Nova Scotia Sports Betting

Gambling has taken off in Canada in recent years, with more Canadian betting sites available now than ever before. This is certainly the case in Nova Scotia, where Nova Scotia sports betting has become a huge source of excitement. There are new Nova Scotia betting sites, changing laws, and plenty of new users who are wondering how they can get in on the action.

In this guide, we’re going to break down the key things you need to know about betting in Nova Scotia, whether you are an expert or beginner. From the top sportsbooks available to the legal aspects of the industry, we’ll break it all down. Let’s get into it!

How We Rank the Bookmakers

At BettingTop10, we believe it is an important part of our job to honestly and unbiasedly give bettors the low-down on all they need to know about the industry. That includes the top Nova Scotia betting sites. But how do we rank these operators?

Below are some of the factors we use when ranking sportsbooks.

  • User Experience: We check to ensure the website looks great and functions well. This is an absolute must.
  • Sports Coverage and Markets: We look at the different sports, leagues, and markets a betting site will cover. The more, the better.
  • Safety and Legality: We verify that a sportsbook is both safe and legal in the jurisdiction we are making our articles for. Safety and legality are the most important factors.
  • Mobile Offerings: We ensure that the operator has mobile offerings, whether those are smartphone-friendly websites or sports betting apps.
  • Promotions and Offers: We check that websites provide promotions and betting offers to their users, and if they do, that there are good ones to choose from.

Betting in Nova Scotia

Sports betting in Nova Scotia has blossomed in recent years. The industry has seen a significant amount of growth, and this is a product of the success it has had across Canada. So, what is driving all this growth? And what does it mean for the average bettor in Nova Scotia?

This is a big question and answering it all will be tricky. But a big part of the changes has come as a result of the evolving gambling industry legality in Canada. We know you might have a lot of questions, but we are here to help.

Below, we’re going to dive into the core facts governing the legality of gambling in Nova Scotia. From who can bet to the history of sports betting in the province, we’ve got you covered below.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Nova Scotia?

This is the core question that a lot of it comes down to. The vast majority of people are heavily uncomfortable with the thought of breaking the law, and don’t want to do anything remotely risky. So, is sports betting legal in Nova Scotia? The answer to this isn’t as simple as saying yes or no, as to do so would be to gloss over a lot of the facts. So, to ensure that you understand all the relevant factors, we will need to trace the history of the gambling industry across Canada.

For a long period of time, there was no pathway to legally single-game sports bet online in Canada in a way that was government sanctioned. Single-game Nova Scotia sports betting existed, but it wasn’t approved by the government.

For those unfamiliar, single-game betting is exactly what it sounds like. It is when bettors wager on one event. This could be picking a team to win a game or wagering on the score differential, but for a single-game bet, only one outcome needs to happen.

Instead, in provinces like Nova Scotia, the only way to wager was through Pro-Line, the online provider that was controlled by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, ALC. The only bets gamblers could make on this were parlay wagers.

Parlay bets are essentially the opposite of single-game wagers. They are bets that tie multiple outcomes together into a single bet. For a parlay bet to cash, every bet within it needs to hit. This is a risky form of betting, and it was the only type that was government-sanctioned in Nova Scotia.

While many bettors would use Pro-Line for their parlay wagers, there was another option sports fans would use in Nova Scotia. This was one that was not explicitly approved by the government, and came to be known as the gambling gray market.

The gambling gray market was made up of offshore sportsbooks, like Bodog, or sportsbooks that were licensed on Canadian tribal territory, like Sports Interaction. Because these operators were from jurisdictions that weren’t controlled by the Canadia government.

These operators would get their licenses from trusted gaming authorities, which would verify their safety for users. However, because the Canadian government hadn’t come around to sports betting, gamblers in Nova Scotia were in a bit of a gray area here. It wasn’t expressly forbidden, and no one would get in trouble for using these offshore sportsbooks. However, it also wasn’t expressly approved. This led to something of a confusing state of affairs.

Everything changed for Nova Scotia betting sites and gamblers when Bill C-218 was passed. This was an amendment to the Canadian Criminal Code that was passed in 2021. This amendment removed the government’s federal prohibition on single-game betting. It didn’t mean it was open season across the country, but it did put the power in provinces’ hands to make their own decisions.

For Nova Scotia, this meant that single-game betting would be legal in the province for the first time ever. The ALC’s updated Pro-Line was released in February 2022. It allowed gamblers to wager on single outcomes and parlays, a welcome change for many Nova Scotians.

While this was a significant move for the industry in the province, it represents an unleashing of only a small amount of the potential that the gambling industry has. Nova Scotia has still mostly kept the genie inside the bottle, as Pro-Line is the only operator that is licensed inside the province.

This is the case in every other province across the country except Ontario. Canada’s most populated province has leaned all the way into the betting craze. They have brought in operators like DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel to serve the province. They created their own regulatory body to control the industry and are all the way in on the gambling craze, which has generated billions for the economy.

For Nova Scotia residents, don’t expect any changes like this on the immediate horizon. Right now, it seems like provincial leadership is content to keep the industry limited. Ontario is the only place in Canada that has made wholesale changes, and Nova Scotia sports betting has still increased thanks to the shifting legality from Bill C-218.

With added uncertainty around the laws, bettors might be confused. But to try to answer the question we posed at the beginning, yes, sports betting in Nova Scotia is legal.

Who Can Bet on Sports in Nova Scotia?

While we’ve established that it is legal to wager on sports in Nova Scotia, that doesn’t mean that any person who enters the province is free to start betting. Ultimately, sports betting is still a heavily restricted industry. The reality is that there are still many rules that govern who can and can’t place bets in the province.

With that said, who can place wagers in Nova Scotia? What is required for people to be able to use the new single game betting features that are offered in the province?

  • Legal Age: The legal age for sports betting in Nova Scotia is 19. So, people who are 19 years or older in the province can register for operators.
  • Retail Sportsbooks: There are no retail sportsbooks in the province. The only way to wager with a provincially regulated resource is through Pro-Line.
  • Location: You can’t just sign up for Nova Scotia’s betting services from anywhere. The registration process is restricted to people who have a permanent address in the province. So, visitors who are stopping in for a vacation won’t be able to make bets here.
  • Remote Registration: You can register for Pro-Line without being physically present at a retailer. You can simply do it directly from your computer.
  • Mobile Betting: There are many Nova Scotia betting sites that allow for mobile betting. Several opeartors that serve the province will provide a mobile betting app or website for their users. 

Offshore Sportsbooks in Nova Scotia?

We’ve given you the lowdown on what offshore sportsbooks are. These are betting sites that are licensed and run from jurisdictions outside of Nova Scotia. These are still a gray area, meaning they aren’t endorsed by the government. But many still prefer to place their bets on offshore betting sites.

How to Start Betting in Nova Scotia

We’ve given you the rundown on the legality of Nova Scotia sports betting. But this is only one part of a much larger whole. Gambling is a complicated thing, and getting started on your sports betting journey can be a confusing process. But we want to help clear things up.

We know that this is a process most inexperienced bettors won’t know how to do straight away. Below, we’re going to break down some of the things you need to know to start your sports betting journey in Nova Scotia. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting stared.

  • Step One: Pick a Website. For your first step, you’ll need to pick a sportsbook to begin your gambling experience with. We provide a list of excellent operators that serve the Nova Scotia market. Try and find one that has the features and design you like.
  • Step Two: Register. Creating an account is an important part of the process. To do this, you are going to have to go through a betting site’s registration. To do this, you need to provide some personal information, like your name, date of birth, contact details, and address. While this is something people often feel uncomfortable sharing, if you do it with a trustworthy, licensed operator, you have nothing to fear.
  • Step Three: Deposit. If you want to be able to gamble, you’re going to need to fill your account with money. We’ll go over this aspect of things later on.
  • Step Four: Place Your Bets. To wager on games, you simply have to find the event and the market you want to bet on, click on it, and input how much you want to gamble. After that, you should be good to go!

Banking Options

As we’ve mentioned, the banking process is a pivotal part of getting started with a website. To gamble, you need to have a funded sports betting account. That means you will have to deposit. And if you win or want to cut your losses, you will also have to withdraw.

The banking process is where a lot of bettors get nervous. You have to input your payment information and send money into a website, sometimes one you are unfamiliar with. But if you are using a licensed, trusted operator, then it won’t be a concern. Sportsbooks rely on being trustworthy to their users, and if they gain a bad reputation, it is bad for business.

To deposit, you simply click on the bank tab and select deposit now. There are different deposit options on every website, with most sportsbooks having different maximum or minimum deposit amounts for each method.

Some of the most common deposit methods on betting sites include:

  • Interac
  • Credit/Debit
  • Apple Pay
  • E-Wallet
  • Cryptocurrency
  • PayPal

Typically, it will take a short period of time for the money to hit your account. Once you have it, you’re good to start betting.

Withdrawing is a slightly more time-consuming process. Most betting sites require you to verify your identity before withdrawing for the first time by sending in a piece of government ID. Even if they don’t require this, it often takes a couple of days before bettors receive their money back.

Typically, most operators have very similar deposit options as their withdrawal ones. The process will be similar too, with bettors simply inputting their payment information and how much they want to take out.

Popular Sports to Bet on in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is a province that has a lot of rabid sports fans. It is the kind of place where almost everyone has a sport they are passionate about, and most of the people who live here enjoy gambling on the big games.

While everyone likes something different in the province, there are certain sports that are more beloved than others here, at least amongst gamblers. Let’s look at some of the most popular sports to bet on in Nova Scotia.

  • Hockey: Hockey is Canada’s most popular sport, and people are absolutely crazy about the game in Nova Scotia. Bettors love wagering on their favourite NHL teams and players, and many tune in to the QMJHL, as well. Hockey betting is a must for Nova Scotians.
  • Football: Football is a wildly popular sport across North America, and they certainly enjoy it. Football is one of the top sports for Nova Scotia sports betting, and fans wager on leagues like the NFL and CFL on a regular basis. NFL betting is a Sunday staple here.
  • Baseball: While there aren’t any major baseball teams in Nova Scotia, that doesn’t mean residents don’t pay close attention here. Gamblers love MLB betting in Nova Scotia throughout the summer.
  • Basketball: Basketball has surged in popularity across Canada. Nova Scotians who regularly tune in to the NBA and NCAA will happily place bets on the popular Nova Scotia betting sites that cover this sport. NBA betting is especially big.
  • Golf: Nova Scotia is known for having some of the top golf courses in Canada. They don’t just play and watch golf in this province, though, they bet on it. Many residents of Nova Scotia love golf betting on the big PGA tournaments.
  • Soccer: Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and it certainly has a big fan base in Nova Scotia. There is a significant number of Nova Scotia residents who enjoy soccer betting on the game.

Most Popular Markets

We’ve broken down the many leagues and sports that many love to wager on. But what about the markets that are popular for sports betting in Nova Scotia?

Betting markets are the outcomes within games and leagues that gamblers wager on to either occur or not occur. There are many different kinds of markets. Essentialy, they are the actual events that you are placing your bets on.

Let’s look at some of the most popular markets on Nova Scotia betting sites.

  • Moneyline: Moneyline bets are straightforward wagers that are on the direct outcome of a game. If you pick a team on the Moneyline, you’ve bet them to win that game.
  • Point Spread: A Point Spread is a line that was created to represent the score differential in favor of a team. Bettors can wager for the spread, meaning the team oddsmakers have favored will exceed the projected differential, or against it, meaning they won’t.
  • Over/Under: The Over/Under is a line that represents the total amount of points/goals/runs that will be scored by both teams combined in a game. Bettors can wager the over, meaning the teams exceed that number, or the under, meaning they don’t.
  • Futures: Futures are lines on long-term outcomes within a league. This includes things like which player will win the MVP award or which team will make it out of the Eastern Conference.
  • Game Props: Game Props are wagers on outcomes within games that are team-based, and might not directly impact the final score. It can be something like which team will score first, how many three-pointers two teams will combine for, and so on.
  • Player Props: Player Props are like Game Props but tied to individuals, rather than teams. Player props are based on player performance, and include things like whether a player will score a goal in a hockey game or how many points a basketball player will have in a game.
  • LIve Betting: Live betting is wagering on outcomes that are already underway. Most betting sites have algorithms that update as the game is being played, so gamblers can place bets in real-time.

Other Bets

While Nova Scotia sports betting is hugely popular, it is far from the only way you can wager online. Most sportsbooks will take bets on a broad range of things, including some that are not exactly sports.

Let’s look at some of the other outcomes gamblers can bet on with Nova Scotia’s many betting operators.

  • Esports: Esports betting has taken off in recent years. It is a sport that consists of professional gamers squaring off in massive tournaments for huge cash prizes, and many betting sites provide odds for these tournaments.
  • Entertainment: Entertainment markets are a common thing on betting sites. These include the ability to bet on award shows, wager on reality TV, or gamble on potential outcomes from scripted shows.
  • Politics: Presidential or prime minister elections can feel like a big show, and with betting sites, you can gamble on many different political outcomes.

Popular Teams in Nova Scotia

While Nova Scotia doesn’t have any major professional sports franchises, this is still a province made up of deeply passionate sports fans. So who are the Nova Scotians cheering on?

Let’s look at the most popular sports teams in the province.

  • Toronto Raptors: The Raptors are Canada’s only professional basketball team. They have a passionate fan base across the country, including in Nova Scotia.
  • Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays are Canada’s only professional baseball team. Many from coast to coast pull for the Jays, and that is the case in Nova Scotia.
  • Montreal Canadiens: The Montreal Canadiens are the closest Canadian NHL team to Nova Scotia, and naturally have plenty of fans in the province.
  • New England Patriots: Many Nova Scotians pull for the Patriots, who are one of the closer NFL teams to them.

Other Types of Gambling

Gambling isn’t just confined to the world of sports and entertainment. In fact, the vast majority of the industry exists outside of sports. There are many other forms of gambling that are hugely popular with residents of Nova Scotia, and most sportsbooks also serve as virtual casinos.

Betting on casino games is more of a luck-based experience, but it is something that many gamblers should consider. Let’s look at some of the other forms of gambling that are popular across the province.

  • Virtual Table Games: Virtual table games include the classic games bettors love like poker, blackjack, and baccarat. Betting sites allow gamblers to wager in simulated games for real money against the computer.
  • Slots: Virtual slots take the enjoyable slot experience that bettors love and move it to the computer. Bettors click to pull a slot lever, and gamble real money with the potential to hit the jackpot.
  • Live Casino: Live Casino is when bettors compete against other gamblers in virtual casino games. There is a real dealer who manages the game virtually, and bettors can win against other bettors in real-time.
  • Virtual Sports: Virtual sports are simulated sporting events with computer-generated teams and games. Bettors can bet on the outcomes of these completely random games.

How to Play Responsibly in Nova Scotia

We’ve given you the lowdown on what the law is in Nova Scotia, as well as how you can start your sports betting journey. But before we proceed any further, we need to talk about responsible wagering.

Betting responsibly is incredibly important, because gambling can become an issue if bettors don’t exercise caution. There are several problematic behaviors that can arise, and it is important to always remain in control.

Bettors should be cautious with their payroll. Don’t put too much into your account at once, and don’t place bets that are bigger than your budget. One thing many bettors do to be extra careful is set limits on how much they can deposit and how much they can wager. We’d recommend this as a good precaution. Also, don’t chase your losses. If things aren’t going your way, know when to stop.

If you find that you are losing control and falling into harmful gambling behavior, there are resources that can help. The province offers a Gambling Support Network where people can talk to specialists and receive the support they need. This is the 24/7 help line to call if you find yourself needing gambling assistance: 1-888-347-8888.

Sportsbook to Avoid

The most important thing is your safety. If you want to ensure that you are not taking unnecessary risks, there are certain sportsbooks to avoid. 

The kinds of sportsbooks you should avoid are unlicensed or those with bad reputations. You can check a sportsbook’s license at the bottom of their home page. If they don’t have any details, that should be a red flag.

Checking online reviews is a great precaution to take. A lot of negative reviews means the betting site has problems, and you should gamble elsewhere.

Provincial Betting Guides

Nova Scotia has gone gambling crazy. But it is far from the only Canadian province or territory that has embraced the sports betting fun. Our experts have looked at a number of Canadian provinces and released helpful guides to clear up any sports betting confusion. Below are some of our provincial betting guides:

Licensed Sites vs. Unlicensed Sites

When people are choosing which websites to start their sports betting journeys with, they’ll have dozens of options to choose from. There are many things that differentiate operators, but one factor you can’t overlook is the importance of betting with a licensed betting site.

Licensed operators give users security, safety, and legality. To get a license, sportsbooks have to receive regulatory approval from a jurisdiction that allows gambling. This includes places like Ontario, Curacao, Malta, or the U.K.

In order to get a license, betting sites must essentially open themselves up to the regulators. They allow them to look over their cybersecurity, the fairness of their virtual games, and their payment processing. The regulators’ jobs are to protect consumers and ensure compliance.

By using a licensed operator, you can have peace of mind, with the knowledge that the sports betting site has taken steps to become approved for safety and legality.

Bettors who wager with unlicensed sportsbooks are putting themselves at risk. Unlicensed operators have no oversight. No one has looked over their security or payment features. They could very well be scams. Even if they’re not scams, they are much more succeptable to hacks. We would recommend avoiding any unlicensed sportsbook.

Proline Stadium

Proline Stadium is the safest bet for gamblers who want to wager with licensed, secure operators. Proline Stadium is run by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, with offices in the province.

This is a government-owned sportsbook that takes single-event bets as well as parlays. It covers a great range of different sports and caters to the Maritime provinces. Bettors will like its straightforward interface and fun features.

While Proline may not be as jam-packed as some other operators, it is a safe, secure betting option we’d recommend.

Nova Scotia Sports Betting FAQs

We know that the sports betting industry in Nova Scotia has undergone changes at a million-mile-per-hour pace. This can lead to some confusion. But at BettingTop10, it is our job to help you sort through it all.

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Nova Scotia sports betting.

Is sports betting legal in Nova Scotia?

Yes! There have been a lot of changes in recent years, but the general answer to this question is that single-game and parlay sports betting is legal in Nova Scotia.

What is Proline Stadium?

Proline Stadium is the sports betting site that is owned and operated by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

Can I gamble with offshore betting sites still?

While the laws have certainly changed in Nova Scotia, one thing that hasn’t is the availability of offshore betting sites. These remain accessible to bettors. Gamblers can still register and bet with sportsbooks from outside the country.

What is Bill C-218?

Bill C-218 was the bill passed in 2021 that removed the federal prohibition on single-game betting. This is essentially what changed the law, ushering in the gambling craze.

Can I still register with Ontario-based operators?

Unfortunately not. The operators that are iGaming Ontario licensed do not serve any markets outside of the province, so this is off-limits.

Will more betting sites come to Nova Scotia soon?

It doesn’t appear that way. While there have been a lot changes in the industry, it feels like things are plateauing for the short-term future. Change can still come, but it will likely take time.

Who is the most popular team in the province?

Nova Scotia doesn’t have any professional sports teams. What that means is everyone likely follows and cheers for different franchises. Although for basketball and baseball, the Raptors and Blue Jays reign supreme.

Can I trust unlicensed betting sites?

We would recommend avoiding all unlicensed betting sites. They simply don’t provide the safety and security licensed operators do, and there are plenty of great licensed sportsbooks to pick from.