On April 4th, 2022, online sports betting was legalised and launched in Ontario, Canada. It was a landmark moment for the betting industry, although many restrictions were kept in place in order to fully regulate and govern the market. In this guide, we’re looking at the state of esports betting in Ontario, addressing the specific vertical.
For residents of Ontario, specifically the betting fans, this journey began back in June of 2021. From the moment the market launched, some of the world’s top sports betting sites began trading in the region. Naturally, where sportsbooks went, esports betting markets followed.
So, what is happening where Ontario esports betting is concerned? More importantly, how can you be sure you’re remaining within the confines of the law when taking part in esports betting in Canada?
How To Bet On Esports In Ontario?
By now, the Ontario esports betting services are provided by a relatively long list of safe, reputable betting providers. These operators are qualified and approved to operate in the province of Ontario, and they do so well within the confines of the law.
At the top of the table sits Rivalry, a reputable platform with an extremely strong foundation in the industry. It was back in February of 2022 that Rivalry became one of the first fully registered operators working within the borders of Ontario. As a relatively top-tier platform, the Rivalry esports offerings are considerably popular among bettors.
As one of the core esports sportsbooks in Ontario, Rivalry is a fantastic place to start, but there are many other platforms that esports bettors can take advantage of. Here’s a breakdown of some of Ontario’s legal gambling sites (that feature esports betting markets):
- Bet365, Betway, Bwin, DraftKings, FanDuel, Rivalry, TheScore, UniBet.
To get started with esports betting in Ontario, it’s a case of signing up to an approved, regulated platform, funding your account, and placing some wagers.
Why Should You Use A Legal Sportsbook In Ontario?
For the safest betting experience, all bettors in Ontario should use a regulated, approved sportsbook for their esports betting practices. Firstly, it’s important to stress that the approved platforms are provided by some of the world’s best betting operators, and as such, a secure, reliable experience is almost guaranteed.
If you’re hunting esports betting odds in Ontario and you’re trying to work around the confines of the law to use a non-approved platform, you could wind up in a risky situation. In the first case, you’ll likely need to use a VPN to access these services, which in itself poses issues. However, should you use a non-approved platform and something goes wrong, there is a chance you’ll be left out in the cold, legally speaking.
Furthermore, Ontario esports betting services are facing some tougher restrictions even after the approval process is complete.
Legal sportsbooks in Ontario are required to be advocates of fair, responsible gambling practices. Therefore, there will be resources on hand to help you, should you find yourself gambling irresponsibly or potentially even falling into an addiction.
So, if you’re using a legal gambling site in Ontario, you can rest assured you’re probably as safe and secure as can be.
What Makes A Strong Bookmaker In Ontario?
Whether you’re trying to take part in a little League of Legends betting or place a few wagers on the Call of Duty League, you’ll want to do so on the strongest betting platform possible. If you’re looking for a top-tier esports betting site in Ontario, you’ll want to work on identifying what makes a strong bookmaker in the first place.
For the top Ontario esports betting options, it all begins with the look of the platform. There’s something to be said about judging a book by its cover, and it’s something that applies quite strongly to betting sites. It can boil down to a gut feeling mechanic – if it doesn’t look right, you probably won’t be comfortable betting on that platform.
Fortunately, most of the esports betting sites operating in Ontario are well-built, boasting clean, easy-to-navigate platforms that are welcoming to newcomers and veteran bettors alike.
However, it isn’t just a case of style over substance, as many of the best betting sites in Ontario will also offer a wide range of esports betting odds and markets. Of course, these odds will sit directly alongside dense sportsbooks, virtual sports, and online casinos. If a betting site offers competitive, advanced odds and markets, it’s already ahead of its competitors.
Moreover, a key indicator of a strong bookmaker is the transparency of the platform. It costs nothing to investigate the site you’re investing money with for a few minutes. If you’re able to track down the terms and conditions, policies, FAQ sections and support areas with ease – and they’re well documented – then you should feel a little safer.
Ultimately, one of the best practices is to read esports betting reviews or make use of platforms like TrustPilot to find out how reliable a platform truly is.
Ontario’s Betting Timeline
Ontario esports betting didn’t arrive overnight – it was a long journey, and while the world was taking part in esports betting practices, residents of Ontario were left out in the cold.
- It all began in June of 2021, when the AGCO established an agency known as iGaming Ontario, pushing the Senate to pass Bill C-218. This effectively allowed sportsbooks to apply for a license to officially begin sports betting across Ontario.
- Then, in August of 2021, the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation) launched single-game and ‘Proline’ wagering options. It was just months later, in December 2021, that any registered operator with iGaming Ontario was granted the ability to offer its sports betting services to residents within the province.
- Finally, in April of 2022, online sports betting launched in full, with several operators immediately joining what was expected to become a lucrative market.
Today, the Ontario market is expanding comfortably under the watchful eye of iGaming Ontario. As per the organisation’s operating statement, the firm’s goal is to:
‘Build a leading igaming market in Ontario to help protect consumers and provide more choice and opportunities while creating a level playing field for new businesses.’
As a part of this mission, iGaming Ontario operates a strict anti-money laundering program and ensures all operators in the region have strong player protections and are following rigorous responsible gambling practices.
Ontario Esports Betting FAQs
As of April 2022, online sportsbooks can legally operate in Ontario. This means that, provided you are using one of the approved platforms, you can legally bet online in Ontario. This is the same regardless of whether you’re taking part in sports betting, esports betting, or making use of an online casino.
Yes. When iGaming Ontario worked with AGCO to legalise online betting in Ontario, this naturally included esports betting markets. If you’re trying to bet on League of Legends, Rocket League, Call of Duty, or CSGO in Ontario, you can rest assured that you’re doing so legally – so long as you’re using an approved site.
If you’re betting online, then geographically, you can place a bet anywhere within the confines of the Ontario region. In terms of platforms, iGaming Ontario has published a document that details an end-to-end breakdown of all the approved betting sites that are operating within the province.
Yes, Rivalry is one of the sports betting operators approved by iGaming Ontario. In fact, it was one of the first fully-licensed, regulated platforms to enter the betting market in Ontario.