The enigmatic world of Ontario sports betting can be a daunting place for newcomers.
When entering a sphere predicated on unpredictability, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of your abilities. But it doesn’t have to be that way, certainly not in the digital age.
Featuring insight from a group of young, experienced bettors, this article serves as a guide for beginners. It aims to sort through the barrage of numbers and unfamiliar industry jargon to focus on the key questions all players should answer before putting money on the line.
Tip #1 — Knowledge is power in Ontario sports betting
Although cliché, this old adage plays an invaluable role, especially for those new to sports betting.
In my experience, gamblers who leverage their pre-existing knowledge with both qualitative and quantitative research are often more successful than those who rely on just one side of the coin.
Something as simple as scanning a team’s injury report or searching how a particular player performs in a specific matchup (ex. Patrick Mahomes’ career stats versus the Los Angeles Chargers) on platforms such as Pro Football Reference and StatMuse, can mean the difference between cashing out a winner and walking away disappointed.
Collecting information from multiple sources to diversify your knowledge base is a simple, yet effective method for bettors, rookie, or veteran, to feel confident in their final decision.
Tip #2 — Bet what you know
In sports betting, value is the name of the game. Since Ontario’s open market launch in April of this year, this statement has never been more meaningful. But with so many options now available, what should you be looking for?
According to Morgan Williams, a 22-year-old sports bettor with a strong track record, “variety, in terms of sports available to bet on and the types of action you can take, is always a top priority.”
Personalization is a considerable benefit of modern sports betting, so never feel pressured to wager on scenarios outside of your comfort zone.
Each platform is different in its offerings, meaning it is up to you to prioritize what you value most.
“Certain sportsbooks offer stronger promotions, others offer unique gameplay like same-game parlays,” said Williams. “It’s about finding what works best for you and what you hope will help maximize the value of each dollar.”
Tip #3 — Field test to find the best Ontario sportsbook for you
For as much as I’ve discussed the importance of secondary research, primary research cannot be discounted. This is especially true when determining your comfort level with a platform.
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are important performance indicators to consider when selecting an online sportsbook.
“You’re looking for a way to mesh practicality with personal preference,” said Will Stewart, a 22-year-old bettor who’s also found success following a streamlined approach. “Betting is difficult enough as is. Eliminating unnecessary clutter and frustration is essential for getting the most out of a service’s offerings.”
There are now 26 live, legal, regulated online sportsbooks in Ontario. You don’t have to commit to the first one you see. Survey the field, take a few out for a test drive and then decide which works best for you.
Though, do yourself a favour and stick with a regulated operator that provides you with consumer protection under Ontario law.
The following regulated operators are now live in Ontario:
- Bally Bet
- Cadtree (Jackpot City, Royal Vegas, Ruby Fortune, Spin Casino)
- NorthStar Bets
- Royal Panda
- SkillOnNet (PlayOjo, SlotsMagic, SpinGenie, KnightSlots sites)
- Sports Interaction
- theScore Bet
Tip #4 — Get into a slow, methodical rhythm
Once you’re comfortable with your research blueprint, it’s time to get in rhythm.
Sports betting in Ontario should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint. Bettors who treat it as the latter tend to be more susceptible to frustration-induced decision making. This stems from a desire to accumulate high-risk, high-payout wins at a rapid pace.
Betting is not a get-rich-quick scheme. As fun as it is to marvel at winners featuring 8-leg parlays with games from 5 different leagues, those tickets are merely unicorns and not a true reflection of everyday betting outcomes.
Winning and winning big is exhilarating, but it’s not the formula for beginner success.
If you’re looking at it from a basic arithmetic standpoint: starting slow + establishing a solid foundation = greater probability of long-term success.
Tip #5 — Set your limits with operator tools
Also, know and set your gambling limits to avoid developing a problem. Never bet what you can’t afford to lose. All of the operators have tools to allow you to set those limits and will restrict play if you reach those limits.
And, before you get started, it’s a great idea to consult the Responsible Gambling Council’s website for some great tips to gamble safely.
The RGC also has excellent gambling information aimed directly at young people.