When betting from Canada it’s important that when you sign up you choose Canadian dollar as your accounts currency. The main reason for this is the exchange fees charged by both your deposit method and the betting site to convert funds from Canadian to any other currency when depositing and then back again when cashing out.
If you are depositing or withdrawing large amounts this exchange fee loss will add up significantly and can drastically affect your winnings over the course of a year.
I’ve made this mistake before, choosing American dollars. The amount you end up losing in exchange fees is huge!
Main Reason – Exchange Fees
Some online sportsbooks will give you an option as to which currency you would like your account in. The correct answer to this question for Canadians is always Canadian dollars! I know that American dollars has become a global currency, in that it is the one used when chatting at online sports betting forums and because of this the temptation can be there to have your online betting done in USD, but this will cost you in the end.
The exact accurate exchange rate between Canadian dollars and any other currency can be found at XE.com. This is the real exchange rate.
Your bank on the other hand will have two difference exchange rates for each currency conversion. They will have an exchange rate to sell Canadian dollars and an exchange rate to buy Canadian dollars. The difference between these rates is the amount of money you are losing on the dollar when accepting a different currency into your Canadian dollar bank account.
Example of Money Lost to Exchange Fees
At the time of writing this article $1 Canadian buys $0.7839 dollars American according to XE.com. This converted the other way means that $1 American buys $1.2757 Canadian.
Now let’s look at the exchange rates from the same day from Scotiabank, one of the major Canadian banks. If you are buying US dollars you are paying $1.3126 Canadian. If you are selling US dollars you are receiving $1.2406 dollars per $1 USD that you are selling. The difference between the $1.3126 and the $1.2406 is the banks exchange fee that they charge for exchange the funds. You can see that the actual exchange of $1.2757 is about right in between the two exchanges at Scotiabank.
Using an actual example:
Let’s say you have $1000 USD at Sportsbook 1. This would be $1275.70 CDN if you were betting the exact equivalent, but had a Canadian account (lets call this Sportsbook 2).
Now you want to withdraw each of these equivalent accounts to your Canadian bank account.
If you withdraw the $1275.70 CDN from Sportsbook 2 you will not lose any money in exchange fees to the bank and will receive the full $1275.70 into your bank account.
If you withdraw the $1000 USD from Sportsbook 1 you will end up with $1240.60 based on Scotiabanks exchange rate of $1.2406 per $1 USD.
That’s a $35.10 difference just from exchange fees on $1000 USD.
This Applies to eWallets As Well
If you are using an eWallet to fund your sports betting account, make sure it is in Canadian dollars. Otherwise you will be adding an extra exchange fee to the process of getting your funds to your bank account.
I made this mistake and lost over $100.
I withdrew $2800 CDN from a sportsbook, which became $2528 USD in my e-wallet. I then withdrew this and it became $2672.28 at my bank account. Never again….
The main reason of losing money to exchange fees is by far the most important reason to keep all of your online accounts in Canadian dollars where applicable, but there are some other lesser reasons as well.
Tracking Bankroll Between Sites
This is actually a fairly good reason to keep all of your accounts in the same currency. If you compare odds and place bets at multiple sites it can become a hassle to properly manage your bankroll when you have to account for currency differences. When the Canadian and American dollar are close to on par this reason doesn’t matter quite as much, but as the American dollar continues to rise this could become a real issue. It’s a pain if your optimal 1 unit bet is $20, and you have to convert that amount to American each time you want to bet at a specific site that you use in American dollars.
Understanding How Much You Are Betting
As a Canadian you probably think about value in terms of Canadian dollars. You think about how much a pint of beer is worth compared to a ticket to a hockey game in terms of Canadian dollar value. Once you start betting in different currencies the value that you are attempting to bet can change quickly.
Currency exchange rates are changing all the time, so the value of your bets in different currencies would be changing as well. It can become difficult to truly understand how much value you are placing on each bet, which can result in you wagering more or less than you want when betting in currencies other than Canadian dollars.
Selecting Currency at Betting Sites
The online sportsbooks will generally allow you to select your preferred currency when signing up an account. If you already have an account set up in a currency other than Canadian you should contact customer support and they should be able to adjust your account accordingly.