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SNBET: Canada's best online sports betting

SNBET lists & reviews the best Canadian online sportsbooks.  We also clarify the often confusing online sports betting landscape so that people in Canada 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, 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 the rest of 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 NFL, NHL, MLB & NBA telecasts.  In most cases, these US-facing brands are not yet available to Canadian players outside Ontario. UK & European betting brands are also highly visible during top soccer matches.  Some of these advertised brands are licensed in the legal Ontario market and are available for players across Canada from their "offshore" sites, but some brands are not.  Some of these advertised brands are highly reputable, while others are full-blown scam artists.  Of those that are available to Canadians outside Ontario, oftentimes CAD accounts are not available, so you would need to pay hidden exchange fees to play in another currency, when you don't need to.  

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 & refer new Canadian players for their own enrichment & show you how to avoid sports betting scams & bad information, which includes their promotion of non-CAD betting sites or disreputable providers.

Altogether, this can be a really confusing situation.  We aim to cut through the lies and clarify things, while providing highly-refined lists of the top online sportsbooks for Canada and Ontario, so that Canadians may safely bet on single-events, using great sportsbook platforms & while getting better odds than the provincial sports lottery games.  Our list includes one fully Canadian operator, established since 1997.  How is that possible if people kept talking about how single-event sports betting was illegal in Canada for so long?  We explain below.  

 

 

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 & "grey 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, some of the profits are returned to First Nations parties for community investment & 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, BetVictor & 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, NHL, NBA, MLB & top soccer games. Sites like bet365 also offer features like live streaming of sporting events, including the NFL regular season, top soccer leagues & much more.

If you are intent on starting your betting journey with one of the available Canadian sportsbook bonuses, we also explain how these work & compare offers from several of the top operators for Canada, as well as the SIA offer. With the new rules in Ontario, things are a bit foggy now when it comes to talking about new customer offers for all of Canada, but we do our best to clear things up for you, so you can get started on the right foot.

Altogether, you simply need to weigh up these aspects of their offerings against the fact that Sports Interaction is essentially based in Canada, and at least some of the proceeds of your potential losses will stay at home in Canada with them.  The choice is yours. All our recommended brands offer CAD accounts & banking methods.

 

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.

Understanding sports betting odds: how sportsbooks work.

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

What are the drawbacks of Canadian mobile sports betting apps?

Best legal Ontario esports betting sites 

 

SNBET covers Canadian & Ontario betting & gaming news with examples like the following:

April 4, 2022: Official iGaming Ontario betting sites

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

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?