One of the biggest points we stress at TheLines is using legal sportsbooks. With expanded Ontario legal sports betting launching April 4, there are important reasons for users to stop using offshore sports betting. Why are we so insistent on cautioning players with offshore books like Bodog?
We’ll explain the dangers below, but for starters, legal sportsbooks are not only safer to use but have sign-up offers built into registration, and they are now available. Click PLAY NOW to lock in your welcome offers.
What are the dangers of Offshore sports betting?
Offshore books are sportsbooks that don’t operate under the jurisdiction of Canadian sports betting laws and regulation. They’re sometimes referred to in the industry as grey market books, because they’re not licensed to operate in Canada. We recommend using extreme caution around sites like Bodog, MyBookie, and Sportsbook.ag.
Chiefly, these books are not subject to Canadian jurisdictions and players are left essentially to fend for themselves should anything happen to their funds at these offshore sites. Money gets lost? Filing a lawsuit would be tricky, expensive, and potentially unsuccessful. Legal sportsbooks in Canada guarantee consumer protections for their users.
Some offshore books have expensive parameters around withdrawals. For example, some books have a $5,000 minimum balance requirement in your account to pull even a dollar out. If you were looking for some recreational betting this past football season with $200, you’ll be unable to get those funds back until you bet it into at least $5,000 (unlikely) or run out of funds entirely. Legal sportsbooks offer free withdrawals.
While you won’t face criminal penalty for using offshore books, these sites aren’t licensed or guaranteed to be run by any credible authority.
Offshore book left customers in dark
On Mar. 22, Sportsbook.ag– a popular offshore book– underwent maintenance and the site went down. More than 48 hours passed and customers were reportedly unable to reach support. Many users voiced concerns over their funds in their accounts, some of which were reportedly in excess of $20,000.
The worry here is that the book’s users aren’t protected since Sportsbook.ag isn’t a legal book.
Before this incident, the same thing happened with offshore sports betting site Bovada. Users had to recourse for getting their funds out of their accounts or any real customer service option. All of a sudden, the site went down and nobody could log in to get to their money or bets.