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Legal Ontario Esports Betting Sites in 2024

SNBET has become an authority on legal Ontario sports betting - but esports betting is a subset of this iGaming type that deserves its own bit of analysis that few other betting review resources provide.  A solid traditional sports betting site might not offer a very good esports betting experience at all. Some sportsbooks offer cursory coverage, while others might not have any coverage, as we've seen with some brands that migrated north from the US. Many esports-first brands simply don't have the sheer scale that is often required to offer competitive esports odds or even a full suite of markets, or ways to bet.

Despite these facts, most "betting review resources" will essentially copy their list of "top sportsbook" providers over for use with their esports betting provider list. Don't fall for it. If you go looking elsewhere in your research, compare their regular list to the esports betting list for yourself to see through their lies. Or, you can trust the fact that we're sharing this secret with you, and continue reading.

 

We do know esports betting, and we know which of our recommended official Ontario sports betting sites also offer a premier esports betting experience. We haven't just copied over our regular list of top Ontario providers, because in reality, right now, if you are serious about esports, there are really only two Ontario providers you should consider for esports betting: bet365 and Betway. We outline their esports betting offerings and provide some answers to some frequently asked questions. 

For esports fans outside Ontario, we've compiled our list of the top Canada esports betting sites so you can avoid the scam operators and find the top options in the "grey market".  All the companies shown on our "rest of Canada" esports list have moved to be licensed in Ontario.

 

SNBET's #1 Ontario Esports Betting Site: bet365

Perhaps if you've had no exposure to European soccer, where the bet365 brand is ubiquitous, you can be excused for not recognising the brand.  If this is you, understand that bet365 is essentially the biggest iGaming and online betting brand in the world, with over 80 million registered players. The brand is known for their world-leading casino and sports betting platforms. That's all well and good, but why is bet365 the best Ontario Esports betting provider? 

When we looked to write this review, bet365 covered over 50 different esports events taking place around the world. While perhaps 10 events had matches in the coming days with a full array of match markets, bet365 was offering event outright winner markets on all 50+ of them - which is incredible coverage that far in advance of events. We found coverage of an unsurpassed array of esports at bet365, including CS:GO, DOTA2, LOL, SCII, VALORANT, R6, Rocket League plus esoccer and ebasketball events and more.

Within the bet365 match coverage of these esports, you will find an extensive array of pre-match and live in-play betting markets (ways to bet).  These go beyond the match winner, to offer markets like totals, handicaps, races or 'first to...' markets and map-based markets.  Furthermore, in late 2022, bet365 signed on with Bayes Esports in Canada so that they could access their best-in-class esports data, which is a crucial for those that need broad esports event coverage.

Beyond this, know that bet365 offers the fastest and most intuitive betting platform available in Ontario.  So whether you only want to bet on esports, or you want a great esports betting experience to go along with the rest of your sports betting and iGaming, bet365 leads the pack in Ontario.  Find 'Esports' in the main bet365 'Sports' navigation.  Read our overall bet365 Ontario review. Deposit at bet365 via debit cards, Apple Pay, Interac, PayPal, paysafecard more

 

      

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SNBET's #2 Ontario Esports Betting Site: Betway

Betway as an esports betting brand may be familiar to you, as they have been a sponsor of major esports teams like 'Ninjas in Pyjamas' and 'MIBR' (Made in Brazil) for several years. Betway recognized the importance of esports betting to its platform long ago.  Betway takes esports very seriously, so much so, that they have structured their site to very visibly 'speak to' esports fans.  They seem to have a firmly held belief that Esports fans are well and truly separate from 'traditional' sports fans.  As such, you will find that Betway has an 'Esports' heading in its main navigation at the top of their website, though you will also find 'Esports' in the main A-Z sports navigation.

Betway offers an amazing array of coverage, with every esport you could imagine and essentially all the betting markets you would expect from a top provider for both pre-match and in-play betting.  Events are organised by 'Popular', 'Live Now' and 'All Events'.  'All Events' gives you a proper overview of all the available Betway Esports coverage.  Read our overall Betway Ontario review for a more full idea of their Ontario platform.

 

 

'Esports first' Ontario betting sites vs esports betting at traditional sportsbooks

Betting sites that position themselves as 'esports first' tend to be very small companies relative to those that are iGaming & betting leaders.  When you are talking about a small betting company in any manner, esports or otherwise, you usually end up getting lower odds.  Even though they might be esports-first, they won't have the liquidity and risk-management that allows for really competitive odds.  They simply won't have the volume of players for this. 

Smaller companies are also thus more vulnerable to the swings of bookmaking, which can lead to things like canceled bets, or even a company that goes out of business.  In other words, if you play at an esports-first site, in the back of your mind, you may worry if they will be able to stay in business for a long time. 

In the end, being a bookmaker or betting site is a simple service, whether its esports, soccer, basketball or any event.  Being 'esports-first' is really all about marketing to those fans that see themselves as 'esports-first', over other sports.  In the end, you just need to find the best esports betting site for your needs from Ontario.  bet365 and Betway are licensed in Ontario and provide a top-notch esports betting experience alongside the rest of their iGaming types. 

Why would you look to play at an 'esports first' betting site with lower odds across all events, for both esports & traditional sports?  Why would you play at a site that belongs to a relatively small company that will likely have very low win limits and withdrawal limits?  They just cannot compare to the leading iGaming companies with great esports offerings that we list.  Go with the legal Ontario sports betting brands that offer you a better overall experience, not with one that is trying to position itself within your chosen niche.  What does it serve you to be with an 'esports-first brand' ? You will be settling for an inferior experience compared to the providers we've highlighted to you.

 

 Want Esports + Live Casino?

SNBET shows how these top esports betting providers approach their Ontario Live Dealer Casinos.
 

 

So you're telling me there are only two top esports betting sites for Ontario?

Pretty much, yeah.  If esports is going to be your focus of play, or one of a few focuses, these are absolutely the must-have brands in Ontario.  It's pretty crazy, given all the big betting brands in the legal Ontario market now, right?  Don't believe us?  At the moment of this update, March 28, 2023, here's what's on tap for esports on some other highly visible Ontario betting brands:

FanDuel, BetMGM & PointsBet: literally zero coverage. You cannot even find "esports" in their sports classifcation navigation.  These are mainly US brands, and esports betting is almost non-existent in the US, so that has carried over into their Ontario offering.

DraftKings: again a US brand, had a whopping four events covered, and only with the match winner market. 

(For context, bet365 covered over 70 events at the same moment, with comprehensive betting market coverage available. Betway had about 40 events covered, again, with comprehensive market coverage.)

These mainly US brands have been some of the biggest spenders in terms of ads in Ontario to create brand recognition, but they pay almost zero attention to esports.  That's what they think about the esports bettor - nothing.  Compare this to bet365 and Betway that are super-engaged in esports. 

 

Wait a minute, isn't Rivalry a legal esports betting provider in Ontario?

Indeed yes, Rivalry is a legal Ontario betting site. However, while they have fairly solid esports match betting, and use esports team logos, they do not offer any sort of "futures" betting markets, like the "outright winner" of any given esports league or tournament. (This actually applies to both their esports and sports betting coverage.)  Our recommended providers have plenty of esports futures betting markets for you.  They also have superior traditional sports betting platforms. So if you'll wager on the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB or top soccer matches or just about anything else, you get better odds, interfaces, features and betting market coverage with our recommended esports providers for Ontario with bet365 and Betway.  We've got a full write-up on Rivalry Ontario if you'd like the details on their few pros, and their longer list of cons.

 

What esports are covered by these top Ontario betting sites?

Essentially all the major esports are covered by these licensed Ontario betting sites, bet365 & Betway, including but not limited to LOL (LoL, or League of Legends), CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive), DOTA2 (Defense of the Ancients), SCII (Starcraft II), R6 (Rainbow Six), Valorant, Rocket League, FIFA, Brawl Stars among others.

 

      

 

What devices are available for esports betting?

Both of our recommended Ontario esports betting sites offer intuitive platforms across all devices, from your mobile, your tablet, or your computer.  If you prefer to use an app from your mobile device, they will all offer this to you, but both offer mobile betting sites also, for a potentially more private experience if you are concerned about data privacy.  A player account with either bet365 or Betway will work on both their respective Ontario websites or their mobile apps. 

 

What is the legal age to bet on esports from Ontario?

We know that there are esports enthusiasts of all ages.  However, when it comes to betting on esports (or regular sports) in Ontario, the minimum legal age is 19.

 

7,000-person esports arena planned for Toronto

Canada is in a group of nations that is leading the way in esports entertainment. Canada has players in the top echelons of esports competition, both in terms of individual players, and its teams. Canada also has leaders and upstarts in terms of the companies in esports, and several Canadian cities are home to gaming publisher studios, be they names like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, or others. To top it all off, a company has plans to build a 7,000-person Esports-specifc arena near downtown Toronto. This kind of development will ensure that Toronto and Ontario stay at the forefront of esports events in the decades to come after it has been constructed.