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Is online sports betting legal in Canada?

Canada is among the most liberal states in the world and in many regards, it is even ahead of the United States. When it comes to online sports betting, people would expect Canadians to be allowed to legally bet on their favorite teams and athletes. The fact that the legal framework is not clear is surely surprising, but steps are being taken in the right direction. For now, many online forms of games remain in the gray area, but at least players are not in danger of suffering the repercussions of breaking the law.

Online sports betting is unregulated in Canada

More than three decades ago and the Canadian government decided that it was time to regulate sports betting nationwide, the Internet was in its infant stages. Not surprisingly, the Criminal Code of Canada doesn’t mention online gambling, although in theory, it is only the Canadian government that can operate gambling ventures. Canadians are not prohibited in any way from playing, so the only challenge is to find a bookmaker that accepts their business. Luckily for them, there are very few online sports books that don’t allow players from this country, so they have plenty to choose from.

The Canadian laws are targeting mostly the operators that accept local players and you can read more here about regulation, rather than the punters themselves. This means that those who find a way to place a bet over the Internet are not in danger of coming under the incidence of the law. International websites take the chance of providing Canadian players with sports betting alternatives while bypassing the national laws. As for the players, they only risk playing at shady operators who don’t respect their rights, while having no recourse against them.

The particularities of online sports betting in Canada

Online bookmakers encourage players to add multiple events on the same betting slips by boosting the odds through accumulators. These incentives make combined bets more tempting, but Canadians have another reason to add at least three events on the betting ticket. That’s because the law states that the accumulator bets are legal, whereas single and double bets are not. This is an awkward thing that lawmakers are expected to change in the foreseeable future when they take another look at existing laws. Horse betting has been legal in Canada for more than half a century and there are plenty bookmakers that have comprehensive sections dedicated to this form of gambling.

Online casinos accepting Canadian players usually have their headquarters beyond borders. This means that they can accept players from this country even though the legal framework states that they shouldn’t. In theory, it is the operators who take the risk of being sued by the Canadian government, whereas players can enjoy the games without fearing reprisals. Many online bookmakers also have casino and poker rooms that players can access through the same account. The free games are legal, so those who don’t mind playing exclusively for fun can do so without breaking any law.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com