With the legalisation of sports betting in Canada earlier this year, the industry has gone from strength to strength. There are now a multitude of online casinos in Canada for betting enthusiasts to choose from, while experts predict that the sector will be worth tens of billions of dollars in a mere matter of years.
If you’re new to the concept of sports betting, you’re likely wondering where to start. A good rule of thumb is to bet on what you know, which means laying wagers on the sport you’re most acquainted with. However, if you’re something of an all-rounder, or simply can’t make a decision yourself, here’s a rundown of the most popular sports to bet on in Canada today.
Since 1994, hockey has been formally recognised as the national winter sport of Canada. It’s no surprise, then, that the sport in general and the NHL in particular is the number one industry when it comes to sports betting in the country. Betting on the final destination of the Stanley Cup, or indeed the outcome of individual matches throughout the NHL season, is the most common form of ice hockey betting in Canada. However, the globalisation which the internet offers means that Canadian bettors can also lay wagers on the Czech, Finnish and other international leagues, too.
Most people around the world assume that basketball is an American sport – and to an extent, they’re absolutely correct. However, it was actually invented by a Canadian! PE teacher James Naismith, who was born in Ontario but relocated to Massachusetts to pursue his teaching career, came up with the idea for basketball in 1891. Nowadays, the NBA has grown into a global franchise which attracts the interests of fans and gamblers from all over the world – including from Canada itself.
Whether it’s the more world-renowned American football or its hugely successful spin-off, Canadian football, there’s no denying that this sport is a big hit among the betting community. Although the latter is dwarfed by its American counterpart, the nine teams which compete to lift the Grey Cup each November offer up some of the country’s most exciting sporting highlights. Of course, the fact that there are only 21 weeks to the season means that it doesn’t offer year-round interest – but there are plenty of other sporting events to compensate in the off-season.
The FIFA World Cup isn’t the most watched sporting event on the planet for nothing! This four-yearly extravaganza is a huge draw for Canadian sports bettors, despite the failure of the national team to qualify for the finals on all but one occasion (in 1986). Plus, the fact that Canada is one of three host nations for the 2026 incarnation means the sport is likely to enjoy a purple patch of popularity. In the meantime, there are countless top Canadian players plying their trade in Germany, France and the UK, which is enough to pique the interest of many fans and bettors.
Want to try out sports betting but aren’t sure where to begin? One of these four popular sports to bet on in Canada is a good starting point for any rookie gambler testing the waters.