The Ontario sports betting industry has forever changed. As of April 4th, 2022, new betting laws were implemented, and online Ontario single game betting became legal. iGaming, the Ontario betting regulator, began to license betting sites, and betting in the province changed dramatically. This will improve betting in Ontario dramatically. There will be new betting sites, new opportunities, and a safer environment for consumers. Let’s dive into what some of these changes in Ontario online betting are, how they’ll impact the betting experience, and which Canadian sportsbooks are licensed and unlicensed. Ready? Let’s get started.
Ontario Sports Betting Sites - Best Legal Sportsbooks
Best Ontario Betting Sites 2023
Ontario Sports Betting Sites
There are a lot of operators that are now arriving in Ontario or are set to. Let’s explore some of the sportsbooks that Ontarians can use for their betting and whether or not they’ve secured a license.
Sports Interaction is an operator that has been around for decades. It launched in the 1990s as the first notable online sportsbook made by Canadians and for Canadians. It has seen rapid growth to become one of the most popular options in Canada.
👍 Pros: Great website look and design, licensed by Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
👎 Cons: It could improve by adding downloadable betting apps.
888Sport launched in 2008 and quickly became one of the most popular operators in the world. With fun features and a great website design, there’s a lot to love about this sportsbook. They also offer an Ontario sports betting app, which makes them stand out.
👍 Pros: iGaming Ontario licensed, great app, fun features.
👎 Cons: It could offer more Live Streaming.
Betway is another sportsbook that has become a global phenomenon. There’s a lot to like about Betway. From its smooth layout to the great features, which include Betway Boosts, this sportsbook has a lot going on. It also offers an excellent mobile app.
👍 Pros: Great website design, fun features, iGaming licensed.
👎 Cons: Could improve Live Streaming options.
BetVictor is an institution. They started as a bookie in the 1940s and have evolved with the times to become a major sportsbook used around the world. They recently entered the Ontario market and offer a massive array of markets and fun features.
👍 Pros: iGaming certified, Mobile App, great layout.
👎 Cons: Could add some more props.
Casumo has long been a name in the online casino business, but they recently expanded their scope to include sports betting in Ontario. They offer users a clean, neatly designed website with fun features, and they will continue to add to what they offer.
👍 Pros: In the process of being iGaming licensed, nice website design.
👎 Cons: Lack some player prop coverage.
Bet365 is one of the most popular sportsbooks in the world. They are a massive operator with a lot of standout features. These include a great bet builder, a top-notch mobile app, and a web design that is the envy of the industry.
👍 Pros: iGaming licensed, top-notch mobile experience, and great design.
👎 Cons: Could have better live streaming options.
LeoVegas comes from a major sports betting enterprise and stands as a new addition to the Ontario market. They have an excellent mobile app, fast sign-ups, and fun features. They are an emerging operator that many are looking towards.
👍 Pros: iGaming licensed, great mobile experience.
👎 Cons: Website design is a little confusing.
BetMGM is the first online Canadian offering from the sportsbook juggernaut of MGM. It is an exciting addition to the Ontario market, with an impeccable design, great mobile app, and fun standout features that make it one of the top operators available.
👍 Pros: iGaming licensed, great design, mobile app.
👎 Cons: Loads a little slowly.
Pointsbet has been a major name in Australia but is now eyeing global domination. They are in the process of creating an Ontarian version of the Pointsbet sportsbook and offering it to Canadians. This will bring the fun features and mobile app they are known for to Canadian audiences.
👍 Pros: In the process of being iGaming licensed, mobile app.
👎 Cons: Simple website layout.
Pinnacle is a sportsbook that has stood the test of time. They’ve been around for decades now and have a lot to offer. With betting resources, fun features, crypto deposits, and much more, there’s a lot to enjoy about using this major sportsbook.
👍 Pros: Crypto deposits, fun betting features.
👎 Cons: Not in the process of getting iGaming licensed.
Royal Panda is a sportsbook that is owned by Leo Vegas, and it is a fun and rapidly growing operator. It has been around for less than ten years but still has a lot of unique features and some fun offerings. They have boosted odds, live betting offerings, and much more.
👍 Pros: iGaming licensed, boosted odds.
👎 Cons: Very plain website.
Betting in Ontario
Sports betting in Ontario was a legal gray area for several years. Bettors could use offshore betting sites or place parlay bets with the OLG and Proline, but in general, the legality of Ontario betting was murky. Now, there are numerous legal betting sites in Canada. Let’s quickly look into how that happened.
The turning point came when Bill C-218 was passed. This was a new law that put control over sports betting’s legality in the hands of provinces rather than the federal government. This occurred in 2021. It took some time to get everything established, but the Ontario government was the first to institute legal betting.
They did this by instituting iGaming. iGaming Ontario is the regulator that oversees Ontario online betting. iGaming and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario work together to oversee the industry and ensure that betting sites adhere to certain standards, protect their users, and are fair.
iGaming issues licenses to these operators, so users can be certain they are using fully certified and regulated sites. From NBA betting sites to soccer betting sites, bettors now have a way to know for sure that the sportsbook they are using is safe and legit.
Single betting vs. Parlays
Before Ontario sports betting became legal in 2022, there were some forms of betting that were legal and provincially regulated. What was legal was parlay betting through OLG and Proline; what was illegal was single game betting in Ontario.
Parlay betting is a type of bet that includes bets on multiple different outcomes that are tied together in one bet. Each component of the bet needs to hit for a parlay to cash. Parlays were allowed before these new rules and had been for decades. However, they were only offered through provincially-ran services like Proline or the OLG.
Bettors could make bets at the gas station or convenience store, much like buying a lottery ticket. However, these bets could only be parlays, which are riskier than single-game bets. The odds that were available to gamblers were also significantly worse than what they could find online.
The new rules have made Ontario single game betting legal. These are bets that are on a single game, so not parlays. They are just one outcome bets, which makes them likelier to hit. Bettors can make these bets at gas stations and convenience stores like parlays, or they can make them at the many online legal sportsbooks.
This is important because bettors now have a much better chance to earn money than just with the legal parlay bets.
Ontario Betting Legality
For those asking the question, is online sports betting legal in Ontario? The answer is yes! The new betting rules have made everything from NCAA basketball betting to football betting legal. However, this isn’t fully limitless.
While offshore betting sites have long been tolerated and remain so, the only Ontario betting sites that are regulated and overseen by the government are the ones that are iGaming licensed.
The goal of this is to create a safer system for bettors, ensure the government has some control and money from this big business, and to open the floodgates for betting sites.
These new laws give bettors more assurances. If you see a website is iGaming certified, you know that it has passed through rigorous testing to become that way. There are strict rules on security, fairness, and website infrastructure these sportsbooks have to pass, and now users can be more certain the sportsbook is safe and fair.
For the government, they now get to play a role in a massive industry that countless Ontarians were already involved with. They get to tax the operators and dictate the direction the industry goes in their province.
For sportsbooks, they can now advertise and promote their business, and they will likely see a lot of new customers. That is why Ontarians have seen a lot of commercials and billboards advertising gambling companies lately. While they aren’t allowed to advertise things like free bet offers or other betting offers Canada, they can still spotlight what they bring to the table.
Overall, it is good for all three parties in this situation.
Who Is Eligible for A License?
To receive a license, there are several steps sportsbooks need to take. There are different regulatory standards enforced by iGaming and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Sportsbooks need to live up to certain rules and online standards.
For example, there are certain certifications that sportsbooks will need to have. Some will need to have their technology tested and certified by a third party. Generally, some of the requirements include submitting financial information, implementing control activities, having operator systems and data readiness checked, and more.
It is a long, ongoing process, but one that helps consumers.
Who Will be Able to Bet?
While Ontario sports betting is legal, it doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to use these sites. There are certain rules that are in place to ensure things don’t get out of control.
For starters, you must live in Ontario and have a listed Ontario address. You also must be in Ontario. Some websites make you install a geo-tracker to ensure you are in the state. Beyond that, you have to be the legal gambling age. In Ontario, that is 19.
If you are 19, in Ontario, and have a permanent address in the state, you are officially good to bet.
Sportsbooks Coming to Ontario
PowerPlay is a sportsbook that came out relatively recently compared to some of its peers, but it has a lot to offer bettors. It is an exciting operator with a massive array of betting options. They have a lot of banking methods they accept and a great layout.
👍 Pros: Undergoing the iGaming licensing certification, crypto deposits.
👎 Cons: Could add a mobile app.
TonyBet is a sportsbook that is growing at an astronomical rate. Carving out a spot in the Ontario market is important to this operator. TonyBet is one of the better live betting sites on the market, with great options and an in-depth sportsbook.
👍 Pros: Licensed by Kahnawake Gaming Commission, great payment options.
👎 Cons: The website doesn’t look amazing.
The gambling industry is always changing, and sportsbooks have to do what they can to stand out. Neo.Bet does a good job of standing out by offering modern features like bet builders and comprehensive e-sports coverage. They also have the trust of a lot of consumers.
👍 Pros: In the process of getting iGaming certifications, fun features.
👎 Cons: The website design isn’t impressive.
How to Start Betting in Ontario?
We’ve explained to you how sports betting in Ontario is now legal. Let’s explore how you can get started. It is a quick process, with the hardest step being the first one.
- Step One: Find an operator you like. This will take time and research. We’ve listed several great Ontario sports betting sites above, but there are a lot more out there.
- Step Two: Register. This will take about two minutes and require information like your name, address, and phone number.
- Step Three: Deposit. Banking with a sportsbook can feel scary, but it is safe and reliable, especially if you’re using an iGaming site.
- Step Four: Start betting. Now that you’ve loaded your account with money, you’re good to start placing bets.
Popular Sports to Bet in Ontario
There are several major sports that are commonly bet on in Ontario. Let’s explore some of the most popular sports to bet on in Ontario.
- ⚾ Baseball: Baseball is a timeless game that has been played for centuries. Canadians love it, and along with the rise of the Blue Jays, baseball betting has taken off. Bettors can find a ton of great baseball bets online.
- 🏀 Basketball: Canada is basketball crazy right now. It is one of the most popular sports on the planet, and basketball online betting has risen steadily. Canadians can find tons of great basketball bets to enjoy.
- 🏈 Football: Football is a massive sport in Canada and the United States, and Ontarians flock to their favorite sportsbooks every Sunday for NFL betting. There is a lot of football betting coverage on Ontario betting sites.
- 🏒 Hockey: Hockey betting Canada is a sensation. Canadians love their hockey, and having coverage is incredibly important to any sportsbook that intends to last in Ontario. Luckily, there are many that have great hockey options.
- ⚽ Soccer: Soccer is the biggest sport on the planet. Sportsbooks need to have truly global coverage of this game to stand out, and many of them do.
Most Popular Markets
Markets are the individual things bettors place bets on. Let’s explore some of the most popular markets online bettors in Ontario enjoy.
- Moneyline: A Moneyline bet is a bet on one team to win. If you pick a team on the Moneyline, you’re betting them to win.
- Point Spread: A Point Spread bet is a bet on a line that represents the projected score differential in a game in favor of one team. Bettors can bet for the spread, meaning the team will exceed that differential or against it, meaning they won’t.
- Total: A Total is a line that represents the total amount of combined points between two teams in a game. Bettors can bet the over, meaning there’ll be more, or the under, meaning less.
- Outright: An Outright, or a Future, is a bet on a long-term outcome, such as who will win the Stanley Cup or be the NBA Rookie of the Year.
- Game/Player Props: Game/Player Props are on outcomes within games that aren’t necessarily tied to the final score. It could be something like who will be winning at half-time or which team will hit more three-pointers. Player Props are like this, but just for individuals. It could be something like will Player A score a goal or how many rebounds Player B will have.
Licensed Sites vs. Unlicensed Sites
Some sportsbooks have received their licenses, some are still applying for them, and others have no intention of receiving their licenses. Let’s explore some of the differences between websites that have been Ontario sports betting licensed and ones that haven’t.
The primary difference is that bettors have more certainty with an iGaming Ontario licensed site. You know that they have been regulated by the Ontario government, that they are following a more strict set of rules. This should help you be confident you can trust the operator.
Another difference is transparency. Unlicensed sites aren’t responsible to the Canadian government. They don’t share any information with the government, and the Canadian government doesn’t have any input. This isn’t the case with iGaming sites.
iGaming sites also pay taxes in Ontario and Canada. This makes our country wealthier rather than paying for sportsbooks licensed in low-tax locations like Malta and Gibraltar, where all the money primarily goes to the sportsbook.
Why Should I Use A Licensed Site?
There are definitely websites that haven’t been licensed in Ontario that are still trustworthy. However, generally speaking, the websites you can trust more and have more assurance with are the iGaming websites. You know for a fact that they’ve been regulated and overseen by the Ontario government. There is no question that it is legal and as safe as sports betting can be.
Ontario Betting FAQs
How Do These Changes Impact the Future of Ontario Betting?
The industry is certainly going to grow. There will be more new users, and the population of sports bettors will only go up. As well, there will be new operators that enter the market. There already have been a lot of new sportsbooks in Ontario, and this will only continue.
Will There be More Betting Offers Because of This?
Sportsbooks will need to stand out from a field that is growing more crowded. One of the ways they will do this is by having more online betting bonus offers.
Can I Still Parlay Bet Legally?
Yes! If you love OLG and Proline, that is all still very legal. However, you can also parlay on sports betting sites online, and they’ll offer you better odds.
Where Can I See if a Betting Site is iGaming Operated?
If you scroll to the bottom of a website, you can see its licensing status. Here, you’ll find whether a sportsbook has iGaming certification. Some also display it at the top of their website.
Can I Still Use Sportsbooks that Aren’t iGaming Licensed?
Yes! You can still use the operators you were using before. There are some sportsbooks that still operate in Ontario that don’t have iGaming licenses. Many are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, so they don’t need iGaming licenses. Others are licensed offshore. Either way, while there is less certainty, most of these websites are still safe.
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