Sports Betting Bonus Guide
Check the above list for top sports betting bonuses for Canadian gamblers. Below we explain each of the promotions you find on your top list.
Online sportsbooks are not shy to lure you in with lucrative bonuses. They have money to spend, and if you’re smart, you can get (even a lot of) extra money to bet with. On top of your sports betting bonus you’ll also receive free slot spins, casino bonuses and whatever else the gambling site can think of.
Here’s the three most common type of betting bonuses available at Canada-oriented gambling sites:
- Deposit deal
Deposit to receive more money to bet with. For example: deposit $50 to receive $50 bonus and bet with $100.
- Risk-free bet
Make a bet. If you win, you keep what you won. If you lose, the betting site pays you back.
- Free bet
The sportsbook provides you with free money to bet with. Most often you get to make a $10 – $20 free bet after making your first deposit.
The promotions have terms and conditions, which you have to meet to cash out. Lucky for you, sports betting bonus rules are straightforward (much easier to understand than casino ones). The reason why sports betting bonus rules exist in the first place is simple: online gambling operators are in the business of making money, not giving it away. They want to make sure only the smartest 1% of bettors walk away with the money earned from/with bonuses.
And besides, you don’t need to worry about the fine print because we read all of it (as boring as that is). We’ve written out all the clauses into our bonus descriptions of each site and mention it if there is anything special you should know. As an additional resource, you’ll find below the most common promotion types and their typical rules.
Deposit bonuses match your deposit with bonus money you can bet with. These promotions hand you more extra betting money than any other promotions.
When you sign up to a betting site, you are often offered a chance to get a deposit bonus.
Deposit bonuses consist of two things: the maximum amount of extra cash you can get and a match-up percentage. For example, 100% up to $50.
Here’s how to interpret an offer like “100% up to $50”:
- The first number (100%) is the match-up percentage. In this case, if you deposited $50 the betting site would calculate your bonus like this: $50 * 100% = $50.
- The second number ($50) shows you that the maximum you can receive is $50. If you deposit a sum that would result in a bonus bigger than $50, the rest is ignored, and you’ll receive $50.
Putting all this together: if you deposited $50 at a site offering 100% up to $50, you’d end up with $100 to bet with (your $50 + $50 in bonus money).
Clearing a betting bonus
Before you can withdraw your winnings, you need to meet a rollover requirement. Every deposit-based sports betting bonus has a rollover requirement.
The rollover requirement is usually stated somewhere in the terms & conditions (aka “the part of a gambling website nobody reads except the editors of Bonus.ca”). This number tells you how many times you need to wager your money before you can cash it out.
For betting, the rollover requirement is usually 3 to 5 (compare this to casino bonuses, which have a rollover requirement of 30 to 50).
In sports bonuses the rollover requirement is most often calculated like this:
Wagering needed before cashing out = rollover * (bonus money + original deposit).
You deposit $50 and receive $50 with a rollover requirement of 3
You need to wager: 3 * ($50 + $50) = $300
There is one extra thing you need to know: you need to bet with certain odds for your wager to count towards clearing your bonus. This limit is often 1.50. Bets below the limit are ignored as far as clearing the bonus goes.
The rollover requirement doesn’t depend on the currency or sport. It doesn’t matter if you bet with Canadian dollars on hockey or with bitcoins on UFC. However, sometimes players from different countries have different play-through requirements. The good news is we Canadians tend to be classed as no-risk by online sportsbooks and therefore we always have very low rollovers (yay!).
When you place a no-risk bet you either win or get your money back.
Risk-free bets (often incorrectly called “free bets,“ which are explained below) are common betting bonuses.
Deposit bonuses are usually only available for new customers only. Risk-free bets, on the other hand, are mostly available for existing customers. These kinds of loyalty promotions are common especially during big sporting events like the Olympics, soccer events (World Championships, Champions League) and Ice Hockey World Championships.
A typical risk-free bet allows you to bet a somewhat low amount (typically $10 – $50) on a specific match. Most often the market (the exact thing you bet on: number of goals, result, etc.) is also limited.
If you win with your no-risk bet, great. You keep your winnings.
If you lose with your no-risk bet, the betting site refunds your stake.
The important thing about losing:
Depending on the internet sportsbook you bet at, you either get your stake back automatically, or you need to contact customer support after the match is over. Make a note of this, as plenty of gamblers forget to claim their funds. When you do get money back, it’s usually in the form of a “betting token,” which means you can bet again but you can’t cash it out immediately.
Like most betting promotions, risk-free bets usually have a minimum-odds clause and a maximum win amount. Typically you need to bet with odds of at least 1.75 to qualify. The maximum win depends on the sportsbook, big online sportsbooks like Betway and Bet365 limit the win to tens of thousands ($30.000 typically), so it’s most often nothing to worry about.
Get a bit of free money and bet it with one go.
Free bets are the simplest betting promotion there is: the sportsbook hands you a lump sum of money (most often $10 or $20), and you bet it.
These promotions are not of the “no deposit” -style. Instead, they’re reserved for customers who’ve shown they’re willing to put their money on the line. For example, at LeoVegas, you’ll receive a $10 free bet once you’ve bet $10 of your own money first.
Free bets have simple terms and conditions. As long as you don’t split the bet and don’t exceed a time limit there’s nothing of consequence to know.
Here’s free bet terms and conditions in a nutshell:
You can’t split free bets. If you receive, for example, $20 then you need to bet $20 on a single market.
- Minimum odds and maximum win
There’s usually no minimum odds you have to meet, but there’s a maximum you can win. The maximum tends to be in the tens of thousands, so it’s not something to worry too much about.
- Time limit
The most important thing to keep in mind with free bets is that they have strict time limits. Usually, you only have seven days to use a free bet token you’ve received.
Sports Betting in Canada 2018 – Questions & Answers
Here’s some common questions we get from Bonus.ca readers.
Where can you bet on Canadian sports?
You can bet on NHL, CFL, NBA, MLB and smaller leagues at every betting site.
When internet betting first started betting sites often catered to just some part of the world. Nowadays if you want to place a wager on Vancouver Grizzlies or if Vancouver Whitecaps are finally going to win more than half of their matches, you can do it anywhere.
What are the best betting sites of 2018?
Out of the sites offering good bonuses I recommend Guts and Betway.
Guts is an all-around great gambling site. If you like playing a few slot spins or a round of Roulette in addition to betting, then Guts is the best choice. It has a fantastic casino and a great sportsbook. You can access all the games with a single account eliminating any extra hassles.
If you’re only going to bet, then head to Betway. While it does have a casino (and other gambling games), they aren’t that great. However, what is excellent is Betway’s sportsbook. In my opinion, it’s the best sportsbook thanks to bonuses (Betway offers free bets to active customers weekly) and excellent in-play betting. Betway also offers good odds, seems that it has smaller margins than most of its competitors.
Where can I bet live (in-play)?
You can bet live at all betting sites. However, some are better than others.
In-play/live betting is one of the fastest growing areas of online betting in 2018. While the in-play action is available at all betting sites, bigger sites tend to have better live betting platforms.Better, in this case, means they have more markets (things you can bet on during a match) than smaller sites. For in-play betting I recommend Betway.
Can I get sports betting bonuses on my mobile device / cell phone?
You get the same bonuses regardless of the device you use.
Bet with your trusty laptop, old Android phone or a brand new and expensive iPhone. When it comes to bonuses it doesn’t matter what device you use to place your bets. You’ll get the same deposit bonuses and free bets no matter what device you’re on.
Tip: If you mostly use your cell phone to bet, it pays to read the newsletters gambling sites send. We’ve seen a trend in 2018 among gambling sites that they like to send extra bonuses to people willing to place real-money wagers with their phone. Keeping an eye on the newsletters is an easy way of picking up a free in-play bet or two.
Can I bet on CSGO / eSports?
Yes you can, especially Betway is good for this.
eSports are the hot new thing of online betting in 2018. You can bet on professional eSports events (anything DoTa, CS:Go, League of Legends, etc.) at most online sportsbooks.
Out of all the major sports books, Betway has put in the most effort in this area. It has a whole special section on its site dedicated only to eSports. There you’ll find a more extensive choice of markets and events than at other sites.
How can I deposit / cash out?
Easiest ways to move money in and out of a sportsbooks are to use your bank card or eChecks.
Getting your CAD in and out of sports books is easy. The quickest way to deposit is to use your bank card (Visa or Mastercard, debit or credit, doesn’t matter). Depositing is instant; you’re good to go as soon as you click “ok” at the cashier.
Getting your money out is equally easy, although a bit slower. The most common way is to cash out winnings is to receive the funds to your bank account. Unlike deposits, cashouts aren’t instant. They take about 1h – 2 days to clear depending on the site. Then it takes another day or two until the funds are on your account.
If you’re playing at an eCheck-accepting casino like LeoVegas, it’ll take anywhere between 2-4 business days for your money to get to the sportsbook. eChecks work in similar fashion to paper checks, so it’ll take some time for banks to clear the transfers.
If, for whatever reason, you require instant deposits AND instant cashouts then you need to bet in Bitcoin. See our Bitcoin page for details.
Is online sports betting legal in Canada?
Yes it is. Canada has a “do what you want” attitude towards online gambling.
Where many countries restrict their residents access to online gambling, Canada’s attitude is mostly “we don’t care, do what you want.” This approach means in practice that you can legally bet as much as you like at any online gambling site.
Since we’re on the topic of legality, it’s worth mentioning that if you win, you don’t need to pay taxes on your winnings. Unless you’re a professional gambler, anything you win is tax-free.