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Rivalry Ontario Review 2024 - Is Rivalry.com legal in Ontario?

Rivalry.com is indeed one of several legal Ontario betting sites and casino operators.  Rivalry is actually a Canadian company whose shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange.  It's a nice story that Canada has an igaming entry of its own, after theScore was bought out by an American gaming company.  With that said, is Rivalry.com a betting site that we would recommend to our readers?  The reality is that Rivalry as an operator was born as an esports-only betting site.  It's main target is Gen Z'ers and Millennials that tend to follow these sort of events. 

Unfortunately, the esports aspect of their service is the only aspect that we would consider to be toward the top-tier of the available Ontario operators.  Though we feel there are superior esports betting options, if esports and only esports is your jam, and you don't bet on "typical" sports at all, go for it - Rivalry was made for you. However, if you bet on the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, soccer or anything else, we cannot recommend Rivalry as a top option.  We outline our reasons below.

 

Rivalry.com Grade

• Good site for esports match betting, far less so for traditional sports.

• No "outright" or futures markets.

• Higher odds margins & less betting markets compared to top brands.

• Site design does not prioritize popular events well. Not intuitive as we'd like.

• No same game parlays.

• "Decimal" odds format only.

• Ontario players only.

 

Does Rivalry.com serve the rest of Canada?

No, Rivalry does not serve people in other Canadian provinces. Rivalry lists "Canada (except Ontario)" as among their "unsupported regions" which can be found on their customer support FAQ page.  If you are outside Ontario and are hoping to find a reputable esports betting provider that has Canadian dollar accounts and payment methods, read about our recommended esports betting sites for Canada

 

Before we get into the long list of negatives, what does Rivalry do well?

In a word, esports.  If you are in Ontario and esports matches are literally the only kind of event upon which you intend to place a wager, Rivalry indeed is a compelling option for you.  From an esports betting perspective, they offer broad match coverage across essentially all the esports events that matter.  They also have an interesting interface when you drill down to all the betting markets for an individual esports match.  Rivalry also uses all the esports team logos.  Lastly, they also offer essentially all the esports match betting markets, or ways to bet that you might hope for.

The major drawback that we found when we examined the Rivalry.com esports offering was the complete lack of the "outright winner" betting market. In other words, we could not find any so-called "futures" esports betting markets at Rivalry.  So if you'd like to place a bet on the eventual overall winner of a given esports league or tournament, well before the final match, Rivalry does not appear to offer this ability. 

Esports outright winner bets are however available at our recommended Ontario esports betting sites.  The brands that we recommend there have esports match betting that is better than Rivalry in our opinion, and they offer outright betting markets on most events.  The esports betting brands we recommend are also much larger, more established companies than Rivalry, that also offer a top-tier 'traditional' sports betting experience, whereas Rivalry does not.  We get into that next. 

 

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Rivalry Ontario sports betting odds margins: uncompetitive

Unfortunately, Rivalry works with odds margins that are significantly higher than essentially all the major Ontario sportsbook brands when it comes to the most important betting markets for the most important events.  For example, when you look at point spread or totals markets on the NBA, Rivalry has odds that look like 1.89/1.85, which is an odds margin just shy of 7%.  Compare this to most Ontario sportsbooks, which tend to offer odds that look like 1.90/190 or so, which is a margin near 5%.  If you don't understand odds margin, we explain it on another page, but understand that Rivalry is offering pricing that is essentially 40% higher than the rest of the key providers in the Ontario market that we recommend. 

Would you spend 40% more on a pair of sneakers on purpose, or just because you "identify" with the given brand?  That's what you're doing at Rivalry if you like betting on the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB or top soccer matches, which all also tend to use 7% margins, instead of 3%, 4% or 5% on these top leagues at other operator sites.  When odds margins are this high, and your odds pricing is consistently this low, when you win, you'll win much less with Rivalry. This makes it much harder to stay in profit over time.

 

Rivalry only offers "Decimal" odds format

If your preferred odds format is "Decimal", like the format used within the old-fashioned Proline games, Rivalry has you covered.  However, many people in Ontario prefer the "American" odds format.  Some people with roots in the UK or Ireland might prefer "Fractional" odds format.  Unfortunately, in our review of their Ontario site, neither American nor Fractional odds formats were available on esports or traditional sports betting for Rivalry.com.  All the esports and typical sports betting sites that we recommend for Ontario offer all three odds formats.

 

 

Rivalry's site layout is poor for Ontario sports bettors

The top sports betting brands understand that when it comes to their audience, certain events and leagues will be top of mind.  Thus, in Ontario, when you click to view "basketball" events, NBA should shoot to the top of your display and if there are any Toronto games, they should be at the top.  Click "hockey", and NHL events should go to the top. 

However, at Rivalry, when you click or tap these sports icons, the given pages that follow are organised to list all events by their start time.  So if you click or tap the "basketball" icon, the most popular NBA games are mixed with events from around the world, that you probably don't care about.  You end up with a slew of events to wade through to find what you want.  In the end, you can find your event of interest using the "search" utility, but the organisation of events just is not particularly intuitive when it comes to simple browsing. 

 

Rivalry offers fewer sports betting markets than most Ontario sportsbooks

When it comes to the available number of betting markets, or ways to bet upon a given "traditional" sporting event, Rivalry tends to offer about half the number that you can find elsewhere in Ontario.  During our Rivalry review, they had between 47 and 54 markets for NBA games.  They had 15 to 21 markets for NHL games.  They had 17 betting markets for each respective MLB game.  They had around 30 available markets for UEFA Champions League matches. 

Compare this to the top sportsbooks for Ontario that have over 250 betting markets for the NBA, over 120 markets for the NHL, over 150 markets for MLB and over 100 markets for top soccer matches.  Plus, if you like to bet on "Futures" like outright winner markets, like the Super Bowl winner, World Series winner, Stanley Cup winner, NBA Finals winner or Hart Trophy winner, Rivalry just doesn't even offer them.  If you like real variety in your betting market options, you should be looking at our recommended brands that offer the level of betting coverage you require. 

 

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Does Rivalry offer same game parlays or SGPs?

No, they do not. Focused mainly on esports, Rivalry has not invested to offer this now very popular feature for use with any major sporting leagues.  Most of our top Ontario sportsbooks offer an array of SGP options across the most popular leagues and sports for bettors in Ontario. From our perspective, bet365 Ontario has the most robust Same Game Parlay functionality in the province, with more available betting markets, across more leagues and events.

 

Does Rivalry have an early cash out feature?

Yes, but they call their cash out feature "Chicken" out. You Chicken out of all or part of your bet at Rivalry.

 

Does Rivalry Ontario have Interac payments?

Yes. Rivalry.com supports Interac payments.  They also support Visa and Mastercard payments.  As always however, know that credit card payments to gaming sites in Ontario are "cash advances", so they come with high interest charges and fees.  Interac is certainly the better option here.

 

Does Rivalry offer online and live dealer games?

Yes.  Rivalry has created an online casino in a way that is seemingly made to suit its mainly esports-focused audience, that has an enthusiasm for old-school computers and computer games.  They call their casino, "Casino.exe", as if it were an "executable" casino computer file.  All the icons and graphics in this part of their site have the look and feel of an old computer, with screens reminiscent of MS DOS and games tiles that look like they are CD-ROM game packages. 

We have to give Rivalry credit here, this is a pretty clever way to deliver what often ends up looking like the same online casino experience from gambling site to gambling site. If your betting experience will solely focus on esports match betting, and you'd like to know if there is a compelling casino game experience at Rivalry - yeah, we'd say so.  Rivalry really looks like they know their customers in this way.  However, if your play will diverge into sports betting or is actually more focused on slots, casino and live dealer play, we would point you to our opinion of the more substantive legal Ontario online casinos, which also have the top sportsbook offerings.

 

Rivalry Ontario bottom line: good for esports, not great for sports

Rivalry certainly has a compelling esports betting option. We'd like to see them add outright winner markets, in the way that our recommended esports betting brands for Ontario do.  With that said, this is a small part of esports.  If your main focus for betting will be esports match betting, whether pre-match or in-play, Rivalry is a solid option, if in our opinion, not the best option.  They also offer Interac, which is what we want to see, so that Ontario players can avoid interest on cash advances via credit cards.

Where Rivalry falls down for us is their sports betting.  If you will only dabble in sports betting and esports is your main interest, no problem, Rivalry might give you what you need if you just want to get the odd bet down on the NBA or your favourite league.  However, if traditional sports will make up a considerable portion of your action, this is where we can't recommend Rivalry.  Their site just cannot compare to the top providers in terms of intuitive design, odds value, betting market coverage, and features like Same Game Parlays.  Our recommended Ontario sportsbooks have superior offerings in all of these respects.

 

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