Sports Betting In Canada — What The Law Says

by Mitov Mitrovski
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If you like sports, the good news: sports betting is mostly legal in Canada, varying by province.

The bad news: single-sport wagering is not legal in Canada (sort of).

We know what you’re thinking, what the heck is a “single-sport bet?” Exactly what it sounds like — any wager on one event only (e.g. this team will win by four points or more than 55 points will be scored in this game). Therefore, only parlay bets are legal in Canada. 

Hardened bettors know how difficult it is to win one bet, little less at least two in a parlay. If you thought sportsbooks were already stacking the odds against you, Canada federal law only ups the troubles.

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The bright side is that parlays pay out significantly more than single-event wagers. Sure, the wins may come fewer and further between, but they’ll be worth every penny when they do hit.  

Now comes the big caveat: single-sport bets are only barred if that casino is housed in Canada itself. This applies to Sports Select outlets that provide most of the sports betting services inside land-based casinos. Not only that, but the selection of wagers — both in sports and bet types — is extremely limited at these outlets.

However, there is a workaround to those policies: online sports betting. As long as the betting website isn’t operated in Canada (most of which aren’t), the full range of sports betting is legal, including single-sport events.

Image source: has comprehensive reviews of sportsbooks that can circumvent Canada’s federal laws. These betting sites are completely legal and hosted offshore, therefore, you can wager without a worry in the world.  

 It’s important to remember, though, laws change often — that’s almost a certainty at this point. What’s less certain is when and where exactly those laws change.

Believe it or not, Canada’s federal gambling policies have gone largely untouched since the 19th century when they were first enacted. Hence why there’s still dated laws like the single-event one.

Litigation changes could happen next month, in one year, or within the next three years, no knows for sure. Furthermore, these laws will differ by province. Inevitably, some provinces will be more progressive, while others will cling to the dated legislature.

Please do your due diligence and keep up to date on recent Canadian laws. It’s your best bet — pun fully intended — to avoid any possible issues.

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