We have all wagered at some stage or another, probably without even realizing it. Who has not chirped a friend or family member who supported an opposing team, “I bet you the Canucks are gonna take down the Canadiens in a real barnburner this weekend!” and your response was something along the lines of, “not a chance, I owe you a beer or lunch if they do”.
If you’ve ever been part of such a conversation, then you’ve wagered. Even if there was no money at stake, you still laid your pride and confidence in your team on the line for a friendly ribbing.
Why We Wager
People wager for many reasons but the key motive why people get involved in sports betting is passive participation (vicarious living through a hero or home team). We all dream of being a hero, which is why spectator sports possesses such a massive entertainment factor. Plus, an evening’s sports betting entertainment is relatively cheap.
It Doesn’t Break The Bank
Two games of bowling will set you back approximately $12 for an hour’s fun, while a $10 bet on a football or hockey game will keep you intensely entertained with repeated shots of adrenaline that will ramp up your fun levels for up to three hours. With a little bit of control, you can keep yourself entertained for hours on end without blowing your monthly finances askew. In addition, unless you’re an ex-champ turned bowling hustler, you stand a far greater chance of making some good extra dough from sports betting than you do bowling.
It Doubles The Excitement
Attending a live sports event is simply the best form of entertainment for any sports fan, while watching live sports on TV runs a close second. Especially if either of the two activities includes a bunch of like-minded friends since we’re generally very social creatures. In comparison, any entertainment value offered by other forms of spectator participation drops off sharply thereafter.
The above scenario is where and how it all started for most of us, simply pick a favorite and back them for a win. However, once you get into wagering on your favorite sports at online sportsbooks the excitement factor takes a significant leap in intensity. Moreover, your available sports markets, betting options, and variety of events all expand exponentially.
Finding the Right Online Sportsbook
One commonality with all experienced punters is that everybody has their own preferred online sportsbook. Experience led them to find one or several sportsbooks that ticks all the boxes for the sports they know and prefer betting on.
In contrast, people new to betting on sports find the right sportsbook in one of two ways. The hard way that first costs them a boatload of money before they eventually strike it lucky and find a reputable sportsbook that suits their needs in some ways but will likely not tick all the boxes. While a wise newbie would first consult with a knowledgeable sports betting affiliate for expert advice to determine exactly what to look for and what to look out for if they want to find an online sportsbook that caters to all their needs.
Why Bet Online?
Soon after broadband internet became widely available in homes throughout Canada, many punters immediately started wagering online with reputable international bookmakers. This was mainly due to the convenience of having instant access to a massive variety of sports. Many leading online bookmakers cover just about every type of sport played anywhere in the world. However, as far as popularity is concerned Canadian punters have their own preferences regarding the types of sports which they prefer to bet on. However, some of the locally popular sports are also unique to the country and somewhat limited to the North American continent.
While betting online offers many benefits over a main street betting shop the principal reason why the online betting experience is superior is live or in-play betting. While main street shops may offer a similar product, they simply cannot replicate the convenience and definitely cannot match the speed required for an effective in-play experience.
The advent of live or in-play betting opened a whole new and far more exciting world of sports betting. No more waiting for an event that you placed a bet on to come to its natural conclusion before you get paid your winnings. Each event is also filled with a near-limitless number of sports betting opportunities that appear during the event.
Canada’s Most Popular Sports To Bet On At Online Sportsbooks – Ranked
Due to the hugely competitive online bookmaking market, numerous reputable online bookmakers cater specifically to the types of sports most popular within the local market. As a result, Canadians may quite often find better deals with these bookmakers than they would with one of the major international bookmaking brands. This is particularly true for locally popular events like NHL matches but may also include MLB, NBA, and NFL events. While these sports types all receive coverage with international bookmakers they commonly receive little attention outside the North American continent.
Just like each person has a particular sportsbook they prefer, people in different countries around the world also follow and bet on a variety of different sports. Let’s take a closer look at what types of sports make up the main markets for Canada’s online sports betting industry.
#1 Hockey: In terms of popularity Ice Hockey stands head and shoulders above the rest and is widely played, fervently supported, and actively wagered on throughout Canada. The level of passion, pride, and joy locals take from supporting hockey completely outstrips their love for any other sports. Statistics show Canadians support their passion for hockey just as enthusiastically at online sportsbooks as they do at events. With 10 months’ worth of NHL action to watch and bet on each year, Canada has long remained one of the key global hotspots for ice hockey. A nation with so many fervent devotees to a game can also develop a darker side which was revealed by an NHL fan survey (to over 2000 Ice Hockey fans based in North America and Canada). Nevertheless, online sports betting on hockey remains one of the most popular choices for Canadian players.
#2 Basketball: Invented by Canadian-born James Naismith over a century ago, basketball enjoys a distinct advantage over all but one other type of sport amongst local fans. A key factor that turned it into such a popular activity to follow amongst both fans and punters is its action-packed energy-dense matches. The frenetic pace at which matches are played and the rapidity at which competing teams rack up the score also turned it into one of the most popular sports in the US. Fortunately for punters and fans, Canada’s basketball future looks bright on an international level due to an influx of numerous promising new prospects like Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and RJ Barrett.
#3 Baseball: During summer Canadian sports fans and punters busy themselves watching baseball games and making predictions about upcoming baseball fixtures. Across the country, baseball has become the go-to betting activity for the entirety of the sunny season. The Stanley Cup has already found its home until the end of the next NHL season and the Raptors saw their fans empty the stands for the last time this season. Once again Canada sits with bated breath waiting & hoping the Blue Jays will return to their glorious early 90s form. The beauty of the 2015 & 2016 season runs saw a passion for baseball return to Canadian sports punters and fans.
#4 Football (NFL): Football is the preferred sport of a betting man. Fortunately, the huge popularity which the NFL league enjoys north of the border leaves Canadian punters and fans with plenty of betting opportunities and options which makes them a very lucky crowd. Plus, the CFL continues to be supported by a large number of die-hard fans who love to wager on their teams each week.
#5 Golf: During summer weekends very little can match the joy of having a cold one as you watch a bunch of professional golfers sweat their way through the last 18 holes of a tournament. Which also makes betting at online sportsbooks the most convenient option. Despite its apparent laid-back nature, few sports will see the fervency golf fans show as they follow tournaments, it is usually only matched by the size of their betting budgets and habits. Moreover, with golf being one of the sports that enjoys a massive global following you’ll never run out of the tournament that offers good betting opportunities.
#6 Tennis: These are exciting times for tennis fans in the Great White North considering the outstanding level of skill displayed by Canadians Denis Shapovalov, and Milos Raonic in the international arena over the last couple of years. Their performances in tournaments across the world have brought the limelight and national pride back to Canadian tennis. Now the media regularly mentions Canada for reasons other than an honorable mention during discussions about the Grand Slam. This refocused bookmaker and punter attention to potential betting opportunities on tennis.
#7 MMA (UFC): Few nations can match the level of popularity that the UFC enjoys in Canada. Simply put, Canucks are crazy about the UFC a fact borne out by Toronto’s Rogers Center that once set the record for attracting the largest attendance to a UFC event. Since then, the UFC’s popularity only continued to increase amongst fans, which also caught punters’ attention. Canadian-born MMA superstar Georges St-Pierre is a key contributing factor to the massive success and popularity that the sport enjoys locally. Widely considered as one of the best fighters in history of the UFC, Georges held records for both the most title bout wins as well as the 2nd longest title streak defense. He racked up 2,204 days at the top in pursuit of his nine consecutive successful title defenses.
Soccer: While Canada’s national teams has never gained a reputation as a globally recognized powerhouse it has also not prevented the world’s most-followed sport from becoming just as immensely popular as amongst punters and fans in Spain, Brazil, Germany, or the UK. In 2007, Canada set an attendance record at the U20 World Cup which they followed up in 2015 with an extremely successful Women’s World Cup. Betting statistics proved it as the seventh most wagered on sports in the country.
The Mists of Time
Mankind’s competitive nature and drive for excellence have seen contestants engage in competitive sports since the dawn of civilization. Sports allow contestants to measure their physical and mental prowess against others in a controlled, fair, and relatively safe environment. Even non-competing individuals share a similarly competitive mindset, which makes it likely that the world’s first wager on sports was in all probability placed shortly before, during, or after the world’s first competitive sports event.
Why Canada Loves Hockey Most
As each nation evolved its own culture, its peoples developed their own individual tastes in many areas such as food, art, and most importantly sports. Geography, weather, culture, and other factors influenced the evolution of a huge variety of sports throughout different parts of the world.
Like the dozens of other factors affecting a nation’s sports culture the environment has a huge influence on the type of sports that is most popularly practiced, followed, and bet on. In other words, they don’t do much competitive ice skating in the Sahara Desert, and you won’t often see a bunch of Alaskan fans become too hyped-up about next weekend’s upcoming camel race.