2023 May 26
Nova Scotia Sports Betting
Nova Scotia sports betting is enjoying a new lease of life in the Canadian province. The passing of Bill C-218 in 2021 means that single-event sports betting is now totally legal.
Soon you’ll be able to visit regulated online sports betting sites and place single wagers on the big football or hockey games of the day.
For now, online sports betting nuts on the Atlantic coast can enjoy parlays, props and novelty bets through the regulated Pro-Line website.
Very soon, however, single bets will be available on futures, pre-game markets and much more! You’ll even be able to join the new online sportsbooks offering free bets and big promotions.
Note: If based in Ontario, any content mentioning bonuses, promotions, wagering or free spins is not intended for you, following Ontario regulations. If located in that province, please go to Ontario Sportsbooks. Ignore this note if not based in Ontario.
Gambling in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia has enjoyed legalized gambling in some form since the 1970s. The minimum age for legal gambling is 19.
Casinos and VLTs (Video Lottery Terminals) are legal across the province, as are bingo and charitable lotteries. Pari-mutuel betting is available at race courses in Nova Scotia too.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation was set up in 1976 to offer legal lottery games to residents in four provinces, including Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation was set up in the 1990s and is one of four shareholders in the ALC. It is responsible for all gambling across the province under the Gaming Control Act of 1994-1995.
Legal Sports Betting in Nova Scotia
C-218 – the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act – was approved by the Senate in mid-2021, legalizing single-game betting across Canada. Nova Scotia was already in favour of the law, along with Canada’s five professional sports leagues.
Parlay betting markets were already legal at the Atlantic Lottery Corporation website. However, C-218 now means the ALC can offer single-game wagers to sports bettors.
In time, Nova Scotia sports betting could grow to include overseas operators. That’s a direction that Ontario is already moving in. It would mean gamblers in Nova Scotia would have a choice between Pro-Line betting on sporting events or gambling on parlays and singles at experienced foreign operators.
ALC’s Pro-Line service lets you bet on parlays across sports such as football, hockey and soccer. You can back the moneyline, spread or total points, just as you can at offshore sportsbooks. In addition, you can play fantasy contests and win money by backing your favourite sports heroes in real life.
What Will Nova Scotia Sports Betting Look Like?
The Nova Scotia provincial lotteries already offer sports betting for online gamblers. But how does the new C-218 law change things?
The Nova Scotia government will certainly be eyeing Ontario for ideas on how best to capitalize on this new sports betting market. The OLG offers province-run gambling online too but is opening up its market to the best online sportsbooks from overseas. Other Canadian provinces could follow suit if the plan brings in the tax dollars.
For now, the ALC website is accepting single Pro-Line Stadium bets and futures in provinces such as New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Nova Scotia will join them in 2022.
Unlike other Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia doesn’t share a border with the US. That has proved a barrier for sports bettors wanting to travel over the border to bet legally in US states such as New Jersey or New York State. The alternative for joining the best sportsbooks is to enter the gray legal area of betting sites that don’t have Canadian licenses.
Potential Online Sportsbooks for Nova Scotia Gamblers
Some established online sportsbooks are already circling the Canadian market ready to pounce. Nova Scotia residents may find major US operators such as BetMGM making bids to join an open Nova Scotia online gambling market if the province truly opens up.
BetMGM has made no secret of its plans to launch an online sportsbook in Canada. They signed a sponsor deal with hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky, in 2021 and would easily be able to adapt its online gambling platform for the Canadian market.
Plus, of course, you'll have access to a full selection of parlay betting and singles wagers.
theScore is one of the few Canadian online sportsbooks that doesn’t cater solely for the Canuck market. theScore Bet is live in several US states where sports betting has been legalized. The online gambling company was also one of the big lobbyers behind getting C-218 approved.
FanDuel is a world leader in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and already runs online sportsbooks in the regulated US market.
FanDuel is expected to launch in Ontario sometime in 2022 and Nova Scotia would be a natural place to follow. Have a parlay bet or find futures betting on thousands of different markets.
Along with FanDuel, DraftKings is one of the biggest online gambling providers in North America. They run legal online sportsbooks and DFS sites in the US and would be an easy fit in a regulated Nova Scotia sports betting market.
DraftKings would offer college football betting and more than enough NHL action to keep all hockey fans happy.
The Australian sports betting giant already has a presence in the United States in regulated markets such as New Jersey. PointsBet runs a unique type of spread betting operation alongside fixed odds betting and parlays.
In addition, PointsBet appointed a new CEO for its Canadian sports betting operations back in July 2021. That would suggest PointsBet is primed and ready to launch a site in one or more CA provinces soon.
Strategy and Tips
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Nova Scotia?
Nova Scotia has had some form of legal sports betting since the 1980s but gamblers are limited to lottery-run betting sites offering parlays. Under the new Canadian law, provincial-run online sportsbooks can allow single-event sports betting for real money.
New Nova Scotia betting sites also provide a range of competitions including fantasy contests. Pro-line betting markets offer odds on the home win, away win and tie. However, you will also find special ‘Pro-Line Stadium betting’ markets on sporting events that do away with the Tie option.
Betting on Nova Scotia Sports Teams
Sports betting in Nova Scotia is popular despite a paucity of professional sports teams in the province. Under current Canadian law, you can enjoy single-game betting involving Canadian teams across the NHL, NBA and MLB. You can even hit the betting sites run by the Nova Scotia provincial lotteries corporation and find competitive odds on college sports.
The Halifax Thunderbirds are probably the province’s biggest professional team. They compete in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) alongside pro teams from across North America. The Thunderbirds finished the 2019-20 season top of the North Division.
There are no NHL teams in Nova Scotia, however one or two NS teams have competed in the past in the American Hockey League (AHL). It’s a professional league that is seen as a developmental league for the NHL. You will still be able to bet on your favourite pro hockey teams competing in the NHL. Best of all, you can back single wagers on the Canadiens or Maple Leafs wherever you are in NS.
As with hockey, Nova Scotia doesn’t contribute a professional basketball team to the NBA. However, several Nova Scotia universities boast USports basketball teams, such as the Dalhousie University Tigers and Saint Mary’s University Huskies.
There are no professional baseball teams in Nova Scotia. However, you can still bet on professional MLB teams spread across Canada and the US. Sports betting lotteries like the ALC offer odds on all league games. You’ll also find betting markets on the upcoming World Series match-ups.
Nova Scotia has no professional NFL teams. However, the Canadian Football League has included a Nova Scotia team in seasons gone past. There are currently no teams from Nova Scotia competing in the CFL but you can still find betting odds on other Canadian teams.
Horse Racing in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia boasts three functioning racetracks offering live harness racing. Horses are standardbred and races generally run May through October. All horse racing is regulated by the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission.
You can place parimutuel bets where prize pools are shared among all winning gamblers. Qualifying bets include the general Win and Place, as well as exotic bets such as the Exactor, Triactor and Box. Parimutuel betting is regulated by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA).
| Name|| City|| On-site Horse Betting?|
| Truro Raceway|| Truro|| Yes|
| Inverness Raceway|| Inverness|| Yes|
| Northside Downs|| North Sydney|| Yes|
Nova Scotia is one of the Canadian provinces that boasts land-based casinos. You’ll find around half a dozen casinos and slot parlours spread around the province. Only one or two could be considered in the same breath as the big resorts in Ontario and BC, however.
In general, Nova Scotia casinos are a mix of First Nations entertainment centres and commercial casinos. However, all NS casinos offer video slots.
The Indian Brook First Nation operates the Sipkne’katik Entertainment Centre in Hammond Plains. It offers no more than slot machines (VLTs) so you’ll have to travel to Sydney or Halifax to find more traditional table game action.
Casino Nova Scotia properties in Halifax and Sydney are both operated by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. Both casinos offer table games such as blackjack and roulette, plus video slot machines. You can also join the Player’s Club and claim benefits at multiple Nova Scotia gaming sites.
- Casino Nova Scotia Halifax – Halifax, NS
- Casino Nova Scotia Sydney – Sydney, NS
- Sipekne’katik Entertainment Centre – Hammond Plains, NS
- Paq’tnkek Entertainment Centre – Afton Station, NS
- AFN Entertainment Centre – Yarmouth, NS
- Glooscap Gaming Centre – Hantsport, NS