The answer to the question of ‘is online betting legal in Ontario?’ has always been somewhat open to interpretation, and the recent legal changes that were supposed to clarify matters have, for some, only made the situation less clear.
This guide can help clear up any confusion, first of all by outlining what the situation in Ontario is, and secondly, by revealing the details of a list of all the legal operations and the legal sports betting apps Ontario has to offer, all rated and reviewed for easy comparison. That makes this guide indispensable reading for you, as an Ontarian bettor.
One of the biggest items of sportsbook news in recent times has been the progression of online gambling laws in Ontario. For many years, we thought we knew where we stood, but the recently introduced changes have made both novice and experienced bettors uncertain about what we should do if we want to place a bet online.
In addition to this, the recent legislation changes have brought sports betting to the attention of a whole new group of sports bettors who are attracted to the idea, now that you can place a wager legally. Bettors, like yourself, are looking for the latest legal gambling news, so you can keep up to date with what is going on and find the best place to start your online sports betting journey.
This guide will provide you with all the news and information you need, starting with a brief recap of how things arrived at the stage they are at today.
Betting in Ontario, along with the rest of Canada was widespread, popular, and for the most part unregulated in any way. It was made illegal just before the start of the 20th Century. Contrary to what many of you might think, this was the situation until relatively recently. The notable exception to this was horserace betting, which was re-introduced in 1925.
This did not mean that all other betting ceased, but instead just meant that illegal betting on all types of sporting events became rife. This was clearly an unacceptable situation. So, to combat this unhealthy state of affairs, in the mid to late eighties, widespread sports betting was allowed. However, this was only in a parlay betting format, so you were unable to place a wager on just one match, but instead had to bet on the result of multiple games. This made winning very hard, and if anything, only increased the call to allow single-event sports betting in Canada.
This situation, along with the advent of the internet, eventually created the setting for offshore sportsbooks to take advantage of the slightly ambiguous gambling laws in Canada. It was a strange arrangement whereby nobody had been prosecuted for placing a sporting bet online, yet it was illegal to run an online sportsbook within Canada.
So, Ontarians, like you, and Canadians in other provinces could place bets at perfectly legitimate sportsbooks that were licensed elsewhere (typically Malta) and already had huge numbers of customers in countries like the UK or the USA. This meant that you could wager on your favorite sports in relative safety.
This, however, was not the whole story, and it should also be mentioned that this situation allowed other less reputable operators to emerge as well. They were also licensed, but in locations where the bar was set so low that they could get away with running a less than satisfactory operation until they were found out. This, along with missing out on what amounted to literally millions in potential tax revenue, finally provoked the Canadian Govt. into action.
The Safe and Regulated Sports Gaming Act was passed in the summer of 2021 and allowed each province to make their own arrangements regarding sports gambling, a model they had seen work with some success in recent years in the US, where online gambling legislation is different from state to state.
The biggest province, Ontario, led the way, and this meant that the wide range of established offshore operators could become fully legitimate in the region. It also meant that several home-grown sportsbooks which could previously only offer bets in line with the old parlay-based regulations could now offer single event betting as well. This has presented a seismic shift in the betting landscape.
This act went ‘live’ in early April 2022 and over two dozen online sportsbooks that had the right approval became ‘legal’ overnight. While this changed things in the province forever, for some bettors this simply meant very little in the way of changes as big-name, well-run sportsbooks like BetRivers Ontario went from being an attractive offshore option to being fully licensed to operate in the region.
If you were registered with established operators using the old system, you will have seen your range of markets increase to allow you to bet differently. In some cases, this shift from parlay to single event wagering meant that you might have had to seek guidance on how to make the most of betting in a ‘new’ way. Guides like the ones available elsewhere on Strafe.com certainly help fill the gap after this very large shift in Ontario betting legislation.
This led to an interesting problem. This legislation did not mean all online sportsbooks were legal in Ontario, as they had to be approved by the local betting authority, and many of the less reputable operators were still active and trying to attract customers like you.
This left Ontario bettors, like yourself, with doubts about who they should and shouldn’t be signing up with. Finding legitimate operators like TheScore Bet Ontario would mean checking each site out individually, which with the number of options available, could take a long time.
Websites, just like this one, offer a library of online sports betting resources. By using what is available here, those of you over the legal gambling age of 19 can find a list of legal sports betting websites, all compared, reviewed, and rated so that you can save time and effort when looking for a place to bet on all your favorite sports.
With the huge range of options on offer, you should be able to find what you are looking for if you have a specific requirement while knowing that you are reading information created by an expert team of reviewers who knows exactly what they are looking at.
The same thing applies to those of you Ontarian bettors who prefer to bet on the move or have your cellphone or tablet as their ‘go to’ device for everything including their online sports betting. While mobile versions of the legal Ontario sportsbooks will normally be enough to run an account from, finding the best app is normally preferred and the online resources on this site can help you there too.
Those same online resources will include an in-depth analysis of the apps as well, so you can find out what legal apps are available and where you can download them safely
For Proline Ontario online casino and those operations approved by iGaming Ontario, it is perfectly legal to play online slots and table games as well. Online real money poker is allowed too, as long as you are in Ontario. This is all but impossible to regulate, so some online casinos have removed this option for the time being.
A guide similar to this one is also available at Strafe.com, explaining the full story and pointing the way to all of the Ontario online casinos that fit in with the new rules and legislation.
The same can’t be said for horse racing in Ontario, where the situation is still as convoluted and confused as the whole system used to be, before the recent legislation changes. This is because, in a nutshell, the management of horse racing is governed at a national level, not provincial (perhaps as a throwback to it being the first event where gambling was reintroduced), and is not part of the new legislation.
So, while gambling on horse racing is not illegal, it cannot be done in the same way as online single-event sports betting and some online casino activity is now.
The situation regarding online betting in Ontario is a complicated one, but this guide has all the information that you need to know if you are keen to place a bet. The recent legislation changes have created some clarity but also a lot of doubt, and as result, many people are hesitant about whether what they are doing is legal or not.
After reading this guide, however, you should be confident about what you can do legally. You should also know where to find legal sportsbooks that have been reviewed, rated, and found trustworthy. This guide is one of many available on Strafe.com and provides a library of free material for anyone wishing to benefit from it.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not as clear-cut as anyone would hope. There have been recent legislative changes that have made things even harder to work out. So, anyone who knows the full story might feel like they are in the minority. This free online guide available at Strafe.com will provide all of the necessary information you need, as well as examples of some legal sportsbooks and apps.
Many online sportsbooks will have an online app. In fact, there are so many that it can be hard to tell which ones are legal under the new legislation. As a result, you may be hesitant and unsure about what to do. To help to make the situation clearer, there is an online guide that will help you find a suitable online betting app in Ontario and provide you with all the info you need to know about the operators.
There is a wide range of sports to bet on, with the websites and legal sports betting apps Ontario has to offer giving you as much choice as possible. However, this range will vary from one betting site to another. It's only by reading a guide like the one on offer at Strafe.com, that you can find out which sports can be bet on legally and if horse racing is among them.
This question is asked almost as much as ‘is online betting legal in Ontario?’ - but the answers are not necessarily the same. The definitive answer, updated to reflect the latest legislation changes, can be found in our useful online guide, which has all of the information needed for you to make the right decision about making a wager online.
This is not an easy question to answer as there are many factors to take into account. The only way for anyone considering to make an online wager in Ontario or any other part of Canada can get the full story is by reading our free guides, which explain the situation in detail.
Players must be 19 years of age or older to reach the minimum age for gambling in Ontario. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) www.igamingontario.ca; or (b) www.connexontario.ca.
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