Many Canadians search the internet to try and find out if online sports betting is legal in Canada. The simple answer is yes, online sports betting is legal if you’re a Canadian resident. However, there are a few things that you should know, and consider, before engaging in online sports betting.
The main thing to keep in mind is that laws are always changing, and that one of the possible reasons that online sports betting is legal in Canada may be because the laws are yet to adapt to the phenomenon that is online gambling.
As you will find, some of the top online gambling sites have actually barred off users from Canada due to the uncertainties of the current laws in place – and the potential changes that could come about in the near future.
(Warning! Laws are constantly changing and any advice given in this article is an overview of the situation at the time of writing.)
As it stands, there is yet to be anyone prosecuted for online betting without it being related to other illegal activities, such as identity fraud or gambling under age. However, in Canada, each Province can make their own laws on gambling, and the legal age differs from province to province.
Here’s a breakdown of how old you have to be in each state of residence in Canada:
|Province / Territory||Legal Age of Gambling|
|Alberta||18 years old+|
|Nunavut||19 years old+|
|British Columbia||19 years old+|
|Manitoba||18 years old+|
|Yukon Territory||19 years old+|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||19 years old+|
|New Brunswick||19 years old+|
|North West Territories||19 years old+|
|Nova Scotia||19 years old+|
|Ontario||19 years old+|
|Quebec||19 years old+|
|Saskatchwan||19 years old+|
Whilst under U.S. law it is illegal to bet on sports events online, the Criminal Code of Canada allows you to bet on three or more games in an accumulator (as opposed to betting on single matches). However, Onine Casinos Canada reports that there is a strong push being made to change that law to allow for singles to be wagered on.
Per the same source, “the Criminal Code may prohibit Canadians from participating in gambling on a website located in another country, there is no mechanism to effectively enforce the prohibition.” So a legal issue from offshore sites could arise, but many experts think not, due to the precedent set by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission – where the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation, whilst being a sovereign nation, has been allowed to run online gambling in Canada, and host numerous other betting sites, without being prosecuted.
Canada Sports Betting sees Sports Interaction, a Canadian sports betting website, as being their favorite sports betting site, possibly due to the site’s exclusive 100% sign up bonus up to $200. However, as Canadians are allowed to use any online gambling site, the best option is 888 Sport, especially when it comes to betting on the NHL.
Canadian residents should not fear legal ramifications from their participations with online gambling, whether they decide to bet with a company based in Canada or abroad. The laws are ever changing but, if the laws are ever amended, it seems as though Canada will remain quite liberal with online sports betting. However, for your own protection, you will want to double check your online gambling provider to see if they have a gambling licence – be them based overseas or in Canada.
What do you think of the legislation in Canada? Let us know in the comments below or check out another article on what’s the legality of online poker in Canada!