Ontario Sports Betting

Ontario’s online sports betting industry is now into its seventh week of operation.

Already, 18 major sportsbooks have launched (counting Proline), including BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, PointsBet, BetRivers and bet365. That means Ontario sports bettors are blessed with many choices for their gambling dollars.

And other sportsbook apps are anticipated in the weeks and months ahead. Thirty-four operators have registered with the province’s regulator, meaning 16 more gaming companies are looking to enter the market soon.

With nearly 15 million people in the province, most major online sports betting operators plan to join the party — or will do so soon. Those already licensed don’t come empty-handed, either. You can find some of the best welcome offers in the market below, plus reviews of Ontario online sportsbooks.

Best Ontario online sportsbooks May 2022

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Is sports betting legal in Ontario?

Yes. Sports betting is legal in Ontario and includes a provincial lottery option as well as several legal online sportsbooks. On April 4, Caesars, PointBet and others became available for online betting in the province.

Sports betting has been legal in Ontario in some form since 1992. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. has offered parlays of between three and six legs via its Proline product since that time. Shortly after single-event wagering in Canada was signed into law in August 2021, Proline greatly expanded its sports betting options online. In late January, the OLG began taking single-event wagers in-person at some 10,000 lottery retailers in the province. Now, the Ontario government has legalized a long list of online sportsbooks to take regulated sports bets.

Ontario sportsbooks that have launched

Eighteen apps, counting the OLG’s Proline, are now taking sports bets in Ontario:

  • 888
  • bet365
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • bwin
  • Caesars
  • CoolBet
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • LeoVegas
  • NorthStar Bet
  • OLG
  • Party
  • PointsBet
  • Rivalry
  • Royal Panda
  • theScore Bet
  • Unibet

In addition, 34 gambling sites are registered with Ontario’s regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Those not already live are expected to do business soon.

Launch status of Ontario sportsbook apps

SportsbookAGCO approvaliGO approvalLive?Launch ETA
888YesYesYesApril 4
Bet365YesYesYesApril 4
BetMGMYesYesYesApril 4
BetRiversYesYesYesApril 4
bwinYesYesYesApril 12
CaesarsYesYesYesApril 4
CoolBetYesYesYesApril 4
DraftKingsYesYesYesMay 18
FanDuelYesYesYesApril 4
Hard Rock----NoUnknown
LeoVegasYesYesYesApril 4
NorthStar BetsYesYesNoMay 9
PartyYesYesYesApril 12
PointsBetYesYesYesApril 4
Proline Plus (OLG)*YesNAYesAugust 2021
RivalryYesYesYesApril 4
Royal PandaYesYesYesApril 4
TheScore BetYesYesYesApril 4
UnibetYesYesYesApril 4

*Proline Plus is included as the legacy operator in Ontario. However, it is managed and conducted separately and therefore does not need to sign an agreement with the iGO.

Here we provide more detailed information about some of the top brands that are either live now or expected to launch online sportsbooks in Ontario soon:

  • BetMGM Sportsbook: Live now. BetMGM has its sights set on being a market leader in Canada. The company has already made serious strides in several legal states in the US. It also hired Canadian icon Wayne Gretzky as a pitchman.
  • PointsBet Sportsbook: Live now. Australia-based PointsBet launched in the US in January 2019. The operator was active in Canadian preparations, announcing key hires for growth in the market, and partnerships with different entities across the landscape, including the Trailer Park Boys and Alpine Canada. PointsBet.
  • BetRivers Sportsbook: Live now. A growing regional brand in the US is expanding north of the border. BetRivers is affiliated with land-based Rivers casinos in Chicago, Pennsylvania and New York state. During Canadian broadcast coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics, BetRivers launched a particularly strong marketing campaign in an effort to sign up customers prior to the launch.
  • Caesars Sportsbook: Live now. The Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino makes for a natural spot for a retail sportsbook. The Caesars brand name is also big in the US online and mobile betting space, so the company’s arrival in Canada on launch day was no surprise.
  • FanDuel Sportsbook: Live now. The current leader in the US in terms of overall volume, FanDuel has thrown its hat into the ring. Already well-known as a daily fantasy sports company, FanDuel has leveraged that reach into sports betting, as well. In October 2021, FanDuel Canada named Dale Hooper as its general manager. Hooper has formerly worked at Deloitte Canada, Rogers Communications and PepsiCo Canada.
  • theScore Bet Sportsbook: Live now. theScore was acquired by Penn National Gaming in October with plans of being the Canadian-facing brand for the company that has long been a Canadian sports television giant. TheScore Canada is officially registered with the AGCO.
  • Bet365 Sportsbook: Live now. This well-known sportsbook came has now switched from the grey market to the regulated market in Ontario. Bet365 is a big name across the globe and already had a long list of customers in Ontario.
  • DraftKings Sportsbook: Live now. A massive presence in the US and an eye toward growth make DraftKings a natural for Canada. DraftKings has a deal with the NHL that includes bringing betting-focused, data-driven information to NHL broadcasts on Turner Sports in the US.
  • Unibet Sportsbook: Live now. Another former grey market operator from Europe now fully regulated in Ontario. The Kindred Group, which operates Unibet, hired Amanda Brewer as its Canada country manager. Brewer has long been an advocate of a regulated market.
  • PartySports: Live now. Party offers three separate apps in Ontario — one for poker, one for its casino and one for its sportsbook. The PartySports book offers wagering on everything from Aussie Rules football to waterpolo. The company first launched in 1997 as PartyCasino, operating at the time as Starluck Casino.
  • NorthStar Bets: Live now. A true Canadian player, NorthStar is fronted by Torstar, the company that owns Canada’s second-largest circulation daily newspaper, The Toronto Star. NorthStar has signed a deal with leading operator Kambi Group to provide its sports betting technology. On Feb. 25, the company announced it had officially branded its sports betting operation as NorthStar Bets and strengthened its relationship with The Star to provide “additional betting content, including daily picks and videos of the events, teams and players that matter most to Canadians.”

How Ontario sportsbook offers work

One of the realities for online sportsbook apps is that their competition is always a simple click or swipe away. Since it takes only a few button presses to lose a customer, they must be aggressive in attracting and retaining users. One of their main weapons in this regard is an array of offers for new and existing customers. Since multiple sportsbooks are bound for Ontario already, here are some common bonuses you’re likely to see:

  • No deposit bonuses — Receive site credits or free bet vouchers without having to deposit any money in return. Typically, these bonuses are for new players when they create an account at an online sportsbook.
  • Deposit bonuses — The sportsbook will match a percentage of your deposit amount as extra bonus dollars. The percentage can be as high as 100%, but the sportsbook will have a cap on the maximum bonus it will provide.
  • Odds boosts — Sportsbooks boost the odds on certain wagers they’d like you to make. The boost may increase the potential payout on the wager anywhere from 10% to 40% of its original value. While rarely worth a bet on its own merits, an odds boost might help push you to make a wager you were considering beforehand.
  • Loyalty programs — Loyalty programs reward players for their continued presence and activity at a sportsbook. Players receive points based upon the amount of money they wager. The points determine a player’s ranking on a tiered system, where higher tiers receive comps, bonus dollars and other perks online and potentially at partner casinos. You may also be able to use points as currency in an on-app store.

Choosing a sportsbook app in Ontario

Deciding which books fit your preferences can be a trickier proposition. Here are six tips for choosing a sportsbook app in Ontario:

  1. Only use regulated Ontario sports betting apps. Look for the official iGaming Ontario logo.
  2. Look at the sports that you can bet on. If you simply want to wager on major sports, then most books will work. If you have more exotic interests, however, some books are going to be better than others for you.
  3. Do a cursory search of the payouts for spread bets and/or totals across the site. If most of them are hovering significantly above -110, it’s a major red flag and, absent other positives for the site, should be a deal-breaker.
  4. Test the app for navigability and speed. The ease by which you can move between the different functions is important because nothing is more frustrating than an app with a learning curve. Similarly, the app should move quickly, seamlessly and without any freezes — particularly if you are planning on participating in live betting.
  5. Look for any unusual features. Apps come in many different shapes and sizes, and the options and features you find can vary greatly from one to the next. If you see references to a type of wager or feature that you haven’t seen elsewhere, it’s a good idea to become familiar with how this feature works and if it could benefit you.
  6. Consider both the welcome offer(s) and regular promotions. Make sure that you are satisfied with the options. You should also check whether you can handle any playthrough requirements for the bonus.

Best Ontario sportsbooks for different sports

It can be difficult to know exactly which books might be better for specific sports. However, based upon the partnerships that books have with different teams and companies, we can give some recommendations for the best places to go for your favourites.

  • Best to bet on the NFL — DraftKings (*coming soon). This book is an official partner of the National Football League and has numerous features to improve betting on NFL games. You’ll find footage, highlights and advanced stats to help you make your decisions.
  • Best to bet on the CFL — BetRegal (*coming soon). BetRegal is the official sport gambling partner of the CFL and will have cross-promotions for fans of the Canadian Football League.
  • Best to bet on the NHL — FanDuel. FanDuel is an official sports betting partner of the National Hockey League and has many connections to its teams. In addition, the FanDuel app is one of the smoothest and easiest to operate of any sportsbook app.
  • Best to bet on the NBA — DraftKings or FanDuel. These two books are the co-official sports betting partners of the basketball league. Both companies — in particular, FanDuel — have numerous promotional options for NBA games.
  • Best to bet on MLB — theScore Bet. This is one of several official gambling partners for Major League Baseball. It is a Canadian company through and through, and it uses Statcast, MLB’s official data provider, to power its live betting for MLB games.

Benefits of online sports betting in Ontario

If you haven’t tried Proline so far or are interested now that more apps are on the way, here are some of the things online sports betting offers compared to placing your wagers at physical locations:

  • Bonuses — As we mentioned above, most apps come with a rotating roster of bonuses because they have to keep you from clicking away.
  • Convenience — There are many places to bet on sports in the province. Proline Plus offers sports betting options at around 10,000 OLG retailers in Ontario. However, nothing is more convenient than pulling out your mobile device and betting on that. You don’t even have to leave your house to get cash.
  • Odds comparison — Sportsbooks may set different odds for the same game, and it’s a good idea to shop around for the best deal on your chosen wager. Doing that online takes just a few button presses.
  • Flexibility — Online sportsbooks also afford you the option of changing, augmenting or settling your bet while the game is still in progress. Because the technology is so fast, your wagers are no longer set in stone once you place them. You have far more betting options through online books than you will find live.
  • Live betting — Finally, only online sportsbooks offer betting on games while they are in progress. Live betting requires too quick of a response to be feasible elsewhere. It takes speed to offer betting options on, say, the outcome of the next play.

How to get started with sports betting in Ontario

Signing up at a sportsbook app shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes. Here are the steps:

  • Download and install the app. Head to the sportsbook of your choice and, if you’re on a mobile device, select the download link for Android or Apple. This should take you to a familiar download page. Download and install the app as you would any other.
  • Register for an account. Once the app is ready, open the lobby and look for a prominent button to log in or sign up in the upper portion of the display. Enter the registration area and submit your personal information. Be aware that you might have to verify your identification at some point during the process. Also, make sure to enter any codes necessary to claim any bonuses.
  • Make your first deposit. Head to the cashier through a button likely located in roughly the same area as the login function. Choose one of the deposit options — common choices include debit cards, credit cards, e-checks, PayPal, Skrill, prepaid cards and online banking. As with your registration, be prepared to verify your financial information and identification to prove that you’re not an identity thief or a hacker.
  • Play. Most deposits take only seconds to complete. After that, head back to the lobby to place your first wager. Generally speaking, the left side of the app will have all the sports that you can bet on, the middle column will have live betting options or featured wagers, and the right side will be the betting slip. Press the buttons for the bets you want to make, then track them on the bet slip. If you want to parlay or see if it’s possible to cash out early, you’ll do it here.

It would be rare for the entire procedure to take longer than 15 minutes, and it usually is much shorter than that. The only caveat is that it’s a good idea to have your identification and financial documents on hand before you start.

Sports you can bet on in Ontario

Legal books offer a range of sports for betting. Here are some of the most popular options:

For all of the above, you can place bets for each available event on the docket. There are multiple ways to bet on each sport, including moneyline, spread and totals. There are also futures bets and props bets available for each sport.

Beyond the major sports, you’ll also find sports such as soccer, golf, tennis and UFC on the menu, as well as a range of smaller sports. In short, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

Ontario sports betting history

Placing a sports bet in Ontario is both a new thing and a bit of a tradition in the province. A form of sports betting has been legally possible in Canada since 1985, when the federal government amended the Canadian Criminal Code to allow provincial governments to offer sports betting. However, the amendment came with a profound limitation — all bets had to be in a lottery format. In other words, a provincial government could offer a series of parlays, but not traditional single-game sports betting.

Though a form of sports betting was now eligible to appear in Ontario, it did not make it to the province until 1992. In that year, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (a crown corporation) introduced Proline, which was part of a group of provincially run sports betting parlay services across Canada. Proline tickets became available at most corner stores in the province for as little as $2 per ticket.

The initial product only allowed parlay legs using the expected winners of each game. Essentially, each ticket was a series of moneylines. In the ensuing decades, OLG added options for over/under-based legs and point spread-based legs. The last iteration of the product introduced Pro Picks, which allowed for the equivalent of proposition wagers on legs.

Although Pro-Line has been the only official sports betting option in Ontario up to this point, Ontarians have also been able to place traditional sports bets on websites outside the jurisdiction of the provincial government. These sites are not legal to operate in Canada, but there is no law preventing players from using them.

It took a 2021 amendment to the Criminal Code to bring Canadian sports betting into a full-service context. Sports betting no longer had to take place in a lottery format as parlays in Canada. In addition, the markets could expand to allow external sportsbooks. OLG responded soon afterward by allowing single-game sports betting to proceed on the Pro-Line website.

A January 2022 announcement from iGaming Ontario set April 4, 2022, as the first date that external sportsbooks could launch in the province.

On April 4, 2022, the online sportsbook market opened, as promised.

Ontario sports betting FAQ

How do I find the bonus offer at Ontario sportsbooks?

You can find details about the bonus offer by clicking the links above. Operators are allowed to have them, but the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario forbids them to advertise such incentives anywhere other than on their own websites or through emails the customer has expressly opted in to. This prohibition extends to PlayOntario. If you’re interested, just click our signup links and see for yourself. There’s no commitment involved in clicking the link.

Do I have to be a resident of Ontario to bet on sports?

No. You do not have to reside in the province in order to place a wager. However, you must be in Ontario to use a legal sports betting app there.

What is the gambling age for sports betting in Ontario?

You need to be 19 or older to bet on sports online in Ontario. While some provinces have set their age requirement as low as 18, the provincial government requires people in Ontario to be one year older.

Who regulates Ontario sports betting?

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is responsible for managing the industry, and its subsidiary, iGaming Ontario, is responsible for licensing new online sportsbooks.

Can I still bet through offshore sites?

Yes, but it’s not a good idea. With the list of regulated sites expanding in Ontario, there’s no reason to take on the added risk that comes with playing at an offshore site. Official Ontario sites offer legal protection if anything goes wrong, but these protections are unavailable if you send your business outside the country.

Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings?

Probably not. The Canada Income Tax Act designates most gambling winnings as non-taxed income in Ontario. However, if you are planning to be a professional sports bettor, it’s possible that you might become eligible for taxation as normal income. If you want to make a living by wagering on sports, be sure to meet with a tax expert in Ontario beforehand to discuss what liability you might incur.