Online sports betting has exploded in popularity across Canada, including right here in Quebec. With the legalization and regulation of betting sites in 2020 through Bill C-218 and the launch of the province-run Espacejeux platform, Quebecers now have safe and legal options to wager on their favorite sports teams and events.
Whether you're a seasoned vet or looking to dip your toes in for the first time, the online betting landscape can be overwhelming. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to bet smart and maximize your sportsbook experience. Let's drop the puck and get started!
Sports betting and Quebec go together like poutine and La Banquise. While you can bet on anything from darts to sumo wrestling, these are the sports that see the most action in La Belle Province.
Is this even a question? As Canada's unofficial religion, hockey tops the list of popular sports to bet on. With the Montreal Canadiens being one of the original NHL franchises, Habs fever translates into heavy betting action.
The NHL season, trade deadlines, playoffs, and the illustrious Stanley Cup Finals attract the most hockey betting each year. And with sportsbooks offering continuously updated odds and an endless array of potential wagers, from moneylines to puck lines and prop bets, you'll never run out of ways to get in the game.
When it comes to football betting, there are so many offshore bookies in Quebec that are licensed and giving Quebecers the option to have not one but two leagues to choose from.
The NFL is massively popular, and events like the Super Bowl, NFL draft, and weekly games prompt huge betting interest. And with the Alouettes as the CFL's longest-running franchise, Montreal locals are sure to throw down cash on these games as well.
Football betting spans from betting sides and totals to quarter and half lines, props, futures, and elaborate parlays. The variety of wager types available makes football one of the most versatile sports for betting.
While they no longer have a team, baseball holds a special place in Quebec thanks to the departed Montreal Expos. Events like the MLB playoffs and World Series still attract plenty of betting action each fall.
The rise of legal betting could even help influence a return of baseball to Montreal one day. Until then, the Blue Jays offer a team to back, and baseball's 162-game seasons supply months of betting opportunities from the daily moneylines and totals to entertaining prop bets.
The Toronto Raptors captivated an entire country with their electrifying NBA championship run in 2019. With basketball fever sweeping the nation, NBA betting exploded in Quebec.
The playoffs and finals are must-see TV and fantastic betting opportunities. You can wager on anything from individual player props to the outcomes of quarters and halves. Many online sportsbooks also offer live, in-game betting once the ball is tipped off.
Alright, you know which sports to bet but now what? Online sports betting has its own language that can be confusing at first. Let's break down the most common bet types and how they work so you can step up and place those wagers with confidence.
Moneyline - Simply pick the team you think will win the game outright. The odds indicate how much you'll profit for a correct pick on the underdog or lay to wager on the favorite.
Spread - Oddsmakers give the underdog team a lead, and you bet whether the margin of victory will be over or under that spread. This helps level the playing field.
Totals - Books set a projected combined score total for both teams. You wager whether the actual total will end up over or under that set line. Also called the over/under.
Parlays - Tie multiple picks from different games together in one bet, all must be correct to cash. The risk is higher but so are the potential winnings!
Prop Bets - Wager on outcomes surrounding a game like how many strikeouts a pitcher throws or which team scores first. Endless possibilities!
Now that you're armed with the basics, it's time to...
Placing your bets online offers some huge advantages you just can't find at retail sportsbooks. Let's check out the perks:
- Convenience - Bet anytime, anywhere right from your mobile device. No more waiting in line!
- Bonuses & Promotions - From signup bonuses to ongoing promos, online books incentivize you to play.
- Unmatched Variety - Bet on pretty much any sport, league, or event with countless wagers available.
- Easy Odds Shopping - Compare betting odds across books in seconds to find the best value.
- Safe & Secure - Legitimate regulated sites use encryption to protect your info and funds.
With great upside comes great responsibility though. You want to go into the online betting world prepared, so let's jump into some vital tips for betting smart.
While placing sports wagers is a blast, things get messy when it's not done responsibly. Avoid the pitfalls with these essential betting tips:
- Set a budget - Only gamble with what you can afford to lose, and stick to your limit. Chasing losses leads to more losses.
- Study before placing bets - Do your homework on games, teams, matchups, injuries, trends, etc. Don't just guess.
- Don't bet impaired - Alcohol and drugs cloud judgement. Keep a clear head when wagering.
- Track your bets - Keep detailed records to see what bet types work best for you over time.
- Use responsible gambling tools - Set deposit limits, take breaks, or completely self-exclude if needed.
By putting these practices into play, you set yourself up for the best experience possible and avoid the risks and behaviors that lead to problems.
Now for the fun part - let's peek into the future of online betting in Quebec!
Online sports betting has only just begun here. As the market matures, what can Quebecers expect next?
- More sportsbooks jumping in - Increased competition is great for bettors, bringing better odds, bonuses and features.
- Live betting innovation - With events able to be bet on in real-time, expect an explosion in in-game wager innovation.
- Tight integration with sports viewing - Watching the game and having bet slips/odds seamlessly available in real-time.
- Regulatory and legal developments - Laws are still being fine-tuned. Changes will shape the market.
It's an exciting time to be a sports bettor! Hopefully this guide gives you confidence to dive in and start exploring the fun and rewarding world of online sports wagering. As long as you bet responsibly and within your means, sports betting can be an engaging and entertaining hobby.