Sports gambling is big business in Canada and there is certainly no shortage of bookmakers happy to take your bets. If you do a little looking around, you’ll find dozens of sites promising the very best in sports betting. It is nice to have those options, but we urge you to make your pick carefully as not all sites are equal.

The greatest advantage you have as a gambler is that you can be as picky as you want. There’s no need to
settle for anything but top-tier gambling sites. The best sites have the whole package; they are safe, provide plenty of betting options and give you fair lines on all wagers.

Picking a Sports Gambling Site in Canada

There are two routes you can take in choosing a betting site:

1Official state-sanctioned gambling sites
2Offshore bookmakers (The sites listed above)

Here is some things you should know regarding these two choices:

At first, it would seem to make the most sense to play at official, government-operated betting sites in Canada. After all, those sites are licensed and should therefore be safer. In reality, it’s not that simple. Government operated sites suffer from numerous, serious flaws that make them a bad choice for the vast majority of sports gamblers.
By contrast, the top-rated offshore bookmakers keep the juice low, provide many more betting options and are just as safe as the government’s gambling sites. The largest offshore gambling sites have actually processed more payouts and have served more satisfied customers than all the government-run sites combined.

Continue reading to gain a better understanding of these two options.

Problems with Government Run Gambling Sites

The biggest problem with the state-operated gambling sites is that the juice at those sites is ridiculously high. It’s considered basically impossible to make a legitimate, long-term profit at those sites. Instead of the standard 10-cent lines, they post odds as high as -143 on even money wagers.

At a normal gambling site
Your wager
To Potentially Win
At a government run gambling site
Your wager
To Potentially Win
Government gambling sites are all operated with the same mindset: to make as much money for the state as possible.

Problems with Government Run Gambling Sites

Even Wikipedia mentions the controversy that surrounds the vigorish at Sport Select betting sites. That same page also mentions the insane rule in which official Canadian gambling sites use to count games as ties. If any game in basketball is decided by 5 points or less, any game in baseball is decided by 1 run or less or any game in football is decided by 3 points or less, the betting site considers it a tie.

And lastly, the government-run sports sites in Canada do not allow wagering on individual matches. You cannot just place a straight-up bet on a single game. You may only place parlay-style wagers that include at least two or three games (depending on the province). Not only does this limit your betting options, but it also gives the betting site room to add massive vigorish to the wagers.

Offshore Canadian Gambling Sites

Your best bet is to go with safe and established offshore sports gambling sites. Some of the biggest and most trusted sites in the world accept Canadians. Even though these sites are not officially recognized by the Canadian government, they are still safe places to bet.

As long as you stick with reputable sites, your money will be safe and your winnings will be paid quickly. The betting options are greater and you won’t have to fight an uphill battle against unreasonable juice. These other sites are easily a better choice than those run by Sport Select in Canada.

Our Recommendation:

We hope that the Canadian government will eventually change its stance and become competitive with the rest of the world. It would be great to play with fair odds at sites that are based in Canada. But until then, we strongly recommend going with one of our recommended gambling sites mentioned above.

Is Online Sports Gambling Legal in Canada?

Online sports betting rests in a sort of grey area in Canada but overall, the activity is tolerated. It is not illegal to place wagers as a Canadian citizen. However, it is illegal to start your own sportsbook without meeting strict licensing requirements.

Question: Will I get prosecuted for making an online wager in Canada?
For our research, not a single Canadian has ever been prosecuted for the simple act of placing bets in Canada.
Note: Where you might get in trouble is if one day you decided to start your own website and act as an underground bookmaker.

Theoretically, offshore gambling sites are breaking the law by accepting Canadian citizens, but it appears to be a minor issue. Most international betting sites (even some that are licensed in the UK) accept Canadians without any issues. Some of these offshore sites even advertise in Canadian newspapers and sponsor national sports teams.

Legal Disclaimer:

Having said all that, we’d like to remind you that we are not lawyers. This is just what we’ve been able to surmise from our own experience and by conducting our own research. If you do a little research of your own, you’ll see that pretty much everyone agrees with what we’ve presented so far. But if you have any doubts, it is always best to contact an attorney for professional legal advice.