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Betsson Canada Review 2024 - Is Betsson Legal in Ontario?

We have to disaggregate this issue a bit. There is Betsson.com, the gambling site, and Betsson AB, the parent corporation of the same name, whose shares are traded publicly in Stockholm. Betsson AB operates several betting and casino brands and websites across numerous geographies, as one of the biggest consumer online gambling companies in the world. In Canada, their main betting and casino brand is Betsafe Canada, which is both a legal Ontario provider, as well as a "grey market" provider that serves the "rest of Canada" from their international gaming jurisdiction in Malta. Betsafe has been tailored to have a "Canadian" version on their main website, and it is our number one recommended brand for the "rest of Canada" market segment. In Ontario, they operate with a legal betting & casino app.

Betsson.com as a website and brand is not licensed in Ontario, but it does remain open to serve the "rest of Canada", also from Malta (like Betsafe). So Betsson AB as an overall parent company is a legal provider in Ontario, through their Betsafe brand, but not with their more internationally-focused Betsson.com brand. For those outside Ontario, you can play at either Betsafe.com or Betsson.com. What's the difference? We get to it just below, plus we review their odds margins (how good are their odds?), the site experience from computer or mobile, available payment methods for their CAD accounts, their sportsbook bonus offer, their esports coverage, and their other available gaming types.


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Betsson.com vs Betsafe.com: what's the difference for Canadians?

In the past couple of years, Betsson AB has rolled out their new online sportsbook technology across all its betting brands. This super-slick platform is essentially the same at both Betsson.com and Betsafe.com in terms of their odds values, functionality like early cash out and Same Game Parlays, and the availability of CAD accounts and banking methods.  Where do things differ? The Canadian version of Betsafe is more tailored to the Canadian bettor in terms of terminology it uses on site, like "soccer" instead of "football" and our favourite leagues and sports are prioritized compared to what might be a more "international" preference at Betsson.com in terms of convenience links and buttons, and the events that are pushed to be displayed by default.

The other main difference comes with regard to their respective colour schemes. Betsafe mainly uses a black and dark grey background with white text, with some of their trademark red for various imagery. Betsson.com however, uses a white text on dark grey for the main betting information area, but their signature orange is the main colour for the masthead and other graphics.  Some people actually really care about the look of this interface. If you for some reason don't like the Betsafe Canada colour scheme, but you otherwise like the offering, Betsson.com could be a good alternative, as they are so similar in every important aspect of their site.


Betsson Canada odds margins or "sportsbook hold"

For the sports and leagues that Canadians love the most, for the main three betting markets that tend to be the default for first display, the Betsson odds margin or hold tends to be in the region of 4% to 5%. This is fairly typical, or even slightly better than most reputable brands that serve the "rest of Canada" market segment.

We can see this demonstrated simply by looking at the point spread or points total market within NBA or NFL betting.  When the odds are first posted for a game on Betsson, both sides of these 2-way betting markets tend to have odds of 1.91/1.91 or -110/-110. However, of late, along with their Betsafe brand, for NFL point spreads, they have moved to incorporate even lower margins, meaning you get higher odds of 1.92/1.92 or -109/-109 on this, perhaps the most frequently bet upon market in Canada.  Of course, the odds may shift on for any given game so that they are not identical on either potential result, but the margin level tends to remain flat and nicely low.

For popular futures betting markets, where a bettor may select the team that might win the given league outright, lifting the trophy, Betsson also tends to offer lower margins than their competitors in many instances. With a highly international overall customer base, laying action in a well-distributed manner, they also often maintain high odds on teams that are popular for betting in Canada - the home teams. This is key to getting good value for Stanley Cup betting or a bet on NBA futures

For fans of soccer and more 'international' sports, this where Betsson stands out, as a result of their broad and international player base.  Even though you are in Canada, they balance their overall wagering liabilities with betting volumes across all geographical markets in Europe and South America, where they are market leaders.  This tells you that they do significant betting volume on a sport like soccer.  Many of the top brands that serve Canada offer margins around 6% on the main 1X2 market for matches in the top European leagues.  Not Betsson, as you will find margins of just 3% to 4% on the Champions League, Bundesliga, Serie A, LaLiga and EPL betting and so on. When you compare margins, ~3% versus ~6% margin, what the bookie keeps, Betsson's competitors are keeping about 100% more than they are. In other words, Betsson will provide you with much better odds, more often than their competition on soccer.


Betsson.com's sportsbook bonus for Canadians

If you are interested in Betsson's new player offer for sports betting, as we explained above, it is important to remember that Betsson.com as a brand is framed as an "international" sportsbook brand, as opposed to one that is targeting Canada in particular. So even though they offer Canadian dollar accounts and payment methods, know that when you click to claim the bonus offer, the value quoted will be in Euros. Don't fret, CAD accounts are available, and the bonus will also be available to you directly in CAD at a conversion rate at Betsson's discretion against the posted bonus amount, which at last check was 1 to 1 with the Euro, so it's a 100% up to $100 bonus, along with $30 in free bets.  If you read the terms and conditions, you will see they mention that the offer is not available in Ontario, since Betsson.com is not licensed there. This offer is fairly standard from an international brand in terms of value, but specifically Canadian sportsbook bonuses tend to be even larger, including the one from their sibling brand, Betsafe.


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Betsson.com Canada layout & experience from a computer

We love the new Betsson AB sportsbook across devices, but definitely from your laptop or desktop. The site uses the entire width of your screen so you can view more markets and features on screen at once at any given time. A lot of betting brands waste a bunch of your screen real estate on either side, but Betsson uses every pixel so well.  Down the left edge, find a traditional A-Z navigation with sports, leagues and some convenience links to quickly access popular events. Across the top, find a row of icons acting as buttons in a similar, redundant fashion, helping you to find what you need in the format you prefer.  Sometimes these icons represent a really popular league, or a larger sport to help you drill down to the next page. They also provide a "Bet Builder" icon which allows for the simplest route to seeing all the games for which you may create a "Same Game Parlay".


Betsson.com from your mobile in Canada

Betsson has a super-slick mobile interface. It works without any lag and is so easy to navigate from league to league, event to event, create same game parlays, or just switch to your bet slip to actually place the bets. It's no wonder they are now selling this sportsbook technology product in a business-to-business capacity, to other gaming operators.


Does Betsson.com have a "Bet Builder" for Same Game Parlays?

Yes, they do. We've mentioned it elsewhere in this review.  Betsson's proprietary sportsbook has an excellent SGP Bet Builder. They provide "Bet Builder" convenience links or icons across the site, so you can then find all the elligble events for which you may build your SGP, or when you find navigate to a game naturally, you may see a blue indicator prompting you to open the event within the Bet Builder interface.  A lot of bookmaker brands are limited with regard to what events are available for their Bet Builder or Same Game Parlays, like only big soccer or basketball events. Not so with Betsson, which makes this often fun feature available on all the major events that Canadians love to bet on including the NFL, NHL and MLB, in addition to NBA and soccer events.


Does Betsson.com have Canadian dollar accounts?

Yes. Although Betsson.com is not the main sportsbook brand from the company known as Betsson AB for the "rest of Canada" marketplace, Betsson.com offers Canadian dollar accounts so that players outside Ontario can avoid currency exchange fees.


Payment methods at Betsson for Canada

From Canada, Betsson supports deposits via Visa, Mastercard (credit & debit cards), Interac e-transfers, MuchBetter (which includes iDebit), e-wallet LuxonPay and paysafecard. 


Does Betsson.com offer esports betting for Canada?

Yes. Betsson has superior Canadian esports betting in general.  Betsafe is the Betsson AB esports betting brand that we highlight more prominently given that it is actually targetted specifically at the "rest of Canada" market. Both Betsson and Betsafe have fundamentally the same coverage of esports events, the same esports odds and all the same essential betting feature functionality. Again though, if you look to play and claim the Esports Betsson bonus offer, the landing page will indicate the value of the offer in Euros. It is available at 1 to 1 in Canadian dollars.

Note that there is one key difference between Betsson and Betsafe. To navigate to Esports events on Betsson, you may do this via the normal A-Z navigation within their sportsbook. From Betsafe Canada, you may navigate to these events in the same way, or by finding the "Esports" shortcut in the main navigation.


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What other Betsson AB brands serve Canada?

As we've stated above, Betsson AB has numerous sportsbook and casino brands. Betsafe is their main brand for both the legal Ontario market as well as the "rest of Canada" market. We discussed their differences above.  However, Betsson AB also recently acquired brands "Guts" and "Rizk" from Gaming Innovation Group, which both served the Canadian "grey market" for many years prior to this acquisition.  While these have mainly been online and live dealer casino brands, they have also been migrated to the new Betsson AB sportsbook technology platform. So if you want even more choice over the look and theme of play, you have two other nice sportsbook & casino options from this rock-solid company. 


What other gaming types does Betsson.com offer in Canada?

In addition to their sportsbook, Betsson.com also offers their leading online & live dealer casino to players in Canada. They have live dealer games for blackjack, roulette, game shows, wheel games and more, from leading studios Pragmatic Play, and PlayTech among others. Beyond this, they also have a huge array of slots games and jackpot games. 

For nearly all of their normal online casino games and slots that are based in Random Number Generation (not live dealer), you may also play the games for free, without even having to register an account. Simply find your game of choice, hover over the game tile with your cursor, and click or tap to open the button that says "Practice Play". Fun for free.

While Betsson has an excellent online and live casino offering for the rest of Canada market, they also have other gaming verticals for players to access from a single account. These include access to a Racebook for horse racing fans, where you can bet on races taking place around the world. Betsson also provides access to one of the largest online poker communities you can find.


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Betsson AB and responsible gambling

Another reason we love Betsson.com (as well as Betsafe Canada) is that Betsson AB is one of the most serious operators in the world when it comes to implementing responsible gambling tools across their platforms. They were also one of the first gaming companies in the world to create a team within their organisation that was dedicated to responsible gambling.

Given that only Ontario has its own regulated market in Canada, implementing rules and requirements on RG issues and tools, we like to recommend operators that move to take these sorts of initiatives on their own, for use on their "grey market" sites, over and above the requirements within their "offshore" jurisdictions, in their case, in Malta. Players across Canada get access to more RG tools to keep safer with Betsson AB brands Betsson.com and Betsafe Canada.


Betsson Canada bottom line: a great option, if not overtly "Canadian"

Betsson.com would normally be one of our absolute top sports betting and online gaming brands for the "rest of Canada" market segment.  The only real reason that it's not, is that Betsson AB's main brand for Canada is actually Betsafe Canada. Betsafe is totally focused on the Canadian market, with a fully "Canadian version" in terms of terminology, graphics, bonuses and incentives. Betsson.com give Canadians essentially 95% of that experience, with all the fundamental things that you'd want - Canadian dollar accounts and payment methods and the same essential sportsbook, odds and gaming platform, but with a more "international" flavour as the site is not 100% focused on Canada, but rather on English-speakers that reside in all other "grey markets" (like the "rest of Canada" market). If you don't have a Betsafe Canada account, you might prefer to start there. However, know that the brands operate independently, so if you want accounts with both brands, you're allowed to do that.


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