As more Canadians turn towards online sportsbooks to satisfy their sports betting needs, the market for online sportsbooks in Canadian continues to grow. Now, more than ever it is important to know how to choose the best online sportsbook. On this page, we will discuss what to look for in a quality online sportsbook, differences between sportsbooks and sports lotteries, how to avoid bad sportsbooks and how to pick the best online sportsbook.
Key Differences Between Online Sportsbooks
When you enter the market for an online sportsbook, it is important to remember that no two sportsbooks are created precisely equal. While the smaller, nuanced differences between the best online sportsbooks play more into a consumer’s preference, all the best options serving the Canadian market share many important qualities.
- Betting opportunities (sports, games, type of bets available)
- Customer service
- Variety and ease of deposit/withdrawal options
- Deposit/withdrawal speed
- Bonuses and promotions
- History and reputation, and promotions offered.
- Secondary betting options (horse racing, esports, fantasy sports)
- User-friendliness of the interface
- Mobile friendliness
- Odds for games
- Odds posting schedule
Any online sportsbook worth its salt should first and foremost be licensed and regulated. While there are different governing and licensing bodies for online sportsbooks (depending on location), all online sportsbooks worth checking out should have a license and provide information on their website about their license and how they are regulated.
Choosing a licensed online sportsbook is highly recommended. In the case of any dispute, fraud or other issues (most frequently involving money) the governing and regulating body can help customers. Unregulated sportsbooks can operate in a much shadier manner, whether it be withholding winning, arguing odds or straight up deleting accounts.
Outside of being licensed and regulated, there are other similarities the best online sportsbooks serving Canadians share. Great odds, large event selection, single bet availability, bonuses and promotions are just a few things any good online sportsbooks should offer to their users.
Diving deeper into online sportsbooks is where you will find the differences. Some offer higher limits, more events or greater promotions. These factors, combined with an individual’s betting preference often play an important rule when deciding on a sportsbook. Before choosing an online sportsbook, consider your style of sports betting. Understanding your own betting approach can help make picking an online sportsbook a more straightforward process.
Most Important Aspects Of Online Sportsbooks
When making any decision in life, a broad understanding of a subject helps anyone make a better-informed decision. Choosing an online sportsbook should be no different. There are multiple different aspects of online sportsbooks to understand before picking the option that is best for you. The list below covers the most essential parts of an online sportsbook and why they are important.
Odds and Betting Selection
The best online sportsbooks offer better action than anything available from provincial sport’s lotteries. They operate in a more competitive industry, requiring them to provide competitive lines, much closer (or the same) as to what is available in other markets around the world (for example Las Vegas sportsbooks).
The competitiveness of the industries makes correct wagers more profitable and the overall experience more enjoyable. Also, as online sportsbooks operate in the digital space, lines and odds are posted much quicker and will adjust accordingly in real time.
The amount of options available for wagering is another crucial component to look for in an online sportsbook. While the majority of wagering in Canada takes place on the four major North American sports leagues, being limited to just a few lines, props and odds per game can quickly make betting more difficult. The best online sportsbooks serving the Canadian market often offer dozens of different options on every game.
They also offer lines on leagues all over the globe and are increasing the amount of non-sport events available for betting (elections, reality televisions and award shows are just a few examples). The more considerable amount of options helps make parlaying easier.
Bonuses and Promotions
A few options out there offer reload bonuses on every deposit, instead of a more significant sign up bonus. However, this style of bonus is not quite as popular and often comes with a few more restrictions such as higher minimal odds on wagers (when using all or a portion of bonus cash).
Along with sign up bonuses, most quality online sportsbooks offer a variety of other promotions and bonuses. One of the more common bonuses is the friend referral bonus. Typically, a user can receive a unique code to provide to friends. When those friends use that code when signing up and making their first deposit, both people receive some type of additional bonus (commonly $20 for each, but amounts and requirements for bonuses do vary per online sportsbooks).
Promotions are another part of an online sportsbook to consider. While the word bonus and promotion are similar, the term promotion is applied differently than bonuses.
Promotions often reflect seasonal shifts in sports betting. For example, during the NFL season, online sportsbooks may offer promotions specific to the NFL. These promotions can include (but are not limited to) freerolls, certain rewards for betting on the NFL and contests held over the season.
Promotions are a fun way sportsbooks reward their user and often have fewer requirements such as free entries and free rewards.
Outside of seasonal sports promotions, some other promotions available include, reload bonuses, cashback bonuses (often on losing wagers) and return user bonuses (encouraging long dormant users to reactivate or deposit in their account).
Deposits and Payouts
Certain other options are growing in popularity. One of those options is Bitcoin. Users will find many of the most popular online sportsbooks in Canada are accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment. Also depending on the online sportsbook, Bitcoin may provide the quickest, cheapest and safest way to withdraw and deposit money.
Addition methods of depositing funds and withdrawing money are available, although they may have more drawbacks. Some of these methods include sending money through companies like Western Union and using virtual cards. If using any of these services, it is important to read the fine print and understand potential fees and delays.
The best online sportsbooks offer multiple ways to contact their customer service department. Live chat, email and toll-free phone numbers allow the user to communicate with their online sportsbook through their method of choice.
A site that crashes or does not update quickly will have a difficult time retaining their business. Say in the lead up to the Super Bowl (the most significant single betting event in North America), the site is struggling to function. Online sportsbooks that suffer through these types of problems will either lose plenty of business or need to compensate their users to make sure they do not turn to the competition. As the potential loss of a site faltering is so substantial, the top-rated options for Canadians rarely face this sort of issue.
The second, and bigger issue, involving reliability involves payouts and honouring winnings. While certain online sportsbooks may have limits on the maximum amount that can be withdrawn at one time, no reliable online sportsbook should straight up deny their users their winnings. Making sure an online sportsbook is licensed and regulated is very important to avoid this happening. Licensed sportsbooks must adhere to industries standards and honour winnings in a timely fashion.
Additionally, in the event of a dispute, licensing and regulating bodies will act as an intermediary between users and the sportsbook, to help users collect their winnings. Make sure to choose a fully licensed online sportsbook.
How To Pick A Sportsbook?
When selecting a sportsbook, it is first good to have an idea of what type of sports bettor you are or plan to be. Once you decide what you need, our reviews help narrow down the many options available. Once you choose your online sportsbook, click the link on the review page to sign up and start your online sports betting experience.
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How Do Our Sportsbooks Reviews work?
With years of experience in the industry, we have crafted careful examinations of the best online sportsbooks serving Canadians. Our reviews focus on the most critical parts of an online sportsbook and point out the pros and cons of picking each option.
Reviews provide information on the important aspects of an online sportsbook, such as bonuses, odds, customer service and site functionality. Instead of visiting every site, we provide a ranked listing of the best options available in Canada, helping Canadians cut down their search time and focus more energy on actually betting on sports.
Sportsbooks Grading System
Our sportsbook grading system uses a 1 to 10 scale to rate the most important aspects of an online sportsbook. While no option is perfect (currently no choice scored a 10 in every category), the best online sportsbooks available should score between 8 and 10 in the majority of categories graded.
Some online sportsbooks do score lower in certain aspects than others. However, this does not necessarily rule them out as an option. Certain online sportsbooks may forego high sign up bonuses for better odds or offer a greater range of betting events but lack a fully functional mobile site.
The grading system is a useful tool to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of top options available and help you make the best choice that reflects your sports betting needs.
Differences Between Sports Lotteries and Online Sportsbooks
Before explaining the difference between sports lotteries and online sportsbooks, we shall acquaint those unfamiliar with the term sports lotteries. A sports lottery is a definition given to any sort of sports betting service that requires more luck than skill to have success.
What fits into a sport’s lottery? The provincial run sports betting programs available across Canada. These services handicap bettors, forcing them to wager a minimum of two events on every card. To make matters worse, they offer lower odds, a smaller selection and minimal options outside of spreads, points and totals.
With provincial sports lotteries either too slow or unwilling to change, many Canadians are turning to online sportsbooks for their sports betting needs. Online sportsbooks have significant advantages over provincial sports lotteries. These advantages include:
Better odds on events
More extensive selection of betting options available
Single bet options
Limited online services
Lack of futures for wagering
No live betting
Frequently Ask Questions
Before picking and signing up for an online sportsbook, here are some of the most commonly asked questions Canadians have about online sportsbooks.
Why do I have to register an account?
What is the minimum first deposit?
Also, online sportsbooks may have a different minimum deposit requirement when applying a sign up bonus to a user’s first deposit.
What is the maximum first deposit?
Maximum deposits can also depend on the method of deposit. Some sites will allow for larger deposits when using Bitcoin or send a physical cheque.
How much or little can I bet at once?
Maximum bets are also dependent on the site and on the event. Online sportsbooks set maximum bets differently per event type. For example, Sport’s Interaction offers a maximum bet on NBA totals of $550 but allows for up to $2200 when betting on a specific side to win. Maximums can increase for preferred bettors or on certain events such as the Super Bowl.
Do all online sportsbooks offer the same odds?
What is the most common method of deposit and withdrawal?
How do I collect winnings?
This process helps to avoid fraud and ensure processing of deposits correctly. Unless a card is switched or expired, this step is necessary only once.
What happens if I stop using my account?
An account with funds and no activity over a lengthy period of time could be subject to interest charges, which will get deducted from the money in your account.
If you plan not to use an account for a long period, consider contacting customer service directly to avoid any problems.
Canadian Sportsbooks Guide
- Lesson 1: How to choose the best sportsbook for you
- Lesson 2: How to sign-up for a sportsbook
- Lesson 4: Best sportsbook sign-up bonuses
- Lesson 5: 100% deposit bonuses explained
- Lesson 7: Using Bitcoin at an online sportsbook
- Lesson 8: Safest Bitcoin sportsbooks