Bodog Canada was launched in 1994 by the Canadian Calvin Ayre. The brand’s background is a roller coaster — it was seized by the US Government twice, sold to the Mohawk Morris Gaming Group, and the domain was ultimately released in 2017. In its peak years, around 2004, Bodog was the biggest gambling brand in Canada and a powerhouse operator internationally.
In recent years, Bodog managed to recapture some of its former glory, but it’s really only a shadow of its former self. Its reputation has been tarnished by a series of controversies, which is why many Canadians are hesitant about putting their trust in this legendary gambling site.
Despite its checkered past, Bodog has always been a top-notch gambling site. All of this controversy never had anything to do with its quality of service or the way the brand was treating its customers.
Bodog is still a prime destination for Canadian punters. As a token of hospitality, the brand offers a pretty amazing 100% welcome bonus of up to C$200. But even looking beyond the bonus package, the site has a solid reputation for offering elite customer service, a wide range of props markets across all sports, as well as the option to capitalize on four different gambling products under one link.
The question now arises — should you stick with a gambling operator that has stood the test of time, or should you go elsewhere to satisfy your betting appetite? I guess you’ll have to read my in-depth Bodog review below to find out!
Bodog’s roots go back to 1994. The site was launched by Calvin Ayre, a Canadian entrepreneur, who at the time was involved in several business endeavours, including payment processing and software.
The name Bodog is derived from a unique branding strategy Ayre came up with. He conducted a scientific study on what type of brand name would be the most resonant, taking into account factors like how many syllables it should have. He figured that it should be easy to spell and remember and that it should have six letters or less. Ultimately, it would have to be distinguishable from its competitors.
After establishing a sound brand name, Ayre decided it was time for the company to branch into other verticals. In 2004, Bodog added a poker site to its portfolio of products. Quickly thereafter, the company signed a couple of celebrities from the poker world to be its poker ambassadors, which further enhanced its image.
In the following two years, Bodog rose to prominence, becoming Canada’s leading gambling brand. In 2006, the company cemented its status as the industry leader by purchasing WorldWide Tech Services.
In 2007, the site’s domain was seized by the U.S Government because its owner, Ayre, still had assets in his name in the States. It was at this time that Bodog was sold to Mohawk Morris Gaming Group, a company headquartered in Kahnawake Reservation in Quebec.
After agreeing to a settlement and paying 50 million dollars, Mohawk Morris regained the Bodog.com domain in 2009.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice went after offshore operators that were offering their services to US residents. Several gambling brands were shut down, and Bodog had to cease operations again.
Since the company was registered in Antigua, a country that has won several disputes against the U.S. for interfering with Antigua-based companies, Bodog had a strong case for recapturing its domain once again. The domain was released in 2017 as Ayre broke all connections with Bodog.
Bodog remained a juggernaut in the iGaming industry. Ayre himself has completely given up on the company that made him a billionaire and moved into the cryptocurrency market.
Sports betting has always been the bread and butter of Bodog, and so is the case to this day. The site offers two individual betting sections, one for horse racing and one for sports. The layout of the user interface is very sleek and very simple to use, as all it takes is to pick a sport, find your event, and click the market you want to bet on. The bet slip will automatically pop up on your right-hand side, where you can enter your wager and pick what bet type you want to place.
The main choices are, understandably, hockey, basketball, and football, but there are also sports like darts, snooker, and ski jumping on the menu. The betting markets cover a variety of leagues and events, including the NHL and CFL, which can be filtered further by the drop-down menu that automatically pops up when you open up a category. However, the only available type of odds is American (Moneyline) odds.
Apart from the more traditional sports, there are no specialty options available except for e-sports. But as a plus, you can also use the Horse Racing section under one account, where you find around 20+ tracks to bet on, including the local Woodbine, Aintree, and the other US, UK, and Canadian tracks.
In terms of overall market coverage, Bodog Canada is pretty decent. The offering looks limited when compared to 5Dimes or some other elite sportsbook, but they do offer a solid range of options for a medium-sized gambling site.
North American markets steal the spotlight, with the majority of Bodog’s clientele coming from Canada. All the popular sports in Canada are well covered, including football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Within each sport, there is a diverse selection of betting markets in both pre-match and in-play formats. Their collection of props and futures markets is on par with the biggest names in the industry.
You’ll find dedicated sections for NBA, NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA and College Football. Bodog also has a deep betting menu across all soccer matches. You can place bets on top-flight European leagues, including Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League, in addition to UEFA’s most prestigious tournaments, namely the Champions League and Europa League. The sportsbook even provides odds for lower-tier leagues and competitions.
Bodog also offers lines for MMA, boxing, golf, tennis, darts, cricket, rugby, Formula 1, and the increasingly popular esports. You can also bet on political affairs as well as events from the entertainment world. There are even a number of virtual sports markets for those who are into this type of betting.
Depending on the sport and the competition, you have a variety of betting markets at your disposal, ranging from standard spreads to money lines, teasers, parlays, halves, and props.
Each event currently found under your selected sports menu is expandable to reveal the available betting markets for the match. Here you can find the standard Moneyline (1×2) bets, point spreads, over/under and total markets, as well as a variety of proposition bets like both teams to score, margin of victory, correct score, double chance, full time/half time, and more. Some of the more interesting options include overtime bets, which are not available for every event. Of course, there is more variety in sports like soccer and cricket, which get more coverage from oddsmakers, than sports like cycling or darts.
When you add more than one selection, your bet slip will automatically give you the option to group them into a parlay, combine several (2, 3, 4 +) team parlays, create a round-robin or take up all of the options. This way, you can quickly make advanced bets with a few simple clicks.
When compared to other sportsbooks, Bodog’s odds are not particularly appealing, especially when it comes to betting on favourites. Still, there is some good value available on obscure markets, so as long as you’re not spending big bucks on major events, you’re good to go. A bigger issue here is that Bodog Canada posts odds much later than its competitors, so there is definitely room for progress in this respect.
Live betting is where Bodog shines brightest. The platform is laid out extremely well, and it’s easy to find your way around. More importantly, their live betting markets go beyond the standard options (totals, spreads, and money lines). Within each sport, you can choose between a vast selection of player and team props with odds updated by the minute.
Bodog Canada also provides in-play betting markets, which you can explore by clicking the Live Betting category. Once you do, you will see a different interface where the events currently in play are ordered at the top, while the next events in line will be available under their relevant menu. And once you open a match, you will see the current score, time, and match stats at the top, while all available markets will be listed below.
But what’s probably the best thing about the Live Betting menu is that you can log in pre-match and enable the Quick Bet mode, which will automatically create your bet slip with a pre-defined wager as soon as you click on the market.
As it stands, Bodog doesn’t provide live-streaming services. This is a major downside since most non-US sportsbooks offer this feature.
The Bodog desktop site is extremely intuitive and easy to navigate. All the mainstream sports are easily accessible via large icons located at the top of the homepage. On the left side, all the popular leagues are presented, and to see the market offering for a given match, simply click on the number left on the main market odds.
The website is immaculately designed. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill sportsbook with a simplistic design. It’s a unique blend of class and substance.
The platform is divided into sports, casino, poker, and horse sections. You can switch from one gambling product to another using quick links at the top of the page.
Users can change the odds format, choosing between fractional, decimal, and American types.
The betting slip, which pops out on the right side as you select a betting market, is a bit narrow for my taste. I personally prefer slips that are wider so that I don’t have to scroll too much. This is certainly not a deal-breaker, but it’s something that the sportsbook should improve, in my humble opinion.
Bodog wouldn’t be able to survive the fierce competition if it didn’t keep up with the latest tech trends in the iGaming world. So, when mobile betting emerged, Bodog quickly adapted. The mobile version of the website is built with HTML5, which means it will work seamlessly regardless of whether you use iPads, iPhones, Android smartphones and most tablets. Much like its desktop counterpart, Bodog’s mobile site features a smooth interface and a wide array of betting markets.
Users don’t need to download anything to place bets on the go with Bodog. Simple browser-based access will do the trick. Once you reach the mobile version of the site, you’ll be able to explore all of the content available on the main site. This means that you can place bets, fund your account, or contact customer support wherever you are, whenever you want.
If you are joining Bodog Canada for the first time, you are eligible for any bonus offered by the casino, poker, or sports betting section. However, when it comes to sports, there are fewer rewards to be claimed, although not anything you can easily overlook.
Like pretty much every Canadian-friendly bookie, Bodog Canada offers an introductory bonus to newly registered users. After signing up for an account, you’ll instantly become eligible for a 100% match bonus of up to CA$ 200. Granted, CA$ 200 is much less than you’ll find in other places, but with this bonus, you actually have a chance to collect some winnings. Why is that? Because the offer comes with a ludicrously low 5x wagering requirement.
There is no code, odds limitations, or any special instructions — merely make the qualifying deposit, and the bonus is yours for the taking. Speaking of which, the qualifying deposit is CA$20 when it comes to this particular offer.
Your insatiable hunger for bonuses probably can’t be satiated with just one bonus, but don’t you worry, Bodog also offers a full set of recurrent promotions. Since the promotional lineup changes on a daily basis, it would be pointless for me to talk about the promos that I came across while reviewing the site. What I can tell you is that gamblers of all preferences are in for a special treat in Bodog.
The sportsbook currently runs a hefty refer-a-friend promo. The principle of the offer is as follows:
Bodog’s banking department supports several payment options. Canadian punters can deposit funds into their accounts using Visa, Mastercard, Interac, Direct Bank Transfer, and Bitcoin. Deposit limits vary between different methods and are in the range of CA$20-1,000 for most options. All deposits are almost instantaneous and free of charge.
On the other hand, Bodog charges fees for withdrawal, which is rather unfortunate since most sportsbooks don’t incur fees at all when processing payments. You will be allowed to cash out for free within the first month of registration. After that, the site will charge you a fixed fee of CA$50 per withdrawal. Bitcoin withdrawals are the exception, as those are entirely free. You can withdraw anywhere from CA$20-3,000 per request.
Bodog goes to great lengths to protect the personal and financial details of its clients, taking every precaution needed to safeguard sensitive data. All payments are facilitated via secure servers as the site uses top-level SSL encryption technology.
This type of software is widely accepted as standard. I have yet to hear about security breaches on gambling sites protected by this type of technology. You can rest easy knowing that your money and personal details will remain hidden from prying eyes from the moment you register with Bodog.
Before I started reviewing Bodog Canada, I heard great stuff about its customer support team. It is praised by many for its quick turnaround time, efficiency and politeness. After testing the service myself, I have nothing but praise for the courteous and knowledgeable agents working there.
You can get in touch with the support by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll find the Contact Us link. From there, you can choose to contact the support agents available 24/7 via email ([email protected]), the toll-free telephone number (1-877-263-6422) and live chat. Whatever your choice is, you can expect to get your queries resolved in the most professional manner possible.
In the Help Center, you can find a resourceful FAQ section with answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding payments, account and security, bonuses, and games.
Bodog has a robust casino section with more than 150 different games, from Rival Gaming and Real Time Gaming. The table game selection is quite decent, though it’s not nearly as big as in top casinos. Still, all the evergreen titles are on offer, including several variants of blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat.
In the slots lobby, you’ll find all kinds of games, from 3-reel slots and themed slots to video slots and progressives. The video poker department consists of iconic releases like Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and Bonus Poker.
There is also a decent selection of specialty games. You can try your luck in 30-ball bingo, 80-ball bingo, keno, and a dozen more unique creations.
Bodog’s live dealer section is a force to be reckoned with. There are 30 different tables with betting limits ranging from CA$1-3,000 per hand. The site lacks live dealer poker games but makes up for it with an array of blackjack, roulette, and baccarat tables.
There’s a reason why Bodog Canada has remained on top of the competition for so long. Bodog is an exceptional gambling site; there’s no doubt about it. Despite its turbulent history and all the scandals surrounding its former owner, the quality of the platform has remained intact. Offering a solid variety of sports and betting markets, anonymous money transfers, live betting, and a proven track record of player trust, Bodog certainly has enough to offer to any Canadian bettor. That said, it could certainly use a couple more banking methods and incorporate a live streaming service.
Other than this, I find no reason why you shouldn’t sign up with Bodog. Its customer support is second to none, its bonuses come with lax terms and conditions, and it has a superb range of prop bets and futures. All of this should make up for a great betting experience, especially if you reside in Canada.