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Best Official iGaming Ontario Betting Sites

April 4, 2022

The legal market for official Ontario sports betting providers is in flux. We've written extensively on the brands that are coming to Ontario. However, for people located in Ontario, now that the market is officially open, there are rules that dictate we can only officially recommend & list the brands that have their license at the moment. It's why the rest of our site is not available to you right now, and why you are getting this page to read instead, even though you may have clicked to read a different one of our pages. 

Many more big sportsbook brands that you probably know are coming to Ontario with their license over the spring and summer.  We will have a much more extensive list of recommended providers for you once they all have their licenses. For now, here, we only recommend bet365 & Unibet   We also explain the various reasons why we will not recommend new Ontario brands BetMGM, FanDuel, theScore Bet and PointsBet, plus we give you our take on BetRivers.  Here for casino play? Click here to scroll directly & read more.

 

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Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. Visit ConnexOntario.ca for help. Eligible iGames conducted & managed by iGO are only available to those physically present in Ontario.

 

#1 Official iGaming Ontario Betting Site: bet365

With bet365, you get the most intuitive, quickest betting platforms, the most extensive betting market coverage across all sports, which includes world-class in-play betting. Their 'same game parlay' feature lets you build a bet your way for NFL, NBA & big soccer matches. They also have the most robust 'early cashout' feature we have ever reviewed, which lets you potentially secure a partial win before your event reaches its natural end. Plus you get access to their top-tier online casino and unrivaled esports betting. With over 80 million customers, they are essentially the biggest sports betting brand in the world.  If you want to get started betting in Ontario and you've never bet online before, there is no better option for you than bet365 - period. Find more payment methods at bet365 than any Ontario sportsbook. Play using 'Decimal' (Proline's odds format), 'American' or 'Fractional' formats, switch this at the base of their site. As you will read below, this optionality is not a given at several Ontario licensed operators. Save yourself the headache now.

 

Why do other 'review sites' not have bet365 at the top of their lists?

The answer is simple. There is more opportunity for 'sportsbook review sites' to make more money in referring other brands that are completely new to the Ontario market.

Think about this for a second. bet365 has attracted and retained thousands and thousands of Ontario players with its world-class gaming product in its time as a 'grey market' operator since the year 2000.  All of these Ontario players will have been shifted to the new legal market.  Once a person has a bet365 account, a 'sportsbook review site' cannot refer that person to bet365 again. They can only refer 'new players'.

However, since US brands like FanDuel and BetMGM have never served Ontario, the opportunity for 'review sites' to refer new customers and leverage their reader traffic efficiently with them, is far, far greater - even though the gaming products are inferior for you the player.

We understand this dynamic fully.  There is more 'opportunity' for us at SNBET to recommend 'new' brands. But here we have bet365 at #1 because at this moment, that is the honest truth.  And we want those completely new players to online betting in Ontario to know where the truth lies.  So when you see a 'sportsbook review site' for Ontario that has a different brand at #1, you KNOW they are merely looking to maximize their own opportunities. 

 

#2 Official iGaming Ontario Betting Site: Unibet

Founded in Sweden, with licenses in Ontario, six US states & many European nations, Unibet is one of the biggest betting brands on the planet. Known for their sustainable approach to online gambling, their parent company has a laudable target of having zero revenue from harmful gambling by 2023. That's who they are in a nutshell, but what does their Ontario betting experience offer?

Unibet gave birth to the Kambi sportsbook platform, which will be used by several Ontario licensed operators. It should be no surprise that Unibet gives you the best rendition of the Kambi platform, which includes excellent in-play betting & broad sports coverage with lots of betting markets & competitive odds. Their platform includes an early cash out feature, plus a 'Bet Builder' to create parlays as related to a single sporting event. This works on all top sports - including the NHL - which makes Unibet perhaps the best betting platform for Ontario's hardcore hockey fans. Play on all devices & get access via their website or mobile apps in any of the three main odds formats, 'Decimal', 'American' or 'Fractional'. Switch the odds format below the events on any screen. Unibet Ontario also offers RNG & live casino games.

 

iGaming Ontario sportsbooks we do not recommend

We have also written extensively on the brands that we will not recommend for various reasons.  These are BetMGM, FanDuel, theScore Bet and PointsBet. We at SNBET could technically 'work with' just about any brand, if we liked their sports betting offering. We received numerous requests from new Ontario brands that wanted to be on SNBET - but we don't recommend every brand to our fellow Ontarians - even though we are foregoing significant potential revenues in doing so. We stick to our principles and only recommend the operators that we feel offer the best options for sports betting & iCasino in the province.  Why would we not recommend a given licensed Ontario operator? We have three main reasons. 

 

Our three main reasons for not recommending a given iGaming Ontario operator:

1) Irresponsible marketing as we define it, not how the AGCO & iGaming Ontario define it.

2) Lack of choice in mobile sports betting: We want to see operators offer BOTH a mobile betting site and mobile app. Only offering an app is unacceptable in our eyes, given their serious data privacy concerns. Forcing app usage indicates an operator that wants to leverage your valuable data. We only recommend brands that give you a choice on this matter.

3) Poor product, with substandard sport & league coverage, which is typical of some US-focused providers. We want to see a great platform with lots of betting markets (ways to bet) and competitive odds value on all the sports that are popular in Canada - not just the 'big four' leagues & sports. If we see a poor platform or poor coverage of F1, cricket, rugby or soccer - we call it out as we see it.

If you don't care if your sportsbook provider advertises responsibly, that's up to you. If you don't care about your own data privacy, that's your preference.  If you don't care about events outside the 'big four' leagues or having a top-level betting product, that's also up to you.  But these are the things that are important to us in recommending a sportsbook company as we see them. 

These are our opinions.

 

Why we don't recommend BetMGM Ontario

The main reason is the completely irresponsible marketing deal with now 25-year-old, 2021 NHL MVP, Connor McDavid. Gambling regimes around the world have banned the use not only of celebrities in gambling ads, but the use of people 25 and under - all in order to protect minors that would otherwise be easily influenced by such ads.

Mr. McDavid is a generational talent and hero to millions of young people across Canada. Even if he is only depicted as part of 'responsible gambling' messages that are beamed across the country, on any media platform, the fact remains that his identity as a role-model and hockey god will be normalizing gambling and sports betting for minors in a significant fashion.

This marketing campaign would not fly in Spain, Belgium, Italy, Sweden or the UK given their regulations. Why is BetMGM and their parent companies pursuing it in Canada? Because the NHL and NHLPA allow it, and the AGCO has no rules against it.

So no, we won't be supporting BetMGM in these efforts.  If you want to support them, that's up to you, but in our opinion, their sports betting coverage and platforms are also substandard compared to our recommended providers - so there's that too. Furthermore, they launched their site & app to only use the 'Decimal' odds format, with no option to switch to 'American' or 'Fractional'. 

It's a hard pass on BetMGM from us.

 

Why we don't recommend FanDuel Sportsbook

There are two reasons.  First, FanDuel has made the biggest and most obvious mistake that a US-based sportsbook could make - they think Canadians are the same as Americans. How? FanDuel Ontario ONLY offered the 'American' odds format at launch. This means that if you played and understood 'Decimal' odds format as per Proline or your 'grey market' betting site, you will likely not enjoy struggling to use an odds format that is not your natural preference. If you come from the UK and want 'Fractional' odds, you can also forget it.

FanDuel said they would treat Canada like its own market, and not just repackage its US offering for Ontario. That is clearly not true as it appears they did no reasearch on the odds formats that Canadians use for play. Unlike the US where nearly everyone uses the 'American' odds format, in Canada, it is near a 50-50 split with 'Decimal'. This is very easy for them to fix, so they might do so in the future, but for now, this is a BIG mistake on their part, as anyone that is a 'Decimal person' will simply delete their app when they cannot play in their preferred format.

The second reason we would not recommend FanDuel boils down to the fact that they will force your use of their app for mobile betting.  You cannot bet from your mobile through a betting site as accessed through an Internet browser, which would be a far more private way to access their service in terms of your data.  We know some of you won't care about this privacy issue, or if your data is being captured and sold by them.  That's fine, we get that.  But we're here to highlight the key issues for all potential players and it is our choice to only recommend providers that offer options in this regard to Ontario players. 

There will be plenty of top Ontario providers that will offer a mobile betting site and a mobile betting app. There is no reason for an operator to force the use of the latter, except that they want the added value of access to your data. 

So for FanDuel, there are two BIG failures in their Ontario offering.

 

Why we don't recommend theScore Bet

If you already have the the normal 'theScore' app, you won't really care about our main concern - which is that we do not recommend operators that only offer mobile betting through an app, given our data privacy concerns. We want to see options in this respect for our readers, but not only does theScore Bet not have a mobile betting site, they don't have a betting site at all! 

If you are a player that likes to get on your desktop or laptop, research the games, the odds & the lines on a big screen before you lay your action, with theScore Bet - you can't do this.  All they have are iOS or Android apps. Even if you are 'okay' with using an app, and do not have a problem with a company leveraging your user & location data, their apps are limited in several respects compared to 'top' providers that are licensed in Ontario, and those that are coming soon.

First, withdrawing money at theScore Bet is far slower. When most big brands can get your money to you on the same day, often within hours, theScore Bet says it takes them 3 to 6 days. They also do not support the most popular bank debit methods payment, like Interac among others. 

Second, we find no evidence of a 'Same Game Parlay' or 'Bet Builder' feature.  All the major sportsbook platforms have added this kind of feature, in order to allow the ability to create parlays with several bets as related to a single NFL, NBA, NHL or soccer game. It seems like theScore Bet does not have this kind of feature.

If you are a fan of the original app or the original company, which is now part of US-based 'Penn National Gaming' - then have at it.  From our perspective, theScore Bet is just not a platform we can recommend.

 

Why we don't recommend PointsBet Canada

The first reason we won't recommend PointsBet Canada for players in Ontario: Like FanDuel, PointsBet only offers their app for mobile betting.  You cannot bet through your mobile browser at PointsBet Canada. As we discuss above, we want to see operators offer you the option of both an app and a mobile betting site.

There is no reason to restrict players to mobile betting via an app.  An operator that does this simply wants access to your own valuable data, which is made much easier to access and leverage through an app. 

Furthermore, PointsBet only offers Visa, Mastercard and Trustly as deposit methods, compared to other operators that support a wider array of options. Below, read about why credit cards are an option you might want to avoid for regular online gaming payments.

 

Many iGaming stocks have taken a hit over the last 12 months. Few have been harder hit than PointsBet, down nearly 70% from March 31, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Via Yahoo.
 

 

        Read bet365 Ontario Review
 

What do we think about BetRivers Canada?

After reading the above, some might simply say: 'Hey, you guys are just being negative about all the new brands.' If this is you, it's a good time to talk about BetRivers - a brand we do not 'work with'.  In other words, we receive no compensation from them.

BetRivers will not likely be one of our 'top' few choices as the list of officially licensed Ontario providers grows over the coming months.  However, of the new entrants to Ontario, their offering comes closest to what we would recommend. While we are not big fans of some of the elements of their implementation of the Kambi sportsbook platform (Unibet does it best in our opinion) - this is mainly subjective on our part - it's still Kambi.  Which is to say, a very good online and mobile sportsbook product, which includes BOTH a mobile betting app AND a mobile betting site. This addresses one of our main concerns. 

On the Kambi platform, they also offer a robust kind of same game parlay feature, which also works for NHL games.  Odds and coverage of more 'international' sports is also solid.  Finally, they have also shown a commitment to Responsible Gambling, holding themselves to a higher standard of RG than that which is mandated by the AGCO. From a marketing perspective, they also do this in a responsible way, through their podcast network, headed up in Canada by "Boomsies! - the Dan O'Toole podcast."

In the end, while might not identify BetRivers as our "top" Ontario betting providers, in our opinion, they are head and shoulders above every US-based brand that has moved to serve Ontario. If you do not want to try out bet365 or Unibet for some reason of your own, or you already have an account with them, BetRivers is the next best option at this moment.

BetRivers payment methods include debit/credit, PayPal and Interac. 

 

Who are we & why might you care?

Since you can't access our  'About us' page in Ontario at the moment, we're actually a Canadian company that knows the global online betting business. We were tired of all the foreign-owned 'sportsbook review sites' that take advantage of Canadians with poor information & lies in order to profit. SNBET.ca was developed in 2020 in part to reveal these shady practices & help point Canadians toward the most reputable online sportsbook providers in the market.

 

        Read Unibet Ontario Review
 

iGaming Ontario payment method tip as you begin

Since we have a new legal market in Ontario, it is important for new players to know how the available payment methods will work. It is not as cut and dried as you might think.

The most important issue to understand surrounds the use of credit cards. If you use your Visa or Mastercard at any iGaming Ontario betting site or app, the transaction will be treated as a cash advance - not a purchase.

This means that you will be charged interest from the moment of the transaction, even if you always pay your balance - plus your bank will charge a cash advance fee near $5.

In the end, credit cards may be a convenient way to get started with your new betting account, but after you get started, look into the various bank debit solutions that will be available.  These may include iDebit, Instadebit, Citadel, Trustly, PayPal or Interac Online (TD & RBC customers) or Interac e-transfers (available to all bank & credit union account holders). Depending on the method, your money will arrive in your betting account anywhere from instantly, to a few minutes. Plus, with debit solutions the fees are much lower and there is no interest to be paid.

 

Please play responsibly  

We know these words of advice might sound cliché, but here goes: Only wager what you can afford to lose. Keep it fun. When betting stops being fun, it's time to stop. If you set a deposit limit when you register your account, this helpful tool can be a backstop to ensure you do not chase your losses beyond the point you can afford.  You've probably got people that rely upon you. Think about these people.

 

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Top iGaming Ontario Casino options: bet365 & Unibet

If you want to play at a fully licensed & legal Ontario online casino, both bet365 & Unibet offer excellent RNG (Random Number Generator) and live dealer games where a real person runs your game on-camera. This is all available from the same account as their respective online or mobile sportsbooks.  

bet365 offers one of the best options in the world, with a seemingly endless array of games. No matter if you want typical RNG slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, a slightly more niche casino game, or their live dealer versions, bet365 will likely have it for you. Beyond a great layout with large, immersive tiles that let you really get a feel for the game before trying it, they also display each game's associated RTP values. RTP stands for the monies 'Returned To Player', expressed as a percentage, as tested over millions of plays. Just tap the "i" circle icon in the corner of the game's tile for this information.  It is rare to find an online casino, even a regulated one, that makes game fairness figures this transparent and easy to access.

 

        Read bet365 Ontario Review
            

Unibet also offers a wide array of both RNG & live dealer casino games. A big plus-point for Unibet's Ontario Casino is that you may try many of their slots & games completely free, without even registering an account.  Once at the Unibet Casino, you just navigate to your preferred game type, like 'Slots', then just click the game's 'Demo play' button to load the game for free.

 

Want to learn more about bet365, Unibet and the rest of our content here, go to the top of the page.