Yes, Sports Betting is Finally Legal in Ontario
After the U.S Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in 2018, the Great White North has finally decided to follow suit. Although parlay betting has been legal for a long time, government-run websites and sportsbooks can only offer so much to gambling enthusiasts. However, as of June 2021, the federal government has granted provinces the right to legalize single-game wagering. Ontario was the first province to launch a regulated sports betting program on April 4th. What does it all mean? Let's find out.
What Types of Sports Betting is Legal?
Sports betting has long been legal in Canada through parlays, bets where multiple results must hit to win, and horseracing. However, last June's Bill C-218 successfully lifted the federal ban on sports betting to allow coveted formats, such as future and single-game wagers.
However, the implementation of the new bill is a provincial matter. Ontario being the most populous province has taken the lead in enforcing the new law by providing a regulated betting platform in the form of the Ontario iGaming gambling authority.
This year's expectations for Ontario's sports betting revenue lie around $800 million. The other provinces are watching how the situation rolls out before setting up similar licensing authorities.
Where to Bet on Sports in Ontario?
Sportsbooks legal in Ontario include global names you might have heard of, such as Bet365, Fan Duel, and 888Sport. People who have been betting online using offshore-based sportsbooks can now use these operators instead.
Some of the best legal sportsbooks for betting in Ontario, including 17 sportsbooks and 28 gaming operators, have been made available by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario's (AGCO) iGaming platform. The count for AGCO-licensed sportsbook operators has gone into double digits, so you have countless options to choose from.
The European-based platform is one of the best legal sportsbooks for betting in Ontario. It was the first worldwide betting operator to apply for the Ontario license and launched its website up North on April 4th. Canadian customers will also be provided with a welcome promotion of free betting money.
FanDuel, one of the biggest online sportsbooks, was also made available on April 4th for sports betting in Ontario. The casino option will also be available to Canadians and features 114 slot games and live dealer games.
Furthermore, numerous future options in sports betting are coupled with a super-friendly web and app interface. New customers in the province can also expect a welcome bonus, which will refund player losses for 24 hours.
Unlike bigshots like Caesars or theScore Bet, PointsBet is a newcomer in the betting world. However, it has the potential to become one of the best legal sportsbooks for betting in Ontario and possibly other provinces in the future.
It launched in the province on April 4th with the rest of the heavy-hitters and offered customers a unique PointsBetting system, a high risk and reward system to increasingly reward bettors if the number linked to their bet lands. They also offer several excellent promotions, a high-quality user experience, and competitive pricing.
Sports Betting in the Other Provinces in Canada
The future of third-party operators remains clear in Canada. Currently, only Ontario and Alberta welcome third-party operators for sports betting. However, the coming year will be important in deciding the betting landscape of the other provinces and how they regulate legalized sports betting.
Canadians can take comfort in the fact that they won't have to worry about parlay bets. All Canadian provinces have legalized single-game betting, and players can bet using each province's betting platform.
British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec were offering single-game wagers from the get-go. Like Ontario, Alberta promptly followed and offered third-party operators so new customers in the province could enjoy the benefits and get access to top-quality sportsbooks.
Similarly, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and Nunavut legalized single-game sports bettings at retail outlets last November. The last province to legalize the betting format for residents was Nova Scotia.
With the provinces making single-game wagering available to Canadian citizens, it can be assumed that third-party operators and betting sites, including big names like FanDuel, Bet365, PointsBet, theScoreBet, DraftKings, and Caesars, will make a move on other provinces as well.
You can still place a bet using online platforms if you're visiting Ontario since the sportsbooks use geotagging to mark your location. While retail casinos are currently not offering single-game wagers and betting options, work is being conducted by every province to make them available. However, you can still place bets at gas stations and convenience stores. We hope this article helped you understand the sports betting landscape of Canada!
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes