Canadian Betting Regulations in 2024

The second-biggest country in the world, Canada has a large and well-regulated betting market. While some gamblers prefer independent sports betting websites, the local market is also full of offers. But here’s a thing: different provinces establish their own rules. It creates a complicated legislature and offers for Canadians. See how it works today.


Two Branches of Betting Legislature

Canada consists of 10 provinces and 3 territories, each with a huge area. Sure, establishing one law for everyone would be too complicated. That’s why betting laws have two branches:

  1. The Federal level. Federal level gambling is regulated by the law C-218. Starting in 2021, it allows online and land-based gambling in the country. It also describes particular norms, and you’ll know them later. 
  2. The Province level. Separate provinces have their own rules. For example, Ontario released its own bookmaker service. Called “the Score Bet”, it allows all Ontario citizens of legal age to bet on sports online. 

However, the federal level remains the main regulation. Those laws work in the whole country. Meanwhile, territories and provinces can establish some local rules if they don’t contradict federal laws.

Betting Laws in Canada: What Is and Is Not Permitted

With the help of detailed regulations, Canada achieved a perfect formula for gambling activities. Both providers and gamblers know all the rules and permissions. Each detail is described and state-regulated. See how.

Who Regulates Gaming in Canada

Canadian Gambling Association (CGA) is the main regulatory body for online and land-based betting. Together with it, several province authorities can establish rules:

  • The Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario;
  • British Columbia Gambling Commission.

Together, they establish the rules and update the law. The most recent regulation was the C-218 law, which determined activities of bookmakers in the country.

Who Can Bet on Sports

All gamblers of the age of 18 or 19 are allowed to gamble. The age of 19 seems unusual for a European or American gambler – yet, some provinces have such a rule. While the Federal authority allows users to bet starting with 18, local restrictions may apply. As for all other aspects, any other person or household can participate. The only exceptions are people who take part in volunteer self-restriction programs.

Who Can Offer Bets on Sports

Here, Canada follows the same rules as the rest of the world. Only bookmakers who received Canadian licences can work in its territory and offer sports betting to Canadians.

Just like in most countries, bookmakers with foreign licences are illegal. However, users can still access them without VPNs. The only difference is that the country doesn’t bear responsibility for such providers. They are not regulated by Canada – thus, you accept all possible risks. That’s why some users still cater to foreign casinos.

Rules for Advertising

Currently, bet providers can freely advertise themselves. While some countries have restricted gambling ads, Canada is softer in these terms. However, all the ads must follow the local laws:

  1. All the information in the ad must be true
  2. Details of bonuses are fair, clear, and easy to understand
  3. No outdated information
  4. No promises and unrealistic offers

Overall, the bookmaker can promote its services, but without promising big wins and other unrealistic things. The same for bonuses. For example, if the bonus has a high wagering requirement, the ad must mention it.

Responsible Gambling Features

Each licensed provider must follow the responsible gambling rules. For instance, any player can set deposit limitations per week or month. Stake limits are also in use. Finally, each gambler can freeze or delete their account for good.

As for the local responsible gambling programs, the most popular one is the Responsible Gambling Council. This authority provides necessary information on responsible gaming and gambling addiction. Also, users can be excluded from online casinos and betting websites. All the licensed bookmakers follow those rules and provide their gamers’ information to the authorities.

Leading Sports in Canada

As with any other country, Canada has favorite sports and teams to bet on. Luckily, there are no restrictions. All possible sports, leagues, and events are eligible:

  1. Hockey. Hockey remains the leading sport for betting in Canada. The NHL is the leading betting focus among the locals. Almost any bookmaker offers hockey betting. 
  2. Basketball. The NBA is definitely the second favorite league in Canada. Canadians regularly bet on American basketball. 
  3. Other sports: football, baseball, golf, tennis, table tennis, soccer.

These are just a few examples, and local companies offer many more, which you can find out about in our betting blog. From horse racing to swimming, Canadians can bet on any sport and event. Both local and foreign events are popular. 

Further Trends: What to Wait for in the Following Years

Now, Canada seems to be set with its gambling rules and regulations. Therefore, don’t expect big changes in terms of the legislature. The market is already well-regulated, and the number of people with gambling addiction is lower than in other regions.

What may happen is some technical innovations. More and more bookmakers offer live betting, where you can place stakes on the ongoing matches. Also, mobile casinos set the trends for bookmakers. Betting websites are now available on smartphones and tablets as well. Among the public trends, hockey remains the leading sport in the country – it is easy to understand due to the local climate. Soccer expands, offering more and more events and interesting players to track.

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