Canada plays an important role in the online gambling industry, being one of the most favorable countries to do business in and with a population that is always fond to place a bet. Canadian gamblers are some of the most active in the world and the size of the Canadian gambling market is growing with every quarter. While this is true for the whole gambling industry in general, sports betting, in particular, has experienced a dramatic rise in popularity over the past few years, more specifically on the Internet, where Canadian users have a plethora of websites at their disposal.
Online gambling has always been big in Canada and it shows no signs of slowing down. The size of the market is in a state of perpetual growth and users have never had more options at their disposal. In this article, we would like to better explore the Canadian online sports betting scene and give you some insight into some of the more important aspects of it, such as legalities, odds types, bonuses and promotions, payment methods and more.
Canada Legislations Regarding Online Sports Betting
The legal aspect of online gambling for Canadian residents is nothing if not overly complicated and generally confusing. The laws regarding the legality of sports betting on the Internet are somewhat elaborate and are not always understood by punters. Domestic gambling operations available to Canadian residents can only be run by the regional governments and it is illegal in most cases for private individuals and companies to provide gambling services to residents. Moreover, gambling operations hosted in Canadian jurisdiction are also against the law. It is a common occurrence that government-run sports betting shops are the only types available to Canadians.
However, while the rules about brick-and-mortar establishments are clear, the same does not apply to gambling websites. It is still illegal to host a gambling website on Canadian soil, but punters can always frequent websites based abroad. So it has become the norm that Canadian bettors visit foreign-based sports betting websites and there are no legal repercussions for that. While the practice has not been fully legalized, it is not against the law either. This is considered by many to be a legal grey area and so far, the Canadian government has not addressed it in any significant way. Whatever the legalities are, the rules are enforced on service providers, which means that users will be held accountable regardless of their actions.
Bonuses and Promotions at Canadian Sports Betting Sites
A common feature of the online gambling industry, which includes online sportsbooks, is the offering of promotional incentives to prospective and loyal punters. Since most gambling websites offer mostly the same service they have to find different means of competing with each other. This is where bonuses and promotions come in. These provide punters with some form of value to entice them to register at a particular sportsbook. This way the user gets something for their troubles, while the sportsbook receives their business. It is a win-win situation and it is a staple of the industry.
Of course, there are many different types of promotions and each the details of each is entirely dependent on the sportsbook in question. However, they all share similar features and we can give you some insight into what to expect.
Deposit bonuses are one of the most common promotion types in the online gambling industry. These are offered when you are about to fund your sportsbook bankroll and they involve a match of your real-money deposit in bonus money. Bonus money can only be withdrawn after completing a turnover requirement and abiding by the terms of the promotion. A turnover requirement dictates that you must place a certain amount of money in bets before you can cash in a bonus. Usually, this turnover requirement realizes itself as x number of times the value of the deposit.
For example, you take a 100% match on your deposit of CA$20 and you receive CA$20 in bonus money. The promotion comes with a turnover requirement of 4 times. As a result, you will need to place CA$80 in wagers ($20*4) before you are allowed to cash that money in. Moreover, you will also have to play at certain odds dictated by the sportsbooks and your maximum bet size may be limited. It is very important to read the entirety of the bonus terms and abide strictly by them, as any deviation from the norm may result in your bonus being taken away.
Free bets are another common promotion type and you can receive them at most online sportsbooks. A free bet means that you can take on a certain bet free of charge to you. If you win, you will receive a certain amount in bonus funds, and if you lose, it will not affect your bankroll. Free bets require practically no investment on your end of things and they can a nice way to win a few bucks. As usual, the winnings from the free bets will be subject to certain requirements, similar to those that we discussed above.
Bet refunds are available at a large number of online sportsbooks provide punters with the opportunity to recoup the losses from a lost bet. Every now and then, the sportsbook may decide to refund a lost bet and credit your account with the whole sum, but in bonus funds. As such, you will have to wager them a certain number of times before you can withdraw that amount. Bet refunds are also entirely cost-free and you are given the chance to win your money back, which is by no means a bad thing.
When you visit an online sportsbook you will notice how each bet comes with its own unique odds. These are meant to represent the chances of a particular team winning and also indicate the payout you can expect to receive if you place a bet. Sports betting websites are known to include three different types of odds and we will explain what each type means.
Fractional odds are popular with British and Irish punters, but they are also available at most online sportsbooks. They are written with a slash or a hyphen and look something like this: 3/1 or 3-1. They are quite easy to read and understand, which explains their popularity. Basically, for every CA$1.00 that you wager, you will receive CA$3.00 if you win. Moreover, these odds only showcase your profit potential and do not include the original bet. What we mean is that CA$3.00 will be pure profit and when combined with the CA$1.00, your bankroll would stand at CA$4.00.
Decimal odds are most commonly found at European sportsbooks, but punters from different countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and also Canada like them quite a bit. A decimal odds be will look like this:
- Team A: 3.00
- Team B: 1.50
Not only do these odds tell us which team is more likely to win, they also paint us a clear picture how much we can make if we bet on one of them. For example, a CA$5 bet on Team A will net us a bankroll of CA$15 at the end, whereas a bet on Team B will result in our bankroll swelling to CA$7.50. Unlike fractional odds, decimal odds also include the bet in the calculation. So when looking at the figures we posted here, know that that would be your final bankroll.
Americans like to have their own system for just about anything and this also includes betting odds types. The team favored to win will be indicated by a minus (-) symbol, while the other will be marked with a plus (+) symbol. Moreover, the number shown after the + indicates how much we can expect to win if we wager CA$100. However, the numbers after the – show us how much we have to bet to win CA$100. For example:
- Team A: +200
- Team B: -105
These odds indicate that if we place CA$100 on Team A, we can expect to win CA$200 if they do. But if we wager CA$100 on Team B and they win, we will receive CA$105. Similarly to fractional odds, American odds feature only the profit that you stand to make. So if you win a bet on Team A, you will have CA$100 as your original bet and CA$200 as profit, bringing your net bankroll to a total of CA$300.
Of course, you have to be wondering what sports do Canadian online sportsbooks support and offer to their user base. While this would be entirely dependent on the gambling website of choice, you will find that most sportsbook offer wide a range of sports and most can satisfy even the most hardcore of punters.
There are many sports that you can place bets on and you will find the most popular sports leagues available at most websites. This includes leagues such as the NFL or NBA, though you will also find sports types like football, horse racing, hounds racing, volleyball, cricket and many more.
Popular Payment Services at Canadian Sports Betting Sites
Of course, since you will be placing bets on the Internet exclusively, you will not have the option to use physical cash. This would be an issue were it not for the many payment services supported by the online sportsbook. Luckily, sports betting sites accept deposit via a plethora of different payment methods and you will be able to use them to fund your online bankroll. Since there are a lot of different services out there, we will list some of the more popular ones below.
Credit cards are an excellent way to fund your online sportsbook balance. You will be able to use them at nearly any gambling website, as they are one of the most widely supported services out there. Not only they widely accepted, but credit cards are also quite easy to acquire, being offered at nearly every bank. This makes them into one of the easiest and most convenient methods of funding your balance.
Deposits made via credit card will clear instantly, giving you the opportunity to immediately start placing bets without having to wait for the payment to be processed. Moreover, you will be able to withdraw your winnings via the same method. At most sportsbooks, you will be able to use Visa and MasterCard to make your deposit.
A good alternative to credit cards are the multiple electronic wallet services supported by sportsbooks. An eWallet is an online payment solution where you can control your finances on the Internet. Using an eWallet, you can make deposits in a matter of seconds, allowing you to place your bets instantly. Moreover, you will also have the benefit of the fastest withdrawals in the industry, since an eWallet transaction takes only a few hours to process, once the sportsbook’s staff approves it.
An excellent perk of this payment method is the added anonymity. Since your eWallet is kept completely separate from your personal bank account, the gambling website will receive no concrete information about you and this is a feature that many punters appreciate. Popular choices in terms of eWallets are Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz, PayPal and more.
Prepaid cards are one of the most readily available payment methods out there and you can acquire one with incredible ease. There are several advantages of using prepaid cards, one of which is the incredible speed that transactions are carried out. Deposits made via a prepaid card will clear through almost instantly.
Moreover, due to the impersonal nature of this payment method, you will not be able to withdraw any winnings. However, this also means that you will enjoy unrivaled anonymity when using a prepaid card. A commonly accepted prepaid service is Paysafecard, available at thousands of retail locations and widely accepted in the online gambling industry.
Online banking does not enjoy the attention that it deserves as this is an excellent payment service with quite a lot of versatility. Using one such service, you will be able to efficiently and seamlessly control your bankroll, funding it and withdrawing money as you see fit.
There are many top-tier online banking services out there that will allow you to instantly deposit to your online sportsbook balance directly from your bank account. Moreover, withdrawals are also quite speedy, clearing much faster than a standard bank transfer. Among the more popular online banking services for Canadian punters, we find iDebit, InstaDebit, Interac Online and others.
Cryptocurrencies are the fastest rising payment method in the online gambling industry and many websites are starting to accept them as a valid means of funding a bankroll. This payment service is a form of electronic money that exists only on the Internet and comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, transactions are carried out in a matter of seconds usually and users enjoy great anonymity since cryptocurrencies are not connected to you in any significant way.
However, since they are also decentralized there is no customer support to rely on if things go wrong. Moreover, many gambling websites may opt-in to pay your winnings in traditional currency rather than in cryptocurrency. Popular cryptocurrencies support by online sportsbooks are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin and others.
Mobile Support for Canadian Sports Betting Sites
With the rise of smartphones and tablets in our day-to-day lives, we have constant access to the Internet no matter where we are. This has also led to an increase in the number of punters who place bets while on the go. In fact, a significant portion of the online gambling community exclusively uses mobile devices to meet their sports betting needs. As a result, many gambling websites have begun supporting mobile versions or dedicated applications to satisfy this part of their user base.
If you are such a punter, then you must probably be wondering what the state of the Canadian online gambling regarding mobile betting is. You would be surprised to know that the vast majority of online sportsbooks offer some form of mobile gambling. Most companies choose to take the route of adapting their website to be usable on a smaller display, giving users the opportunity to access the sportsbook directly from the browser of their mobile devices. Others, particularly larger brands, may also provide a dedicated application which can be installed supported mobile platforms. In any event, you will find that the mobile version of a sportsbook is generally very well built and you will have access to all features available on the desktop version, such as the sports variations, odd types, promotions, banking options and more.
Online gambling is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world and law-abiding operators have to follow strict rules of conduct if they wish to remain in the business. Since the Internet has the potential to make many illegal things possible, online sportsbooks and other gambling websites are required by law to ask for identification. This is done so that the user can prove that they are of legal age to gamble and that they are not involved in any money laundering schemes. Overall, it is a necessary evil, but it is for the better.
Depending on your transaction method, withdrawals can take anywhere between a few hours and two business weeks. Of course, what you should keep in mind is that these wait times only come into effect after the sportsbook approves the transaction. Before that happens it has to be reviewed, which by itself could take anywhere between 1 hour and 3 days.
This is an excellent question and one that does not get asked too often nowadays. All legally-operating gambling websites have to be accredited by a regulatory institution. To be certain of this, look for the logo of one somewhere on the sportsbook’s front page. It should include a link where anyone can see the license number and the company that operates the website. Licenses are of great importance in the online gambling world since they indicate that a website has passed all the tests that an institution has to offer. This includes fairness, security of personal and banking data, and more.