Your guide to sports betting in Ontario

Ontario is not just Canada’s most populous province and home to the Canadian federal government, it is also the center of the growing Canadian sports betting sector.
Toronto FC is a popular betting option in Ontario.
Toronto FC is a popular betting option in Ontario.@TorontoFC on Twitter

Ontario is not just Canada’s most populous province and home to the Canadian federal government, it is also the center of the growing Canadian sports betting sector.

In 2023, sportsbooks in Ontario offer the ability to bet on a wide variety of sports events, and bookmakers are competing to offer the best bonuses and most competitive odds. It makes sense for Ontario to be the center of this expanding industry, as the province is home to many of the most prominent sports teams and franchises in the country.

To many Canadians, however, legal and regulated sports betting is a relatively new concept, so in this guide, we will be taking a closer look at sports betting in Ontario, including the legislative foundation of legal sports betting and how to make the most of your betting on sports.

Background to Ontario sports betting

Up until 1892, betting and gambling of all kinds were essentially legal across Canada. In that year, however, a ban was introduced nationwide on gambling activity, and the result, as is often the case, is that organized crime stepped in to supply gambling and betting activities.

As a result, the Canadian government gradually rolled back the anti-gambling laws. By 2021, it was legal to bet on sports in Ontario and other provinces, but only through provincially operated monopolies, which oversaw betting within their territory. It was also only possible to make parlay bets, that is bets on multiple selections, not single bets on sports events.

The first step towards opening up the sports betting markets applied across Canada. In June 2021, the Canadian Parliament passed C-218, a law that was also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. This law altered the Federal Criminal Code to make it legal to offer single-game wagers.

The second major change occurred less than a year later. In April 2022, when the province of Ontario launched its pioneering iGaming market. Under the regulation of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of the province, the monopoly of Proline+, the province’s existing sportsbook, was ended and sports betting companies were able to serve the market, giving Ontario’s sports betting fans the chance to bet on sports events from around the world. 

Where to bet on sports in Ontario

If you’re a sports betting fan and wonder where you can bet on your favorite sports in Ontario, there are two main options:

OLG Proline

Sports betting customers can still use the legacy sports wagering sites, Proline or Proline+. These sites are owned and run by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), which is owned by the Ontario government. The Proline+ site is the newer incarnation of the older Proline site, and it includes more sports betting markets, with single-event betting on a dozen sports.

Online sportsbetting

Besides the OLG options, Ontario bettors also have the option of checking out one of the online sports betting sites that are now able to offer sports betting in the province. All these sites have to be approved by both the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario (iGO), and there are currently 30 sites operating in Ontario’s regulated market. It is important to ensure that you never bet at sites that have not received official regulatory approval. 

Sports betting options in Ontario

Since the sports betting market in Ontario was opened up to overseas operators, customers within the province have been able to bet on the full range of international sports and sports events, as well as the popular Canadian markets associated with football, hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball. They are also able to bet on a variety of market types. Here are some of the main options:


This is a straightforward bet that involves a wager on whether the favorite or the underdog will win a particular game. It is the most common form of sports bet in Ontario.


With an Over/Under bet, you are wagering on whether the total number of points or goals in a game is above or below a quoted figure.

Point spread

Betting on the point spread means betting on the difference in points between the winning and losing team at the end of the game, and whether it falls above or below a predetermined figure.

Prop bets

This type of bet involves a wager on specific outcomes during a game, either relating to particular occurrences or to the performances of individual players.

Parlay bets

In a parlay bet, separate bets are combined into one bet, with the profit from one bet rolling on to the next bet, although all the bets must be successful for the parlay to be a winner. 

Sports betting in Ontario: Getting started

Betting through an online sportsbook is the main option for sports bettors these days and the same applies to Ontario bettors. For those who are new to sports betting, the process may seem confusing. Fortunately, modern sportsbooks are well designed to streamline the process:

  • Find the sportsbook that you feel suits your needs

  • Complete the online registration form

  • Make your first deposit

  • Navigate to the sports and events that you want to bet on

  • Choose your bet type

  • Enter your bet using the online betting form

Of these steps, the most important is the first one. You should only play at licensed and reputable sportsbooks. You should also ideally choose sportsbooks that are well-regarded, and that offer everything you need in terms of payment options, customer service, market range and odds.

Tips for betting on sports in Ontario

While betting on sport is not quite as random as casino gambling, it is heavily influenced by luck, and it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to make a long-term profit from sports betting. That said, you can limit your losses and increase your chances of winning by adopting some sensible strategies that can make you a more effective sports bettor:

  • Ensure you know all of the rules of the betting market you are using

  • Set a sensible budget and ensure that your staking is proportionate

  • Be selective in your betting

  • Always look for the best odds

  • Never bet when you are emotionally unstable or drinking alcohol

  • Keep an ongoing record of your bets

  • Never bet with money that you cannot afford to lose

  • Never neglect other areas of your life in order to bet on sports 

Safe sports betting in Ontario

Betting on sports is not a route to riches or a way of solving financial problems and it should be treated only as a fun activity. Unfortunately, for a minority of sports bettors, it can become a problem or an addiction, which in turn can have a terrible effect on the individual and the people around them.

This is why the sports betting industry in Ontario is always under pressure to do more to protect customers. The OLG follows strict rules regarding protecting players and ensuring that its sites only promote responsible, healthy sports betting, as well as providing numerous tools that customers can use to protect themselves, including self-exclusion and betting limits. Other operators in Ontario have to follow similar rules, and there are several bodies such as the Responsible Gambling Council, which work to promote safe sports betting across the province.

If you feel that your sports betting is becoming a problem, if it is resulting in deteriorating relationships, work situation, health or financial status, it is important to seek help immediately from an appropriate gambling support group. Use all the available tools and assistance to prevent the situation from worsening and ultimately get the help you need to deal with your problem gambling or addiction. 

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