Ontario Esports Betting | How To Bet on Esports In Ontario

Published: Aug 30, 2022 - Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024

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It was a landmark moment for the betting industry when online sports betting was officially legalised in Ontario on the 4th of April, 2022. It was a journey that had begun a year earlier, in June 2021, when the Ontario government began examining existing gambling laws. Within a few months, plans had been put in place to launch a regulated, governed betting market in the province. In this guide, we’re looking at the terms of Ontario esports betting, breaking down the situation from end to end.

On April 4th, 2022, the online sports betting market officially opened in Ontario. It quickly became a thriving ecosystem, with some of the world’s top sports betting operators entering the region. Typically, the top betting sites online today offer both sports betting and esports betting markets, attracting a ‘hybrid’ crowd. This is the case in Ontario, and now, thanks to changes in laws and the creation of governing organisations, esports fans in Ontario can place wagers on their favourite games.

So, how can you be absolutely certain you’re placing legal, safe bets when taking part in esports betting in Canada?

Is Esports Betting Legal in Ontario?

esports betting ontario

In June of 2021, an agency was formed known as ‘iGaming Ontario’. As part of a grand push to legalise sports betting markets, the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) assembled the agency, putting in place a chief goal to roll out and regulate sports betting markets. It was a relatively quick journey from conception to launch, and within a few short months, online sports betting markets were opened up across the province.

As a part of this revolutionary change in regulations, esports betting markets were also made available in the region. Together with the AGCO, iGaming Ontario produced and published a list of approved betting operators, many of which offer esports betting odds and markets. This list contains all of the top esports betting sites in Ontario, every one of them safe, reputable, and popular. If a bettor is placing wagers on esports markets using one of these platforms in Ontario, they’re operating within the confines of the law.

In the last decade or so, esports betting has been on a rapid rise, expanding globally and attracting millions of bettors. It’s a lucrative market, and there are plenty of esports fans in the province of Ontario eager to place wagers on some of the world’s top esports games. As of mid-2022, Ontario esports betting is alive and well, thanks to progressive changes in the province’s laws.

Ontario Esports Betting: A Timeline of Events

ontario esports betting markets

It may have been a short journey, but it was a long time coming. For esports fans in North America, betting on esports tournaments has been a difficult subject for quite a while. However, between June 2021 and April 2022, several changes put into place in Ontario opened up at least one new market on the continent. From start to finish, here are the steps that were taken to legalise esports betting in Ontario:

By mid-2022, the province’s betting markets were thriving, and several esports betting sites in Ontario were enjoying positive growth. As time pushed on, more legal gambling sites were approved by iGaming Ontario, expanding the list and giving bettors more options to potentially make money through betting. From the start, the venture was designed to be as well-regulated as possible, with iGaming Ontario serving as the governing body to support the entire endeavour.

As per the organisation’s operating statement, the agency’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.’

However, it isn’t just the approval of new betting platforms that falls within iGaming Ontario’s remit. As an end-to-end agency, iGaming Ontario also operates a rigorous anti-money laundering program. It’s also an agency put in place to protect gamblers, ensuring all platforms have strong player protection mechanics in place, and that they’re following responsible gambling practices.

Advantages of Using a Legal Sportsbook in Ontario

There’s no real sense in using an unlicensed, unapproved betting platform to place wagers. In Ontario, legal gambling sites enjoy the advantageous position of being fully supported by iGaming Ontario. It’s a badge of honour, and it proves that the betting site is technically and logically sound, secure, and safe. Before these betting sites can be approved, they must pass tests and meet criteria put in place to protect gamblers and deliver the strongest, most stable betting products possible.

As a result of the work done by iGaming Ontario, the roster of betting sites approved to operate in the province makes up some of the best sites in the business. If you’re looking for esports betting sites in Ontario, you can’t possibly go wrong with a single approved platform on the list put forward by the agency. It’s important to stress that the use of a non-approved, unlicensed platform in the province could leave you, the bettor, in a sticky, risky situation.

If you were to use an illegal sportsbook in Ontario and something went wrong, you may not be in the strongest position, legally speaking. If you’re trying to find esports betting odds on an unlicensed platform in Ontario, you may need to use a VPN, which in itself isn’t at all advised. By doing this, you’re circumventing laws put in place to protect bettors, both esports gamblers and otherwise.

If you’re betting on a legal gambling site in Ontario, you can rest assured you’re as safe as can be.

What Features Should a Strong Bookmaker Include?

ontario esports betting odds

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to take part in Call of Duty League betting or trying to place wagers on The International, you’ll want to be doing so in as safe an environment as possible. Fortunately, the Ontario esports betting scene is made up almost entirely of top-tier betting sites that are inherently safe and responsible. This is arguably one of the most important aspects of a ‘strong bookmaker’, as a safe bettor is a happy bettor.

For the best esports betting sites in Ontario – or sports betting sites, for that matter – it’s often the aesthetic that draws in users. While many users will avoid judging a book by its cover, it must be said that a great-looking betting site will pull in and retain more users than a bad-looking platform. It’s not a requirement for iGaming Ontario’s approval process, but an attractive platform will usually fare much better in the popularity stakes.

Ultimately, it can’t be an argument of style over substance – some of the best betting sites in Ontario back up their appearance with a wide range of markets and odds. At the top of the table sit some impressive platforms, which will often boast sports and esports markets, virtual sports betting options, and even online casinos. They’ll typically boast competitive odds, tournaments, and certain programs designed to retain users.

Finally, there’s the transparency of a platform to consider. If it’s relatively easy to find out background information on the platform or to get help and support when needed, the average bettor will feel a little safer. Traditionally, the best betting platforms will have clearly-marked terms and conditions, a breakdown of policies, and even dense, informative FAQ sections.

With all these features combined, a strong bookmaker can be easily identified in Ontario.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Bet On Esports In Ontario?

Thanks to the work done by iGaming Ontario, esports betting is legal in the province. There’s nothing stopping a bettor from placing wagers on esports in the region, provided they meet other requirements, such as those set by minimum age restrictions.

How Old Do I Have To Be To Place A Bet On Esports In Ontario?

In Ontario, you must be 19 years of age to place a legal bet on an esports market.

Is Mobile Esports Betting Legal In Ontario?

Yes – when online sports betting markets went live in April 2022, mobile sports betting markets were also made legal. This means that you can bet on sports or esports from a mobile device in exactly the same way as you would on a desktop device.

Is Bet365 Legal In Ontario?

Yes – as one of the leading betting sites in Ontario, Bet365 enjoys an advantageous position. It is joined by several top-tier operators, such as Rivalry and Betway, and it provides legal betting markets to bettors in Ontario.
Grant Taylor-Hill

Since: February 12, 2021

Grant is a lifelong, multi-platform gamer with a passion for journalism and more than ten years' experience in the industry. He'll try any game once, and when he's not playing them, he's watching them, being as he is an avid esports fan.

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