While FanDuel is essentially a US-facing sportsbook and DFS brand, it is actually owned by Flutter Entertainment plc, which is one of the largest iGaming and betting companies in the world, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Flutter shares trade on both the London and Dublin stock exchanges. We will start off by stating that the Fanduel Sportsbook is an excellent betting platform from an American perspective. They are worthy of their dominant #1 market position in the US. However, this review is not about their US offering, it's about their Ontario one.
While we hoped FanDuel would create a bespoke offering for its Ontario audience, unfortunately, they did what they said they would not do, which is to essentially copy and paste most of their US platform for Ontario, without really thinking about how Canadians & Ontarians differ from American players, and we discuss this below. How does FanDuel Sportsbook compare to other fully legal iGaming Ontario betting sites? Unfortunately, while the overall platform is likely very good for most players now, from our perspective, several important drawbacks keep us from recommending it as a top option, and the first point has to do with their mobile sportsbook.
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First of all, know that players at FanDuel Sportsbook & Casino in Canada must be 19+ and physically located in the province of Ontario. If you are located in Alberta, BC, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan, the Atlantic Provinces or the Territories, you are not eligible to play at FanDuel Sportsbook in Canada. While this might be disappointing news for those reading this from outside Ontario, we have reviews of what are the top five Canadian betting sites in our opinion. This list is meant for players outside Ontario. All brands listed therein offer CAD accounts and payment methods like Interac and Instadebit. All the brands listed there for Canada have been licensed in the Ontario legal market. Don't risk playing at untrustworthy brands based in Eastern Europe or Central America. Note that FanDuel's Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games will remain open to players across Canada (outside Ontario).
Like many of the US brands that are attempting the move into Ontario, FanDuel only offers mobile sports betting via their mobile Ontario sportsbook app, not via a betting site as accessed via your mobile Internet browser. If you try to access their site from a tablet or mobile, they will not allow access to the site, simply telling you that you must download the app to your device in order to continue so they can verify your location. (They don't need to do this, they could ask you to verify your location in other ways). For users that may have mobile data app privacy concerns, this will be a drawback. A mobile betting site in addition to their app would offer an option for far more user privacy.
FanDuel Ontario will not be the only US sportsbook entrant that forces app usage for mobile betting, as PointsBet & DraftKings also require it. BetMGM and BetRivers are US entrants that will not force app usage for mobile betting, so an app mandate is not a given.
If any Ontario-based players have data privacy concerns, there is no reason to feel they need to play at a provider that forces the use a mobile app. Several leading Ontario sports betting providers give their customers the option to play via their mobile betting site, or may additionally have their apps. Given this lack of optionality over mobile betting, there is no way that we would be able to recommend the FanDuel Sportsbook to Ontario players as one of our top options. It is one of our key points for a recommendation or not.
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We actually can't believe this happened. Despite a stated aim to treat Ontario as the unique market that it is (see our embedded January 27 tweet), FanDuel failed to do so, a fact revealed during their launch in April 2022. FanDuel's parent company also owns the BetFair brand. BetFair for a time also served Canada from the 'grey market', so they have experience in Canada. They should know that Canadian bettors are mainly split between the use of "American" and "Decimal" odds formats.
Yet at the time of their launch in Ontario, FanDuel only offered the "American" odds format, just as they do on all the US state versions of their platform. Users in Ontario could not even switch between odds formats as you would expect, as found at nearly every other betting site. This all important, but clearly overlooked aspect of their offering was seemingly simply copied and pasted from their US platform with zero thought about what odds formats Ontarians actually use.
Proline's retail odds format for example has only ever existed using "Decimal" - so at their launch, any long-time Proline player looking to potentially play at FanDuel would have had to learn a new odds format in order to play there, which is no small task. We don't know about you, but our social media timelines were filled with FanDuel app download ads in the spring of 2022. What do you think all those "Decimal" format users did after they downloaded the app soon after its April launch? Did they learn how to read and understand what the "American" odds format expresses? Or, the simpler and more likely result - these new potential customers simply deleted the FanDuel app and found one that offered their preferred odds format.
This kind of mistake is really illustrates that the folks at FanDuel thought that Canadians are just Americans that live a little bit further north - despite their promise not to think and execute in this way. FanDuel has subsequently added both "Decimal" and "Fractional" odds formats to their platforms in order to rectify the matter. While implementing a "fix" is positive, the botched launch was a telling mistake.
Our problem isn't about the mistake itself, but with the thought process (or lack thereof) behind the mistake. Do Canadians and Ontarians want to play at a brand that spends this little time and effort in thinking how to cater to the simplest of preferences? Will FanDuel learn from this mistake and push onward to further tailor the experience for Ontarians? We can't say for sure, but we hope so and we will watch with interest. It would be great if there was an honest, public 'mea culpa' of sorts during a subsequent "Flutter" earnings call about why their performance in Ontario may have been disappointing at the outset. This honesty would be far more appreciated in these circles than to hear excuses about tight regulatory marketing rules in the Province.
2/ FD's Senior Growth Dir Conor Murray:— SNBET (@SNBET_ca) January 27, 2022
'We’ve written the playbook on launching markets to this point. But we would be so naive to copy & paste that & bring that to 🇨🇦 then expect to win. We have to treat it very differently & we will treat it very differently.'
Good to hear.
FanDuel is the main DFS and sportsbook brand in North America for Flutter Entertainment, which runs sports betting brands around the world in many national iGaming and online sports betting regimes. In Australia, Flutter is a market leader with their 'SportsBet' brand. They recently acquired another Australian bookmaker, 'BetEasy' in order to get their market share up to 26% in that country. While they are interested in market dominance, they have made mistakes in terms of regulatory compliance.
In 2022, SportsBet (Flutter) was fined A$3.7million for 150,000 spam emails and text messages that promoted their gambling products, even after their customers had asked to unsubscribe. Flutter also had an issue in 2018, in perhaps the most regulated market in the world, the UK, where their brands 'PaddyPower' and 'BetFair' were fined £2.2 million for social responsibility and money laundering failures.
While few gaming companies are perfect with regard to regulatory compliance, such examples may indeed give you pause. Which operators are particularly interested in operating in a sustainable, responsible way? We would say that Nordic operators like the Kindred Group and their Unibet brand are of the head the class in this regard. They are very transparent in their approach to minimize revenue from problem gambling, and they are licensed to serve Ontario.
For the main betting markets on the 'big four' North American leagues, FanDuel tends to offer odds margins in the 5% range. When the odds are equal on both potential outcomes, the odds will look like -110/-110 or 1.91/1.91. This is typical of most brands within the market for these key leagues. The odds margins (or sportsbook hold) are not the best, but they certainly are not bad. Of course the odds can shift so that the odds are not equal for both potential outcomes, but the margin will stay in the 5% region for these events.
On the positive side of things, this 5% margin is carried into top soccer league betting markets as well. Some of the US sportsbook brands that entered Ontario don't take enough wagering action on this sport, and raise their margins accordingly. 5% is not the most competitive margin for soccer that we can find, but certainly this is more competitive than many operators that will be in Ontario. The 5% margins even carried into other 'international' sports like rugby. So in the end, know that if you select FanDuel, you will get reasonably competitive odds margins no matter your sport or league of choice, which is a positive tick for them.
The real positive point for FanDuel Ontario can come in their futures odds. FanDuel has odds that are serving all of North America across all their US state markets also. Why does this matter to Ontario bettors? Odds prices on popular Ontario or Canadian teams or players on various futures markets can stay higher. The big futures action at FanDuel is going to go down mainly on the popular US teams and players via all their US customers, not on the Canadian ones.
Ontario players may thus be able to take advantage of this to get higher odds on popular bets. Ontario sportsbook brands that essentially serve a huge Canadian or Ontario audience can see odds on these participants get beaten down, simply because they need to manage their liabilities on so many bets. As a new provider and one that is the dominant US brand, FanDuel will thus likely offer some pretty compelling futures value for Ontario players that want to find high odds on their favourite teams and players in various outright winner futures markets.
Even though FanDuel is obviously targeted to a 'typical' North American customer, we can see their international heritage in their betting coverage across sports. Owned by Flutter Entertainment plc, which is headquartered in Ireland and owns several UK, European & Australian sports betting brands, we can see how proper coverage of a wider array of sports can leak through into the FanDuel offering. This is a positive for fans of 'international' sports like rugby, cricket and Aussie Rules and much more. While some US brands that enter Canada will barely cover these sports at all, often with only very basic betting markets, FanDuel offers excellent coverage with many pre-match and in-play betting markets, another positive tick for their Ontario sportsbook offering.
We can give FanDuel credit for doing their research here. Not all US brands moved to offer the most important and popular payment method for Ontario - Interac. FanDuel Ontario though does support Interac payments, along with PayPal and Visa / Mastercard. (Note that credit card payments to all gaming sites from Ontario are 'cash advances', not purchases, which means high interest and fees. Look to use Interac or PayPal if you get started At FanDuel and want lower fees.)
FanDuel Sportsbook does not call out any specific withdrawal limitations in terms of the maximum amount of money that can be withdrawn within certain time periods. Some sportsbooks outline value limits per day, per week, per month and/or per year.
Here is another aspect of FanDuel's US offering that has been copied and pasted for Ontario. Although esports is available for betting in various US state jurisdictions (it is covered by other US betting sites), FanDuel does not offer esports betting coverage in the US or Canada. Esports & esports betting is just not that popular in the USA yet. However, Canada and Ontario are not the USA. Many people in Ontario and Canada love esports and esports betting and FanDuel Ontario has zero esports coverage. Zero. Rather than tailor their solution to Ontario like they said they would, again FanDuel simply pasted its US esports coverage - zero. If you wish to find a top esports betting provider for Ontario, several of our recommended licensed providers are esports betting leaders the world over.
One would have thought that the obvious strength for FanDuel here would be their Daily Fantasy Sports or DFS gaming vertical. However, along with DraftKings, they have had to withdraw their DFS offering in Ontario. It may return in the future once regulations catch up to this different kind of gaming type. Like every other Ontario sportsbook, FanDuel launched with a legal Ontario online casino that allows users to have access to both online RNG casino games as well as live dealer games. While their casino offering appears to have a wide variety of games that many could enjoy, the reality is that their sportsbook platform falls down in so many places, it makes so much more sense for interested players to find legal Ontario online casinos that also have superior betting platforms, like those companies that we recommend.
Unfortunately, FanDuel began their journey in Ontario by treating Canadians as Americans. This is clearly reflected in their launch that only implemented "American" odds format on its platforms. They also copied over their lack of an esports offering from their US platform, which shows zero deference to Canada's exploding esports scene. While the former issue has been rectified, and the latter only affects esports fans, the reality is that this is indicative of a larger issue: FanDuel seemingly showed little interest in researching or learning about the culture of sport & sports betting in Ontario and Canada prior to launching.
Though they said they would not copy and paste their US sportsbook offering, it is something that they seem to have done. They also only allow for mobile betting via their app, with no mobile betting site - leaving no option for users that have data privacy concerns.
While these are things that we must call out in our review due to our understanding of the overall issues for all our readers, know that FanDuel remains a solid option for most players that don't share our highlighted concerns. For most, FanDuel will be a very good option for traditional North American and International sports coverage, with a quick, intuitive and feature-rich betting platform. They just aren't in our list of recommended operators for Ontario based on our review criteria, our opinion.
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