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How to Check the Reputation of Online Sportsbooks




Thanks to the availability and accessibility of the Internet, the online betting industry has become bigger and more popular. In fact, Canada alone has a multi-billion dollar gambling business. However, online betting’s popularity has also attracted people who take advantage of its avid bettors. In a sea of online betting sites available, how do you check the legitimacy of an online sportsbook?

For example, the betting site claims to be one of the best online sportsbooks. If you want to know its legitimacy, you can check review here or do the following steps to thoroughly investigate an online sportsbook’s reputation. Below are just some of the points to check and warning signs to be wary of.

1. Look for a license to operate

Even before you start registering and betting on an online sportsbook, the first thing that you should do is look for its license to operate. In fact, a license or certification is most likely the first thing that a reputable online sportsbook will show to its new online bettors. After all, having proof of one’s license is an immediate confirmation that an online sportsbook is legal and trustworthy.

Popular or long-standing online betting sites would often present their license on their homepage. Meanwhile, some lesser-known online betting sites still display their license on other pages of their website such as the “About Page.”

However, it’s also important to note that some websites provide a fake license. So, aside from looking for a license, investigate a website carefully by following the next few tips.

2. Watch out for suspicious offers

One thing to be wary of when looking through online sportsbooks is the different offers it provides its bettors. Most, if not all, online betting sites provide some sort of bonus, discount, or deal to entice bettors to use their platform. While there are a lot of good offers and bonuses out there, some are just too good to be true.

When browsing through sportsbooks’ lines, be wary of suspicious lines or bonuses. Ask yourself if a line is plausible or just plain impossible. Lines that are different from the market mean that the sportsbook is betting on its own line or it has very little betting volume. Also, if a bonus offers a huge number like a 500% sign-up bonus, that is very unlikely. After all, it would be quite impractical for a sportsbook to offer ridiculously high bonuses. All of these signs scream a fraudulent betting site.

3. Be mindful of their verification process

No matter which sportsbook that you bet on, they will always require bettors to verify their identity before withdrawing their winnings. This is standard procedure. However, if a sportsbook is taking too long to clear your payout because it’s taking too long for them to verify your identity, that’s a sign of a fraudulent sportsbook.

This is a technique that unreliable or illegal sportsbooks use to delay or avoid your withdrawal. Also, realistically, it doesn’t take long for betting sites to verify your identity. After all, they have various resources to verify your identity online.

4. Beware of delayed payouts

In relation to the previous tip, delayed payouts are a sign of an unreliable sportsbook. It could mean that there’s mismanagement in the organization or that it could simply be a fraudulent site. Moreover, if delayed payouts happen regularly, that is a strong sign of an unreliable sportsbook. 

Receiving your payouts can take some time depending on the website and the mode of transfer. However, ideally, it should not take more than two weeks. As soon as you encounter a delayed payout, immediately check with customer service and clarify the reason. Remember, fraudulent sportsbooks will make excuses just to avoid paying out bettors. So at the first sign of a long-overdue payout, leave immediately for your safety.

5. Check if a sportsbook offers book-to-book transfers

If you have betting accounts on other websites, some sportsbooks allow you to transfer funds to other betting sites. This is commonly called a book-to-book transfer. However, if a sportsbook suddenly cancels their book-to-book transfers, be on alert as this is a sign of several bad things. For one, it might mean that other sportsbooks no longer want to associate with them due to illegal behaviours or bankruptcy.

Reputable sportsbooks will not want to collaborate with unreliable sites. So having no book-to-book transfers available raises the question of the sportsbook’s reputation among sportsbook operators.

6. Try their customer service

Lastly, always test a sportsbook’s customer service, especially before you use their platform. Reaching out to their customer service and asking them some concerns you may have will give you insight into two things: the answer to your concerns and the way customer service will respond.

As with any customer service, a quick, detailed, and professional response presents quality and reliable customer service. Knowing how long it takes for representatives to respond and how they respond gives an insight into their efficiency and reliability. With this, avoid betting sites that have poor customer service. Although some websites with poor customer service are legitimate, it’s still best to avoid betting sites with poor representation. After all, when you have a concern or emergency with your account, knowing that there will be someone who can help you anytime is a reassuring feeling.

What does a reputable online sportsbook look like?

Given all the warning signs above, what should a legitimate online sportsbook look like? Some signs of a reputable betting site include having a license to operate, fast and regular payout, good online reviews, realistic offers and bonuses, and dedicated customer service who can help with troubleshooting anytime.

To avoid the stress and risk of losing your funds, always opt for a legal and reputable betting site. No matter how enticing some illegal sites may seem, they will never give you an enjoyable and risk-free online betting experience.

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Future of Ottawa: Coffee with Francis Bueckert





Francis Bueckert: When it comes to the current landscape of coffee-roasting companies and independent cafes in Ottawa, I think we are at a really interesting moment in time. There are more local roasters that are doing artisanal small-batch production—with more attention to the quality and origin of the beans.

With larger corporations such as Starbucks closing locations, it has opened a bit of space for local players to grow. We have been lucky to work with many folks in the coffee-roasting community, and we have found that there is a willingness to collaborate among different coffee roasters. For example, when Cloudforest started back in 2014, we were roasting our coffee at Happy Goat and it was the expertise of their head roaster Hans that helped me learn how to roast. Other companies such as Brown Bag Coffee have also lent a hand when we needed extra roasting capacity. There are others, such as Lulo, Mighty Valley Coffee, Bluebarn, The Artery, and Little Victories that are also part of the growing local coffee community. It’s small roasters like these who have shown me what a coffee community can look like, and that we can help to elevate each other, rather than being locked in competition.

If you care to make a prediction… What’s happening to the local café industry in 2021?

We believe that there is hope and that 2021 can be a big pivot year for small roasters and cafes.

This year will not be ideal from a business point of view. However, it could create a shift in people’s attitude toward where they get their coffee. We are holding out hope that people will support the roasters and cafes that are local to help them economically survive what is in all reality a very difficult time.

It all depends on where consumers decide to go this year. People are starting to recognize that supporting large corporations at this moment will be at the cost of the local roasters and cafes. There is the growing realization that a future where there is only Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks would be pretty bleak. So we have an opportunity this year to support the kind of local businesses that we want to see thrive.

In your wildest dreams, what will the landscape for local coffee roasters and cafés look like in your lifetime?

In my wildest dreams, all of the coffee roasters and cafés would be locally owned and independent. They would all be focused on direct trade and artisanal coffee. Each different coffee roaster and café would know exactly where their coffee came from. Ideally, each company would be a partnership between the farmers who grow the beans and the people here selling them. There would be a focus on how to cooperate and collaborate with the farmers in the countries of origin to share the benefits around. We would all work together and share orders of cups, lids, and other packaging so that we could get better bulk pricing. In this way, we would make our local coffee community so efficient that the large corporate coffee companies wouldn’t even be able to compete.

We would also like to see people use coffee as a way to create social good. For example, we started Cloudforest as a way of helping support farmers in Ecuador who were taking a stand against large mining companies. This remote community stood up to protect their environment, so that they could have clean drinking water and soil for the next generation. They started an organic coffee cooperative to help show that there are other models of development, and we are doing our part year after year to help support their vision. They have a vision of development that does not include mass deforestation and contamination, and organic coffee is a key (among others) to show that another way forward is possible.

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Special events in the Ottawa Valley dominate annual OVTA tourism awards





The Ottawa Valley Tourist Association hopes that its annual tourism awards will provide a little sunshine during what is a dark time for local tourism operators because of the pandemic.

The Ottawa Valley Tourism Awards are presented annually by the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association (OVTA) to individuals, businesses, and events that recognize the importance of working together for the growth of the local tourism industry, as well as offering exceptional visitor experiences.

“After a year that saw a lot of businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry being challenged like never before, the annual Ottawa Valley Tourism Awards represent a bit of light on the horizon” said Chris Hinsperger, co-owner of the Bonnechere Caves.

The Ottawa Valley Tourist Association’s (OVTA) Awards Committee co-chairpersons, Meghan James and Chris Hinsperger, said they were very pleased with the recent nominations received, especially in the Special Events category. Submissions were received for The Farm to Fork Dinner Series at the Whitewater Inn; Light up the Valley; The Eganville Curling Clubs’ Rock the Rings; The Ontario Festival of Small Halls ; The Bonnechere Caves On-line Underground Concert Series; The Opeongo Nordic Ski Clubs’ Ski Loppet; The Tour de Bonnechere — Ghost de Tour 2020; and The Bonnechere Caves Rock ‘n Roll Parking Lot Picnic.

“During a time when communities were challenged, it is nice to see that people still made an effort to get together and celebrate, albeit under certain conditions. It just shows the creativity and resiliency of our tourism Community here in the valley” said Meghan James, director of sales at the Pembroke Best Western.

There are three Award categories: The Marilyn Alexander Tourism Champion Award, The Business of Distinction and The Special Event of the Year.

Hinsperger, is excited about this year’s awards.

“During this pandemic the hospitality and tourism industry was the first to be hit, was the hardest hit and will be the last of our industries to fully recover. As Valley entrepreneurs we owe it to ourselves, to our businesses and to our communities to be an active part of that recovery. Our livelihood and economic recovery depends on our efforts. And we will get back to welcoming people from all over the world to share a little bit of the place we are privileged to call home. This awards process leaves myself and others fully optimistic about our positive outcomes.”

Award winners will be announced at the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association’s virtual annual general meeting on Monday, May 31.

The OVTA is the destination marketing organization for the Upper Ottawa Valley and proudly represents more than 200 tourism businesses, comprised of attractions and outfitters, accommodation, food, beverage and retail establishments, artists and galleries, municipalities, as well as media and industry suppliers. The OVTA is supported by the County of Renfrew, Renfrew County municipalities and the City of Pembroke.

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Future of Ottawa: Farming with Jeremy Colbeck





Jeremy Colbeck: Well first, let’s talk about what we mean by farming. Although farms, and farming as an occupation, are in decline across Canada, they are still a major part of our rural landscape. That’s even more true for a strange city like Ottawa which includes a LOT of rural areas and whose urban boundary takes, what, three hours to cross? About 40 per cent of the rural land in Ottawa is farmland. Most of that farming is corn and soybean cash-crop, as well as some dairy and livestock farming. That’s mostly conventional farming (the kind that is profitable but not exactly where you take your kids on a Saturday).

There are also a lot of agri-tourism businesses in Ottawa, which give you that oh-so-good Saturday spot for family donkey-petting and apple-picking. And it’s totally understandable from a business perspective, but sometimes surprising to find out, that even though they grow some of the Christmas trees they sell, they might also be reselling some that come from much larger farms far away. The farmland around Ottawa is also inflated in price because of its proximity to the city, where it is in demand by would-be hobby farmers—folks who want to do some farming on their property in their spare time but make their money (to subsidize their small-scale farming habit) elsewhere. Unfortunately, many of these properties will have large mansions built on them, which will then make them completely unaffordable for the average farmer

There’s also a segment of small-to-medium-sized Ottawa farms that grow “premium” (artisanal, unique, extra-fresh, ecologically- or organically-grown etc…) products that they sell directly to local eaters via farmers’ markets or other direct marketing channels, including on-farm stores and farm stands. That’s where BeetBox fits in.

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