eSports betting websites in Canada – regulations and betting options

Canada, the country of polite people with a great affiliation with finances. This country can be considered as a safe haven for most eSports betting fans, as it is very little in terms of regulation in Canada. The only things to consider with the most northernmost country is that the company you will be betting with is located outside of Canada.

Many eSports players prefer to visit this country and make it their permanent home. One of the simplest reasons is that it’s much better than its Southern Neighbour, while still providing the exact same value for its residents. The support that most eSports players are able to receive in Canada, such as job security, universal healthcare and guaranteed high salaries is something that cannot be ignored.

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When it comes to eSports betting in Canada, it’s a whole different story. The country is one of the few who doesn’t really concern itself with laws and regulations. In fact, Canada can be considered as one of the most libertarian countries in the world. Very little is being governed by the law, and the citizens are encouraged to make life decisions on their own.

What we mean is that the “weird” laws you’d find in other countries such as the US, which are usually quite restrictive, are not present with their northern neighbours.

But, like any other sovereign country, Canada also has at least some laws to keep the industry under control.

eSports betting in Canada regulation

As already mentioned above, Canada has a very light regulatory framework for all gambling and sports betting activities within the country. The only condition that the company needs to meet is that it must be located outside of the country or a “neutral province”.

Most companies that cater to Canadian customers are regulated and licensed by the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). However, if a Canadian were to decide to open his or her own eSports betting website, there’s a whole slew of paperwork, legal documentation and processing to do.

The local authorities need to deem the website as legitimate and “beneficial” for the Canadian community. In order to achieve this, quite a large sum is required as a direct investment, so that all of the digital laws are met. That’s why most Canadians can’t seem to find too many Canada-based online sportsbooks.

Canadian eSports betting websites

Yes, it’s possible to for an eSports betting website in Canada to be located within the country. The only thing they’ll need to do is, choose a good province for it, as mentioned above. Most of the bookmakers choose Kahnawake native reserve, which is still technically part of the country but does not have the same laws and regulation applied to it as everywhere else. Therefore, you’d most likely find the eSports betting websites in Canada operating from there exactly.

It may be quite surprising though, to hear from the Canadian government that they do not recommend local bookmakers, they usually try to promote off-shore ones as they have a bit more legitimacy if they hail from Malta or the UK.

The reason why Canada has such a great affiliation with these two entities is due to its past with the British empire. Much like any other former colony, they have the same laws and regulations in regards to gambling. You’ve probably already noticed that it seems quite similar to the Australian and New Zealand regulations.

The eSports scene in Canada

When it comes to eSports as an industry in Canada, it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most welcoming countries towards the games. Many tournaments have been held in cities like Vancouver, Quebec and Toronto. Furthermore, many eSports legends we see in the scene today hail from Canada and play in some of the most nationally diverse teams all across the world.

When it comes to Canadian eSports betting websites, they are also able to enjoy relative freedom from the government. As already mentioned in the previous episode, as long as they are approved for a license, there is no restriction on operations. In fact, there have been major developments in this sector not too long ago in Ontario.

eSports betting Canada

At the end of 2017, the Ontario Gambling and Lottery Association tried to promote local sportsbooks in order to boost the overall control of the government over the industry. The bill was introduced in order to facilitate better consumer protection, with the run of the mill reasons such as underage betting and gambling addiction.

It was reported at that time that the offline sports betting websites generated around $4 billion in annual revenue thanks to Canadian players when the local websites couldn’t even gross $1 billion in total. It seemed like a terrible issue for the local economy, as funds were simply being siphoned away from Canada.

Furthermore, single-game bets were not available in Canada until not too long ago. The only way eSports betting in Canada could have been conducted was if players used the betting method called “parley”, which is basically putting bets on two matches simultaneously.

Unfortunately, though, the bill was quickly struck down and most local operators are still restricted to offer single-game bets to their customers, which is quite a nuisance for those who don’t want to ramp up the risk that much. Canadians may like gambling, but they don’t like taking it to the next level.

Is eSports popular in Canada?

Judging by the fact that the government was directly involved in regulating the eSports betting scene it’s easy to say that Canadians like their video games. Since there was about $5 billion spent on gambling annually, it’s safe to say that at least 5 or 10% of that was going towards eSports bets.

And it is easy to understand. The relative well-off nature of the Canadian economy gives many youngsters a reason to pursue an eSports career while still being supported by local universal social laws. Benefits such as healthcare and guaranteed employment help the players dedicate more time to training and become professionals in the end.

eSports canada stadium

Furthermore, the country is in the process of building their own eSports stadium sometime this year, which will definitely build more hype around the industry and promote it to literally every person between the ages of 16 and 40. The stadium will be called “The Gaming Stadium”.

What eSports games do Canadians bet on?

There is no clear list on which game is the most popular with the local community, but one thing is clear that most of the people involved with playing and watching these games are involved in betting as well.

Currently, there are only a few games that can be interesting for such players. Games such as:

Games like these are arguably the most popular around the world, so it’s fine to believe that Canadians enjoy them just as much.

How to choose the best eSports betting platform in Canada

Let’s get down to some serious discussion now and find the best ways of searching for Canadian eSports betting websites, or at least those that cater to the Canadian population.

Overall, our article has already talked that local sportsbooks may not be the best idea, due to government animosity. Therefore, it’s best to go for a platform that is regulated and licensed by either the Malta Gambling Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. It’s quite easy to find websites like these, but here’s what you need to do once you find them.

  1. Check if they’re eSports exclusive
  2. See if they actually hold a license from the regulator
  3. Make sure their odds are industry standard
  4. Check their company on the regulator’s website

We have steps now, which is just the beginning as there are far more details about these small steps that many realize.

eSports exclusive

Once you visit the website of the operator make sure that they are eSports exclusive, or are focusing on eSports in general. There are no problems if they have a few traditional sport offering, but still, it’s best if they have more eSports games than regular sports games. Most eSports betting websites in Canada are hybrids, as they supply both options. But having an exclusive one is not out of the question.

The reason why this is so important is the odds and betting options you will receive compared to others. In most cases, betting platforms that diversify too much in their offerings, restrict the options to only “win vs lose” bets. We all know, that there are far more factors that play within a single round of CS: GO, you can bet on Terrorists plating the bomb in the first round, or you can simply bet on the score at the end of a match or even at the end of a half.

Not being able to bet on either of these things, which are far easier to predict, is a bit disappointing as you lose variety in your options.

Regulations and license

When it comes to the website owners themselves, make sure that they comply with the eSports betting laws in Canada. Which means that they are either an offshore company with a licence in Malta or the UK, or they are located in the “neutral provinces” of Canada. In order to check their regulation, it’s enough to visit their website’s footer, where the info should be located. If it’s not there, then try the FAQ section.

Canada eSports bets

Once you’ve seen that the company discloses information about their location and regulation, make sure to go on that regulator’s website. For Malta, it will be Malta Gambling Authority’s website, and for the UK it will be the UK Gambling Commission’s website. Search the company either by name or by license number. Once it displays to make sure to click and look at their license condition. It should either say active or acquired. If it doesn’t then it may have been revoked in the past and the website is lying to you.

But, even if it does say that the license is active, make sure to double-check it with the regulator. Usually, it can be done with a simple message, asking them to confirm a company’s license. This needs to be done, as some regulators forget or delay updates on their websites, leading previously licensed companies to lie about their legitimacy.

Odds and betting options

Once you’ve confirmed the legitimacy of the website, it will be time to check their odds and betting options. Make sure that they match the industry standard ones for eSports betting websites in Canada. Usually, it’s CS: GO that will offer the highest odds. As long as there are odds higher than 5.0, then you can consider the place industry standard. But if there are none to speak of, then it may be an indication that the company is quite frugal. In fact, it is a fact that they are frugal.

That’s about it. That’s all you need to know about eSports betting in Canada. Find a good foreign operator, check them out in the legal terms, and just have at it.