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Betting apps Canada: plusses, minuses & those to avoid 2024

Mobile sports betting apps can be a convenient way to access your online sports betting provider while you're on-the-go, or even as your preferred way to bet at home as you watch your event of interest.  However, you should note that all mobile apps come with serious drawbacks in the form increased risks to your data privacy, as compared to simply using a online sportsbook that offers a great mobile betting site.


Some sportsbooks do not offer mobile betting sites, forcing app usage instead

You might be surprised to hear that many of the brands that will be entering the Ontario legal market will not offer a mobile betting site.  FanDuel, DraftKings, theScore Bet & PointsBet only offer betting apps for mobile users, because in addition to the opportunity to earn money as a gaming company, they can profit from access to your valuable data that only comes through a mobile app, not by offering a mobile betting site. 


Want more private mobile betting?: use a mobile betting site in a private browser session, not an app

Like any mobile app, sports betting apps may be able to tap into other aspects of data on your mobile device that have nothing to do with sports betting, as this data is valuable to the operators.  Their access to this part of your data will be outlined within the terms and conditions of their betting app. 

If you bet from your mobile device through a web browser, especially in an 'Incognito' or 'Private' browser session, you will have far more privacy compared to these apps and you will enjoy essentially the same betting functionality.  This will ensure that your data and activity is not tracked anywhere close to the level that it would be if you used a mobile sports betting app.


What is the only potential benefit to a mobile betting app?

The only small benefit to a betting app over the equivalent mobile website is that you may not need to login every time you open the app, whereas you may need to login every so often when playing through a mobile browser.  However, with various operators, as part of their safer gambling policies, some apps are now also requiring the occasional re-login.  So even this tiny benefit is now being lessened toward parity with mobile websites


Beware of app store sportsbook bonuses: they're often for less value than you can find elsewhere

When you look to find a sports betting app in the app store, most of the brands that you see there for players in Canada (outside Ontario) will have a new customer offer. Some will be shown in the app store listing itself, others will be shown once you have downloaded the app.  However, these offers will usually be the lowest ones available. Preferred affiliate marketers (like us here at SNBET) often get Canadian sportsbook bonuses that have an increased value compared to the default offers found in the app store. Don't sell yourself short on value. Have a look and compare for yourself.  Once you get a bonus offer, you won't be eligible for another from the same brand, so get your top dollar value before you begin at the app store.  After you've registered through the given company's website and gotten your bonus, you will be able to download the app and access it with the same account credentials.  


Beware of scammy sportsbook apps like 1XBET, 22Bet among others

Almost unbelievably, in Apple's app store, and also likely in the Android app store, whether in Ontario, or across Canada, mobile users can find betting apps from 1XBET, their related brand 22Bet, and others, which are totally scam operators.  The former of which is highly visible within advertising during Serie A and LaLiga soccer broadcasts in Canada. 

Unfortunately, when a person in the app stores searches for terms like "sportsbook" or "betting" and any app is listed in these respective app stores, just by existing there, all brands receive a sort of tacit approval.  People think: "If it's in the app store, they must be OK."  Some brands in the app stores are great operators for players across Canada, like the ones we discuss in depth in our Canadian betting site reviews. However, sports betting apps like 1XBET and 22Bet among others should absolutely be avoided by those seeking a top sportsbook app in Canada. They are highly disreputable operators.


Ideally, your sportsbook offers you a choice: mobile app or mobile site

If you are the type of person that does not care about data privacy, this is not an issue for you.  If you do care about your data privacy, you should certainly look to choose a sportsbook provider that at least offers you the option to use a mobile betting site or their app. So beware the of the brands that we do not recommend.  They may very well force you to use a mobile app. 

Since our top betting sites for Canada and Ontario are all fully optimised for mobile browser use, there is really no need for a dedicated app. Not every sportsbook brand even offers a betting app, given development costs and the fact that app stores may not be allowed to offer them for use in every country.  Sports Interaction only recently introduced an app for sports betting, though they always had one for their mobile poker room.  Of our top recommended providers, Android and iOS betting apps are available from Betsafe, Betway, bet365, BetVictor & ComeOn! for use in Canada.


Betting app drawbacks beyond privacy concerns & lower bonus offers: limited withdrawal functionality

Note that within some of these apps you will be able to make sportsbook deposits by Interac and other various CAD payment methods, but there may be limited functionality with regard to account withdrawals or other administrative account settings.  Oftentimes these aspects must be managed or requested from the betting website cashier page or settings area as accessed from a laptop or desktop computer in a web browser like Chrome, Firefox or Safari, not via the app or the mobile site.  


Canadian & Ontario betting apps: given the privacy concerns, are they right for you?

In the end, you need to weigh the balance of all these concerns & drawbacks versus a slight increase in convenience that you might gain in having an app directly on your mobile device.  The choice is yours, but we would only recommend the betting apps as offered by legal Ontario betting sites, or our recommended Canadian betting sites for players in Canada, but outside of Ontario, as they are all reputable providers that offer CAD accounts, which are things you should not take for granted.


Beware of non-CAD sports betting apps

As we outlined above, betting through a mobile browser is actually superior to mobile betting apps in many ways. However, if you insist upon looking through your app store for a sportsbook app, make sure that you are going to play with a provider that offers Canadian Dollar betting accounts so that you may avoid hidden exchange fees that will otherwise occur as part of every transaction.

An example of this comes to you from 888sport. While they are a reputable iGaming company, part of their business model is to earn revenue on currency exchange. Though they serve many international markets including Canada, for most of their existence, they only offered accounts in USD, EUR and GBP.  Any CAD deposits that people made to them were exchanged into the currency balance chosen upon sign up. If you looked at their registration page, they simply noted a dollar sign - not "USD" or "US$".

Thus, it is is understandable that players in Canada might incorrectly have assumed that this refered to Canadian Dollars.  Since 888sport has now entered the legal Ontario market, they have added CAD accounts, but this example shows that you need to be sure that your provider is in fact offering your native currency for play.  Don't make the mistake of playing in USD, as it will cost you 3% to 5% of the value of every transaction through conversion costs. 

When you register at any betting site or mobile app, do not assume that a plain '$' represents CAD unless you are absolutely certain that the provider is essentially dedicated to Canada as a fully Canadian brand (like Sports Interaction for example). 


Example of an 888sport ad served to Canadians in the iOS app store (prior to launch of the legal Ontario market) when searching for 'sportsbook' apps - but Canadian Dollar accounts were not yet available.