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Many people are still not sure whether sports betting is legal in Canada. So, we decided to take a closer look at this and provide a definitive answer to the question: Are sports betting legal in Canada?
Sports Betting In Canada – All That You Should Know
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to sports betting in Canada is that provinces are allowed to determine for themselves whether they allow sports betting. That being said, some key decisions have been made on the federal level to provide the provinces with this choice.
First of all, betting on sports through parlay bets has been an option available to provinces for several years, but the last hurdle to sports betting being fully legal on the federal level was legalizing sports betting on single games.
Single-game sports betting was prohibited by the nation’s Criminal Code until August 2021, when the lawmakers passed the C-218 bill, which gave the provinces the option to legalize single-game betting.
This opened the door to provinces to not just allow their own, province-run lotteries and sports betting sites to include single-game betting, but also to start accepting applications from other sports betting operators and to hand out licenses for online sports betting. In any case, this bill changed the landscape of online sports betting in Canada.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the laws in some of Canada’s biggest provinces.
Is Sports Betting Legal In Ontario?
The simplest answer to is sports betting legal in Ontario is – yes, it is. The province launched their legal online gaming market at the start of April and that marked the official date for all sports betting operations in the province to become legal. From the onset, a lot of different bookies went live in Ontario, offering their sportsbooks and casino games.
Way before this happened, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) already created iGaming Ontario, a governing body that oversees all iGaming operations in the province, including sports betting over the internet, online casinos, and everything else in this area. They are also the ones that give out licenses to operators in Ontario.
In addition to this, Ontario also has its own sportsbook PROLINE +, which went live in 2021. This sportsbook operates like any other sportsbook, allowing bettors to place their bets on many different sports and leagues.
BC Legal Sports Betting
When it comes to British Columbia, the situation is pretty similar to the one in Ontario. BC legal sports betting has been a thing ever since the federal lawmakers passed the law allowing single-game betting, which was back in August last year.
Since then, the western-most province in Canada has allowed bookmakers to operate in the state in full, giving out licenses through British Columbia Lottery Corporation. So, you can find more than a few different bookmakers to bet on sports if you are located in British Columbia.
In fact, the province also has their own lottery called Play Now, where you can also bet on sports and play various casino games online. This website has been running for a long time now and it shows how progressive British Columbia has been when it comes to sports betting since they offered parlay sports betting for a long time now.
Quebec Legal Sports Betting
Just like the other two provinces we mentioned, Quebec was already prepared for the law change that allowed single-game betting. So, Quebec legal sports betting became a thing in the province as soon as it was possible, back in August 2021.
Of course, Quebec also had its own lottery corporation Loto Quebec, which provided sports betting and casino games before bookmakers were allowed to operate in the province. That was the case for decades and the entire website is still one of the best options for sports betting in Quebec, even with dedicated sports betting operators joining the party.
Today, Quebec already has a rich selection of online sports betting websites you can check out and their sports betting market is booming. All gambling and sports betting activities, including those online, are overseen by the Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission.
Alberta Legal Sports Betting
The fourth-largest province in Canada is Alberta, which makes it a very interesting market for sports betting operators. So, it’s no wonder that Alberta’s legal sports betting is a booming industry ever since single-game betting was legalized by the federal government.
In any case, online sports betting and gambling in Alberta has been available at Play Alberta, the province-run website that offers sports betting, lottery, and casino games. In fact, parlay betting has been a part of the website for a long time, with single-game betting included in September 2021, right after the C-218 bill passed.
However, other bookmakers are still waiting for approval to join the party in the province, with a lot of renowned names applying to get a license to operate. What makes things even more interesting is the fact that Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) will only award two licenses to private sportsbooks, at least at the beginning, which makes the competition for those licenses very fierce.
Manitoba Legal Sports Betting
So far, Manitoba hasn’t been as welcoming of the changes in the sports betting industry as some other states. Despite the law changes at the federal level that allowed provinces to provide licenses to bookmakers that have single-game betting on their sites, Manitoba’s legal sports betting landscapre remains mostly unchanged.
The only way to bet on sports if you are a resident of Manitoba is to go to the PlayNow website, run by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. And while the province allowed single-game betting on this website when the federal law was changed last year, this remains the only available betting site for the people of Manitoba.
So, PlayNow provides sports betting and other gambling products to both British Columbia and Manitoba and we have to wait and see if the province’s regulatory body Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation will give out licenses to other sports betting operators anytime soon.