Canadian Sports Betting Laws Explained

Most countries are pretty clear about whether betting on sports is legal, and make it well known to citizens of the country. In Canada, however, there are a few grey areas in the betting world that deserve a closer look, especially if you are a Canadian resident looking to place a few bets.

First, betting on sports is legal in Canada, but with a very strict sub clause. Betting on sports is legal only if using the provincial government established and run entities. In this fashion Canadians may place bets on whichever sporting event they see fit, as long as they use this method.

All privately run gambling establishments are prohibited, and so none exist in the Canadian territory. The important point to keep in mind, however, is that privately run bookmakers may not run in the Canadian territory itself.

Provincial Government Betting

It would seem then, that there is no room for a grey area in the equation, and that the law is pretty clear cut. But, there are aspects of the provincial government run entities that make bettors unhappy.

The options provided by the provincial government bookmakers are not especially broad, greatly reducing betting options offered to citizens. In other words; in many cases the bettor does not get good value for money.

So does this mean that Canadians simply have to make do with what is offered, and accept that they will not be getting as good a deal as they could? Not necessarily.

Online Betting In Canada

Online betting is relatively new in Canada, and many bet makers have quickly jumped onboard, grabbing the far better deals provided by online bookmakers. But isn’t betting on sports illegal in Canada, if not provided by a government run entity? This is where the betting laws in Canada start to get interesting.

Since the online bookmakers operating in Canada are no based in the region, they are not breaking any established Canadian laws. If the bet is placed with a bookmaker based overseas, it is argued that it is not a law breaking offence.

With this knowledge, many Canadian bettors have placed online bets without a problem, collected their winnings, and otherwise enjoyed the better deals provided by foreign bookmakers. There is still some controversy about the situation, but little has been done by the government to intervene.

Depositing Problems

In some cases, however, it can be a struggle for Canadians to make deposits on a foreign bookmaker’s websites. A credit or debit card deposit may be declined for various reasons, but this is a minor problem that can easily be overcome. If running into such a problem, the bettor can easily contact the customer support centre of the website for assistance.

Alternatively, the funds can simply be deposited with a third party website such as Paypal, and then send to the best betting sites via this alternate route. Either way, the action of sending the money to the bookmaker website is still entirely legal, and not in any way against established Canadian laws.