There is no easy answer when it comes to the legality of online sports betting in Canada. The Canadian criminal code prohibits any type of gambling activity that is not specifically authorized by the government, which means that online sports betting falls into a bit of a grey area.
However, there are a few provinces that have specifically legalized online sports betting, and Ontario is one of them. So, let’s jump right in and take a look at what the laws around online sports betting in Ontario are. As of April 4th, 2022 you can legally bet at any regulated sportsbook in Ontario.
History of Sports Betting in Canada
Before we get into the specifics of online sports betting in Ontario, it’s important to understand a bit about the history of sports betting in Canada. Sports betting has been around in some form or another for centuries, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that it began to be regulated by the government.
In 1892, the Canadian Parliament passed the Criminal Code, which made gambling illegal unless it was specifically authorized by the government. This law was largely aimed at shutting down organized crime and gangs that were involved in illegal gambling activities.
However, this law had the unintended consequence of making all forms of gambling illegal, including sports betting. In 1969, the government tried to fix this problem by passing an amendment to the Criminal Code that specifically exempted horse racing from the gambling laws.
This amendment opened up the door for legal sports betting in Canada, and it wasn’t long before other forms of gambling began to be legalized as well. In 1985, the government passed another amendment that authorized the creation of Provincial Lotteries.
This allowed each province to create its lottery corporation and offer a variety of different lottery games, including sports betting. In 2010, the Canadian government took another step to legalize sports betting when it passed the Safe Sports Betting Act.
This law made it legal for Canadians to bet on single sporting events, but it did not allow them to bet on multiple events or parlay bets. The reason for this is that the government was concerned about the potential for match-fixing.
However, the Safe Sports Betting Act did pave the way for legal online sports betting in Canada. In 2012, the Canadian government passed the Canadian Gambling Laws and Regulations, which put into place a framework for legal online gambling in Canada.
This law made it so that each province could decide whether or not to allow online gambling within its borders. So far, only a handful of provinces have decided to do so, with Ontario being one of them.
In April 2022, Ontario has allowed various online gambling websites to promote and accept players from Ontario legally. They have to be regulated by the Ontario government. Regulated sportsbooks at this time include Bet365 and Draftkings.
Sports Betting in Ontario
Now that we’ve taken a look at the history of sports betting in Canada, let’s focus on Ontario specifically. As we mentioned above, Ontario is one of the few provinces that has specifically legalized online sports betting.
In 2012, the Ontario government passed the Gambling Amendment Act, which made it legal for residents of the province to gamble online. This law also created the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, which is responsible for regulating all forms of gambling in the province.
The OLG offers a variety of different lottery games and casino-style games, but it does not offer sports betting. However, several private companies are licensed by the OLG to offer online sports betting in Ontario.
These companies are required to follow all of the same rules and regulations that apply to offline sports betting in the province. For example, they are not allowed to accept bets on single sporting events, and they are only allowed to offer parlay bets.
Additionally, these companies are not allowed to accept credit cards or debit cards as a form of payment. They can only accept payments through bank transfers or e-checks.
Residents of Ontario can also place bets on horse races through the OLG’s online gambling platform. However, this is the only form of online sports betting that is specifically authorized by the OLG. All other forms of online sports betting are considered to be illegal in the province.
As of April 2022, Ontario residents can gamble at any regulated online sportsbook such as Bet365.
So, Is Sports Betting Legal in Ontario?
The bottom line is that online sports betting is legal in Ontario, but there are some restrictions in place. These restrictions are designed to protect consumers and ensure that only reputable companies offer sports betting services in the province.
If you’re interested in placing a bet on a sporting event, you should do so through a licensed and reputable online sportsbook. This will ensure that you’re able to bet safely and legally. Additionally, always be on the lookout for an Ontario casino promo code to receive the best bonus available.
Canada is a big market for sports betting and it’s only getting bigger. However, the legal landscape of sports betting in Canada can be perplexing. Sports betting is lawful in Canada in general, but each province has its own rules and regulations. Online sports betting over the internet is specifically permitted in Ontario, with certain limitations. Be sure to check the ever changing list at igamingontario as more websites get added.