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Bwin is owned by gaming Goliath, Entain, which also holds a stake in the US brand, BetMGM. If BetMGM is to legally serve Ontario, Bwin will also need to obtain a license for Ontario. As the two brands are connected, none of Entain's Ontario players will be allowed to fall into a 'grey market' provider under their corporate banner. The AGCO will not allow it. As such, we would fully expect Bwin to serve Ontario players in a legal capacity as one of many licensed Ontario betting sites. How might the Bwin offering stack up against the rest of the providers that are coming to the Ontario market? We get into it now.
• Sluggish betting platform
• High sportsbook hold, yielding lower odds.
• Question marks remain about parent company & their respect for regulatory rules, given a history of fines.
Entain is a massive gaming company, but it only added CAD accounts to its site within the last 12 months - Canada has not been a focus for them. We're not sure how, but the sportsbook platform that they have developed for Bwin is terribly slow compared to essentially every other betting site that will be in the Ontario marketplace. Think we're joking? Try it for yourself and browse around. You'll notice the golden wheel, spinning as you load various pages.
Other times, the whole site freezes as the page loads in, so you can't even scroll to view the odds and markets until everything loads. In our opinion, Bwin feels like a website from the early 2000s. Compare this to other top sites that we recommend which are quick, intuitive and seamless to use. Bwin feels laggy and clunky relative to the top providers.
Entain owns many sports betting and iCasino brands that are regulated in various national regimes around the world. In looking at those operations, we can get a look at how Bwin may operate in the legal Ontario sports betting and iGaming market. Entain owns Australian brand, 'Neds'. In Australia, sports betting bonus offers are banned. Agents for 'Neds' were found at a Horse Racing track offering $1,000 bonus offers via QR code to get new players to sign up. Entain was made to pay the maximum allowable fine.
Entain also owns UK brands 'Ladbrokes' and 'Coral'. In 2019, before they had changed their name to Entain from 'GVC Holdings', these brands were fined £5.9 million for "systemic failings" to protect problem gamblers. In New Jersey, the Bwin brand itself was fined US$81,000 while under the GVC name because their NJ online casino site 'bwin.party' was accepting wagers from people that had registered for self-exclusion from online gambling in that US state. Jurisdiction by jurisdiction, GVC/Entain has had to pay numerous fines despite being a regulated operator. Can we expect to see similar infractions in Ontario with regard to Bwin? Time will tell.
On the positive side of things, Bwin offers a mobile betting site. They do not force users to download a sports betting app like some of the US brand entrants to Ontario. Mobile apps have significant data privacy issues and companies like DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet and theScore Bet only offer mobile betting via their apps. Quite clearly, rather than offer the more private option, these other providers want the opportunity to harvest and leverage your user data - where you browse, your movements, whatever the terms of the app define. Bwin doesn't force their app on you if you wish to bet on-the-go. You can play from their mobile site through your Internet browser, which is far more secure in terms of privacy, especially if you use 'Private' or 'Incognito' sessions. Again though, the Bwin platform is laggy and slow compared to our recommended Ontario sportsbooks.
The AGCO has not yet set rules with regard to Ontario sports betting bonuses and whether or not they will be allowed to be listed on sites like ours. Bwin does offer one now from their 'grey market' jurisdiction. Note however that the current bonus offer from Bwin for Canada (from the grey market) is restricted to use with various payment methods. In their offer terms & conditions you can see that popular Canadian sportsbook payment methods like Interac or MuchBetter do not qualify toward the bonus offer. Again, not great.
Entain is a big gaming company. Despite what we find to be a sub-standard betting platform, they do offer competitive odds on the main betting markers for the top four leagues for Canadian bettors. These are the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB and the most popular 2-way markets. Odds here are in-line with top Ontario sportsbooks, as you'll find odds margins in the 5% region, which look like 1.91/1,91 or -110/-110 when the odds figures are identical on spreads or totals.
However, for top soccer leagues, surprisingly for a hugely international provider, Bwin odds margins blow out to pretty uncompetitive levels. For the main 1X2 match winner markets on the UCL, we found margins in the 6% to 7% range, which is way off the mark, as several top providers in the Ontario market will provide top soccer league 1X2 margins around 3% to 4%. Others have margins near 5%. Given how 'international' they are as a brand, we're not sure how Bwin has such poor odds margins for soccer. Perhaps all those sponsorship deals are getting paid for with increased odds margins. Regardless, if you want solid soccer odds, stay away from Bwin.
As you read this bit about odds margin, know that you should not be thinking that Bwin is only 1% or 2% different than the more competitive providers, and that this is a negligable difference. This would be an incorrect assumption. When a competitive bookmaker has 3% margin on a soccer match, and Bwin has 6% margin, Bwin is not keeping 3% more - they are keeping 100% more. This is how you need to think about sportsbook hold.
These uncompetitive margins continue for other 'international' sports like cricket and rugby where a 7% margin is often used, which is about 40% higher than our top-rated Ontario sportsbooks for the same events. Lower tier sports leagues also have really high odds margins, so anything below the upper most leagues in a given sport will have 7% margins or higher at Bwin, even for the main betting markets, let alone for the available prop bets.
Somehow at the time of our review, under one of the largest gaming companies in the world, Bwin did not offer esports betting at all from a computer. Not on their international betting site, or on any of their nationally regulated sites in Europe. Given the explosion of esports and esports betting, we're not sure how this has happened - but they don't care to offer it just yet. Perhaps they just need to integrate their recent purchase of esports betting site, 'Unikrn' into their platform. You can however access their esports betting via mobile though. We have no idea why you can access from one but not the other. For better esports coverage and access from all devices, see our top Ontario esports betting sites that all offer incredible esports wagering coverage and odds.
For Canada from the 'grey market' Gibraltar-based jurisdiction, Bwin accepts Visa, Mastercard, Citadel Instant banking, Interac Online (compatible with TD and RBC only. Bwin does not support Interac e-transfers which are supported by Scotia, BMO, CIBC and the other major banks), MuchBetter, Instadebit, Electronic Transfer and paysafecard. One would expect that most of these payment methods will be available should Bwin Ontario go live as expected in spring of 2022. Again, note however that several of the above methods do not qualify for their new customer bonus. (Remember, use of credit cards at gambling sites in Canada are treated as 'Cash Advances' - so interest accrues from the moment of the transaction, even if you normally pay your balances in full every month.)
As part of iGaming company Entain, Bwin Ontario will offer its players access to both iCasino and online poker verticals. While they will be one of several legal Ontario online casinos once the market opens officially in April 2022, there will be many options that will offer more intuitive, smoother platforms with a better selection of games. It's not just their sports betting offering that we find to be below-par. Remember, we could refer you to each and every gaming company, but we only do that with the companies we recommend to our Ontario and Canadian audiences. If you are also interested in online bingo as part of your gaming experience, Bwin does not offer this. Bingo is available however at bet365 and BetVictor.
Want an amazingly fast and intuitive betting platform? You can do better than Bwin, which can be described as laggy at best.
Want to get really competitive odds? You can do better than Bwin, which has some of the highest margins (aka sportsbook hold) that we've seen for such a large gaming brand.
Want a decent new customer offer? You can do better than Bwin, which is highly restrictive in their terms and conditions regarding the acceptable deposit methods that can be used toward gaining the bonus.
In the end as an Ontario sports bettor, you can do much, much better than Bwin.