The online betting landscape has seen recent changes in Canada (2015) and I’m going to provide updated information for our readers on where to bet, what payment options are the best and the legalities of betting on sports in Canada.
Let’s talk about the legalities of online betting in Canada — please note I’m by no means a lawyer. I’m a handicapper that lives in Toronto and I have been betting online for nearly a decade with many online bookmakers.
Best Canadian betting sites
Let’s quickly breakdown some of the main factors we rate when ranking Canadian bookmakers.
- First off – we always make sure the company accepts deposits and processes payouts in $CAD.
- We look at the overall standing of each company, including reputation, financials and more.
- The betting options are important, but the margins (odds) are weighted much more heavily in our ratings
- Is the company accessible (IE: 24/7 Support, social media, etc) and do they provide a secure atmosphere?
- What features available (IE: Live streaming, live betting, mobile betting, etc)?
- Lastly – bonuses and promotions play a role in our ratings — some are weighted more heavily than others.
So, which bookies ranked atop of our rankings after in-depth research and analysis?
#1 – 5Dimes.eu – Reduced juice bonus
5Dimes is easily your best bet from a handicappers standpoint. Bettors can fill-in the “Debit Card Funds Application” to be able to use their debit card to deposit and receive payouts in $CAD from 5Dimes, but other banking methods are limited.
If you don’t mind using your debit card – 5Dimes is among the best bookmakers in the world. They offer reduced juice – making the odds among the best you can find for most major sports, such as the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and CFL.
5Dimes also offers a massive betting selection, including the biggest selection of NFL teasers in the industry.
#2 – Bodog.eu – 100% Free bet for up to $100
Bodog wins out because of the incredible banking options. Bodog.eu is strictly a Canadian sportsbook, so all transactions are in $CAD. Deposit with Interac e-transfer instantly online and claim a $100 free bet on your first deposit.
#3 – Bet365.com – 100% Cash bonus for up to $200
Bet365 is the biggest online bookmaker and they attract recreational bettors from over a hundred countries. Accounts can be created in $CAD and there are multiple Canadian friendly banking methods. New bettors gets up to $200 as a bonus.
#4 – WilliamHill.com – 100% Cash bonus for up to $100
Not quite on the same level as Bet365 – especially from a betting and branding standpoint in the Canadian market. This brand continues to increase marketing in the country and WH is licensed in multiple jurisdictions, including Nevada.
Is it legal to bet on sports in Canada?
Like many countries – Canada’s online sports betting industry is clouded in uncertainty.
Several provinces in the country allow sports betting and B.C. offers online betting (PlayNow), but the problem with these offerings is the margins are unreasonable and bettors can only place wagers with two or more outcomes.
It’s not possible to bet on a single bet, such as the Toronto Blue Jays or B.C. Lions to win. You have to place a parlay bet, which means adding at least one more leg to the wager. You’re not going to last as a handicapper by betting this way.
I’ve read a lot of talk between government officials suggesting it would be a smart move to regulate the sports betting industry, which is estimated to be worth over $15 billion in Canada — we Canadians sure do love to bet.
Ontario recently opened an online casino with the ability to buy lottery tickets, but sports betting isn’t available online yet in the province. The OLG product is also poor and the odds would need adjusted to compete with offshore bookmakers.
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There are laws in place that make it illegal to run an online betting website, but offshore bookmakers are arguably not breaking any laws because they don’t operate on Canadian soil – everything (including servers) are located offshore.
By opting to bet online you’ll not only get better odds (lower margins), but you’ll have way more betting options.
All new bettors are concerned about laws preventing individuals from betting online. There are no specific laws that prevent Canadians from betting online and I’ve never heard of a Canadian betting arrested for betting online.
As long as you’re just betting and not running a “gambling house” (website) you should be fine.
In Canada – citizens don’t need to pay taxes on gambling winnings as long as gambling isn’t their main income (career). That means the majority of you reading this guide won’t need to worry about taxes on your winnings.
However – be sure to consult your tax consultant if you end up winning to be on the safe side.
To sum things up – it’s not illegal to bet on sports on the Internet, but it is illegal to operate an online sportsbook in Canada. That brings us to our next section, which will cover the best banking methods to use in 2015.
Depositing and withdrawing from sportsbooks has become slightly more of a problem recently, but as long as you know the best options, there’s no problem. However, don’t be alarmed when your credit card isn’t accepted.
Deposit options at Canadian bookies
Help – my credit card doesn’t work
Canadians are going to have a hard time depositing to a betting site using a credit card issued by a Canadian bank.
Banks ban online gambling transactions. The two most popular e-wallets for Canadian sports bettors restricted us from using the service at the beginning of 2015 (Skrill & Neteller). But – there are still simple and safe banking options.
I can’t stress enough – only open $CAD wagering accounts because currency exchange rates will eat your profits.
It’s hard enough making money betting on sports consistently – don’t allow unnecessary fees to affect your bottom line.
Every Canadian with a bank has used Interac e-transfer, which is the best deposit option, but only offered at a couple betting sites. Bank wires are commonplace, though, and highly recommended due to the security.
Other popular options include InstaDebit, which allows Canadians to use a debit card with an added layer of security, as you don’t have to provide your banking details to the sportsbook, and Ukash, a cash voucher deposit option.
You can buy Ukash vouchers at various gas stations and post offices across Canada.
Prepaid credit cards or gift cards that are enabled for international purchases work great still too.
At the end of the day – we have a wealth of sportsbook to choose from in Canada unlike our friends to the south. You just need to be smart, keep up to date on the best banking methods and enjoy yourself.