The legality of online betting in Canada is currently a grey area. Provincial governments have a monopoly on gambling services, and civilians aren't permitted to offer or use private gambling services.
However, Canadian legislation makes no specific provision for Internet gambling and online sports betting, and gambling is popular throughout the country.
Laws governing betting in Canada
Canadian Criminal Code
The Canadian Criminal Code sets the legal framework for gambling in Canada. Originally it banned all forms of gambling. During the 1960s, the laws were relaxed to allow provincial governments to offer gambling services to residents.
At present, the Canadian Criminal Code explicitly prohibits Canadian civilians from marketing or offering betting services to other Canadians. Provincial governments are permitted to offer a variety of gambling services, including parlay betting on sports.
Canada's provinces don't all have a unified stance on gambling, and the interpretation and enforcement of the Canadian Criminal Code varies from one province to the next.
Is it legal to bet online in Canada?
The laws governing gambling in Canada are open to interpretation. This is complicated by the fact that provinces may interpret and enforce the relevant legislation in different ways. The only clear-cut element of the legislation is that it is illegal to operate unlicensed gambling services within the country's borders.
In practice, the vague nature of Canadian gambling laws and the limited sports betting options offered by provincial governments have resulted in extensive online sports betting activity. It's estimated that Canadians bet over $2 billion with offshore bookmakers every year.
Although online betting falls into a legal grey area and carries an apparent low risk of prosecution, it's advisable to consult a legal advisor in your province should you wish to engage in online gambling activities.
In summary, if you live in Canada, there aren't clear-cut laws against online sports betting. If you've checked the laws in your province and would like to bet online, you can do so at any of the online bookmakers listed on betHQ.
Disclaimer: betHQ followed all reasonable steps to ensure that the information on this page was correct at the time it was last modified, in May 2015. However, laws can change over time and it remains your responsibility to ensure that you're not breaking any laws by betting online.