Many of the top sportsbook brands in the world open legal online sportsbooks in Canadian provinces. Each differs slightly from the others, and they’re all quite different from provincially run books like ProLine+ or PlayAlberta.
Commercial online sportsbooks post highly competitive odds and offer both new and existing customers promotions and bonuses with real money value. Here’s a look at some of the top online sportsbooks to look out for in Canada.
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Top new Canadian sportsbooks for September 2023
Unmatched live betting. Betting pools. More prop odds than most other sportsbooks. Regular promotions.
DraftKings’ roots may be in daily fantasy sports, but its betting menu and massive free contests for big events like the Super Bowl and March Madness suggest it has wholly embraced the brave new sports betting world.
DraftKings Sportsbook is already widely recognized sports betting brand in many locales, with most parts of Canada likely to join in.
Its interface could use a more centralized approach, but since FanDuel is already a daily fantasy sports leader here, standing pat shouldn’t prevent it from achieving its goal of becoming the No. 1 sportsbook in Canada.
When a sportsbook signs hockey legend Wayne Gretzky as a brand ambassador, it’s telling you it sees Canada as an important market.
BetMGM Sportsbook did just that, and it brings a reputation for solid daily odds boosts and risk-free bets with it.
If it can improve site and app navigation in any way, it’ll be a market leader despite BetMGM having little to no other presence in Canada.
BetRivers has been in Canada as a free-play online casino and sportsbook since October 2021.
With the real deal, Canadians will find a sportsbook with a good rewards program, a quality wagering menu, and plentiful house specials.
There may be a little bit of clutter on the BetRivers Sportsbook page, but that won’t stop Canadians from betting with a book they’re already becoming familiar with.
Caesars is one of the biggest casino and gambling brands in the world. Canadians may be familiar with it thanks to Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino, which has been around since the 1990s.
Caesars Sportsbook is expanding following its integration with William Hill in 2021, but its reputation for on-point odds and valuable promos is as old as Caesars itself. That will no doubt help it compete here in Canada.
How to choose a new sports betting app
Commercial online sportsbooks mean you now have a lot of choices. But what are the most important elements to consider when picking a new sportsbook app to try?
One thing that can help give you an idea is to sign up at multiple books. Doing so will let you take advantage of the various sports betting promos and bonuses that each one offers. Since signing up is free, until you need to make a deposit it won’t cost you anything to check out for yourself what each online sportsbook has for odds and promos.
Of course, that’s where the real work begins, as you can then decide where you prefer to take most of your action on a regular basis. That decision should begin with a good look at the available promotions and online bonuses. Obviously, you want to go with a sportsbook that focuses on the bets you like to place. In other words, if you bet exclusively on hockey, look for a sportsbook with a good selection of NHL promos.
You’re also going to want to consider things like the software and how easy it is to navigate. However, that’s secondary to the promotions and bonuses and any other value the book may offer you. This extra value may come in the form of daily, weekly, or monthly betting bonuses or a loyalty program that gives you something for all the betting you do.
Either way, take a good look at what each sportsbook is offering and go with one that gives you at least a little something for the betting you plan to do.
Finally, just make sure the new betting app you’re choosing is legal and regulated in your province. It should have the provincial regulators’ stamp of approval if it is legit. If that’s there, you can turn to the province and its regulatory body if you run into any issues.
Grey market offshore sportsbooks may have been around longer, and many will be trying to become legal and regulated in your province. If they don’t, we recommend that you look elsewhere, as they don’t have to comply with the same regulations and safety protocols.
Signs that a new sports betting site is trustworthy
Here are some indications that a new sportsbook is trustworthy:
- It has received regulatory approval in your province.
- It employs normal banking methods like online banking with Canadian financial institutions, and not cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
- It’s listed here on PlayCanada, because we list only legal, provincially approved sportsbooks.
Benefits of using a new online sportsbook
A new online sportsbook may offer multiple advantages:
- More lines
- Better and boosted odds
- Smaller vig
- More promotions
- More sports to bet on beyond the main ones
Sportsbook-only apps vs. casino sportsbook apps
Sports betting isn’t the only form of online gambling opening up in certain Canadian provinces. Online casino gambling is legal, too, which means there are going to be both sportsbook-only apps and combined sportsbook-and-casino apps launching.
What’s the difference? On the surface, it’s as simple as one has casino games alongside sports betting and one doesn’t, but there’s a little more to it than that.
The focus of a sportsbook-only app is solely on sports betting, which is good if all you ever want to do is bet on sports. All its bonuses and promos will be for sports betting, and you can bet the software will be focused on the same thing. Plus, there’s nothing there to distract you from your own focus on sports betting.
Of course, some people welcome that distraction and look for the chance to take advantage of bonuses and promos designed for both sports betting and casino gambling. Just remember, casino games have a house edge, and while you can get lucky in the short term, the house always has the advantage long term.
If you consider casino games a leak on your bankroll and are easily annoyed by casino ads, you might want to stick with sportsbook-only apps. Casino/sportsbook apps are more for those who play casino games for fun and accept the role that luck plays in both endeavours.
Should I use a commercial sportsbook or ProLine+ or PlayAlberta?
The best answer to this question is both. As we said before, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t sign up for every online sportsbook available in your province, including provincial lottery sportsbooks.
Not only will it let you benefit from the bonuses that each sportsbook offers, it means you can shop around for the best price on any bet you plan to place. Finding a better price on a bet will limit your potential losses or increase your potential payout, boosting your bottom line either way.
Signing up for an account is free at provincial lottery corporations and commercial sportsbooks, so there are few disincentives to creating as many accounts as you wish.