A guide to sports betting in Ontario

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on sports betting in Ontario, designed for both beginners and experienced bettors. As the popularity of sports wagering continues to grow across Canada, understanding the legal framework, popular events, and strategies is crucial for those looking to make informed bets.

In this guide, we’ll also cover how to choose the best bookmaker tailored for your preferences and share tips on responsible gambling practices.

Key Takeaways

  • The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulates sports betting offerings, both traditional and online, in the province.
  • Popular sports events for betting in Ontario include hockey, football, basketball, and baseball. Understanding basic terms and concepts related to betting can help bettors make informed decisions.
  • Different types of bets are available for horse racing enthusiasts in Ontario, including win bets, place bets, show bets, exacta bets, trifecta bets, superfecta bets. Daily Double Betting is a wager on two separate races; you must correctly predict the winners of both races to win the bet.

Legal Framework And Regulations For Sports Betting In Ontario

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulates sports betting offerings, both traditional and online, in the province.

Overview Of The AGCO Registration Process

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) plays a crucial role in regulating sports betting, including horse racing, within the province. To legally engage in sports betting activities, bookmakers must first acquire an operating license through the AGCO registration process.

To start the licensing process, bookmakers need to submit an application alongside supporting documents to prove their credibility and financial stability. The AGCO will then conduct thorough background checks on applicants before approving or rejecting their request.

Criminal Code Of Canada

Sports betting in Ontario is governed by the Criminal Code of Canada. While the code does not specifically mention sports betting, it prohibits any form of illegal gambling activity.

This includes operating an illegal betting house or bookmaking operation, which can result in severe criminal penalties upon conviction. However, with recent changes to Canadian law, single-event sports wagering was legalized in 2021 through an amendment to the Criminal Code.

This change now makes it legal for Canadians to participate in single-game bets on sporting events online and at licensed venues.

Ontario Lottery And Gaming Corporation (OLG)

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is a key player in the province’s gambling industry. Established in 1975, the organization has grown to become one of Canada’s largest gaming operators, with revenue exceeding $6 billion annually.

In addition to offering lottery games like Lotto Max and Instant Win Games, OLG also operates several casinos and charitable gaming centers throughout Ontario. Horse racing fans can place bets on races at OLG-owned tracks like Woodbine Racetrack or through their online platform PlayOLG.

IGaming Ontario

iGaming Ontario is a new initiative by the Ontario government to bring online gambling and sports betting to the province. As of now, only lottery and charity gaming are allowed in Ontario, but with iGaming Ontario, online sportsbooks and other forms of digital betting will be possible.

This move is expected to boost revenue for the province while providing a safer option for those who prefer online betting.

Popular Sports Events For Betting In Ontario

Hockey, football, basketball, and baseball are among the most popular sports events for betting in Ontario – learn more about these sports and how to place your bets by reading on.


Hockey is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports to bet on in Ontario. The sport is highly beloved by Canadians, and it’s no different in Ontario. Canadian fans are particularly passionate about the game and follow both NHL teams as well as local minor hockey leagues.

When betting on hockey events in Ontario, you will find a wide range of wagering options available to you, such as money line bets, puck line bets, totals (over/under), futures and prop bets.

Whether you’re placing a casual small-money bet with friends over beer during a bar meet-up or looking for more serious action that involves large sums of money invested; there’s something out there that meets everyone’s desired level of risk-and-reward tolerance within budgetary constraints!


Football is one of the most popular sports to bet on in Ontario, with the CFL and NFL seasons drawing a significant amount of attention from sports bettors. Many betting options are available for football fans, ranging from simple moneyline bets to more complex prop bets.

One important strategy when betting on football is to do thorough research before making any decisions. Factors such as injuries, team stats, and recent performances can all have a significant impact on the outcome of a game.

By keeping up-to-date with news and developments surrounding teams and players, savvy bettors can increase their chances of success while minimizing risk.


Basketball is another popular sport to bet on in Ontario, with the NBA being one of the most followed leagues. One of the most common types of basketball bets is point spread betting, where a team has to win by a certain number of points or lose by less than that same number for your bet to succeed.

Moneyline betting is also available for those who simply want to place a wager on which team they think will win outright.

It’s important to keep track of player injuries and other news that could impact a game’s outcome before making your bets.


Baseball is another popular sport for sports betting in Ontario. Bettors can wager on MLB games, as well as other baseball leagues. The most common types of bets placed on a baseball game are the money line bet, run line bet and totals bet.

Money line bets simply require picking a winner of the game outright; whereas, run lines require picking a team to win by a certain number of runs or lose by less than that same amount.

One important factor to consider when betting on baseball is the starting pitchers for each team since they play such an integral role in determining outcomes. Additionally, injuries and weather conditions can affect gameplay and potentially impact the final outcome of a baseball game.

How To Bet On Sports In Ontario

Learn about the different types of bets available in Ontario, understand basic terms and concepts, discover advanced betting strategies and tips, and practice responsible gambling to become a successful sports bettor in Ontario.

Different Types Of Bets Available In Ontario

There are several different types of bets available for horse racing enthusiasts in Ontario. Here are some of the most popular options:

  1. Win: This is a bet on a specific horse to come in first place.
  2. Place: This bet pays out if the selected horse finishes in first or second place.
  3. Show: This bet pays out if the selected horse finishes in first, second, or third place.
  4. Exacta: This type of bet involves choosing two horses to finish first and second in a specific order.
  5. Trifecta: Similar to an exacta, but this bet involves selecting three horses to finish first, second, and third in a specific order.
  6. Superfecta: For this type of bet, you must select four horses to finish first, second, third, and fourth in a specific order.
  7. Daily Double: This is a wager on two separate races; you must correctly predict the winners of both races to win the bet.
  8. Pick 3/4/5/6: These bets involve picking the winners of three, four, five, or six consecutive races.
  9. Future Wagering: These bets involve placing wagers on upcoming races or events before they occur.
  10. Head-to-Head Betting: This is a unique type of wager where you choose between two specific horses and bet on which one will finish ahead of the other.

Keep in mind that each type of bet has its own set of odds and potential payouts. It’s important to understand how each type works and decide which one is right for your betting strategy.

Understanding Basic Terms And Concepts

To start betting on horse racing in Ontario, it’s essential to understand the basic terms and concepts involved. One of the most fundamental concepts is odds, which represent the likelihood of a specific outcome occurring in a race.

Odds are determined by various factors such as a horse’s past performance, track conditions, and jockey skills. There are different types of bets available for horse racing fans in Ontario, including win bets (betting on the winning horse), place bets (betting on horses that finish first or second), and show bets (betting on horses finishing first, second or third).

Another critical concept is handicapping – analyzing data to determine each horse’s ability and chances of success. Some tools used for handicapping include speed figures (an assessment of how fast a particular horse can run), pace analysis (looking at how fast horses move during various stages of the race), and class rankings (grouping horses based on their previous performances).

Advanced Betting Strategies And Tips

Looking to take your sports betting game to the next level? Here are some advanced betting strategies and tips for horse racing that you can use:

Follow the Jockey: Look for horses with experienced jockeys who have a winning track record. A good jockey can make a big difference in the outcome of a race.

Bet on Multiple Horses: Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, consider placing small bets on multiple horses (known as dutching). This increases your chances of winning and reduces the risk of losing everything.

Analyze the Track Conditions: Different horses perform better under different track conditions, such as muddy or dry tracks. Research how each horse has performed under various conditions and make your bets accordingly.

Understand Betting Odds: Betting odds indicate the likelihood of a horse winning a race. The favorite may have lower odds but is not always guaranteed to win, so it’s important to understand how odds work and look beyond them.

Keep Track of Statistics: Keep records of past performances, trainers, jockeys and track conditions to develop an effective betting strategy over time.

Remember that responsible gambling is crucial when betting on sports events in Ontario – only bet what you can afford to lose, set limits before you begin playing, and never chase losses.

Best Practices For Responsible Gambling

It’s important to practice responsible gambling when betting on horse racing or any other sports events in Ontario. One of the best ways to do this is by setting a budget for your bets and sticking to it.

Another important aspect of responsible gambling is knowing when to take breaks and step away from betting. This could be during losing streaks or if you find yourself spending too much time and money on sports betting.

Remember, sports betting is meant to be fun and entertaining; therefore, never feel like you have to gamble just because others are doing so or because there’s pressure from peers.

Choosing The Right Bookmaker And Betting Platform

When it comes to choosing the right bookmaker and betting platform in Ontario, there are several factors to consider such as the bookmaker’s reputation, user interface, mobile compatibility, bonuses and promotions offered, and more.

List Of Licensed Online Sportsbooks

There are several licensed online sportsbooks that cater to horse racing enthusiasts in Ontario, providing a safe and regulated platform to place bets on your favorite events. Here is a table listing some of the popular licensed online sportsbooks for horse racing:

Sportsbook Website Features
Bet365 www.bet365.com Wide range of horse racing events, live streaming, competitive odds
William Hill www.williamhill.com Extensive coverage of international horse racing, expert tips, and live streaming
Sports Interaction www.sportsinteraction.com Canadian-based sportsbook, dedicated horse racing section, and easy-to-use interface
Pinnacle www.pinnacle.com Competitive odds, variety of betting options, and focus on responsible gambling
Unibet www.unibet.com Wide selection of horse racing events, betting tips, and live streaming

Each sportsbook offers its own unique features, ensuring that horse racing bettors have a diverse range of options to find the platform that best suits their individual preferences.

Comparison Of Features And Offerings

When choosing the right bookmaker and betting platform for horse racing in Ontario, it’s important to compare their features and offerings. Some factors to consider include reputation, reliability, user interface, mobile compatibility, bonuses, and promotions offered. For example, some sportsbooks offer special bonuses for new users signing up or placing bets on specific events or races. Other platforms may have more intuitive interfaces that make it easier to navigate through various types of bets.

Additionally, considering the available odds can be crucial when looking for a favorable payout. It’s also worth checking out customer reviews and ratings to gauge overall satisfaction with a particular platform. Finally, always ensure that the chosen bookmaker is licensed by the AGCO before placing any bets.

Overall, taking the time to compare different sportsbook options can help increase one’s chances of success while betting on horse racing in Ontario.

Recommended Sportsbooks For Different Types Of Bettors

If you’re looking to get into sports betting in Ontario, it’s important to choose the right sportsbook that suits your needs. Here are some recommended sportsbooks for different types of bettors:

Beginner Bettors: Betway

Betway offers a user-friendly interface and easy navigation for beginners. The platform also provides an extensive selection of international horse racing events and competitive odds.

High Roller Bettors: Spin Sports

Spin Sports caters to high roller bettors with their VIP program, which offers larger bonuses and promotions. They also have a wide range of horse racing events and live streaming options available.

Mobile Bettors: 888Sport

888Sport has a mobile app that allows for seamless betting on-the-go. The platform also provides comprehensive horse racing statistics, making it easier for mobile bettors to make informed decisions.

Promotions-Driven Bettors: Bet365

Bet365 offers a plethora of promotions and bonuses for their users, including their Best Odds Guaranteed deal on all UK and Irish horse races. They also have an extensive selection of international horse racing events available.

Variety-Seeking Bettors: William Hill

William Hill is known for offering a diverse range of betting options, including futures wagers and accumulators. They also provide live streaming options and comprehensive horse racing statistics for various international events.

No matter which sportsbook you choose, be sure to practice responsible gambling habits and stay within your limits to ensure an enjoyable experience while avoiding any potential issues with addiction or gambling harm.

Reputation And Reliability Of Bookmakers

Choosing a trustworthy bookmaker is crucial for successful sports betting. Bookmakers with good reputations have been vetted and approved by regulatory bodies like the AGCO in Ontario, giving bettors greater peace of mind when signing up and placing wagers.

It’s important to do some research before committing to a bookmaker, considering factors such as their track record, customer service, and withdrawal policies. For example, well-known betting sites like Bet365 or DraftKings have established themselves as reliable options for sports bettors in Ontario because they offer competitive odds, an intuitive user interface, mobile compatibility, and prompt payouts.

User Interface And Mobile Compatibility

When it comes to sports betting in Ontario, choosing the right bookmaker and platform is crucial. The user interface and mobile compatibility of a sportsbook can make or break the overall experience for bettors.

A well-designed platform that’s optimized for mobile devices allows users to quickly and easily place their bets, track their wagers, and access important account information on the go.

For example, many leading sportsbooks provide dedicated mobile apps that are designed specifically for iOS and Android devices. These apps offer a streamlined experience with simple navigation menus, live odds updates, and notifications when new promotions become available.

Additionally, some bookmakers have implemented features like one-click betting or voice-activated wagers to further enhance the mobile experience.

Bonuses And Promotions Offered

Sportsbooks in Ontario offer various bonuses and promotions to attract new customers and retain existing ones. These can come in different forms, such as welcome bonuses, free bets, odds boosts, and loyalty programs.

Additionally, many betting sites run regular promotions tied to major sporting events like the Kentucky Derby or Breeders’ Cup for horse racing enthusiasts. Some of these may include increased odds on selected races or refunds if your chosen horse finishes second or third.


In conclusion, sports betting in Ontario can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy your favorite sports events while hopefully making some money at the same time. It’s important to remember that responsible gambling should always be practiced and that the AGCO regulations and laws must be followed to avoid legal troubles.

By choosing the right bookmaker or online platform for your needs, understanding basic betting terms, and utilizing sound betting strategies, you may increase your chances of success with sports betting in Ontario.

Remember to do your research before placing any bets, especially on popular events like hockey or football.


Is sports betting legal in Ontario?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Ontario as long as it is done through a government-regulated platform such as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

What types of sports can I bet on in Ontario?

There are various types of sports that you can bet on in Ontario including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer and more. Some platforms even offer niche markets for things like eSports or political events.

How do I get started with sports betting in Ontario?

Firstly, make sure you are over 19 years old and create an account with a licensed operator such as OLG or other reputable platforms online to begin placing bets. Next, familiarize yourself with different odds formats such as American or decimal odds and look at team/player statistics before making any wagers.

What are some tips for successful sports betting in Ontario?

Some tips include regularly reviewing player/team stats & news updates before placing bets to help inform decisions made while remaining aware of your bankroll limitations defined by what’s affordable without risking too much money at once; remember responsible gambling principles apply throughout – so only wager what you can afford to lose!

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