Commons Justice Committee.

Groumoutis said BC players currently travel to casinos in Washington State or go online with illegal offshore operators to bet on sports. The launch of legal single-game wagering in the province would allow the BCLC to bring this business back to BC casinos and PlayNow.com, where new jobs may be created and the revenue used to benefit the province instead.

Groumoutis also said BCLC would work with industry, regulatory, and government partners to launch licensed sportsbooks and consider enhanced sports-betting offerings at hospitality locations across the province where lottery products are sold, including bars and pubs. The BCLC estimates single-game betting would generate from $125-175 million in additional revenue.

Since PlayNow.com currently offers limited parlay sports betting in Manitoba as well, one can assume it will bring single-game betting to that province when it can.

Alberta

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is Alberta’s gambling regulator and its COO, Niaz Nejad, supports the legalization of single-game sports betting in Canada.

“In addition to integrating sports wagering into PlayAlberta.ca in 2021, adjusting the Criminal Code to allow for betting on a single event would give AGLC the ability to work with its industry stakeholders to offer sports wagering in destination facilities throughout Alberta,” he said, adding that the AGLC would be ready to offer single-game sports betting on its new online gambling site, PlayAlberta.ca, immediately after sports betting legislation passes.

Québec

One can assume the province of Québec supports the bills seeking to legalize single-game wagering in Canada, since one of the bills was introduced by Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti. The former professor of law at Montreal’s McGill University was first elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun in Montreal in 2015.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) offers lottery and limited parlay sports betting products in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. ALC CEO Chris Keevill says it would be ready to launch single-game betting almost immediately after the federal government gives it the go ahead. Although they would need regulators in each Atlantic province to give them the thumbs up first, Keevill said the ALC website could start taking single-game bets with the flip of a switch.

“Technically speaking, the platform is ready to accept it and we can throw the switch at any time once all those approvals are in place,” he said.

Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon

One can also assume the province of Saskatchewan supports the bills seeking to legalize single-game wagering in Canada, since the other one of the bills was introduced by Saskatoon-Grasswood MP Kevin Waugh from Saskatchewan. He introduced the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act seeking an amendment to Canada’s Criminal Code to allow for single-game wagering.

“The (provincial) government would be in charge of this, all I’m doing is taking a line out of the Criminal Code of Canada to allow single bets,” he said. “Then it falls back in the provincial and territorial jurisdiction. The Western Canada Lottery Corporation, they then would decide, along with the provincial governments, how to regulate single-game betting.”

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority plans to monitor the bill. Since the Western Canada Lottery Corporation runs limited parlay sports wagering in Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon, one can assume the three territories will go as Saskatchewan does.

Sports betting province by province

There are currently five provincial lottery corporations that offer limited parlay sports betting, lottery, and various other gaming products in the country’s ten provinces and three territories. The five provincial lottery corporations are:

  • Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
  • British Columbia Lottery Corporation
  • Loto-Québec
  • Atlantic Lottery Corporation (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick)
  • Western Canada Lottery Corporation (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon)

There’s currently a federal ban on single-game betting that looks like it might be lifted in 2021. Once it is, the country’s 10 provinces and three territories should be able to decide if they want to legalize and regulate single-game sports betting there. In the meantime, the following limited parlay sports betting lottery products are available:

PRO LINE sports lottery (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation)

PROLINE, Point Spread, Pools and Props available at Ontario lottery retailers only. Each product amounts to a different form of parlay wagering where you must combine a minimum of two or three bets.

Mise-o-jeu sports lottery (Loto-Québec)

Minimum two-bet parlay wagering available at Loto-Québec retailers, kiosks, and online to Québec residents with an Espacejeux account.

PlayNow sports lottery (British Columbia Lottery Corporation)

Parlay betting and some limited single bets via PlayNow.com online and BC and Manitoba lottery retailers with odds supplied by Scientific Games Digital. Odds were supplied by Paddy Power Betfair, which is now Flutter Entertainment and the owner of the FanDuel and FOX Bet sportsbook brands in the United States, beginning in 2012. Scientific Games Digital, Flutter’s largest sports betting technology provider, took over the existing contract in May 2020 and inked an extension through 2024.

Sports select lottery (western Canada lottery corporation)

Minimum three-bet parlay and pool wagering with a $100 cap available at provincial lottery retailers and kiosks only. Shared between Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.

PROLINE and STADIUM BETS sports lottery (atlantic lottery corporation)

Limited parlay wagering on the Atlantic Lottery Corporation PROLINE and STADIUM BETS platform online and at lottery retailers in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.

Lottery parlay betting vs. single-game betting

Canada’s previous answer to consumer demand for sports betting across the country was to allow provincial lotteries to offer a parlay betting product 35 years ago. Because you have to string multiple winning bets together, parlays are among the hardest bets to win.

Normally, that means parlays pay pretty well. However, the 35-year monopoly the lotteries have enjoyed on legal sports betting in Canada has ensured there’s no competition forcing them to pay anything close to the true odds on parlay wins.

Ultimately, this has led to a situation where Canadians are betting $500 million a year on these parlays, but as much as $14 billion a year through illegal bookies and offshore online sportsbooks, just to avoid having to bet parlays alone and being taken to the cleaners on bet prices.

That’s why single-game wagering will be such a game changer for Canadians. Not having to bet parlays alone will give Canadians a better chance to win. Plus, if provinces open up the market to private operators, the competition will ensure fair prices. Although, if the provinces are serious about bringing that $14 billion a year back to Canada and accessing the potential tax revenue from it, that should be enough motivation to bring fair bet pricing to the market all on its own.

Add it up and Canada legalizing single-game wagering will bring a $14 billion a year black market into the light, offer fair prices, consumer protections, and a realistic shot at winning to Canadians.

Which major sportsbooks are coming to Canada?

Canadians bet an estimated $500 million annually on the parlay wagering offered by various provincial lottery corporations. Then, the Canadian Gaming Association also estimates Canadians are betting $14 billion illegally each year, $10 billion through bookies and another $4 billion through offshore online operators. Add it up and the Candian sports betting market is big enough that legitimate sports betting operators running sportsbooks in other legal jurisdictions South of the border must be keeping an eye on what’s happening here.

Ontario is really the only province considering opening up the market to private online sports betting operators. However, here’s a look at what major sportsbook operators might be looking at Canada right now:

theScore Bet

theScore Bet isn’t just coming to Canada, it’s coming from Canada. theScore Bet is actually Score Media and Gaming’s US online sportsbook. Score Media and Gaming is the Canadian company that authored one of the most popular sports media apps in North America.

Score Media and Gaming is also now a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (SCR). theScore Bet sportsbook has now launched legally in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, and Iowa. Plus, if Founder and CEO John Levy has his way, it’s coming to Canada any day now.

In February 2021, after Bill C-218 passed its second reading in the House of Commons, Levy issued a statement saying Score Media and Gaming looks forward to collaborating with key stakeholders as the legislative process continues.

“Today’s development in the House of Commons, focusing on the legalization of single event sports betting in Canada, is a significant step forward in the process to amend an outdated law,” he said. “The positive outcome of today’s vote demonstrates the continuing momentum and strong cross-party support for this issue.

“We expect that the legalization of single event sports betting will facilitate the introduction by provinces and territories of a much-needed modernized sports betting framework in their respective jurisdictions that can include important consumer protections and the ability to generate new revenue streams for provincial and territorial governments.”

He also estimated the market potential for online gaming in Canada sits between US$3.8 billion and US$5.4 billion in annual gross gaming revenue and made it clear theScore Bet wants in on that.

Torstar

The owner of Canada’s highest weekly-circulation newspaper, The Toronto Star, and at least a dozen other papers across the country, wants in Ontario’s new online gaming market. Torstar announced in March 2021 it intends to launch an online casino and sportsbook betting brand in 2021, pending the passing of federal and provincial legislation and approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

DraftKings Canada Sportsbook“We want to ensure the new marketplace is well represented with a Canadian, Ontario-based gaming brand so that more of our players’ entertainment dollars stay in our province,” Torstar Chair and co-owner Paul Rivett said.

DraftKings

A February 2021 story in the Toronto Sun outlined how DraftKings is aiming to become king of online sports betting, even here in Canada.

The daily fantasy sports leader turned leading sport betting operator in the 12 states it can now legally operate in the US, now says sports betting is bigger business than DFS.

DraftKings DFS is already available in Canada and CEO Jason Robins told the Sun if the federal government passes legislation making single-event sports betting legal in Canada, “maybe by this time next year, we’ll be talking about placing bets on the Super Bowl in Canada.”

FanDuel and FOX Bet

Flutter Entertainment, formerly Paddy Power Betfair, is an online sportsbook, casino, and poker company born out of the merger of European online gaming giants Paddy Power and Betfair. The company later bought leading daily fantasy sports operator and emerging US sportsbook operator FanDuel and Canadian gaming operator The Stars Group, which operates PokerStars globally, the largest online poker site in the world.

US facing sportsbook brands now run by Flutter include FanDuel Sportsbook and FOXBet. FanDuel’s daily fantasy sports product is already available in Canada. Plus, Flutter Entertainment once ran the limited parlay betting sportsbook available via PlayNow.com online and BC and Manitoba lottery retailers.

Scientific Games Digital, has since taken over Flutter’s contract with the BC Lottery Corporation, but also remains Flutter Entertainment’s largest sports betting technology provider.

Scientific and the BCLC have a contract that runs through 2024, but it would be no surprise to see Flutter launch the FanDuel Sportsbook and FOX Bet brands in any other province it can, considering the company has run a sportsbook of sorts in Canada before.

PointsBet

Like theScore Bet, PointsBet is an import into the US sports betting market, only this one is from Australia. It entered the US through the New Jersey market and soon expanded to Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, and Michigan as well. It would not be a surprise to see PointsBet target some Canadian provinces, including Ontario, which projects to be a larger market than any of the states it is in now.

Unibet and Bet365

Both these European sportsbook operators currently operate in a bit of a grey area in Canada, accepting Canadian customers because there’s no specific law on the books making it illegal for Canadians to bet on sports online. However, this could make it difficult for either to get a licence in a Canadian province if the federal government ultimately legalizes single-game sports wagering.

Caesars

Caesars Casino & Sportsbook could be interested in the Canadian sports betting market should it open up to private operators. The online and mobile sportsbook and casino seems to operate only in states where there is a Caesars property, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and there is one Caesars property in Canada: Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino in Windsor, Ontario.

BetMGM

BetMGM Sportsbook could be interested in the Canadian sports betting market as well. The online and mobile sportsbook and casino doesn’t just operate in states where there is an MGM property. In fact, it’s in Pennsylvania as well, and could want in Canada even though there is no MGM property here.

William Hill

William Hill Sportsbook is available across the US. It seems they expand everywhere they can, which would make a move into Canada no surprise. They’re also the sportsbook provider for the dozens of casinos in the Eldorado-Caesars merger, so we could see a William Hill Canada sportsbook.

However, William Hill may also run into the same difficulties Unibet and Bet365 could have. The European facing William Hill has been accepting Canadian sportsbook customers operating in the same grey area for some time.

Cross-border betting

Statistics show that two out of every three Canadians live within 100 kilometres of the Canada–United States border. That means a majority of Canadians have legitimate cross-border single-game sports betting options just a short distance from home. Canadian casino CEOs are concerned about losing revenue to cross-border bettors/gamblers and there’s a very good reason why. Here’s a look:

Ontario

ontario eyes detroit sportsbooks

Ontario borders the states of Michigan and New York, where there are a number of legal single-game sports betting options. Michigan has retail sportsbooks inside commercial casinos in Detroit and tribal casinos across the state.

The state’s first online sportsbooks and sportsbook apps also launched in 2021. You don’t have to be a Michigan or US resident to bet online in the state, but you do have to cross the border into the state.

New York has retail sportsbooks inside commercial casinos and tribal casinos upstate, which makes them very convenient for Ontario travelers. Plus, Governor Andrew Cuomo started a big push for the launch of online sports betting in 2021.

Québec

Québec borders the states of New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, where there are certain legal single-game sports betting options available and possibly more coming.

In New Hampshire, the state approved both retail and online sports betting in 2019. However, the DraftKings Sportsbook app is the only one taking bets so far. Then, there’s New York, which has retail sportsbooks inside commercial and tribal casinos and a pro online sports betting Governor. Finally, Vermont lawmakers are considering a bill in 2021 that would authorize sports betting through the state lottery and allow up to six sportsbook operators in the market.

British Columbia

British Columbia borders the states of Washington and Montana, where there’s either legal sports betting, or it’s on the way. Washington passed a tribal-only sports betting law in 2020, but no Washington tribal casino has launched a sportsbook just yet. In the meantime, the state has been considering expanding sports betting to cardrooms and racetracks across the state.

Sports betting is legal in Montana with sportsbook apps available, but it’s limited to a single operator and on-property at Sports Bet Montana retailers only. Legal sports betting is run through the Montana Lottery which employs Intralot’s platform and it’s Sports Bet Montana app, which is only available within the footprint of retail sports betting outlets in Montana. Sports Bet Montana outlets are lottery retailers with alcohol licenses and up to 2,000 of them can be be offering sports betting in the state if they so choose

Alberta and Saskatchewan

Alberta and Saskatchewan both share the border with Montana as well, which offers retail sports betting and online on-property sports betting at Sports Bet Montana retailers only.

Online vs retail sportsbooks

There are no retail sportsbooks in Canada per se. However, some bars and lounges inside Canadian casinos that act as lottery retailers and offer provincial lottery parlay betting may function as a retail sportsbook of sorts, allowing you to watch and bet on games just like you might in a traditional retail sportsbook.

Should the sports betting legislation the Canadian Government is considering amend the Criminal Code, allowing provincial lotteries to offer single-game wagering, and the lotteries jump on board, that would transform these casino bars and lounges offering various lottery products into something closer to a traditional retail sportsbook.

Plus, if Ontario breaks up the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s monopoly on sports betting and allow private operators to enter the market online, they may allow them to launch retail operations as well.

Of course, there will still be certain advantages to betting online. Online and mobile sports betting apps can turn your iPhone, Android phone or tablet into a sportsbook you can access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s simply no more convenient way to bet on sports. Online sportsbooks and sports betting apps also give you exclusive access to live betting markets.

You can’t get a bet down fast enough at a retail sportsbook to make live betting work. Sportsbook apps are the only way to really keep up.

Finally, online sportsbooks and apps offer you freedom. The freedom to place bets from wherever you are inside the province the app operates in, as long as you have access to the internet.

That means you can turn your favorite sports bar, or even your own living room, into your own personal sportsbook where you can watch and bet on games all you like.

How to download sportsbook apps for iPhone vs Android

Once the first online and mobile sportsbooks from private operators launch in Canada, betting will be a breeze. You’ll need to make sure you’re using an iOS or Android device that meets the minimum operating system requirements first. However, you should be able to download and install most online and mobile sportsbook apps directly from any online and mobile sportsbook website, and you’ll find links to those websites right here on PlayCanada.

If you’re using an iOS device you can even download and install the app from the Apple App Store. Android users won’t find online and mobile sportsbook apps on Google Play, but they can download and install them from any online and mobile sportsbook website, provided they have toggled their settings to allow installations from sources other than Google Play.

Bet365 Sportsbook in CanadaAfter that, betting is just a simple three-step process that begins with:

Signing up for an account

You can sign up for an account with a legal Canadian online and mobile sportsbook by clicking on that sportsbook’s link on PlayCanada and entering some personal and account information on its sign-up page. You’ll also find that sign-up page on the app and you can enter your info there. It’s also a good idea to jot down the promo or bonus code for that sportsbook next to the link on PlayCanada. Entering it during the sign-up process will get you the best bonus available. Next up, you have to:

Deposit funds in your account

Depositing funds into your Canadian online and mobile sportsbook account is done through the app by tapping on the ‘Cashier’ tab, choosing from a list of available deposit methods, and following the prompts. Chances are, everything from Interac to credit and debit cards, direct online banking, and third-party payment processors like PayPal will be on the list. Finally, you’ll be ready to:

Browse through the betting markets

All the available betting markets will be available for you to browse through. You can even browse by sport or league if you like. After that, it’s just a matter of tapping on any bet you like to create a betslip and place your bets.

Sportsbook app odds boosts/promos

The end of the monopoly provincial lotteries enjoy on sports betting would mean private sportsbook operators coming into Canada to compete for your business. How exactly will they do that? By offering competitive prices and free bets and various other bonuses and promotions.

In the US, private sportsbook operators launch in new markets with a big marketing push aimed at drawing in new customers. This almost always includes offering free bets with no deposit required, matched deposit bonuses offering an unlockable bonus equal to any deposit up to a certain amount, and risk-free first bets offering a money-back guarantee up to a specific amount.

Then, there’s a few things online sportsbook operators will do to try to keep your business. These include loyalty programs that reward regular activity and volume, regular promotions, and promotions surrounding major sporting events. These promos often take the form of odds boosts, best odds guarantees, or different types of insurance protecting against overtime or single losses in a parlay. They may also include leaderboards, jackpots, and buyout options. Plus, some sportsbooks have been known to refund bets on heartbreaking losses or games impacted by bad officiating.

What betting markets to expect

nba basketball betting

With single-game betting you can expect to see a drastic increase in odds markets available including (but not limited to):

Legal single-game betting will also bring:

and many more.

Bet types

Provincial lottery parlay betting currently forces you to string a minimum of two or three games together in a parlay. There’s also a very odd tie rule in the moneyline betting which adds a standard spread to the bets, considering games a tie if the side you bet on doesn’t cover.

Legal single-game wagering would likely bring standard moneyline, spread, totals, and prop betting to Canada, alongside:

  • Futures
  • Period, quarter, half, and halftime betting
  • Live betting
  • Teaser parlays

Live betting

When the first online sportsbook apps from private operators launch in Canada, they’re sure to bring live betting with them. Also known as in-game or in-play betting, live betting is a feature that allows you to bet on games that are already underway at odds that change with the action.

It’s fast, fun, and becoming very popular everywhere online single-game sports betting is legal.

Live betting is mostly betting on the same markets and odds available before a game starts at odds that are constantly adjusted based on things like the score, clock, and momentum throughout. However, it also opens up new prop and time period betting markets as well.

As you can imagine, the odds change fast, making sportsbook apps the only way to keep up. You simply can’t get a bet down fast enough any other way.

Canadian pro team sportsbook partnerships

The NHL has separate sports betting partnership and sponsorship deals with sportsbook and casino brands including MGM, FanDuel, and William Hill. The league also signed a deal with PointsBet in 2021 giving it an equity stake in the sports betting operation. Any one of these sportsbook operators entering the Canadian market may look to leverage the popularity of Canada’s NHL teams as well.

MGM is the official gaming partner of Major League Baseball, although FanDuel, DraftKings, and Fox Bet also have MLB sponsorship and data sharing deals. Once again, if these sportsbook operators come to Canada they may also look to leverage the popularity of Canada’s lone MLB team, the Toronto Blue Jays.

CFL cancels 2020 season
(Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images)

The CFL and DraftKings signed a deal in 2016 to offer and promote CFL Daily Fantasy Sports contests on DraftKings. Something like that would certainly grease the wheels towards a DraftKings Sportsbook/CFL sponsorship deal should DraftKings Sportsbook come to Canada.

At least one CFL team is already open to sportsbook and casino sponsorship opportunities. The Montreal Alouettes will have the BET99.net logo on its jerseys for the next three years after signing a three-year partnership deal with the offshore online sportsbook and casino in 2021.

Finally, there’s Canada’s lone NBA team, the Toronto Raptors. MGM Resorts International was the first casino operator to partner with the NBA, but Caesars Entertainment has an individual deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, and FOXBet and FanDuel have since become official gaming partners of the NBA as well. The rising popularity of the Raptors and basketball North of the border would make Canada’s NBA team a prime partner for any of these or other private sportsbook operators entering the market.

Canadian sports betting law

There’s a federal ban on single-game sports betting in Canada. The law only allows limited parlay betting offered by provincial lottery corporations.

However, the Canadian Government was considering two new sports betting bills in 2021: Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, an Act to amend the Criminal Code (sports betting), and Bill C-13, an Act to amend the Criminal Code (single event sport betting). Both seek to repeal paragraph 207(4)‍(b) of the Criminal Code to make it legal for provincial governments, provincial lotteries or entities licensed by a provincial government to offer single-game sports wagering. The one difference is Bill C-13 removed horse racing from the equation.

Bill C-218 was introduced in 2020 by sponsor Kevin Waugh (Conservative) as a private member’s bill. In February 2021, Bill C-218 passed its second reading in the House of Commons by a 303-15 vote and it was referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for review. Then, Bill C-13, first introduced by Liberal Justice Minister David Lametti, was abandoned, using a rule that prevents duplicate bills from advancing through the House. The reason being that Bill C-13 would seek to amend the same section of the Criminal Code Bill C-218, if passed, would have already repealed.

What Canadians are left with now is one sports betting bill heading for committee review, having passed a second reading in the House of Commons. That bill, C-218, will now go under the microscope, with various witnesses and experts offering insights to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The committee will ultimately produce a report with various recommendations surrounding the legislation, including any amendments deemed necessary. That report would go back to Parliament for a further debate and a vote.

Should the bill pass this third reading, it will be sent to the Senate, where a similar process will be repeated. Both the House and Senate then work together on further amendments until the bill is finalized. Finally, it will be up to Canada’s Governor General to sign the bill into law.

Province by province

Until then, here’s a look at what’s currently legal, province by province, followed by an FAQ:

  • Ontario: PROLINE Sports Lottery featuring limited parlay wagering. Available at Ontario lottery retailers only. Online app for bet building only.
  • Québec: Mise-o-jeu Sports Lottery featuring limited parlay wagering. Available at Loto-Québec retailers, kiosks, and online for Espacejeux account holders.
  • British Columbia and Manitoba: PlayNow Sports Lottery featuring limited parlay wagering. Available online at PlayNow.com and BC and Manitoba lottery retailers
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon: Sports Select Lottery featuring limited parlay wagering. Available at provincial lottery retailers and kiosks only.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick: PROLINE and STADIUM BETS Sports Lottery featuring limited parlay wagering. Available online and at provincial lottery retailers.

Province by Province Sports Betting FAQ

Do I need to live in a province to bet there?

No, but you must be inside the province to place a bet with its provincial lottery, whether you do it online, at a lottery retailer, or lottery kiosk.

Who regulates online sports betting?

All sports betting is regulated by the provincial lottery corporation or provincial gaming authority that offers it. That’s true for online and retail sports betting and will stay true even if the Canadian bill seeking to legalize single-game wagering becomes a law.

Who sets sports betting odds in Canada?

All Candian sports betting odds are currently set by the provincial lottery corporation offering them. Of course, these provincial lottery corporations may hire outside entities to set odds for them. The BC Lottery Corporation hired Paddy Power Betfair, now Flutter Entertainment, owner of the FanDuel and FOXbet sportsbook brands in the US, to run sports betting operations and set odds for PlayNow.ca in 2012. Flutter’s sports betting technology provider, Scientific Games, took over the existing contract in 2020 and signed an extension through 2024.

Do I need to pay taxes on winning bets?

Most lottery winnings are considered a windfall and not taxable according to the Canada Income Tax Act. The same goes for gambling winnings. That means, whether you consider provincial lottery parlay winnings a lottery or gambling win, you probably don’t have to pay tax on it. However, if you consider playing the provincial lottery parlays a business and the money you win playing a source of income, you might have to pay taxes on that. Consult a Canadian tax lawyer if that’s the case.

How many accounts can I have?

Provincial Lottery Corporations may set limits on betting with their lottery parlay products. Skirting around those limits by creating more than one online account to bet with could be considered fraud.

What happens if I don’t get paid?

Perhaps the best part about Provincial Lottery Corporations running Canadian sports betting is that your provincial government is there to handle any disputes that arise. Of course, the legalization of single-game wagering or allowing private sportsbook operators to enter the market won’t change that. Provincial Lottery Corporations and Gaming Authorities will regulate private operators and give you somewhere to turn if something goes awry.

Why should I bet with licensed sportsbooks exclusively?

Like we just mentioned, Provincial Lottery Corporations running Canadian sports betting means provincial governments are providing certain consumer protections to those that bet with them. That won’t change if and when single-game wagering is legalized in Canada, even if the province you live in allows private sportsbook operators to enter the market. Provincial Lottery Corporations and Gaming Authorities will still be there to regulate these privately run sportsbooks. They will licence each one and continue to provide the same consumer protections they always have.

Illegal offshore online sportsbooks don’t offer anything near that. They could disappear with your money or refuse to pay out winnings anytime they like and you’d have nowhere to turn. There’s simply no promise of security for your funds or personal information and banking with offshore companies can be downright difficult, making it hard to get paid on big or even smaller scores. The bottom line is that sports betting is enough of a gamble without taking a chance trusting an illegal offshore online sportsbook. That’s why you should stick to  provincial lottery parlay betting until single-game wagering is legalized in Canada. Then, bet with provincial lotteries that offer single-game wagering or private sportsbook operators that are licensed by the province.

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