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Bodog Canada Review

For anyone that has been a part of or has followed the online gambling industry for any length of time, the Bodog name is probably quite familiar but a bit confusing because it used to be a big name in the US sports betting community, but is no longer.

The site launched in 2000 and quickly became a big player in the online betting world. Its founder, Calvin Ayre, was a Canadian entrepreneur who had his hands in a few different business endeavors including software and payment processing. He took careful planning to come up with the ideal branding for his new online gambling company. In fact, Bodog fit his criteria as it’s easy to remember, has less than six letters, and seems to give off a kind of vibe to which people gravitate.

Ayre was not only CEO but front and center as the face of the company, and quickly expanded the brand to include a record label, MMA league, and Salutes the Troops, that was a huge poker tournament and music festival held in Hawaii. The festival’s fundraising purpose was to assist in supporting families of injured US military veterans through the Fisher House Foundation. This undertaking took place back in 2006 in the heyday of the site’s tenure in the United States.

Everything seemed to be going Ayre’s way and then new US legislation entitled the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was approved that same year. This new view of American sports betting changed everything. Soon after, Ayre sold the bodog.com operation to Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) of Kahnawake, Canada, but maintained possession of the brand as a whole.

MMGG maintained the status quo with both its Canadian and American players despite the Bodog.com domain seizure by the US government in 2007.

Fast forward to 2011, and the original deal that Ayre had set up with MMGG was terminated, and Bodog officially exited the US, and in came Bovada (bovada.lv). To clarify, Ayre continued Canadian operations and MMGG transferred the original US players were transferred to the all-new Bovada brand, thereby continuing to service US players despite the legislation change. Both operations are located offshore and not within the US or Canadian borders.

The Bodog.com domain was seized once again in 2012, this time by the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement department despite the fact that it was inactive, as Bodog.eu was and still is the official website address for the company’s Canadian operations.

This is considered to be a sportsbook for recreational as opposed to sharp bettors. It’s a good all around bookie with an extensive menu, abundant markets, decent odds, live betting, and an appealing welcome bonus.

Players outside of the Canadian provinces are prohibited.

Device Compatibility : iOS Android

Sports Betting in Canada

Canada has a mixed bag of rules when it comes to sports betting and especially regarding online as opposed to land-based operations.

Back in 1976, government sponsored sports lotteries started appearing throughout the country. They are individually governed by the distinct provinces and do operate under a few different names, but the concept is pretty much the same. Sports betting is legal and available in these storefront locations but only through parlays, accumulators, or multi-game bets. Single-game betting is banned despite ongoing attempts to alter that stipulation.

Online bookmaking is also legally permitted but only through businesses physically located in a Canadian province. That eliminates the offshore operators but, similar to the United States; the legal ramifications are regarding the owners who are accepting the bets as opposed to the players who are participating.

Canada is also the home of one of the oldest gambling governing bodies, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, located just outside of Montreal. Kahnawake provides licensing and regulation for a number of today’s online gambling operators.

The Bodog Experience

In a word, Bodog.eu, is impressive. The website is clearly first-rate and is one of the more attractive and upscale betting sites around.

The colors that are chosen and the entire look were given careful consideration, in a similar fashion to Calvin Ayre’s process for determining the name and branding. This isn’t just a sportsbook that just rolls the numbers through. Bodog.eu is a site of style and substance.

The overall website is divided up into Sports, Casino, Poker, and Horses. Click on the sportsbook, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the detail that’s given to the upcoming game lines as well as the sporting news they provide.

Live Betting enthusiasts have their choices right up front. The next game lines are clearly noted with the live betting designation for any event that’s opened up to in-play wagering. Bettors can alternatively click on Live Betting from the top of the sports menu to see a comprehensive list of all current and upcoming games and events.

We like the view resulting from clicking on the actual game as opposed to going into the live betting area much better, as it’s more visually appealing and less overwhelming.

Some other areas of note include the Getting Started area that details the welcome bonuses as well as Frequently Asked Questions, the current Promotions area, and the Customer Service Contact information.

Bodog has done an incredible job of making plenty of information accessible in a way that doesn’t seem like there are pages and pages to sift through to be comfortable with the betting process.

What They’re Great at

Bodog does a lot of things right. It’s earned itself an excellent reputation amongst Canadian punters and through its former American clientele.

What we like most is the upscale presentation of a basic sports betting concept. You feel like you’re being catered to with the overall look, the numerous betting options, and the multiple betting areas that comprise Bodog.eu. Calvin Ayre was very meticulous about branding, and his choices paid off through a high-end, top-notch gambling experience.

Propositions and futures – This is the sportsbook of choice for many punters who gravitate to these types of wagers, and the over-the-top opportunities carry over as live betting options as well. It’s not uncommon to have dozens of available prop bets for one single game.

Free monthly cashout – When banking fees can climb into the $50 or $60 range for one single withdrawal, it’s a benefit to customers to have a free withdrawal option and even once a month is helpful if they plan accordingly.

Sports betting bonuses aren’t too over the top – A welcome bonus and a refer a friend bonus, and players who enjoy the added value prospects are satisfied. Too many bonuses confuse things and can create customer service nightmares with disgruntled bettors confused by rollover requirements. Again, this falls in line with the streamlined website and betting program.

Quality customer service – The site is selective with staffing and offers great employee incentives to secure the best of the best personnel, and that translates to superior customer service for its clients or site visitors.

Extensive live betting – We’ve seen some sportsbooks limit their live betting area to the top two or three sports, but golf, soccer, cricket, tennis, they’re all there in addition to hockey, football, baseball, and basketball. Hey, not everyone is a football fan, right?

Areas In Need of Improvements

We’ve established that this is a good overall sportsbook, but there are a few things that could be elevated or altered a bit to cater to a wider audience.

Earlier lines – more experienced players don’t like that Bodog follows other Canadian sportsbooks in posting their odds. Late posts aren’t necessarily make or break for its customers, but they would enjoy the benefit of earlier access.

Betting limits – the highest cap at $2,000 is fine for those recreational bettors, but is low for sharp bettors looking for more action.

Live event streaming – The site has an excellent live betting product so why not take it to the next level by providing the games in progress. More and more sportsbooks are moving toward this, and it keeps their clientele engaged and generating more activity.

Reduced juice – They charge more than many of its competitors, and sharper bettors do seek out a lower vig even if it’s only regarding a few of the main events.

Equal treatment for bettors of all experience levels – Both recreational and sharp bettors are welcome to bet, but they charge up to a half a point higher for players that they’ve deemed to be the more experienced or advantaged players.

More payment options – Today’s customer is looking for greater choices in purchasing. After all, look at a product like Apple pay where you don’t even need an actual card or hard cold cash to walk out of a store with your merchandise anymore. They offer Bitcoin, and that does provide for an immediate and near-guaranteed approval, but options like iDebit or instaDebit, the top choices for Canadians, would better facilitate the funding process for many players.

What Are Some Good Sports to Bet on Here?

Although all players are welcome, this site caters more to the recreational bettor and is one of the best books for proposition bets. There could be as many as 60 prop bets available for one game or match, and they are especially extensive for in-play action.

Betting on favorites could cost a bit more, especially in football, but that can also be good news for the underdog selections. Diligent bettors could even grab an extra half point on some NFL or NBA underdogs.

Canadians restricted by parlay-only betting through their sports lotteries have much more selection on Bodog as well as real competitive odds on moneylines and spreads.

As far as the actual opportunities, the menu is extensive and does lean heavily toward those American and Canadian favorites – NFL, NBA, and MLB, but Bodog also caters to those who prefer the more European choices with soccer, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, darts, and tennis.

Betting Limits

Betting starts out as low as $1 (CAD), and Bodog does have a maximum sportsbook wager limit of $100,000. They will not pay out anything higher than the $100,000 imposed maximum.

NFL Football
Spreads – $2,000
Moneylines – $1,000
Totals – $1,000
Parlays & Teasers – $1,000

NCAA Football (American College Football)
Spreads – $2,000 ($1,000 Tuesday and Wednesday)
Moneylines – $500
Totals – $1,000
Parlays & Teasers – $1,000

NBA Basketball
Spreads – $1,500
Moneylines – $500
Totals – $500
Parlays & Teasers – $500

NCAA Basketball
Spreads – $500
Moneylines – $500
Totals – $500
Parlays & Teasers – $500

MLB Baseball
Spreads – $500
Moneylines – $2,000
Totals – $1,000
Parlays (no Teasers) – $500

NHL Hockey
Spreads – n/a
Moneylines – $1,000
Totals – $500
Parlays (no Teasers) – $500

CFL Canadian Football and AFL Arena Football
Spreads – $500
Moneylines – n/a
Totals – $500
Parlays & Teasers – $500

UFC-MMA
Moneylines – $1,000
Totals – n/a

Boxing
Moneylines – $1,000
Totals – n/a

Soccer
Moneylines – $500
Totals – $300

Nascar
Odds to win – $500
Head-to-Head – $250

Tennis
Head-to-Head – $500

Golf
Head-to-Head – $500

Will I Enjoy Betting Here?

Our opinion is that Bodog has prioritized the player betting experience. It’s a warm, inviting website that presents an enormous amount of information (lines and lines of stats!) in a way that doesn’t make your eyes cross.

We like the addition of graphical depictions of upcoming games and how neatly the markets are broken down. You can take a look at one game at a time and most likely are also reviewing a huge amount of fun proposition bets. If you’re a newbie to sports betting, prop bets can be an easy way to get your feet wet especially in the live betting area. Wager on which will be the first team to score or who will get the next hit without having to study extensive odds.

Players of all experience levels should also enjoy the “library.” Click on articles to find posting after posting of sports, casino, and horse racing news and updates. And, just like the upcoming game listings section, this is not an overwhelming area. It’s so easy to locate a topic you’re interested in and catch up on things that matter most to you. It could be a betting tip or information on your favorite team, the site does an excellent job of providing more than gambling services.

What About Bonuses and Promotions?

Although the casino, racebook, and poker room have other promotional offers, the sportsbook offers two main bonus programs, a welcome bonus for new players and a refer a friend offer.

The welcome bonus is a good, reasonable value-add. It’s not quite as high as some others but does surpass some of the more international focused books.

Newly registered players can receive a 100% match on their first deposit up to a maximum of $200. Players need to have newly registered accounts, redeem the sign-up bonus offer, and then make a deposit using Visa, Mastercard, Interac E-transfer, or Bitcoin. After the deposit is accepted and processed, the accompanying bonus play money is made available within 30 minutes.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with bonus programs, we highly recommend that you read through all of the terms and conditions before you even make your first deposit as some players don’t opt-in to receive the bonus due to the play through requirements that are usually mandated. At this sportsbook, the play through (or rollover) is five-times for this sign-up bonus.

A five-times rollover means that the total of the deposit amount plus the bonus amount must be wagered at least five times for any winning payouts to be cashable. So, if a new player deposits $100 and receives an additional $100 bonus to bet with, the rollover is five times the $200 or $1,000 in total to comply with the requirement.

The refer a friend bonus provides an even bigger return, and it’s regarding your friend’s deposit and not your own. When your friend registers and makes a deposit, you get a 200% bonus based on that amount. There is a lower limit of $100 per bonus, but all that takes is just a $50 deposit by your friend into their brand new player account.

There’s no limit to how many refer a friend gifts a player can receive, so five friends depositing $100 each could yield an additional $500 in bonus play money.

Depositing Money to Your Account

Despite several e-wallet solutions accessible to Canadians, Bodog surprisingly has a very limited menu of deposit and withdrawal options for its players. Canadian residents not only have iDebit and InstaDebit, the most popular e-wallets in Canada, but they also can use Entropay or paysafecard with other sportsbooks.

The site limits its selections to:

The good news is they don’t charge any deposit fees regardless of the method, and all of these transactions should be processed very quickly with near immediate availability for wagering.

Visa and Mastercard provide for both debit and credit card use, but the request may or may not be honored by the bank. Keep in mind that Bodog is an offshore bookmaker, so some financial institutions will not automatically approve transfers earmarked for gambling. And, if they do and a credit card is used, it may end up being designated as a cash advance with a charge assessed.

Visa and Mastercard, Credit or Debit Deposits
Minimum Deposit amount – $20 ($50 by phone)
Maximum Deposit amount – $1,000
Fees – $0

Interac E-transfer is an easier method to use regarding the odds of being approved as it’s an online transfer right from the player’s bank account to Bodog’s account. It’s not guaranteed, but should be a better choice.

Interac E-transfer
Minimum Deposit amount – $20 ($50 by phone)
Maximum Deposit amount – $1,000
Fees – $0

Lastly, Bitcoin is a good option for betting use as it’s private and automatically ok’d as long as the owner’s wallet has Bitcoin available. Bitcoin is usually fee-free, and processing is less than 15 minutes. Bitcoin isn’t the easiest to initially set up, but for players who will be continuously moving money in and out of sportsbooks, it will provide guaranteed approval.

Bitcoin
Minimum Deposit amount – $20
Maximum Deposit amount – $5,000
Fees – $0

Cashing Out (the Fun Part)

Just as with depositing, players have limited choices when it comes it withdrawals with:

It’s not uncommon for debit and credit cards to be unavailable for the reverse process. Check by Courier and Direct Bank Transfer should accommodate those types of preferences though as they provide for money that can be deposited bank into the debit or credit card account through one extra step

For any of the cash out methods, the site has the following terms:

Check by courier
Minimum withdrawal – $20
Maximum withdrawal – $3,000
Turnaround time (in addition to the initial 48-hour processing) – 10-15 business days

Direct bank transfer
Minimum withdrawal – $20
Maximum withdrawal – $3,000
Turnaround time (in addition to the initial 48-hour processing) –3-5 business days

Bitcoin
Minimum withdrawal – $20
Maximum withdrawal – $3,000
Turnaround time (in addition to the initial 48-hour processing) – 15 minutes

Customer Service

Reviews are just a matter of opinion and feedback on customer service is always up to interpretation by the customers involved in the interactions. Let’s just say that anyone who has had a positive experience with their customer service is not just satisfied, but extremely impressed with their level of professionalism and knowledge.

Now that’s not to say that 100% across the board the customer service department is flawless, but we did note a pattern regarding the negative feedback provided by the individual players, and it all seems to stem from financial issues such as misinterpretation of bonus requirements. We’re not judging as to whether or not their claims are valid, but anyone’s impression of service quality can be tainted by not receiving their anticipated answer.

All in all, we’ve heard nothing but good things from the turnaround time to the accuracy of the information to the courteousness. The more detailed issues are elevated rather than given incorrect replies, and that’s really all you can for in a service-oriented industry.

More Than a Sports Betting Site

Bodog is known for its sports betting, but it’s really an all-encompassing casino experience with a sportsbook, racebook, casino with slots, video poker, and table games, and a poker room.

The casino area is substantial and not just an afterthought. The games are plentiful and diverse with some larger progressives available on the website and through mobile play. The progressive games are linked to other casinos but give slots and table game players a chance to get in on some big money action.

Before we even get into the areas of the casino, we do need to note that, whereas the sportsbook has a simple welcome bonus, the casino promotions are quite extensive. The welcome bonus, alone, provides for 100% match play up to $600 with an additional $10 bonus offer on the first deposit of $100 or more through mobile casino play.

It doesn’t stop there, though. Our favorite bonus is next, and it’s for Blackjack players. The Hit and Draw promotions make getting “21” even more fun as each Blackjack provides the player with an entry into the weekly contest for $210 in bonus play money.

Daily promotions are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week and a Casino Rewards program provides even greater value for Bodog’s loyal casino customers.

Players are welcomed into the casino with different game banks and table areas. It’s broken down into:

As with most casinos, the slot area will be the largest in size and greatest in variety, and Bodog is not different. Over 200 games with original and fun themes, great graphics, and all of those little extras like bonus spins, wild cards, and mini jackpots will keep slot lovers busy for hours… or weeks… or months…

Additionally advantageous for slot players is the abundance of jackpot progressive games. Some games are unique to Bodog, but larger amounts are through linked casino networks to give players the chance to win that big money. And, when we say big money, we mean six-figure big such as with the 5 Times Wins Progressive game currently listed a $135,000 jackpot.

A Night with Cleo is presently at $19,000, but we’ve seen this game previously surpass the $100,000 mark.

Cash Money Mermaids – $9,000
Food Fight! – $51,000
Hydro Heat – $7,000

And, this just scratches the surface of the possibilities that could produce $1,000 or more payouts in one single spin.

Video Poker doesn’t receive nearly as much attention as the slots, but a game bank of 21 is relatively sizeable. The area focuses mainly on standard offerings such as Jacks or Better, Bonus Deuces, Joker Poker, and Double Double Bonus, but some come in three or ten-hand multi-play variations that take them to the next level for poker players looking for more action per hand.

Blackjack is listed separately but is also part of the 18 game table area with eight Blackjack alternatives including Perfect Pairs, Zappit, European, and Bodog’s new Single Deck game. Other table games such as Caribbean Hold ‘em and Caribbean Stud have a jackpot associated with them, currently at $19,000. Not high enough? How about Let ‘em Ride at $78K? Pai Gow, Roulette, Vegas Three Card Rummy, and more comprise a fun section that covers the gamut of popular tables.

The last area of the casino is entitled “Specialty Games, ” and this is where everything goes that doesn’t fit into the other categories. Specialty Games is a favorite section for beginner players with Bingo, Keno, and Scratch-offs that are not skilled based. They have two new Bingo offerings, Bingo Cataratas, and Go-Go Bingo plus an Itchin’ to Win scratch-off game as well as Sudoku.

If you’re someone who prefers horse racing, no need to grab that racing form, they have everything online for you. They offer over 80 thoroughbred and harness tracks.

Belmont Park, Santa Anita, Pimlico, Balmoral Park, Dover Downs… the world’s best racing is at your fingertips and betting is really easy, even if you’ve never bet on a horse before in your life. Select your race from currently available tracks, and then your options are:

If you want to get in on Propositions or Futures, it’s even easier, and this is a site for Proposition bets whether they’re in the sportsbook or the racebook. Props are shown with fractional odds, and then it’s a simple matter of checking a box.

The racebook shares the same bonus programs with the sportsbook so there is a welcome bonus and a refer a friend opportunity.

If we haven’t piqued your interest with betting aside from the sportsbook as yet, we have one more try with the poker room. This is a tournament-heavy room with across the board buy-ins to satisfy everyone’s budget.

The welcome bonus is a 100% sign-up bonus that’s good for up to $1,000, and Bodog does have Monthly Freerolls and a Bad Beat Bonus, but the real fun comes with the tournament play.

At any time of the day, you can grab an empty seat to some available tournament in the poker room. For anyone that hasn’t played recently, some fun things are going on in the world of online poker.

We just want to mention a few of the features of the Bodog poker room as you may not be aware of all that’s currently offered.

Zone Poker – No more waiting for the game to end after you’ve folded your hand, with zone poker, you’re moved to a new table as soon as you lay down your current hand.

Anonymous Tables – This allows for equal play for everyone. No one knows who you are or what your previous betting strategy has been.

All-in Percentage Feature – When going all-in on a hand, a percentage bar shows up under the cards of every player that has gone all-in to indicate the probability of winning.

Customize your Experience – Players can customize the look of both the cards and the table. Tables are even themed with racetrack colors or sports stadiums. This is an easy selection made in the “Settings” area.

Card Animation – A customized table and cards, and now you can even add animation to the hands with flaming or electrified cards. Just a bit more added fun to the overall experience.

A few other options include:

Gone are the days of a 52 deck of cards at a felt table in a smoky room, huh?

Should You Choose Another Online Bookmaker?

Let’s take a comparative look at a few key areas:

1. Available sports
2. Betting limits
3. Financial transactions
4. Other notable features

So, before we even get into the specific comparisons, we do want to note that we feel Bodog is one of the superior sportsbooks as we refer to the website alone. Sports betting can be incredibly monotonous if all you see are lines and lines of numbers. That’s not to say that hardcore punters don’t appreciate the direct method. We just like a good combination of graphic enhancements to break up the seemingly endless numbers.

Bodog has an upscale look that doesn’t neglect the importance of the lines but presents them in a way that appeals to all players and not just the experienced ones. The site is easy to navigate, and the betting process is simple, plus they host an extensive library of up to date sports reading materials and betting tips and tricks.

Now on to the sports menu and this is a fairly easy comparison as Bodog does have the sports that Canadians are most interested in when it comes to wagering. In fact, the menu is quite close to Bodog’s closest Canadian-serving competitors. Live, in-play betting is now widely available and this site meets the standard in that area as well.

The only two areas we did note as missing from Bodog are not even traditional sports; they are e-sports and virtual sports. Omitting them is not really a huge factor, but there has been a massive increase in betting activity, especially regarding e-sports, and players may appreciate a new addition to the menu.

When it comes to betting limits, though, there is a bit of a difference. Let’s compare the site to Sports Interaction, Canada’s fully licensed and regulated sportsbook. Sports Interaction and Bodog run neck in neck with the betting limits. Sports Interaction slightly nudges out Bodog with its standard $550 – $2200 range as opposed to Bodog’s $500 to $2000, but they also have a higher limit on select sports such as tennis with a $500 max as opposed to $250.

When you pit Bodog up against some of the bigger competitors like bet365, it’s going to be night and day. A sportsbook like bet365 with a potential £2,000,000 payout isn’t a fair comparison as it’s so much higher but, keep in mind that bet365 is a sharp bettor’s book whereas Bodog is for the recreational players, so their limits are in check for the type of clientele they cater to the most.

Bodog does have reasonably competitive odds except it runs a bit higher on football favorites and players may also be able to find lower juice on some competitors. If a sharp bettor is using this sportsbook, he or she typically has an account with other bookmakers as well.

Unfortunately, we’re not going to be as generous in the area of financial transactions. The website menu is so restrictive with its three lone ways to deposit with credit and debit cards, interact e-transfers, and Bitcoin only. Sports Interaction and other competitors like Pinnacle offer much more ways to fund player accounts which make sense considering Canadians do have several e-wallet options at their fingertips. iDebit, instaDebit, entropay, and paysafecard would do a lot for player convenience as they have a much higher approval rating and quick processing as opposed to Visa, Mastercard or checks.

If you compare Bodog as a whole to its competitors, it certainly stands up. It has a good reputation and has been a long-time member of the online betting community. It provides an all-encompassing gambling experience through its sportsbook, racebook, casino, and poker room combo. These are standard offerings through most of the other sportsbook operators although Bodog’s four areas are all very substantial in size and variety, and it does surpass many of the others.

Final Thoughts

It’s impressive that Bodog has prevailed through all of the twists and turns it’s been forced to take over the past 20 years. Losing a huge client base with its United States exit back in 2011 could be devastating enough to force most businesses to close their doors, but Bodog is still going strong.

The careful attention to detail in branding and the website design and structure makes a difference, especially when attracting brand new bettors who may not have ever wagered before. Bodog has created a comfortable experience without an intimidating betting process. It provides yet another favorable option to Canadian punters seeking action outside of their national sports lottery system.