TwinSpires Ontario Sportsbook Review
Horse racing fans in Ontario might be familiar with the TwinSpires brand already, but now the gaming operator has its sights set on the Ontario sports betting market.
With single-game sports betting legalized across the Canadian sports betting market, legal online sportsbooks are preparing to launch in the most populous Canadian province.
In this TwinSpires Ontario Sportsbook review, we'll examine their bet offers, their parlay bet odds boosts, the effectiveness of their mobile app, and more. Ultimately, as legal sports betting in Canada ramps up, we're looking to see if TwinSpires can be counted on as one of the best Ontario sportsbooks.
TwinSpires Sportsbook Ontario Expected Launch
The hope is for TwinSpires Ontario Sportsbook to launch as quickly as January 2022, but like other sports betting operators, the wait will likely last longer than that. A recent report by the Toronto Star points to February being a more likely time for Ontario licensed sportsbooks to launch, and it's uncertain if that means before or after Super Bowl LVI (it's certainly preferable for the launch to be before).
Yes, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act (also known as Bill C-218) passed and became enforced in August. But regulating the Ontario market - with additional policies for each Ontario sports betting site to abide by - is taking longer than many had anticipated.
For the time being, legal sports betting in Ontario is restricted to offerings through OLG, the Ontario Lottery, and Gaming Corporation.
Distinguished Features On The TwinSpires Ontario Sportsbook
Sports bettors need reasons to stick around and those reasons to stay (or go) typically reveal themselves with some of the distinguished features of a particular online sports betting site.
Live Sports Streaming At TwinSpires
The only live streaming available at TwinSpires is on the horse racing side of its online gambling platform. Users can watch live horse races or race replays, but there are no online sports streaming options.
TwinSpires Live Betting
TwinSpires values its live-betting features. Live sports betting can liven up an event you're watching, and at TwinSpires, it could lead to parlay insurance in the process.
Early Bet Cash Outs
Users can cash out on select betting markets at TwinSpires, and it'll be clear which ones because a "Cash Out" iconic will appear on your online wagering bet slip. For major sports such as football, baseball, and basketball, cash outs are generally allowed on moneyline, point spread, and point totals wagers.
Are Same Game Parlays Allowed?
They certainly are. Find out if a same-game parlay is allowed for a particular game by clicking on the matchup. If you see a tab that reads "Same-Game Combo," you're all set.
TwinSpires Hits And Misses
- Extensive list of sports to bet on
- Impressive menu for existing customers
- Around-the-clock customer service
- Tons of payment options
- Only one welcome offer, and it's not unique
- Lack of rewards program
- No live streaming for online sports
What TwinSpires Ontario Does Well
The typical sports fan that puts money on a game before it starts is probably going to watch that game. But if they now have reason to bet during the game as well, that can make it even more fun.
What to bet on with TwinSpires Ontario
You'll find all the major sports and much, much more listed in TwinSpires' sports betting menu. Here's a list of the online sports options, starting with the most popular and then going A-Z:
- Aussie Rules Football
- Rugby League
- Rugby Union
- Table Tennis
- Winter Olympic Games
When the Olympics roll around, Ontario sports fans will presumably invest some time (and money) in their home country. On the more traditional sports calendar, hockey reigns supreme (it's the national winter sport in Canada, after all). Football is always fun because NFL betting markets provide tons of props (we also expect the CFL to be prevalently wagered upon). Given that there is only one MLB team (Blue Jays) and one NBA team (Raptors) in the Canadian province, we expect the sports betting activity in those leagues to be at least somewhat influenced by how well those teams perform.
TwinSpires Online Sports Betting Basics
For Ontario sports bettors that are inexperienced with single-game sports betting options, it's important to know what you'll be able to do at TwinSpires' online sportsbook and elsewhere. Here's a breakdown of the basic online sports betting types:
Moneylines - Choose a winner. It's sports betting in the simplest form.
Spread Bets - Choose a winner, but based on a presupposed margin of victory or defeat. A team that is a 4.5-point underdog would "win" as long as it wins outright or loses by four or fewer points.
Total Lines - Choose whether the total points in a game will be higher or lower than a presupposed sum. If the over/under of a hockey game is 5.5 goals, your task is to decide if the game will include a greater or lesser sum of goals than that.
Parlay Bets - Group together a collection of individual bets, thus heightening the risk and reward factors. A parlay bet could include five moneyline picks from a given night in the NHL.
Futures Bets - Predict an event that will play out in the future. It could be weeks or months down the road. Common futures bets relate to player awards or team titles.
Prop Bets - Predict events that aren't necessarily tied to a game's outcome. Examples include an anytime goal-scorer, a first-half spread, or the over/under on a player's total rushing yards.
If Auston Matthews is on a heater for the Maple Leafs, maybe his anytime goal scorer prop becomes enticing. If you see that the Raptors are missing Pascal Siakam and playing the latter half of a back-to-back, you might want to fade them on the moneyline. There are so many ways to bet, and the availability of parlays, futures bets, and props, in particular, open up a treasure trove of options.
Casting TwinSpires Sports' parlay odds boosts aside, you won't find the pricing or odds at this sports betting site to be much different than its competing sports betting operators. Some spreads and odds will differ slightly from one sports betting operator to another, and TwinSpires is part of that. But expect the odds and payouts at TwinSpires to be fair and competitive.
The Origins of TwinSpires Sportsbook Ontario
TwinSpires is owned by Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN), a publicly-traded company that owns racetracks, casinos, and other properties. Churchill Downs Inc.'s acquisition of TwinSpires came in 2010, and at the time that positioned TwinSpires as the official online betting site of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. TwinSpires has expanded well beyond horse racing since then, with seven states offering online sports betting and seven retail sportsbooks in operation.
There is still no sports betting offered in Ontario for TwinSpires, but that's expected to come soon. Legal sports betting has existed in the Ontario market since 1985 as a parlay-only format, but new legislation passed in the summer of 2021 to legalize single-game sports betting.
What To Expect When Registering For A TwinSpires Sportsbook Account
Registering for a TwinSpires account is simple, fast, and free. Though you cannot set up an Ontario sports betting account for TwinSpires just yet, here are the steps you'd need to take:
- Go to TwinSpires Sports' website, select your home state and click "Join Now"
- Provide some basic personal information, which includes your name, phone number, address, and the final four digits of your Social Security Number
- Let the online gambling begin!
Current TwinSpires sports betting sites require customers to be 21 or older to play. It's possible that the same age restriction will apply in the Canadian market, but we can't say that with certainty.
TwinSpires Sportsbook Payment Options
Paying and getting paid are crucial elements to the online gambling process, and the available options at a particular site are important for any sportsbook review. To make a deposit with TwinSpires Sportsbook, here are the current options:
- Credit and debit cards (Visa or MasterCard only)
- Online banking transfer
- ACH transfer
- TwinSpires Sportsbook Prepaid Play+ Card
- Check or money orders
Most of the same options apply when it comes time to make a withdrawal:
- Online banking transfer
- ACH transfer
- TwinSpires Sportsbook Prepaid Play+ Card
- Check or money orders
TwinSpires Ontario Daily Fantasy Sports Contests
TwinSpires doesn't offer any daily fantasy sports contests at its U.S. sports betting sites, which leads us to believe they are unlikely to offer DFS in the Ontario market.
Trying to understand the rewards program for TwinSpires Sportsbook is, in a word, confusing. According to one customer support representative we spoke with, the VIP program at TwinSpires is only applicable for customers who deposit $5,000 or more within a 30-day period. Also, the perks related to the VIP program are not readily available, and users are expected to reach out to the company to learn more.
TwinSpires Ontario Sportsbook Usability
No sportsbook review would be complete without examining the usability of websites and mobile sports betting apps. Let's take a closer look at what works and what doesn't.
The loading time on TwinSpires' website is perfectly fine, which means you shouldn't run into issues with live-betting or other kinds of wagers. There are ways to improve the look of the site, though, given that team and league logos are not included and team names are often abbreviated. The betslip on the right side is helpful for calculating wager odds and payouts, but it blocks a sizable portion of the screen and cannot be minimized.
TwinSpires Sportsbook App
The betting app has some of the same issues as the desktop site (i.e. team abbreviations, lack of logos), but at least you can minimize the betslip. In nearly 500 ratings on the App Store, TwinSpires' mobile app has received a 3.8-star rating (out of 5). Common complaints appear to be geared more toward the online casino elements than the sportsbook.
How TwinSpires Compares to Ontario Sportsbooks
Without an accessible rewards program or a daily fantasy presence, TwinSpires might struggle to connect to Ontario sports fans in the same way as other online sportsbooks in the province. Not all hope is lost, but more work is required to make this a top Ontario sports betting site.
TwinSpires vs. Fanduel Ontario
With its daily fantasy platform already legally available in the Ontario market, FanDuel has a leg up on TwinSpires. FanDuel's major social media presence and robust rewards program don't hurt either.
TwinSpires vs. DraftKings Ontario
DraftKings is comparably strong as a DFS destination, and with its social media savvy, as FanDuel. So again, there's an uphill battle afoot as TwinSpires competes for Ontario betting market share.
TwinSpires vs. Bet365 Ontario
As Ontario sports betting enthusiasts wait for regulated online sports betting in Ontario, Bet365 lurks as an overseas alternative. Assuming TwinSpires can establish itself as a reputable Ontario licensed sportsbook, however, Bet365's current share of the Ontario sports betting market.
Customer Support Methods
In addition to FAQ articles related to its online sports betting services, TwinSpires also provides 24/7 live chat support, daily phone support from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. ET, and 24/7 email support. In our experience using the live support option, the wait time was minimal and the customer agent did their best to give assistance.
While acknowledging that no system can be 100% secure, TwinSpires states that it uses "reasonable organizational, technical and administrative measures to protect personal information." There is also some responsibility on the part of the user, who must create strong passwords and do their best not to share those passwords with others.
Measures To Betting Responsibly
From your TwinSpires account, you can set limits on deposits, sports bets, casino wagers and time spent on the website or your mobile device. Through its webpage on responsible gaming, users can access resources such as a gambling problem hotline and an outline of warning signs for online gambling addiction.
Sportsbook Taxes On TwinSpires
Tax laws aren't identical as they pertain to the U.S. and Canadian betting markets, but we can explain a bit about how sportsbook earnings are taxed at TwinSpires Sportsbook's U.S. sports betting locations.
The reporting threshold for a W-2 G form to be generated is $600. Automatic tax withholdings kick in at $5,000. Users can find their W-2 G forms and win/loss statements under the "Tax Statements" option in their TwinSpires account.
TwinSpires Retail Sportsbook
Retail casinos are legal and operating in Ontario, but retail sportsbooks are not. That could change, and if it does TwinSpires might make sense as a brick-and-mortar candidate in the Ontario sports betting market. TwinSpires has seven U.S. retail sportsbooks located in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania.
The RealGM Verdict On The Ontario TwinSpires Sportsbook
While we do with TwinSpires would implement an accessible loyalty program and clean up its website presence a bit, there are still reasons that make this a worthwhile site for sports betting in Ontario.
An eventual integration of horse racing and casino wagers would make TwinSpires a one-stop shop for betting in Ontario. And for anyone who enjoys making a sports bet during a live game, you'll be greatly incentivized to do so here. The wait for TwinSpires and other Ontario sportsbooks is a long one, but hopefully it'll be worth it.
Is TwinSpires Ontario legal?
Well, not yet. But to be fair, none of the outsider sports betting brands hoping to create Ontario betting sites are active. The realistic hope at this point is a launch for TwinSpires some time in February.
Does TwinSpires Sportsbook Ontario offer an online casino?
Though it's expected that Ontario online casinos will be legalized at some point, we cannot say for sure when that'll be. Of course, TwinSpires has an online casino presence already in three states (Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), so it would have the capacity to provide online casino gaming for Ontario bettors.