Frequently Asked Betting Questions

For some betting on sports is a new concept. For others, transitioning to online sportsbook seems scary. Whether you either fit into of these categories or just want more information about online sportsbook, this is the page for you. We answer many of the top questions Canadians have about online sportsbook here, from the legality of sports betting in Canada to how to read odds.

If you do not see your answer here, consider checking out our other parts of our comprehensive betting guide. If you still are uncertain or have a specified question about a particular online sportsbook, consider contacting that online sportsbook’s customer service department.

Are Online Sportsbooks Legal in Canada?

Online sportsbooks are legal for Canadians to use. Laws around sports betting in Canadian dictate sportsbook cannot operate on Canadian soil outside of provincial sports lotteries (with a few except in Quebec). However, since online sportsbooks operate in different parts of the world, Canadians are legally allowed to use their services.

Currently, under Canadian law, gambling winnings are not subject to tax. There are some implications of income brackets and taxes on interest from winnings, but winnings straight up are not taxed by the government.

What is the Different Between an Online Sportsbook and a Provincial Sports Lottery?

There are many differences between online sportsbooks and provincial sports lotteries. The main differences (and the reasons why Canadians are turning to online sportsbooks for their sports betting needs) include the ability to wager on a single game, better odds on games, bonuses and enhanced technologic features. All of these differences help make online sportsbook the preferred place for Canadians to bet on sports.

What Information does an Online Sportsbook Require?

For safety and legal purposes, online sportsbooks require a bit of information from their users. This information includes a form of Canadian photo id, information proving your method of deposit and withdrawal are legitimate and of course a valid email address. All this information is safely stored and helps online sportsbook fight fraud and international money laundering.

What are Online Sign Up Bonuses?

A great feature of many online sportsbooks is a bonus received when signing up and making a deposit. The majority of sign up bonuses match a new customer's first deposit by 100% (standardly up to $200). While these bonuses are subject to rollover requirements, the additional funds at the start are a great way to experience all the amazing options available for betting online.

Can I Decline a Bonus?

Yes, you may decline a bonus if do not wish to receive it. Some bettors (more experienced and sharp bettors) do not want to deal with a rollover requirement. If a bonus is automatically applied to your account, contact the online sportsbook directly before placing any wagers. Otherwise, you are subject to the rollover requirement.

What are other types of Bonuses Available?

Outside of initial deposit bonuses, some common bonuses on sportsbooks include friend referral bonuses, reload bonuses and Bitcoin bonuses. Each online sportsbook has different rules and limitations on their bonuses. Make sure to read the fine print before accepting a bonus.

What should I look for in an Online Sportsbook?

There are many key features (which we highlight in our online sportsbook reviews) to look for in an online sportsbook. The top qualities to consider when picking an online sportsbook are the quality of odds, the time odds are available, ability to use the online sportsbook on your phone, quality of their customer service, speed of payout and website security.

Do Online Sportsbooks Accept Bitcoin?

Some of the most popular online sportsbook available in Canada now accept Bitcoin as a form of payment and payout. Using Bitcoin has its benefits including faster payouts and increased bonuses.

What is the most Popular Deposit Method?

The most common method of deposit is debit and credit cards. As they are fast, reliable and secure, most Canadians prefer to use a debit or credit card over any other way available.

What is the Minimum Amount I can Deposit into my Account?

Most online sportsbooks require a minimum deposit of $10 to $20 (depending on the method of deposit and the online sportsbooks). Transactional services are one of the highest costs for an online sportsbook and letting users deposit smaller amounts increases their total costs. If online sportsbooks accepted any amount, they would likely need to make the money up elsewhere, meaning the vig/juice on betting lines would increase. 

How long does it take to Receive Payouts from an Online Sportsbook?

Depending on the method you elect to use to deposit and withdraw from your account determines the average time it takes to receive a payout. Bitcoin payouts are currently the fastest, followed by credit/debit cards and lastly any physical form (cheques or Western Union transfers).

Some online sportsbooks allow you to use eWallets to fund your account. While eWallets are about as fast as credit and debit cards, you should remember to add in the time it takes to transfer money from your eWallet to your bank account.

Why can I not Withdraw all my Funds from my Account?

There are two reasons why you cannot withdraw money from your account. The first, and most common, is you have not yet completed your rollover requirement. If you receive a bonus, online sportsbooks require you to bet and win a minimum amount before you are eligible for payouts.

The second is your request is too big or too small. If your method of payout is a debit card, the maximum you may withdraw at a time is often $1000. This limit is based off banks and credit card companies sometimes blocking transactions from online sportsbooks that exceed $1000. Other methods allow for larger withdraws, but every method has a maximum amount per transaction. 

Where should I start Betting?

The best way to start betting is to bet on the sports you know the most about. For many, this means hockey and the NFL. While hockey remains the most popular sport in Canada, no sport draws in as much action as the NFL. Once you are more comfortable betting on the sports you know, consider branching out and looking into more sports to maximize your earnings potential.

How do I read Odds?

Before explaining how to read odds, we recommend you use American odds when using an online sportsbook. American odds are always whole numbers and the majority of betting predictions and previews in North American use American odds.

When looking at American odds, you see entire a plus or minus sign. If you see a plus sign in front of the number, then the odds reflect how much you win if you wager $100. For example, a moneyline of +250 wins you $250 ($350 if you include your stake). If you see negative odds, it means you need to wager that much money to win $100. If the odds are -200, you win $50 on a $100 wager (total of $150 when including your stake).

What are the most Popular Bet Types?

The three most popular bet types are point spreads, moneylines and game totals. Point spreads are most popular on basketball and football, while moneylines are the top pick for soccer, baseball and hockey. Totals are bet on every sport. 

How do I know how much I win on a Wager?

When making your betting slip, any quality online sportsbook will show you the amount of money you win when you enter your wager. As odds get more complicated as you parlay bet or dive into more obscure wagers, it is good to know how much you win before you place a bet. If you are happy with the amount you win, click submit on your betting slip.

Is there a Standard Betting Amount?

The standard amount bet is not based on anything other than a sports bettors confidence and bankroll. Newer or more risk averse bettors may prefer to keep wagers smaller. Sharp bettors who make large deposits are more likely to risk large amounts of money.

As long as your bet is between the minimum and maximum amount, you are welcome to wager any amount you feel comfortable with.

How do I know if I won my bet?

The majority of online sportsbooks communicate through email. This rule applies to telling customers about winning bets. Once all the events have concluded (with usually a few minutes to ensure accuracy) and you won, you should receive an email from the online sportsbook confirming your win. If you did not sign up for emails, go into your account. Either you can see the win in your bet history, or you will see the winnings added to your account.

What does “No Action” mean?

When betting on certain sports, online sportsbooks give some bettors the option to select “no action.” “No action” means if something changes before the start of the game or event then the bet is void. This option is most common on baseball (when a pitching change occurs before the start) and golf (when a golf withdraws from a tournament before teeing off on the first day).

Sportsbook can also void bets due to “no action” if a game goes not play out fully. Although this is extremely rare when betting on the NHL, NFL, and NBA, it does occur on MLB games. If an MLB game is cancelled before the fifth inning, all bets are deemed “no action”, voided and refunded. 

What is the Difference between Player Props on a Game and Player Props for the Season?

The betting term player props encompasses two district types of bets. The first is what player will do in a single game. The second is what a player will do over the entire season. Most game player props involve betting on totals and whether a player will accomplish a specific feat in a game (catch a touchdown, score a goal, hit a home run…etc).

Player props for the season usually involve picking what player will lead the league in a specific statistically category or win an award. Odds on season-long player props are much higher, but require you to pick against dozens of other players.

What is Live Betting?

Live betting is a newer concept that involves placing wagers on a game currently in play. Online sportsbooks provide live lines that adjust over the course of the game. If a team opened as a 3.5 point favourite, goes ahead by 15 points, the moneyline and point spread will adjust accordingly.

When is a Good Time to Bet on Futures?

While the ideal time is subject to the quality of odds available, most bettors agree the best time to bet on futures is in the small window between the preseason and regular season. By now rosters are final, starting lineups are set, and the quality of each team going forward is more apparent.  

Is there a Limit to how many Parlays I should make on one Betting Slip?

Limiting your parlays to three or four bets is smart. Anything more than this leads a bettor into dangerous territory, making it exceedingly hard to net a profit. Even if you only parlay three -110 lines per betting card, you still need to be right about 57% of the time to break even. If you bet each game individually, you only need to be correct 52.4% of the time to profit.