When Bill C-218 goes into effect on August 27, Canada’s sports betting industry an important update. This bill has amended Canada’s criminal code to permit single-event sports wagering throughout its provinces. This law paves the way for government-run sportsbooks to offer single-event wagers. However, the bill also paves the way for provinces to regulate privately run sportsbook operators, like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.
Many U.S. sportsbook operators are looking to expand into Canada as the provinces create regulatory frameworks to accommodate them. These operators will offer many welcome bonuses designed to draw in as many new players as possible. Canadian bettors should become familiar with the bonuses available from the government sportsbooks and the types of bonuses commercial sportsbooks will offer.
Canada Sports Betting Bonus Offers 2021
- Alberta – PlayAlberta – $20 Free Bet After Deposit (New Users)
- $10 minimum deposit required to qualify
- Atlantic Canada – Proline Stadium – $50 Fantasy Tokens Each Week
- Promotion takes place September 6 through October 10
- Place $25 single wager on football event, receive $10 token for Proline Fantasy
- Up to 5 tokens can be earned each week between Monday and Sunday
- British Columbia – PlayNow – $250 Deposit Match Bonus (New Users)
- Must bet through deposit amount to receive free bet tokens
- Reward divided into five separate bets of equal value based on deposit amount
- Ontario – PROLINE+ – $25 Deposit Match Bonus (New Users)
- Promotion scheduled to run through the remainder of 2021
- At times, this sportsbook runs higher deposit match bonuses ($100 match during NFL’s opening weekend)
Types Of Sports Betting Bonuses In Canada
Sportsbooks run by the province’s lottery corporation will often run deposit bonuses for new customers. This may be a particular bonus just for signing up or matching the deposit put in by a certain percentage. Promotions are also being run to encourage single-event wagering. For example, Proline Stadium offers free bets when a certain gambling threshold is met as the baseball season winds down.
When they create the regulations that govern private sportsbooks, major sportsbook operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM will apply for and likely receive sports betting licenses. Here are the main types of bonuses bettors will find at Canadian sportsbooks when the market reaches maturity.
Risk-free bets are some of the most popular opening bonuses available. These opening bonuses cover the cost of bettors’ initial wagers if they lose. For example, FanDuel offers a $1,000 risk-free bet on a bettor’s first wager. That means that if bettors wager $1,000 and lose, they’ll get $1,000 back in site credits.
However, if bettors wager more than that and lose, they’ll still only get $1,000 back. The advertised amount is a maximum payout. If bettors wager $300 and lose, then they’ll get $300 back. FanDuel will match a bettor’s loss. FanDuel won’t just hand out $1,000.
Bettors likely won’t see this from its government-run sportsbooks. And if government sportsbooks offer a risk-free bet, it certainly won’t be $1,000. But bettors should learn to recognize the important terms of this bonus before commercial sportsbooks begin entering Canada’s provinces.
Deposit match bonuses are also popular since they allow bettors to pad their accounts as they wager. However, deposit bonuses come with important strings attached. For example, DraftKings offers a 20% deposit match bonus of up to $1,000 in site credit. So if bettors deposit $100, they’ll be eligible for another $20 of site credit.
However, there’s a play-through requirement. DraftKings requires its bettors to wager $5 before bettors get $1 in site credits. When bettors see this type of bonus, they shouldn’t try to redeem the full value of it. They should wager at their normal pace. That way, they’ll get the full value of the bonus for themselves instead of bankrupting themselves.
No-deposit bonuses are simple sign-up bonuses bettors get for creating an account. These are popular bonus types since bettors don’t have to deposit money. However, these types of bonuses are always small.
Even large sportsbook brands only offer $10 to $50 no-deposit bonuses. DraftKings only offers a $25 no-deposit bonus. But that small no-deposit bonus accompanies a much larger $1,000 deposit bonus. No-deposit bonuses often accompany large bonuses instead of being the main welcome bonuses.
However, Ontario’s small no-deposit bonus is characteristic of government-run sportsbooks. They’re usually small if they’re offered at all.
Free bets are similar to no deposit bonuses. But instead of free site credits that bettors can spend as they please, free bets are spent in predetermined chunks of money. For example, DraftKings offers new account holders in the United States a $50 free bet with a $5 deposit.
This is another way for bettors to try a sportsbook before putting money down. They often come with restrictions that limit the events and bets that bettors can use them on.
How To Claim Online Sportsbook Bonuses In Canada
Canada’s online sports betting industry will likely be similar to the United States’ most competitive sports betting industries. Ontario is creating a regulatory framework that would create a sportsbook industry that mirrors states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In a modern sports betting industry, claiming online sportsbook bonuses is easy. However, the terms and conditions may not be, so bettors must pay attention.
To begin, bettors must download a sportsbook app and register for a new account. There’s only one legal Canadian sportsbook per province, and Ontario’s privately owned sportsbooks won’t launch until 2022. So, Ontario bettors won’t have any choice for several more months.
Bettors in British Columbia and other provinces will have to wait even longer for privately owned sportsbooks to launch in their provinces. (And that’s if sportsbook brands find it economically viable to launch in all provinces. Not every province has the population or wealth of Ontario or British Columbia.)
Whatever sportsbook bettors download, that sportsbook will require a few pieces of information to verify bettors’ identities. Some sportsbooks give bettors the option to enter a bonus code to unlock a welcome bonus. Not all bonuses require codes, but some do.
After inputting a bonus code, bettors can build their site credit or place a wager depending on the bonus type. (Some sportsbooks may make bettors navigate to a promotional page to claim their site credits, which can show up in the sportsbook account separate from main funds.)
Expect local bonuses from commercial sportsbooks. FanDuel and PointsBet often run promos specifically tied to local teams in various sports. For example, special odds boosts and promotions may be available for the Maple Leafs in the NHL and Argonauts in the Canadian Football League for Toronto.
Remember, the vast majority of sportsbook operators require bettors to play through any bonus credit several times over before those credits are deposited in bettors’ accounts. These sportsbook guidelines won’t apply to many Canadian bettors in the early days of single-event sports wagering. But when Ontario launches its private-run sportsbook industry, not only will the other provinces will follow.
But major sportsbook brands will flood into provinces with large customer bases and high betting interest. These guidelines will become important over the next few months and years.
Canada Sportsbook Bonus FAQs
18 or 19. Different provinces have different gambling ages:
- Alberta – 18
- British Columbia – 19
- Manitoba – 18
- New Brunswick – 19
- Newfoundland and Labrador – 19
- Northwest Territories – 19
- Nova Scotia – 19
- Nunavut – 19
- Ontario – 18
- Prince Edward Island – 19
- Quebec – 18
- Saskatchewan – 19
- Yukon – 19
Yes. However, bettors can only redeem a bonus at a sportsbook once. There’s nothing wrong with signing up for multiple sportsbooks. But bettors can only redeem a bonus once. Gaming the system by creating another account doesn’t work either. Sportsbooks know that trick and will ban bettors from their platforms if they catch sneaky bettors trying to abuse the welcome bonuses.
On PlayNow, bettors must play through their initial deposit before receiving their free bets. Ontario’s PROLINE+ only requires bettors to complete their account registration and deposit to receive bonus money. In either case, bettors must use that site credit to place bets. They can’t be withdrawn like cash.
Bonus abuse means using a welcome bonus more than once or in other ways that are not intended by the operator. For example, creating a new account using a friend’s or spouse’s social security number to keep placing free bets with promotional credit is bonus abuse. Bettors can avoid bonus abuse by only creating one account per sportsbook platform and following the platform’s rules. This is not a difficult infraction to avoid committing.
DraftKings hasn’t launched in any Canadian province. So, Canadian bettors don’t have access to DraftKing’s $1,000 deposit bonus. Enterprising Canadian bettors could cross the border into one of the northern states with legal sports betting. However, that’s impractical for all but a few Canadians sitting on the parts of Canada’s southern border that are near one of the United State’s best sports betting markets.
FanDuel has not launched anywhere in Canada, so its welcome bonus is unavailable to all Canadians. However, bettors who travel abroad to one of FanDuel’s legal markets can create accounts and take advantage of FanDuel’s $1,000 risk-free bet. But gambling winnings earned in the United States by Canadians are subject to taxes per a long-standing gambling taxation treaty between the United States and Canada. So, bettors will have to pick their poison there.
Bonus money is not eligible for withdrawal, so this must be played through and won to convert into a playable balance. This is similar to what commercial sportsbooks offer in their welcome bonuses. This ensures that sportsbooks make some of that money back. Bettors won’t win every time, and sportsbooks build those expected losses into their welcome bonuses.