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SNBET: Canada's best online sports betting

SNBET lists the best & most reputable online sportsbooks for Canada.  We also clarify the often confusing online sports betting landcape so that Canadians may avoid the scams & bad information found across the Internet.   

Why is it confusing? The Canadian government has now passed bill C-218 to allow single-event sports betting in Canada, but it is down to the provinces to create regulatory frameworks that outline which providers, if any, will be allowed to serve their residents.  So far, only the AGCO has opened its market to allow Ontario licensed betting sites from April 4, 2022.  The rest of Canada is left to play in the so-called 'grey market' at sportsbooks that are regulated offshore - but which brands are reputable & serve Canada best?  It can be tough to figure out for the following reasons:

The USA is opening up online betting on a state-by-state basis.  With this, many US brands are now visible through advertising during NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA telecasts.  In most cases, these US-facing brands are not yet available to Canadian players, especially those outside Ontario. 

UK & European betting brands are advertised on uniforms & pitchside LED boards for top soccer clubs.  Some of these brands are open to Canadians and the legal Ontario market, but some are not.  Of those that are available for Canadians outside Ontario, oftentimes CAD accounts are not available, so you would need to pay hidden exchange fees to play in another currency.  

Lastly, online sportsbook review resources often espouse self-serving information which runs counter to genuinely sound consumer analysis and recommendations for prospective Canadian bettors.  We expose how some sportsbook review publishers try to deceive and refer new Canadian players for their own enrichment and show you how to avoid sports betting scams & bad information.

Altogether, this can be a confusing situation.  We aim to clarify things & provide a highly-refined list of the top betting sites for Canada, so that Canadians may safely bet on single-events & get better odds than the provincial sports lottery games.  Our list includes one fully Canadian operator.  How is that possible if people keep talking about how single-event sports betting was illegal in Canada for so long?  We explain below.  

 

Eligible iGames conducted & managed by iGaming Ontario are only available to those physically present in the Province of Ontario. If you are outside Ontario, you will play at the main 'dot-com' sites based in 'offshore' gaming jurisdictions.
 

 

Is online sports betting illegal in Canada?  

We don't pretend to be a law firm.  With that said, up until the recent passing of Bill C-218 in June 2021, no operator was allowed to accept single-event bets within Canada as outlined in section 207 (4)(b) of the Canadian Criminal Code. This is why all government-run sports lottery games like Pro-Line and SportSelect all mandated parlay bets, where a win required several correct event results to win a bet.

This is how the so-called ‘offshore’ sportsbooks are able to serve the Canadian marketplace.  These regulated betting sites accept single-event bets and offer higher odds than the provincial sports lottery games, all from outside of Canada.  So although the bettor might reside in Canada, the acceptance of the online bet happens outside Canadian jurisdiction. Since the legal authorities in Canada have no jurisdiction over these ‘offshore’ providers and they cannot be prosecuted, their customers - the Canadian bettors are also safe from any legal consequences. If the operator cannot be prosecuted, neither may the customer.

OK - so unfettered online sports betting might not have been legal within Canada from an operator perspective, but this strange grey zone meant that players were able to take part through unofficial channels.  The Canadian Gaming Association estimates that $4 billion per year left Canada through online offshore providers, and another $10 billion through black market bookies.  That’s $14 billion gone from Canada - nothing taxed, nothing licensed for the greater good of Canadian society.  Most of this shift to the offshore & black market options can be attributed to the lack of competitive odds & single-event betting options within the ‘legal’ Canadian gaming industry.  SNBET covers all the latest Canadian sports betting news here and on our Twitter account with regard to what the new 'legal' Canadian sports betting markets will look like.

 

There's always been a Canadian online sports betting operator?

Yes, there is one online sports betting operator that is essentially within Canada, but is fully allowed to operate outside of Canadian laws - it’s called Sports Interaction (or SIA).

How is this possible?  Sports Interaction was established in 1997 and operates from the sovereign Mohawk lands of Kahnawake which is just southwest of Montreal.  This means that SIA is allowed to accept customers in Canada, to process CAD deposits & withdrawals using popular payment methods like Interac, and most important - to accept single-event wagers.  All of this is regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission which oversees many international gaming brands.

To keep the long story short, SIA is the online sportsbook that essentially allows your entire sports betting experience to occur within Canada.  So if you want to bet on single-events & get better odds than the provincial lottery sports games, but are worried about risking money on brands you do not quite trust, Sports Interaction is the ideal all-Canadian option.  

Furthermore, all profits are returned to a First Nations company and jurisdiction for community investment and betterment, rather than to an offshore sportsbook company regulated in Europe or the Caribbean.  When we evaluate all of the above points, you can understand why SNBET has ranked Sports Interaction as its number one recommended betting site for players in Canada.

 

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Are there any drawbacks in playing at SIA as a Canadian bettor?

SIA is an excellent option, but there are some areas where our listed alternative sites may be superior.  Betsafe, Betway, bet365 & ComeOn! all tend to offer odds that are a little higher than SIA on average across sports and betting markets.  This is especially true on futures betting markets, like the 'outright winner' of a given league or tournament. 

Why is this the case?  SIA only serves Canada.  Given this, heavy betting action on popular Canadian teams can drive SIA odds prices down for bets on these teams.  Our listed alternative sites serve a wider set of national markets, so betting action is more evenly distributed, which means that odds on popular bets in Canada can stay higher.

Also, certain betting features at our recommended alternatives tend to be more advanced or available more often compared to the similar features at SIA.  An example of this would be the ‘early cash out’ features that may let you secure a partial win before your event has concluded. Another such feature is the 'Same Game Parlay', which is available at bet365 for NFL, NBA & top soccer games. Betsafe & ComeOn! potentially also have larger new customer sportsbook bonus offers.  

You simply need to weigh up these aspects of their offerings against the fact that Sports Interaction is fully Canadian and your money gets to stay at home in Canada with them.  The choice is yours - all listed companies offer CAD accounts and banking methods.  Compare all their offerings in our SNBET Review.

 

Top alternative CAD betting sites

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Further reading from SNBET:

SNBET on Canadian sports betting education & help for beginners:

Scams & online betting in Canada: how to find reputable CAD betting sites & avoid the bad.

Canadian sports betting bonuses: how they work & how to find fair bonus offers.

Understanding sports betting odds: how sportsbooks work.

Canadian Dollar sportsbook payment methods: what’s available & what’s not.

What are the drawbacks of mobile sports betting apps?

Best legal Ontario esports betting sites 

 

SNBET on legal sports betting in Ontario:

April 4, 2022: Official iGaming Ontario betting sites

MAR 17, 2022: AGCO releases iGaming marketing guidelines for Ontario

MAR 10, 2022: Rush Street Interactive & 888 receive Ontario iGaming licenses

FEB 1, 2022: NorthStar Gaming partners Kambi & Playtech for Ontario launch

JAN 28, 2022: AGCO sets April 4, 2022 as date for iGaming market launch

NOV 17, 2021: AGCO releases Compliance Approach guide for Ontario iGaming

OCT 30, 2021: Ontario Esports Betting: AGCO to allow wagering on esports events

OCT 5, 2021: Licensed Ontario betting sites: which sportsbooks will be legal in Ontario?

SEP 29, 2021: iGaming Ontario will not mandate that its license applicants stop serving other provinces from the 'grey market'.

 

SNBET on Bill C-218 & single-event betting:

NOV 25, 2021: BCLC to talk Responsible Gambling marketing - without a market

AUG 27, 2021: USA vs Canada: Contrasting periods of betting 'prohibition' mean Canada cannot follow the US approach to regulation if it wants to defeat the 'grey market'

AUG 18, 2021: After Bill C-218: What's next for sports betting in Canada?