Best Canadian Sports Betting Sites
Our In-Depth Guide to Sports Betting
There are many options for Canadians to unwind and enjoy a healthy approach to gambling. With the large number of online casinos legally available to Canadian gamblers, one thing that sets them apart is their approach to online sports betting. Long before the internet, Canadians enjoyed betting on sports matches. Ever since the 1990s, that love has transitioned to the internet. Today, it is easier and more secure than ever to gamble online. If you’re considering getting involved in this popular pastime, you may have many questions: where can you play safely? Which sportsbooks provide you with the best return for your money? Continue reading this guide to learn the answers to those questions and many more.
Answers to Common Questions about Sports Betting
Q: Is it legal to bet on sports in Canada?
A: Yes, you can bet on sports anywhere in Canada. However, there is a prohibition against running an online casino in Canada. Thus, Canadians must seek foreign-based casinos for legal online sports betting. Fortunately, there are many such options that we review so you can choose the online sportsbook that best suits your needs without fear of any legal issues preventing you from enjoying the activity.
Q: Are there any legal distinctions between the provinces regarding online gambling?
A: Yes. As mentioned above, the approach in Canada to sports betting requires that the casino or sportsbook be foreign based for Canadians to bet on sports legally. Each province, however, may change the law for their citizens. As a result, citizens of Quebec may gamble at the one government-backed online casino in the province, Espace Joix.
Q: Do many online sportsbooks offer a signup bonus?
A: Yes, due to the popularity of online casinos and sportsbooks, the companies that back them frequently use signup bonuses to entice new players. Each casino and sportsbook sets its own signup bonus, however, so these may vary significantly between different organisations. Generally, these casinos will offer a percentage deposit match, usually 100% up to a certain amount, often around $250.
Q: Will I win real money by betting on sports online?
A: If you wager your money on the winning team, then yes! While bonuses are often paid out in the form of credits to be used at the online sportsbook, you can generally withdraw your winnings with more flexibility. You may need to provide additional documents proving your identity before the sportsbook lets you withdraw the funds, however.
Q: How can I withdraw my funds?
A: Each sportsbook has its own list of approved digital wallets, deposit methods, and withdrawal methods. Most frequently, you can easily withdraw your winnings to an account from which you’ve deposited funds in the past, provided the account is one of the approved withdrawal methods. Note that deposit funds are usually treated differently and that you must wager a certain proportion of those funds (often 10 or 15 times the amount) before you can withdraw them as cash.
Q: Are online sportsbooks trustworthy?
A: The easiest way to know that you can trust an online sportsbook is to read through JustGamblers’ expert review and see what our trusted experts have said. We take the time to examine and review each of these casinos and sportsbooks so that you don’t have to risk your hard-earned cash as a site that might not have the legitimacy it should. Each casino that we review will have a license in good standing and often possess third-party security certifications in addition to modern information security technology to protect your funds and information.
Q: How do sportsbooks determine betting odds?
A: While there are distinctions between each sportsbook, you’ll find roughly the same odds across the board for each match. These odds are determined by considering the past records of each competitor and how these matches have played out. If there are any absentee players due to injuries or suspensions, such situations impact the odds. As a result, if you bet on a team that’s far less likely to win, you’ll win a much greater amount if the team wins. The converse is true, however; the more likely the team is to win, the smaller the reward.
Everything You Need to Know About Online Sports Betting
There are few ways to gamble that are more enjoyable than visiting your favourite sports betting sites, searching for your preferred sports, and putting down a few dollars on a team you love. It increases your emotional investment and gives you a chance to put your money where your heart is. These are a few of the many reasons why people regularly bet on sporting events around the world every day of the year.
For all its enjoyability, however, we strongly recommend that you take the time to read through this guide, then through each of our reviewed sportsbooks before deciding. There are some ways that you can easily lose money or expose yourself to unnecessary risk, so it’s essential that you read through the results of our expert research.
Legal Situation for Sports Betting in Canada
Canada is one of the friendliest nations in the world to those who want to safely and responsibly enjoy online gambling. There are no restrictions against Canadians over 18 years of age participating in any standard form of online gambling. This freedom comes from the federal government not banning it as an individual activity, though the government has restricted Canadians against using domestic-based online casinos and sportsbooks. The federal government has left it to the individual provinces to determine their online regulations and establish online casinos if its citizens desire.
To date, only Quebec has acted on that freedom. As mentioned above, the Quebecois government manages an online casino that its citizens may sign up for and enjoy. Other provinces may adopt this approach in the future, depending on how lucrative it proves to be. In the meantime, Canadians are free to use the most popular international casinos based in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Through these online casinos, Canadians can participate in popular online gambling opportunities such as horse betting and NFL betting.
How to Get Started with Online Sports Betting
One of the first questions that new players have is to find out how sports betting works when conducted online. Even those with experience betting in person at horse racing tracks and physical casinos have this question when first considering online gambling. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn how to make the change, as the activities are remarkably similar to their in-person and physical counterparts.
When you visit an online casino or sportsbook, you must create an account, provide contact information, then log in using your new credentials. You can deposit funds just like purchasing products from an online store using payment methods such as credit cards or digital wallets including Neteller and Skrill. Make sure you check whether the casino or sportsbook offers a signup bonus, though, because you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for free money.
Prioritising Safety When Betting on Sports Online
We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to protect your information and money when dealing with any online transactions. That emphasis is why we consistently recommend that Canadian gamblers review our expert guides before making any decisions about which casino to join. If you’re curious about a casino that you don’t see on our list, contact us and request that our experts look at it soon.
Most online casinos have some form of internet security, though the best ones will have leading 128-bit SSL or higher to protect your private data. This data includes both your identifying information and your transaction information. The best casinos will keep these two kinds of information separate so that one set being compromised will not provide access to the other. Further, this information is usually encoded so that a data breach doesn’t mean that hackers will have access to your information. If you join a casino that doesn’t observe these fundamental security measures, however, your information may be vulnerable to prying eyes.
Beyond digital security, you should also make sure that you’re joining a casino that uses trustworthy software and doesn’t have a reputation of cheating its customers. Both are prerequisites before we can recommend a sportsbook to fellow Canadian gamblers, so choose one from our list and enjoy NCAAF betting at your leisure.
Safe and Responsible Gambling: Sports Betting
Responsible gambling is no less important for sports betting than for any other kind of online gambling. In the previous section, we addressed the common security concerns that afflict these online gambling arenas, so now we will focus more on the monetary aspect as it relates to responsible gambling.
Gambling becomes a problem when someone prioritises it over life responsibilities and spends more money than they can afford as a form of entertainment. Such situations arise when it turns from a hobby to a habit, which can lead to an addiction in the case of some individuals who have a tendency toward that kind of personality. In any event, there are several warning signs for which you should remain vigilant.
The Responsible Gambling Council has also provided several helpful tips to remain in control of your gambling hobby:
- Never try to make money when gambling - appreciate the winnings that you get, but never count on them to cover your expenses.
- Only gamble with money that you can afford to lose - set a budget and stick to it.
- Never chase losses - the only guarantee in gambling is that the house always wins, so never expect to make back any money you’ve lost.
- Set a time limit - the more regimented you can be about your gambling experience, the less likely it is to get out of your control.
- Don’t gamble when emotionally compromised - when you’re upset, depressed, angry, or inebriated; you are less likely to make responsible decisions.
- Enjoy other activities during off-time - don’t become monomaniacal about gambling; otherwise it can overshadow other parts of your life.
Many online sportsbooks and casinos allow for self-exclusion, which is a voluntary gambling control mechanism. You can alert the customer support team that you’d like to enter an exclusionary period, and your account will be disabled for the duration.
Where Can You Find Online Sports Betting
Not every sportsbook was made equally, so it can be challenging to determine which of the many sites you should join in betting on your favourite team or player. Fortunately, these sites are easy to find by browsing our reviews of the best sports betting sites on the internet today. Each sportsbook is unique, as they offer distinct combinations of bonus incentives, generous odds, ease of use, and professional customer service. Nearly every online sportsbook offers MLB betting and NHL betting, but some will offer fewer common activities, such as eSports and financial markets. Whatever kind of gambling appeals to you most, you are sure to find an online casino that can provide it.
The History of Sports Betting in Canada
For as long as there have been people in North America, there’s been some form of gambling. Modern organised sports betting has its origins in the English tradition shared by the United States. European-inspired governments often turned to gambling, lotteries, and other kinds of betting to support governmental expenditures, notably during wartime. Canada has rarely been at war since the colonial days, so our domestic experience with sports betting has primarily been one of a peaceful pastime.
Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, new casinos and betting apparatuses arose that served the Canadian desire for gambling outlets. Sports betting was mainly a local affair except for the largest events until the telegraph and, later, the telephone made it possible to place bets nearly instantaneously from anywhere with a wired connection. Today, the internet has taken that a step further and Canadians can bet on sporting events from anywhere with a cellular connection.
You can now choose from online casinos around the world to provide opportunities for boxing betting and UFC betting. With the continued increase in gambling opportunities online, we anticipate that sports betting in Canada will only become more frequent and convenient for those who want to enjoy it.
Strategies for Betting on Sports
Even if you have experience with traditional casino gambling, you may still find some aspects of sports betting to be challenging to grasp at first. While unknown factors play a huge role both in casino games and sports betting, randomness only enters in terms of the circumstances. Unlike with the slot machines, you can count on individual players outperforming others. Despite the added knowledge, there are so many other variables to consider that it’s worth reviewing several common strategies to protect your money.
The most experienced sports betting enthusiasts in Canada all have something in common: they bet calmly. No matter how excited they get when watching the game, they observe the essential fact that a calm gambler is far less likely to make mistakes. When you’re considering NBA betting, for example, make sure that you bet in advance of the game so that you have a clear head. No matter how much you may want your favourite team to win, the smart bet may be on the opposing team if your star player is out due to an injury.
It’s often the correct call to bet on the team with better odds, but the decreased reward mitigates the benefit. You can also be surprised when a team overperforms, and the underdog wins. We strongly encourage researching the competitors’ past performance so that you can make an informed bet. This research is another reason that we recommend betting on your favourite sport and on the games in which your favourite team is playing.
Money Management for Sports Betting
We want to provide the best advice possible regarding money management for Canadian players. While many sportsbooks allow free deposits and withdrawals, some charge fees per transaction, when over or under certain limits, or when you conduct a certain number of transactions within a set period. Either find a sportsbook that omits these charges or ensure that you know what they are before you need to deposit funds. If you use a sports betting app for a website that doesn’t charge fees, keep your deposits to a minimum so that you’re only depositing what you intend to gamble. Too often, a positive balance in your sportsbook account can prove an alluring call to “just one more” when it’s time to collect your chips and head home.
Common Money-Losing Mistakes to Avoid
While it’s hard to develop a sure-fire winning strategy with sports betting, there are several ways that you can guarantee a loss. Here are our top losing strategies that you should avoid and why they don’t work:
- Even though you can win big if you bet on the underdog, it rarely pays off. Generally, a team is an underdog because they lack the player strength or franchise history necessary to win in the first place.
- Conversely, the team favoured to win isn’t always going to win, as everyone has bad days. If you blindly bet on the team with better odds, you’ll win small amounts more often, but occasionally lose big.
- Splitting your bet 50-50 between the teams takes the worst aspects of both above, as you’ll make less money when the underdog wins and always lose money when the favoured team wins.
- If you aren’t a fan of the sport, don’t bet based on aesthetics or other superficial concerns. Speak with friends who know the sport or read analysis and expert predictions so that you can more accurately predict when an upset may occur.
Finding the Best Sports Betting Bonuses and Campaigns
When you want to find the best value, you must consider two major factors: payout odds and bonuses. Generally, sportsbooks that offer better bonuses will offer slimmer payout odds, but you can still win money if you bet wisely. The most attractive sportsbook bonuses can overcome any shortages from the payout odds over time; we recommend several online sportsbooks to Canadian players:
LeoVegas is an online sportsbook with a fully functional website and mobile app. It combines an online casino with a sportsbook and offers exciting bonuses for each side. New gamblers can unlock a welcome bonus of up to $300 when they make their first deposits and wager on several games. As a new player, you can follow up the welcome offer by earning up to 65% extra winnings when you use an accumulator for your bets.
- Jackpot City Casino
Canadian gamblers are sure to have a good time at this online casino, which features multiple slots, blackjack, roulette tables, and other casino games. Start out strong by taking advantage of the 100% matching $1,600 bonus split over your first four deposits of at least $400.
- 888 Casino
This casino and sportsbook offer a valuable deposit matching bonus up to US$1,000. You can also accept the complimentary US$20 starting bonus without needing to deposit any funds so that you can determine if 888 is right for you. Although not as generous as the LeoVegas or Jackpot City bonuses, 888 is a trusted brand and well worth investigating.
Trustworthy Software Providers for Sports Betting Online
Many online sportsbooks use internal teams or external developers to create proprietary software unique to their sportsbooks. This approach is relatively expensive but helps these sportsbooks develop a unique experience for their users. Additionally, sportsbooks can completely design the software to provide exactly the desired features.
Not every sportsbook takes this approach, however. Whether due to convenience, the clout of a trusted third-party developer, or cost considerations, sportsbooks may turn to one of several software developers. Here are three of our preferred sportsbook software developers:
This company has a successful track record of creating high-quality, secure, and user-friendly software. It has working relationships with Microgaming and NetEnt that each produces many of the most trusted online casino games. SBTech boasts many awards from EGR, SBC, GIA, and CEEG over the years, so you can reliably count on their software to be legitimate and secure.
You can use Betscheme software to gain a greater understanding of your gambling practices with its helpful history tracking, as well as use one of several convenient payment methods. Betscheme always prioritises user accessibility and experience, so you’re sure to have an easy time when you use a sportsbook with this software.
Kambi brings expertise and experience from land-based sports betting and brings it to the digital arena. This company provides software that incorporates a full suite of services, including player account management, VIP management, official data feeds, integrity monitoring, and customer service assistance. This company’s success means it is likely to work with many more online casinos in the future.
Putting Theory to Practice with Sports Betting
At JustGamblers, we believe that you should have the opportunity to safely and comfortably enjoy gambling online. We support responsible gambling and feel that the more knowledge you have about where and how to gamble safely, the more information you have to make the right decisions for yourself and your finances. Gambling is a hobby that you should always enjoy, so remain alert for signs that it might not be enjoyable or that it involves more risks than you can afford.
We encourage you to stop back in the future to explore our ever-growing list of reviews. Our experts have combed the internet for the best online sportsbooks so that you can find the safest places to participate in online sports betting from the comfort of your home. The next time your favourite team is getting ready for a game, hop online and place a bet - when they win, you’ll feel a whole new level of excitement from the experience!