Betting on Sports in Ontario in 2020

Ontario boasts the largest population within Canada and the largest concentration of professional sports, too. Representation across the NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and CFL — coupled with an energetic fanbase — translates to significant interest in Ontario sports betting. Our team at Covers has produced a primer to help you navigate the world of online sports gambling in Ontario.

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Ontario
Canada
Ontario Outline Icon
Sports Betting in Ontario is “Yours to Discover”
  • User Icon

    Population: 14.6 million

  • 18+ Icon

    Sports betting legal age: 19

  • Dice Icon

    Online sports betting: Yes

  • Book Icon

    Retail sportsbooks: No

  • Percent Icon

    Sports betting revenue: $463 million (Canadian Gaming Association)

Best sportsbooks in Ontario

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.8/5
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.7/5
Payout Speed: 0-5 Days
Payout Speed: 0-5 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.6/5
Payout Speed: 0-5 Days
Payout Speed: 0-5 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.5/5
Payout Speed: 1-5 days
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.4/5
Payout Speed: 0-3 Days
Payout Speed: 0-3 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.4/5
Payout Speed: 1-5 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.3/5
Payout Speed: 4-8 days
Payout Speed: 4-8 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.2/5
Payout Speed: 1-5 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
4.1/5
Payout Speed: 2-7 Days
Payout Speed: 2-7 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
3.9/5
Payout Speed: 3-8 Days
Payout Speed: 3-8 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
3.9/5
Payout Speed: 0-5

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
3.9/5
Payout Speed: 0-5 Days
Payout Speed: 0-5 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
3.8/5
Payout Speed: 3-7 Days
Payout Speed: 3-7 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
3.8/5
Payout Speed: 0-7 Days
Payout Speed: 0-7 Days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
3.8/5
Payout Speed: 1-5 days
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo
BetSmart Rating:
3.7/5
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

How we rate sportsbooks in Ontario

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Bonuses and Promotions
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to sportsbook bonuses.
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Banking and Payout Speed
We only recommend sportsbooks where you can get your money in and out quickly and safely.
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Key Features
Live streaming, early cash out, and in-play wagering are just a few of the key features we like to see at betting sites.
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Security and Trust
We ensure sportsbooks have the appropriate licenses and are safe and secure.
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Customer Support
Having issues resolved quickly by a real person should be standard at most betting sites.

Is sports betting legal in Ontario?

Online sports betting in Ontario is not an illegal activity. Sports bettors in Ontario can access online sportsbooks without fear of reprisal from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or the provincial regulator. The legal grey area regarding online sports betting in Ontario, which has not been addressed in any provincial law, stipulates that it is only illegal for players to bet at unlicensed sportsbooks. However, reputable offshore sportsbooks — and several Canadian entities — hold a license from some jurisdiction or another thus rendering the law unenforceable. Our experts have vetted those sportsbooks and compiled a list of the top Canadian sportsbooks.

In Ontario, the legal age for access to sports betting is 19 years of age. Gaming and sports betting in Ontario are legally regulated by the 1992 Gaming Control Act. Despite limitations imposed by the government, interest, and action on sports betting in Ontario is surging.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) oversees offline sports betting within the province — we explore its nuances later in the guide — but online sports betting is far more accessible and aligned with the preferences and demands of today’s sports bettors.

Ontario lottery sports betting

The current regulatory environment for sports betting in Ontario does not reflect the current climate. Ontarians can place sports bets in-person at registered OLG outlets including convenience and grocery stores, among others. However, sports bettors in Ontario are clamouring for online products and that demand is being served by online sportsbooks — not OLG and its dedicated sports betting Pro-Line product.

Pro-Line is an odds-based sports betting product whose main features are often scrutinized by seasoned sports bettors in Ontario. The limitations are apparent. Players must predict outcomes on three-to six-event parlays — no single game betting capabilities. The Government of Canada enacted this law in 1985 as a method to help prevent the incentive for match fixing and is still in effect today. Yet the biggest drawback and deterrent for some, are the unfavourable betting odds. They are less compelling compared to the sharp odds found at licensed online sportsbooks, where fierce competition translates to a more customer-friendly experience buoyed by more favourable betting odds.

What sports do people in Ontario like to bet on?

While NFL rules the Ontario sports betting roost, the local roster of sports teams garners significant betting attention.

From the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators generate much of the online gambling action. The Toronto Raptors are Canada’s lone NBA franchise. Their 2018-19 title run galvanized the country and earned them throngs of fans from every province.

The two-time World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays have rebooted the franchise, giving Canada’s only MLB team a much-needed boost.Rounding out the Ontario sports betting scene, Toronto FC have cemented their status as a formidable MLS club while the Toronto Argonauts, holders of a CFL record 17 Grey Cup championships, look to rebound following the cancelation of the 2019 season.

Our betting site reviews page is designed to help you find the best sportsbooks, all backed by the Covers BetSmart System™.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto FC
Toronto Marlies
Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Rock
Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Redblacks
Atlético Ottawa

Online horse racing in Ontario

The sport of kings is well-served within the Ontario sports betting scene. Before COVID-19 restricted in-person spectators and bettors, visiting horse racing tracks in Ontario was an experience enjoyed by spectators and bettors alike.

OLG continues to modernize its operations and integrate horse racing into the province's overall gaming strategy. Online betting is big business at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario’s preeminent horse racing venue.

Additionally, these venues within the province accommodate in-person or offline betting only: Woodbine Mohawk Park (Campbellford), Rideau Carleton Raceway (Ottawa) and Fort Erie Race Track (Fort Erie).

Online sportsbooks provide comprehensive coverage of horse racing at popular Ontario racetracks like Woodbine, as well as major racetracks around the world. Bets can be placed through any of the sportsbooks highlighted earlier in the guide.

Responsible gaming in Ontario

All the reputable online sportsbooks referenced earlier promote safe and responsible Ontario sports betting. OLG plays its part too. PlaySmart.ca is a virtual resource containing facts, counselling services, tools, and advice to help you make smart choices.

Sportsbooks to avoid in Ontario

We recommend steering clear of the following online sportsbooks as they have been accused of various malpractices.

Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Allegations of withdrawal issues
  • No license information available on site
  • Poor customer service
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Multiple reports of slow payments
  • Allegations of non-payments
  • Risk of account closure simply for winning bets
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Reports of confiscated winnings
  • Slow customer support response times

Ontario sports betting FAQs

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