Hockey Betting Canada

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Is hockey betting legal in Canada?  

The short answer is: Yes.  It is easy for some people to be confused by the issue of the legality of sports and hockey wagering in Canada.  Some people wonder why sportsbook companies advertise on television but always finish by saying “this is not a gambling site” and that the site they are advertising is only for fun or for checking scores and odds.  You see, companies like those below are not allowed to advertise their sports betting, casino or poker games services where players actually use real money.  Thus, what you will always hear being advertised is the “dot-net” version of their website.  This will be a completely free, educational or informational site.  Since no money is at stake with these free and educational sites, the companies are allowed by law to advertise them.  Of course, the companies involved hope you will recognise their brand and simply navigate to the regular site that involves real money.  

Certainly this seems like an odd rule to for these companies to adhere to, since the free brand and real-money brands are identical.  But at least this explains why you only every see “.net” sites advertised.  Don’t let it confuse your, online sport betting is legal in Canada for the consumers.  For more information on the situation, you might wish to read about legal Canadian betting sites.

The second thing that can confuse people is our proximity to the US where gambling online has been made much more difficult and illegal for some. In that country  The US Federal government made it difficult to move player money to the sports betting services as credit card companies were no longer allowed to process such transactions.   Rest assured there is no such set of laws or restrictions in Canada and in fact, Canada is home to one of the most popular and important gaming and sports betting regulation jurisdictions, that being the  Kahnawake Gaming Commission which is a Mohawk Territory located just outside of Montreal.  Kahnawake regulates and Sports Interaction below.

Hockey betting will be fully legal in Ontario come early 2022

While hockey betting has always been a legally safe activity for hockey bettors that played at offshore betting sites, up until June 2021, it has not been legal to offer single-event wagering as an operator in Canada.

Bill C-218, was passed into law in June 2021, which changed this, making single-vent betting legal from an operator perspective.  While provinces across the country have for the most part simply adjusted their various sports lottery games to allow for this change, Ontario is taking a more aggressive approach.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario created a new department called iGaming Ontario which would oversee, regulate and partner with Ontario iGaming license holders that wish to serve the Ontario market.  iGaming is another term for online gambling and betting.  Ontario is opening its market with an uncapped number of potential license holders.  Applicants will need to follow Ontario rules, have their products fully tested to their standards and pay license fees and taxes in the form of a share of gaming proceeds.

As a result of this framework, we can expect upwards of 30 fully licensed and legal Ontario betting sites to be ready for the market launch in early 2022.  Given how many previously ‘offshore’ players will be brought back into the legal system, this launch will be closely watched by other provinces that may wish to do the same thing by either joining the Ontario iGaming market, or by looking to create their own market.

Short Summary of the Top Legal Hockey Betting Sites for Canadians

Top Hockey Betting Sites Canada

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Bodog is one of the oldest brand names in online betting, in business since 1994. Bodog is specially targeted to the Canadian market, so you know they cater to Canadians preferences and requirements. For example, they are the only betting site that accepts the popular-in-Canada Interac Email Transfer as a deposit method.  Read the full review here.

Pinnacle was established in 1998.  They don’t advertise, so you may not have heard of them.  The money they save on ads ensures they can operate on very thin margins to consistently offer the highest paying odds.  Pinnacle calls this 'A bonus for life.'  If having consistently high paying odds is of most importance to you, Pinnacle is likely your best option.  Read the full review here.

Sports Interaction is the only betting site that is both located and regulated in Canada.  Given this, you are assured of Canadian Dollar betting, tons of good banking options betting and a very stable and secure company.  They offer a wide array of betting options for hockey so you can truly leverage your knowledge of the game and its players. Read the full review here.

William Hill is a pioneer of world sports betting, established in 1934.  Listed on the London Stock Exchange, they are rock solid betting company.  William Hill recognized the importance of the Canadian market long ago by being one of the first international services to offer CAD accounts, numerous Canadian-friendly banking methods and lots of hockey betting options.  Read the full review here.

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