What Sports Are Canada’s Most Popular for Betting and How Does It Differ to Other Western Nations?

Canada's Most Popular for Betting

Canada has always put sports at the heart of its culture and sports remain something which most Canadians take an interest in. Whether it is cheering on athletes representing the country internationally, following teams involved in national competitions or even playing some sports themselves, it is easy to see how popular sports are across the nation.

Another part of the whole sporting sector in Canada which has always been popular is betting on games or events. Sports betting may have been legal in the country for a while now but has really taken off in the last few years and enjoyed sustained growth.

This is easy to see in a province like Ontario, where betting on sports is something lots of people enjoy. The number of sites in Ontario with sportsbetting is one of the main reasons for this and helps the province stand out as the leader nationally for sports gambling. The recent growth this sector has experienced in Canada has allowed a whole new audience to place bets on their favorite sports.

So, which sports are the most popular to wager on across the country?


The popularity of hockey in terms of Canadian sports betting is no surprise when you consider that hockey itself is still the biggest sport in the country. As a result, this makes it a sport that Canadians not only feel comfortable betting on but which they also get a real buzz from. As most Canadian bettors know how hockey works and who the best teams and players are, it also means they have a wealth of knowledge to use when betting on the sport.

The NHL is the hockey league Canadians like to wager on and has a selection of Canadian teams to back, such as the Edmonton Oilers. It is also easily accessible at all top sportsbooks in the country. When you also factor in the amount of data available to research hockey bets with online, you can see why it is one many people in the country flock to.


When it comes to sports in Canada, basketball is a very popular to wager on. This is mainly due to how well-loved basketball is as a sport in the country and the familiarity people feel when betting on it. The NBA is the top league for Canadian gamblers and includes the Toronto Raptors.

Having a Canadian team to wager on makes NBA betting more interesting for Canadians and gives them a chance to back a team from their home country. Basketball also has a good variety of markets to dive into and is easy to find at the best sportsbooks. You can also find some great value odds when betting on this sport and events outside of the NBA, such as March Madness.


Although soccer might not have been a sport that Canadians took much notice of in the past, it has recently grown to become a sport people in the country like to wager on. Much of this interest is due to the increased exposure soccer is getting in the national media and the presence of teams like CF Montreal in Major League Soccer in North America.

The success of the men’s national team recently has also helped the sport connect with more gamblers in Canada. This has helped soccer to find an army of new fans and led many of these fans to begin to gamble on it. Betting on soccer is also easy to understand, fun to do and has great in-play betting options.


Football is another sport which plays a major role in Canada’s sports betting landscape. Although this may often be the NFL, many people in Canada will also wager on the local CFL league.

Having this kind of choice brings great freedom to betting on football in the country and means there are plenty of matches to bet on when the season is underway. There are also lots of stats to dig into before making bets on football and plenty of interesting markets to mull over.


Although the sports above may be obvious examples of ones which Canadians like to get involved with, lacrosse is one you might not have thought about before. Placing wagers on this sport is massively popular across the country.

This is partially due to the long history it has with Canadian culture and its status as the country’s national sport. The success of the Canadian team in the World Lacrosse Championship has also led to people enjoying placing bets on it. Lacrosse is a sport which most online bookies who accept users from Canada will carry and cover extensively.

How do the sports Canadians like to bet on differ from other Western countries?

Canada is not the only Western country where sports gambling has found favour. This has made the global sports betting market very successful and allows it to generate multibillions in revenue each year. Of course, betting in other Western nations can sometimes look different than in Canada.


At first glance, the US betting picture may look similar with football, basketball, hockey and soccer all being wagered on by US gamblers. When you look a little deeper though, there are some ways in which the US diverges from Canada.

The USA for example may like to bet on football but sticks to the NFL in most cases, rather than CFL games. US sports bettors also like to bet on sports which Canadian gamblers do not tend to go for. Baseball is a good example, as are horse racing and NASCAR racing. This is mainly due to the popularity of these sports being much higher in the US than they are in Canada.


The UK’s sports betting market is one of the biggest and most well-established in the West. People there bet on different sports than bettors in Canada. Horse racing is very popular with UK bettors for example and there are meets happening all-year round to wager on. Rugby is another top sport for British gamblers. England is known as the home of cricket, and this makes it a sport which is also something UK bettors look out for.

Western European countries

Although we could look at countries like Spain and France individually, most of the places in Western Europe where sports betting is popular tend to have similar tastes in terms of what they wager on. Motorsports are generally big in these countries and much more popular than in Canada. Tennis is also a popular sport for Western Europeans to wager on and some of the biggest tournaments in world tennis are hosted in the region.

Although soccer and basketball are both popular with bettors in this area, it tends to be for different competitions than Canadian bettors. Western European sports gamblers often look at top European soccer leagues, such as Serie A and La Liga, and European basketball leagues.

Top sports for Canadians to bet on

Sports betting is huge across Canada and is growing in popularity all the time. When you see the strength of Ontario’s sports betting sector and how gambling on sports looks in other provinces, this is easy to see. Canadians have specific tastes in this area, which can often differ from other countries in the West.

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