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From Mel Tucker to Brian Kelly, college football coaches are cashing in like COVID-19 never happened. “It’s out of control.”

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From Mel Tucker to Brian Kelly, college football coaches are cashing in like COVID-19 never happened. “It’s out of control.”

Just before Halloween 2020, LSU athletics cried poor. At the top of its lungs.

The Tigers’ athletic department announced that it was on track to lose $80 million because of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result was requiring staffers making more than $80,000 per year to take a 5% pay cut in 2021. That group included then-football coach Ed Orgeron.

Bonuses were shelved. At least eight employees were laid off.

Just after Thanksgiving 2021, LSU athletics handed Brian Kelly a 10-year contract worth around $100 million in total compensation — making Kelly, who bolted 11-1 Notre Dame to join the 6-6 Tigers this past week, the first football coach at a public university to crack the $100 million plateau.

So much for poverty. How else can you explain LSU’s about-face of 180 degrees and $180 million over a span of roughly 13 months?

“You can’t,” former Big 12 and Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas, a college athletics consultant based in Boulder, chuckled ruefully.

“You can’t. I mean, a year ago, we were putting people on the sideline, they reduced staff … it’s out of control.”

In the past two weeks, some of the biggest programs in college football have put COVID-19 austerity in their rear-view mirrors while sticking cold, hard cash on the dashboard.

Mel Tucker — remember him? — just parlayed a 10-2 season at Michigan State this fall into a 10-year contract extension worth $95 million, all of which is guaranteed unless Tucker, who coached the CU Buffs for 14 memorable months, is fired for cause.

Lincoln Riley left 10-2 Oklahoma for USC as part of a deal that’s rumored to be in the Kelly ballpark, although the Trojans, as a private institution, have neither released nor confirmed any details. The university is reportedly paying former football coach Clay Helton more than $10 million as part of his buyout, as well as the $4.5 million required to Oklahoma to terminate Riley’s contract with the Sooners prematurely.

“Obviously, the market is the market,” USC athletic director Mike Bohn told The Denver Post last week. “We all have a real understanding for what the market is. For us, it was about the right fit for our community, for our recruiting base, for our conference, for our part of the country — it was more about the incredible person and coach and what Lincoln Riley is about, more than anything.”

In the spring of 2020, Bohn took an undisclosed pay cut. The Boulder native, who ran CU’s athletic department a decade earlier, combined with Helton and men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield to give a million dollars back to the university to help defray revenue losses tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked about what changed the Trojans’ landscape over 18 months, Bohn replied:

“I think this is a unique time because of last season, where we played an abbreviated season, and a lot of things were kind of in flux because of COVID. And I think that kind of backed up some of the moves (that justified) some earlier decisions similar to what we experienced here. But it’s a unique time, one that I really hope college football doesn’t have to experience ever again. Or, for that matter, the entire country.”

“Football is king”

Bohn isn’t the only one on the hook for navigating a large buyout with one hand while navigating a search with the other. LSU reportedly gave Orgeron $16.9 million to go away. Washington owes fired football coach Jimmy Lake $9.9 million. Florida’s buyout of former coach Dan Mullen was $12 million.

And CSU athletic director Joe Parker, whose budget is a fraction of his Power 5 peers, is slated to pay ex-Rams coach Steve Addazio, who was fired this past Thursday after posting a 4-12 record, $3 million through Dec. 31, 2024, pending future earnings. CSU became the 24th FBS program to change head football coaches over the past six months.

“It’s certainly a move by athletic directors to secure a place at the table in a world that they think is clearly going to be about ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’” former CU football coach and current analyst Rick Neuheisel told The Post.

“It worries me as to how many seats are going to be at the table because college football is better when it’s a national sport regionalized by great intrigue. The four-team playoff has been terrible for the sport, but it was the only way to get (university) presidents to agree to any playoff.”

The likely expansion of the College Football Playoff, and the enormous money tied to participating in the event, has athletic directors throwing money around as if COVID never happened. Television dollars are only expected to keep rising over the next decade for the “haves.”

Expect competition to get more cutthroat, too.

“The next couple of years, the next three or four years, for CU, I think, are critical,” current Buffs radio analyst and former CU coach Gary Barnett noted. “I think it’s critical for a lot of teams, not just CU.

“(The Buffs) are part of the (‘haves’) now, and I think they’ve got to figure out how to stay in that particular arena. Because down the road, to me, it just looks like there are going to be a lot less (‘haves’) than there are now.”

Another new wrinkle for 2021? The number of FBS coaches who were let go before the end of the season (12) doubled that of 2018 (six). Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, said that the renewed aggression by athletic directors has been fueled not just by a desire to remain in the CFP conversation, but because of the confluence of the early national signing period (which starts Dec. 15 this year), Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation and the transfer portal.

“I’ve had one coach who called me who has a booster and says this booster is offering NIL to all those young prep prospects in high school,” Berry told The Post. “And this coach is frustrated, he’s not a part of the (booster’s) decision-making process.

“He said this booster is trying to buy the guys that he wants, and the football coach is suggesting that these are not guys who can play at this level, or in his system. And his athletic director has told him, ‘Don’t say anything,’ because they need his money. It reminds me of the ‘70s, when boosters were very active in college football programs, where maybe sometimes the best players weren’t playing because this booster was funding this player.”

The pandemic had a short-term effect on college football — just not the effect, or reforms, that some had projected in the spring of 2020. Instead of scaling back on spending, athletic directors at the highest levels of the sport saw what their budgets looked like when shrunk and responded by doubling down.

“What the pandemic did is it gave people more appreciation as to how valuable football is,” said Bryan Harlan, a Chicago-based agent who’s represented a number of collegiate and professional coaches and executives. “It turned out to where athletic directors said, ‘Oh my (gosh), football is everything. You never say no to football.’

“Because they saw what those empty stadiums did to their entire budget. The missing games, having no one in the stadium, they saw what it did to the whole university. And they said, ‘Hey, no matter what, football is king.’”

“We knew the money was there”

If you want to build an empire, best pony up.

When reporters questioned Parker as to how the Rams could afford to pay off Addazio so quickly after a 2020 season in which the program played only one home game, with no spectators, the administrator countered that his pandemic losses had already been contained and accounted for in the department’s 2020-21 budget.

Athletic departments crying poverty were disingenuous, said David Ridpath, an Ohio University professor, CSU alum and member of the Drake Group, an organization dedicated to college sports reform. “To be completely blunt, it was all (baloney)” said Ridpath. “We know the money was there (in 2020). You were pleading poverty on one hand, but you’re willing to spend money on the other. That hasn’t changed, pandemic or not.

“There’s always going to be that booster, although only some schools can actually (spend like) this. If someone’s willing to open up the checkbook, this will always happen, until we have some outside legal control.

“It is really sad that we have to go to Congress, of all places, to try and fix college sports. That it’s one of the few bi-partisan issues that they can agree on, that college sports and the NCAA need fixing. Because they are completely incapable of fixing themselves.”

While the dollar values are going through the roof, Neinas said, the principles haven’t changed over the last four decades. Like Harlan said, football is king. And some universities — and the academics who run them — missed football more than others.

If the convergence of events over the last week brought Berry back to the 1970s, it took Neinas back to the mid-1980s. To the resurgence of CU football under then-coach Bill McCartney and to McCartney’s apex, the 1990 national championship.

“Bill Marolt (the Buffs’ AD) and McCartney went to new university president Gordon Gee in 1985,” Neinas recalled, “and Gee said, ‘What do you need?’ and Gee went into a (university) discretionary fund, which became more money for recruiting, facilities infrastructure.

“When they celebrated the 1990 national title, I remember Marolt saying, ‘Our MVP is Gordon Gee.’”

==

Top coaches’ salaries for 2022

Rank, School………………Compensation

1. Lincoln Riley, USC — $10 million*

2. Nick Saban, Alabama — $9.75 million

2. Brian Kelly, LSU — $9.5 million

4. Mel Tucker, Michigan State — $9.5 million

5. David Shaw, Stanford — $8.92 million

* = estimated and unconfirmed by the university

 

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Chicago Bears schedule a 2nd interview with Matt Eberflus, while Ed Dodds reportedly withdraws from the GM search. Here’s the latest in the NFL’s firing and hiring cycle.

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Chicago Bears schedule a 2nd interview with Matt Eberflus, while Ed Dodds reportedly withdraws from the GM search. Here’s the latest in the NFL’s firing and hiring cycle.

Change is in the air. “Black Monday” arrived in the NFL the day after the regular season ended with a flurry of major changes beginning around the league.

A week later, the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans were searching for new head coaches, and the Bears, Vikings, Giants and Las Vegas Raiders needed new general managers.

As a new cycle of firing and hiring proceeds, we’re tracking all of the latest moves.

Wednesday

Bears GM candidate Ed Dodds withdrew his name from consideration, NFL Network reported.

The scoop: Dodds, the Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager, interviewed with the Bears on Monday. He has been with the Colts since 2017, starting as the vice president of player personnel, and was with the Seattle Seahawks for 10 years before that. Dodds has been a GM candidate for several offseasons, but he reportedly turned down an interview request from the Cleveland Browns in 2020 and withdrew from the Carolina Panthers search in 2021. Dodds is also a candidate this year for the Raiders GM job.

The Bears are scheduling Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus for a second interview, according to multiple reports.

The scoop: Eberflus, who had his first interview with the Bears on Monday, is the first coach reported to make it to the second round of interviews. Eberflus has been the Colts defensive coordinator for four seasons and before that was the Dallas Cowboys linebackers coach for seven seasons. He also has worked for the Cleveland Browns and spent 17 years coaching in college.

Eberflus also made it to the second round of interviews with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bears still are interviewing both GMs and coaches, with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coordinators Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn reportedly scheduled for coaching interviews later this week.

Other teams reportedly have requested interviews with Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai and assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly.

The scoop: The Seattle Seahawks, who fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. on Tuesday, have put in a request to talk to Desai, The Athletic reported. Desai has been with the Bears for nine seasons and was promoted to coordinator in 2021 after Chuck Pagano retired.

Kelly interviewed for the Bears GM position last week, and now he will interview with the Raiders, NFL Network reported. He has been with the Bears for seven seasons, starting as the director of pro scouting before he was promoted to his current role. The Raiders fired GM Mike Mayock on Monday.

Monday

The Las Vegas Raiders fired general manager Mike Mayock, the team announced.

The scoop: Mayock was the Raiders GM for three seasons, and his teams went 25-24, including 10-7 in 2021. The decision comes a day after a 26-19 playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders’ only postseason appearance in Mayock’s tenure. Mayock previously was a draft analyst with NFL Network and a TV announcer. Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned in October after some of Gruden’s old emails containing racist, homophobic and misogynistic language surfaced. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia led the team to a 7-5 record the rest of the way. The Raiders are interviewing candidates for GM and coach, though they haven’t announced what Bisaccia’s future is with the team.

Jan. 13

The Houston Texans fired coach David Culley after one season.

The scoop: The Texans finished 4-13 in the only season under Culley, 66, a longtime NFL assistant in his first job as a head coach. The Texans were playing without Deshaun Watson amid allegations of sexual assault against the quarterback. Week 1 starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor played in only six games because of injury, and the Texans turned to rookie Davis Mills to start 11 games.

Since 1994, Culley has been a wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, with which he was also the assistant head coach, a quarterbacks coach with the Buffalo Bills and the assistant head coach/wide receivers coach/pass game coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Carolina Panthers are interviewing Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, according to ESPN.

The scoop: Tabor was the Bears special teams coordinator for all four seasons under Matt Nagy, and he served as interim head coach for one game in 2021 when Nagy had COVID-19. He previously was the Cleveland Brown special teams coordinator for seven seasons, spanning multiple head coaches.

Jan. 12

The Chicago Bears added two more names to their general manager interview pool.

The scoop: The Bears have requested an interview with Pittsburgh Steelers vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan and New England Patriots senior consultant Eliot Wolf, ESPN reported. Khan had GM interviews last year with the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans. Wolf, the son of former Green Bay Packers GM Ron Wolf, has worked with the Packers, the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns.

Here are the updated candidate lists:

General managers

Coaches

Jan. 11

The Chicago Bears list of requested interviews has reached at least 8 general manager candidates and 9 coaching candidates.

The scoop: Recently fired Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores was a big name to pop up in a lengthy list of candidates the Bears have contacted about interviews.

NFL Network reported the Bears set up the interview with Flores, who went 24-25 in three seasons with the Dolphins. His last two seasons were winning ones, but the Dolphins didn’t make the playoffs.

Here are the other coaching candidates who reportedly have been requested:

Former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith is among the biggest names to be expected to interview with the Bears. Here’s a list of others:

The New York Giants fired coach Joe Judge after two seasons.

The scoop: In his first NFL head coaching stint, Judge, 40, went 10-23, including 4-13 in 2021. Playing without quarterback Daniel Jones down the stretch, the Giants lost their final six games by a combined score of 163-56. After the 29-3 loss to the Bears in Week 17, Judge went on an 11-minute rant defending his team while talking to the media.

It is the second big Giants move in two days after general manager Dave Gettleman announced his retirement Monday. With Judge out, there are now seven NFL head coaching jobs open.

Jan. 10

The Chicago Bears fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy.

The scoop: Pace is out in Chicago after seven seasons during which his teams went 48-65, qualified for the postseason twice and failed to record a playoff victory. In his first NFL head coaching stint, Nagy finished 34-31 with two playoff losses over four seasons.

The Bears never found the right fit between Nagy and a quarterback during his tenure , running through Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. Nagy’s offense remained stuck in the bottom third of the league in many categories . The Bears finished 6-11 this season.

The Bears have reached out to former Eagles coach Doug Pederson to schedule an interview for their head coaching role, according to a league source. An ESPN report also indicated the Bears have requested permission to interview Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for the job. The team, according to NFL Network, has also requested to speak with Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown for the GM opening.

The Minnesota Vikings fired general manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer

The scoop: Spielman was with the Vikings since 2006, first as the vice president of player personnel and then as the general manager since 2012. In that time, the Vikings went 132-123-2 with six playoff appearances.

Zimmer, a longtime NFL defensive coordinator, became the Vikings head coach in 2014. He led three seasons of 10 or more wins, three playoff appearances and two playoff victories. The Vikings finished 8-9 after a victory over the Bears on Sunday.

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman announced his retirement after four seasons in that role.

The scoop: In 2018, Gettleman became the general manager in an organization where he had spent 13 years previously in front office roles. But his efforts to resuscitate the franchise failed with the Giants experiencing their worst four-year stretch of losing in team history.

The Giants went 19-46 under Gettleman’s watch, including a 4-13 faceplant this season during which the offense finished last in the NFC in both total yardage and scoring. Gettleman announced his retirement Monday but may have been fired if he hadn’t. The future of coach Joe Judge remains uncertain and may hinge on what happens with their intensifying GM search.

The Miami Dolphins fired coach Brian Flores after three seasons.

The scoop: Flores was fired in his third season despite posting back-to-back winning seasons. The Dolphins were 5-11 in his first year, 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 this season, but they didn’t make the playoffs in his tenure.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released a statement saying he “determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins.” General manager Chris Grier will remain with the team in his current role, ESPN reported.

Jan. 9

The Denver Broncos have fired head coach Vic Fangio after three seasons.

The scoop: Fangio didn’t record a winning season in his three in Denver. He finished 19-30 in his first stint as an NFL head coach, including 7-10 this season. Fangio, 63, was a defensive coordinator in the NFL for 19 seasons, including four in Chicago, before he joined the Broncos in 2019.

Fangio’s defense this season ranked in the top 10 in yards and points allowed. But the Broncos offense didn’t produce well enough under Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, the latest in a revolving door of quarterbacks in Denver recent years.

Dec. 30-Jan. 7

The Jaguars have conducted at least five interviews to replace Urban Meyer.

The scoop: The Jaguars fired Urban Meyer on Dec. 16 after just 13 games with the team.

The team already has gotten deep into their search to replace him, reportedly interviewing former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson, former Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Read more of our coverage from Black Monday and beyond.

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Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri feels the “respect” of being named an NHL All-Star

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Cale Makar, Nazem Kadri return to Avalanche lineup at Philadelphia

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Avalanche center Nazem Kadri is particularly proud of being named to his first NHL All-Star Game because he got in from the “last man in” fan vote on Tuesday, after the Central Division’s first 10 players were named last week by league officials.

“This is why you play — to get some respect,” Kadri told The Post after a morning skate Wednesday at Honda Center.

Kadri enters Wednesday night’s game against the Ducks as the Avs’ leading scorer. He ranks fifth in the NHL with 49 points (14 goals) in 33 games. He’s also fifth in points-per-game (148). The 31-year-old is just 12 points shy of his matching his career-high of 61 from 2016-17 with Toronto.

“It’s exciting, obviously,” Kadri said of making the All-Star game. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work this year. It could have been any of these guys on the team. It’s an honor and a privilege. I can’t wait to represent myself and our team.”

Kadri will be the third Avs player and fourth All-Star representative of the team. Center Nathan MacKinnon is the Central Division’s captain and defenseman Cale Makar was also named by the league. Colorado coach Jared Bednar will run the bench in the 3-on-3 tournament at T-Mobile Arena.

“I don’ think you see that too often,” Kadri said of four representatives from one team in the 3-on-3 format. “It’s certainly special, something you’re going to remember. And there could have a been couple more. Any time you get that recognition you’re pretty honored about it.”

Avs right winger Mikko Rantanen and defenseman Devon Toews were among those deserving of All-Star recognition but were not named. Rantanen leads Colorado with 20 goals and is seventh in NHL scoring with 46 points. Toews is tied with a league-high plus-30 rating.

“Unfortunately, you have to have representatives from each team,” Bednar said. “But I’d say with Naz, the process worked for him. He gets the last-man in vote, more than doubled up the next guy, so I think fans of the game and people around the game have recognized what he has done this season.

“I love to see a guy like that who’s been in the league for (more than) 10 years and now having a career year and just keeps getting better and better. I’m really happy for him.”

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The Best Online Slots in Canada for Canadian Players

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The Best Online Slots in Canada for Canadian Players

Love spinning reels online? The list of the best slots sites in Canada is a great way to start!

Canada is home to some of the best slots sites on the planet that boast high-quality games with high RTPs, lots of bonus features, and exciting playability.

And we get it: Finding a slots site that’s right for you can take ages.

But hey, that’s why we’ve rounded up the best slots sites in Canada according to their selection of slots, their chances of winning, as well as their user interface, licensing, and security.

For each slots site, we’ll be highlighting the best slots game, and providing a detailed review to help you decide what to do next. Let’s get it started!

Best Slots Sites in Canada Reviewed + Top Slots Games

1. Ruby Fortune – Best Slot Site for Wild Orient

  • Wild Orient with 96.17% RTP
  • 450+ casino games
  • Established in 2003

With more than 450 casino games under its belt and a high number of bonuses and promotions, online casino veteran Ruby Fortune (it’s been around since 2003!) makes it to the top of our list as the best overall slots site available to Canadian players. It’s got all the slots thrills you can dream of, with high levels of trust thrown in.

Slots Games Offered: 5/5

On our last count, Ruby Fortune has a grand total of 488 casino games.

And 378 of these are slot games.

This makes it ideal for slot fans who want to get stuck into an arsenal of high-quality 3 and 5-reel games. Popular slot games include Dragon Dance, Bikini Party, and Wild Sun Tide.

RTP: 5/5

One of the highest RTP games you can play here is Wild Orient. This is a Microgaming slot that has an RTP of 97.49%, and which is responsible for some of the biggest ever wins at Ruby Fortune.

Peek-a-Boo, meanwhile, has a 96.6% RTP and a mid-range volatility, while another high RTP slot worth checking out is Microgaming’s Lucky Twins (96.47%).

In short, if you find yourself daydreaming about what life might be like if only you could strike it lucky on a jackpot slot, you’ve got as good a chance at Ruby Fortune as you have elsewhere.

Bonuses & Promotions: 4/5

Ruby Fortune’s welcome bonus looks good. It’s a 100% up to C$750 match bonus that’s designed to kick things off in the right way.

Moreover, it’s actually a three-tiered welcome bonus that gifts you extra cash whenever you make your first, second and third deposit.

From there, subsequent bonuses at Ruby Fortune are a tad thin on the ground unless you join the VIP program. What we like about this loyalty scheme is that it isn’t invite-only (unlike at many rival sites). Instead, any and all regular players are free to apply. And once you’re in, you get access to more exclusive perks and prizes.

User Interface: 5/5

On the face of things, Ruby Fortune is wonderfully designed. Its modern setup will be much appreciated by anyone who wants to be able to easily use a casino while discovering new things along the way. But if we could have a minor complaint, it’s that you can’t really do much exploring as a guest.

Misc: 5/5

Having been around for nearly 20 years, Ruby Fortune is easily one of the best Canada casino sites reputation-wise. Moreover, it’s got 13 sister sites that are all owned and operated by Bayton Ltd Casinos. And with excellent customer service and SSL encryption, it’s easy to see why so many Canadian players trust this site.

2. mBit Casino – Best Online Casino for Aztec Bonanza

Pros:

  • 96.53% RTP slot game
  • 2,100+ slots
  • 7 cryptos accepted
  • Customizable VIP program

Cons:

  • Canadian dollars not accepted

mBit Casino is strictly a crypto-only slots site, which means your Canadian dollars won’t be accepted. But while that will make it shockingly different to old-school players, crypto gamblers will appreciate the fact that, when it comes to slots, mBit Casino will feel as familiar as a regular online casino site.

Slots Games Offered: 5/5

First things first: mBit Casino has a massive collection of well over 3,000 casino games. Over two thousand of these are online slots, and they’re provided by almost 40 different gaming developers.

Naturally, being home to so many real money slots means that there’s an array of hugely popular ones here, including the likes of Arabian Spins and Avalon.

Mega Moolah is here, too, and you’re invited to compete for its hefty C$20,000,000 jackpot.

RTP: 5/5

How does taking your pick from over 110 jackpot games sound?

It’s what you can do at mBit Casino, where the average RTP of games is noticeably higher than at many rival sites.

The standout slot is Aztec Bonanza, a 96.53% RTP 5-reel video slot that comes with a bumper 384 pay-lines. Volatility is mid-to-high, the game was developed by Pragmatic Play, and once you’ve nailed one win, the ways of winning increase from 384 to 7776.

Other jackpot games you can play include Basic Instinct, Mr. Vegas and Jackpot Rango.

What makes mBit Casino so different from other slot sites is its unique social aspect. For example, you can participate in 3-hour mBit Races against other players, as well as daily tournaments. There’s also a chat room, which is available 24/7.

Bonuses & Promotions: 5/5

When you make your first deposit at mBit Casino, you can grab a 110% up to 1 BTC (or other crypto equivalent) welcome bonus. Wagering requirements for this offer are just 35x (very fair), and you also get 300 free spins.

Special mention must go to mBit Casino’s VIP program which is itself kinda special. It’s a tiered program, with everyone starting out at Planet Earth. The more bets you place, and the more deposits you make, the higher up the levels you’ll move.

To get to the very top – the Moon – you will, however, need to be invited.

What we like about this VIP program is that it’s customizable. For instance, you get to customize your own reload bonuses – how cool is that? You also get your own personal account manager.

User Interface: 5/5

The best crypto casinos tend to have very modern, slick user interfaces – and mBit Casino is no different.

Make no mistake, there are some things that will feel familiar to old-school players, including the overall layout of the games. But it’s neat touches, such as a darker color scheme that somehow works, and a chat room to the right of the screen that make it unique (but still super intuitive).

Misc: 4/5

Being a crypto-only casino means mBit has a bit of a handicap and won’t have as broad an appeal as some Canadian casinos. But mBit does at least accept a wide variety of coins, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.

3. Spin Casino – Best Online Slots Site for Aurora Wilds

Pros:

  • 96.2% RTP slot
  • 370+ slots
  • Sports betting available

Cons:

Spin Casino is a top-rated Canadian online slots site that’s powered by the likes of Microgaming and NetEnt. It’s got a massive selection of 378 slots, including the high-payout slot game Aurora Wilds.

Slots Games Offered: 4/5

With 378 slot games, it’s fair to say that Spin Casino is an excellent place to go and spin some reels. New games are being added all the time too, such as the recently added Arctic Enchantress.

And because the games are provided by an enormous 31 different gaming developers, you can expect lots of variety and an incredible amount of features to discover and unlock.

Meanwhile, if you’re stuck for choice, you can scroll down to the bottom of the screen and check out the games that have been voted the most popular by other players.

RTP: 4/5

Spin Casino is home to Aurora Wilds, a 96.2% RTP slot provided by Microgaming. It comes with medium volatility, you can play it for free or for real money, and it’s one of the most exciting and colorful slots games that was released in 2021.

Other high RTP slots here include Diamond King Jackpots (96.44% RTP) and Thunderstruck II (96.65% RTP).

Other than that, you can try your luck at a huge amount of progressive jackpots that – thanks to the top software providers at Spin Casino – are bulging with some mega jackpots that are waiting to be won.

Bonuses & Promotions: 4/5

New players can grab a 100% up to C$400 welcome bonus that comes with a minimum deposit of just C$5. You can also grab extra cash on your second and third deposits.

The fun then continues all week long, with Spin Casino releasing minor bonuses every day of the week. They’re not all super amazing, but they give you the chance to keep your bankroll alive without placing massive wagers all the time.

User Interface: 4/5

It breaks out heart not to give Spin Casino a clean sweep for its user interface, because it’s genuinely one of the best around in terms of its ease of use. It’s clean, it loads quickly, and all the menus and tabs pop off the screen.

The reason we had to shave a point off was because its plain white background will be a bit dull to some players. However, there’s no doubt that this is one of the most functional online casinos around – and it really isn’t boring at all.

Misc: 5/5

You can play Spin Casino on desktop or mobile (there’s a separate mobile casino). Alongside slots, you can play a host of classic games, and (brilliantly for a slots site) you can also bet on sports.

On the other hand, Spin Casino isn’t the absolute standout when it comes to its selection of card games. But live games are available, and there’s no doubt that Spin Casino is an excellent all-rounder.

4. Royal Panda – Best for Book of Dead

Pros:

  • 96.21% RTP slot
  • 330+ slots
  • Sports betting available
  • Megaways slots available

Cons:

Royal Panda is well worth a look if you’re on the hunt for some classy bonuses, drop & wins and weekly prize pools. You’ll find all of this good stuff and more at this cleanly designed and well-packaged Canadian online slots site.

Slots Games Offered: 5/5

In terms of its slot selection, there are Megaways, progressive slots, and 5-reels available among Royal Panda’s library of over 1,100 slot games.

It’s an impressive selection, and each game is neatly organized into a category, while a handy search function makes it easier for you to see if your favorite slots are available.

It’s also worth mentioning that Royal Panda uses slots that are produced by not just one gaming provider, but a variety of world-class providers, including Pragmatic, Play’n Go, and Microgaming.

RTP: 5/5

Royal Panda has a number of high RTP slots that exceed 96% in its arsenal, including Book of Dead, which is one of the most popular slots around. It’s got a 96.21% RTP, which is higher than average, and it was produced by Play’n Go. You can play it for free or you can play it for real money.

Indeed, you can play all of Royal Panda’s high RTP games for real money, which gives you a chance to try things out before taking the plunge for real money.

We also like the fact that Royal Panda’s winners are all listed to the left of the screen – you can see today’s winners, this week’s winners and even last month’s winners. If anything, watching the numbers roll in in real-time is inspiring stuff.

Bonuses & Promotions: 4/5

Anyone who signs up to Royal Panda definitely gets the royal treatment, with a 100% up to C$1,000 welcome bonus kicking things off. Even better, the wagering requirements for this beauty are just 35x. Lovely stuff.

Subsequent promotions include a 5% top-up bonus each time you make another deposit, while a Pragmatic Drop & Wins Live Casino Weekly tournament has been ongoing since November 2021. Each month, you get the chance to win a slice of the C$500,000 prize pool.

User Interface: 3/5

The user interface is a tad glitchy, which could frustrate some players, but the site is at least cleanly designed and easy to get used to.

However, it does also look a tad unfinished and lacks the glitz and glamor of some rival sites that are more professionally designed.

It is at least optimized for both mobile and desktop play.

Misc: 4/5

Alongside its selection of slots and other online casino games, Royal Panda has a sportsbook. And while it’s not the most spectacularly comprehensive sportsbook in the world, Canadian players who otherwise find it hard to find a good sports betting site (there aren’t that many available in Canada) might be interested.

5. PlayOJO – Top Pick for Release The Kraken

Pros:

  • 96.5% RTP slot
  • 1,800+ slots
  • No wagering requirements
  • Live dealer games by 3 top-notch providers

Cons:

  • Bingo not available to Canadian players

PlayOJO is one of the best online casino sites in Britain that’s now available to Canadian players. This is good news because not only is PlayOjo one of the most trustworthy online casinos around, but it’s also bursting with slot games – almost 2,000 of them, in fact!

Slot Games Offered: 5/5

On our last count, PlayOjo’s collection of slots totalled 1,888. That’s a heck of a lot, and the good news is that there are some truly fabulous titles here.

Just enter the “Casino” section of the site and you’ll be greeted with a homepage that’s splashed with slots, including new slots, popular slots, Megaways slots, and exclusive slots. Age of the Gods is here, as is Eye of Horus.

There are hundreds of mobile slots, too.

RTP: 5/5

When you arrive on the slots page, you’ll see the total jackpot listed at the top of the screen – and it very often exceeds C$10,000,000.

That figure represents exactly how much you’re playing for when you spin the reels at any one of PlayOjo’s high RTP or progressive jackpot slots.

Our top pick is Release The Kraken, which, with a 96.5% RTP, offers one of the best chances of winning. It’s a highly volatile slot game that comes with 20 pay-lines and lots of bonus games, wilds, and free spins. With an action and adventure theme, it’s super thrilling to play.

Besides slots, you can play a good number of high RTP roulette and blackjack variants at PlayOJO, as well as live dealer games.

Bonuses & Promotions: 4/5

Where PlayOJO truly stands out from all other Canadian slot sites is with its no wagering welcome bonus. The deal here is that you get to enjoy any bonus winnings without having to meet any rollover requirements first.

That said, the welcome bonus itself consists of 50 free spins – at the moment, there’s no free cash available.

However, PlayOjo has another rule: There are no max wins or max withdrawals on any of its bonuses.

User Interface: 4/5

Kudos must go to the design team for creating an intuitive, bright and breezy website that’s colorful and easy on the eyes. There’s nothing truly fancy about it, and site load time is excellent.

However, said bright and breezy theme might not appeal to all players, simply because it can look a tad fluffy. But if you don’t mind playing at a slots site that’s full of cheer, PlayOjo might be for you.

Misc: 4/5

It’s a bit of a shame that, while bingo is available at the UK version of PlayOJO, it isn’t available to Canadian players. If you’re just here for the slots, though, this is an online casino that’s tough to beat for its no wagering bonus, a grand collection of slot games, as well as its huge amount of other casino games.

6. Casumo – #1 for Starburst

Pros:

  • Popular slot with a 96.1% RTP
  • About 1,992 slots
  • Live dealer casino games

Casumo has one of the biggest collections of games on the planet, and there are 1,900+ (and counting) at the time of writing.

These include a wealth of slots – old and new – including the ever-popular Starburst. This is a 96.1% slot that’s caught fire around the world. Players love it for the quality of its graphics, its entertaining space theme, as well as expanding wild respin feature.

Casumo also has live dealer games, and its games are provided by a range of reputable gaming developers, including Red Tiger, Pragmatic, NetEnt, and more.

Some players might find the lack of a theme and a fairly basic site design to be a tad on the dull side. But Casumo is easy to navigate, you never feel overwhelmed, and it still feels and looks professional.

7. Magic Red – Best Online Casino for Rumble Rhino

  • Brand new slot
  • 900+ slots
  • 15+ progressive jackpot games
  • Excellent VIP program

Magic Red is another Canadian slots site that has an awesome selection of slot games. It especially shines when it comes to new online slots, as it’s adding them all the time.

Indeed, our pick of the new Magic Red slots is Rumble Rhino. This is a recently-released Megaways slot that comes with 6-reels, 100 pay-lines, and a 500 jackpot. RTP is hard to define because the numbers given vary between around 95% and 96.2%. But it’s super fun to play, and you can try it for free or with real money.

Magic Red also has 15+ jackpot slots to play, and daily winners are listed to the right of the homepage.

Both casual players and high rollers are welcome here, with minimum stakes for the table games starting out from just C$0.10 and rising to well over C$2,000.

It’s a shame that the slots welcome bonus is a tad on the complex side when it comes to the terms and conditions. But a VIP program rewards loyal players over the long term and offers exclusive perks and prizes.

8. Casinonic – Top Pick for Sun of Egypt

  • 95.3% RTP
  • 1500+ casino games
  • 10+ payment methods

Casinonic is a fully-licensed online casino that’s available to Canadian players. This means that the entire user experience – from the look and feel of the site to the deposit and withdrawal options – is suited to Canadians.

Its selection of slots is strong, and all the games are well-presented for easy access. At Casinonic, you can play Sun of Egypt, a 2019 slot that comes with a 95.30% RTP. This is a non-progressive jackpot slot game that works well on both desktop and mobile. It is known for being crammed with bonus games, wilds, free spins, and scatter symbols.

Everything about Casinonic is set up for ease of use. The mobile version of the site works super well, there are over 10 payment methods, and customer service is excellent.

Withdrawals could be faster on the whole, but the fact that there are so many payment methods (including Bitcoin and BTC Cash) should mean that most players will find their preferred method here.

9. Genesis Casino – Best Site for Gonzo’s Quest

  • 95.97% RTP slot
  • 1,700+ online slots games
  • First-person roulette available

Genesis Casino is one of the world’s most reputable online casinos that Canadian players can sign up with. It has a super generous welcome bonus on the table that can be used on slots, and boy, are there lots of slots you can play here – over 1,000.

Gonzo’s Quest usually catches the eye of most players. It’s a 95.97% RTP slot game that comes with 20 pay-lines and high volatility. Free spins are a key part of the bonus features, and it’s an evergreen slot that, despite being released back in 2011, remains popular today.

Genesis Casino is overall a slick and highly professional online casino. Roulette, poker, blackjack, and baccarat variants make up the bulk of the games besides the slots, and there’s a live casino, too.

Nothing really stands out as a strike against Genesis, although if we could have one criticism, it’s that it still hasn’t added any cryptos. Other than that, a long list of payment methods should mean that most Canadian players are covered.

10. Casino Rex – #1 for Ali Baba’s Luck

  • 95.89% slot
  • Brand new site
  • 2,700+ slots
  • Five-part welcome bonus

Casino Rex is one of the best new online casinos in Canada. It claims to have the “wildest selection of the most popular online slot games” – and after our testing, that claim seemed to check out.

There are progressive jackpot slots, hundreds of video slots, brand-new slots – and high RTP slots. These gave low rollers who make small deposits the chance to win big.

Our top pick is Ali Baba’s Luck, a 95.89% RTP online slot game provided by Red Tiger. It has 10 pay-lines, volatility is high, and it comes with state-of-the-art audio-visuals that make it so playable.

And because Casino Rex is a new slots site, it offers a very appealing welcome bonus. This is actually a five-part welcome offer that includes free spins.

A lack of a loyalty program thereafter means you won’t get rewarded as a loyal player. But if you’re happy to be rewarded just by the many bonus features in the games, Casino Rex is easily one of the best of the newest casino sites.

11. Super Slots – Best for Kraken Deep Wins

  • 96.50% RTP slot
  • 200+ slot games
  • 5 game categories

Super Slots shows its hand immediately via its name. Yes, you guessed it – this is a slots-focused online casino that’s bursting with 5-reel action.

One such slot you can play here is Kraken Deep Wins. It comes with a 96.50% RTP, there are free spins and multiplier wilds galore, and the graphics are top-notch. It also comes with a really neat mythological theme and lots of maritime symbols.

Super Slots is constantly updating its slots library with new titles. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest games, then this might be the site for you.

And while mobile games are still a bit limited, the desktop version of the site covers poker, blackjack, live dealer games – and more.

12. Big Spin Casino – Top Pick for Lava Gold

  • 96.02% RTP slot
  • 2 video poker games
  • Frequent bonuses, like reload and refer-a-friend promos

Big Spin Casino’s homepage is splashed with slots. There are hundreds to choose from, but one of the things that help Big Spin to stand out from its rivals is that you can play 3D slots here.

You can also play Lava Gold, a 96.02% slot that has a max win of x161.84, and which is set against the fiery backdrop of a gigantic volcano. It looks great and, thanks to low variance, it’s super popular with Canadian players.

You can also play video poker, live dealer games and compete in blackjack tournaments at Big Spin Casino. Minimum table limits at most of the live games might seem a bit steep to some players.

Still, when it comes to slots, variety is outstanding. So, if you’re mostly here for the slots, Big Spin is definitely worth a closer look.

13. Mansion Casino

  • Age of the Gods (95% RTP)
  • 900+ slots
  • 35+ live dealer games

14. All Slots Casino

  • Chicago Gold (96% RTP)
  • About 475 slots
  • New titles like Adventures of Doubloon Island

15. Jackpot City

  • Wheel of Wishes (93.34% RTP)
  • 480+ games
  • Established in 1998

16. Red Dog Casino

  • Popinata (96% RTP)
  • 200+ slots
  • Practice mode available

17. Royal Vegas

  • Candy Dreams (96.8% RTP)
  • 370+ slots
  • Live dealer games like Evolution blackjack

18. Pelaa

Viking’s Go Bezerk (96.1% RTP)
200+ slots
Scandinavian theme

19. Las Atlantis

  • Aztec’s Millions (95% RTP)
  • 200+ slots
  • Unique underwater city theme

20. Casino Tropez

  • Kong the 8th Wonder of the World (95.50% RTP)
  • 400+ games
  • Online since 2001

21. Euro Palace

  • Avalon (96.01% RTP)
  • About 476 games
  • Fully mobile compatible

22. Casoola

  • Dynamite Riches (95.7% RTP slot)
  • 1,750+ slots
  • Animated theme

23. Lucky Nugget

  • Banana Odyssey (95.8% RTP)
  • Award-winning online casino
  • 480+ games

24. Casino Planet

  • Tome of Madness (96.59% RTP)
  • 700+ slots
  • Trending games category

25. Casino Lab

  • Big Bass Bonanza (96.71% RTP)
  • 1,700+ slots
  • Monthly bonuses

26. Gaming Club

  • Cashville (96% RTP)
  • 300+ slots
  • 20+ years of experience

27. Casino Joy

  • Wolf Gold (96.01% RTP)
  • 1,700+ slots
  • Live roulette, blackjack, and baccarat

28. Europa Casino

  • Pink Panther (95.4% RTP)
  • 400+ games
  • 24/7 customer support

29. Casino.com

  • GEMiX (96.83% RTP)
  • Daily jackpots
  • Megaways slots available

30. Platinum Play

  • Odin’s Riches (96.07% RTP)
  • 300+ slots
  • High-quality mobile games

31. Mummy’s Gold

  • African Quest (96.52% RTP)
  • 500+ games
  • Multiple poker variants, like Cyberstud and 3 Card poker

32. Spela

  • Legacy of Dead (96.58% RTP)
  • 1,300+ games
  • Superb mobile experience

33. RiverBelle Casino

  • Masks of Fire (96.24% RTP)
  • 70x wagering requirement on the welcome bonus
  • Established in 1997; relaunched in 2007

Ranking Methodology – How We Chose The Best Online Casinos In Canada

Slots Games Offered:

We refused to settle for second best when it came to the slots games offered at any of the best gambling sites in Canada. As such, each slots site on our list offers a strong selection of slots that mixes in the old with the new, 5-reels in with progressive slots, and more.

RTP:

High RTP (Return to Player) slots represent your best chances of winning. To that end, we’ve added slots sites in Canada that have a range of high RTP slots – over 95%.

Bonuses & Promotions:

Each slots site in our list excels when it comes to bonuses. These include deposit bonuses, free spins, and lots of regular promos for regular players. We also made sure that their terms and conditions were fair.

User Interface:

Lastly, we carefully tested each of our chosen slot sites to make sure that they’re heavily geared towards Canadian players in terms of the overall user experience.

Best Slots Sites Canada: FAQ

Are Online Slots Legal in Canada?

Yes, playing online slots in Canada is perfectly legal provided you sign up with Canadian online casinos that are fully licensed and therefore available to Canadian players.

Can I Win When I Play Online Slots?

Yes, you can win playing online slots. Players win big and small all the time. However, whether you win – and especially whether you win over the long-term – generally comes down to luck and chance, rather than a sound strategy. This is because slots are a game of chance and should always be played for fun first and foremost.

What Does RTP Mean?

RTP stands for Return to Player. It refers to the number of times a slot machine pays out (that is, the expected win percentage). 95% is generally considered to be average, while anything lower is lower-than-average, and anything higher is higher-than-average.

Playing at high RTP slots, then, increases your chances of winning big off the back of a small deposit.

What Are Online Slots Features?

The best slots come packed with in-game features. These include things like scatter symbols, multipliers, and wilds.

They basically extend your gameplay, making it more interesting and challenging, while at the same time increasing your chances of winning.

For instance, if a wild drops on the third reel of a 3-reel slot, it will match the first two reels (provided they match in the first place) and form a winning combo.

What Are Mobile Slots?

Mobile slots are slot games that you can play on your mobile device. They’re available at all the best online casinos in Canada, with the top mobile casinos having separate sections for their mobile casino games. They offer the same gameplay, bonus rounds, and features as the best slot sites.

Can I Play Free Online Slots?

Some online slots sites let you play free slots online. While you can’t win real money playing free games, you can use them to test out your strategy or to get a feel for a game without plunging in with your own cash.

How to Get Started at a CA Slots Site

The steps below outline how to get started at Ruby Fortune, but they’ll be similar for every Canadian slots site:

     2. Click ‘Create Account’

To begin, head over to the top right of your screen and click the ‘Create Account’ button.

     3. Fill in your Details

A series of three forms will then pop-up all at the same time (you just need to scroll down to jump to the next one).

You’ll be asked for a username, your real name, and your billing address. Right at the end, you’ll be invited to accept the terms and conditions, and to tick whether or not you wish to receive updates.

And that’s it! Your account will be live as soon as Ruby Fortune has verified your identity.

Best Canadian Online Casinos for Slots: Final Thoughts

We’ve listed the best online slots sites available to Canadian players in terms of the number of slots, the variety of their slots, as well as their selection of other casino games, bonuses, and overall user experience.

Whether you’re into high RTP slots, progressives, or you simply just want some fun, there’s something for everyone.

The next step is to take a closer look at the casino sites that appeal to you the most. But whatever you decide to do, it’s really important that you develop a strategy, remain in control, and always gamble responsibly.

Related reading: Best online slots for US players

DISCLAIMER: You probably don’t need us to tell you that any form of gambling comes with risks and should not be undertaken as a solution to solve your financial troubles. It’s worth remembering the phrase…the house always wins!

If you suffer from a gambling problem or suspect somebody you know does, then we strongly suggest that you call the National Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 to talk with an advisor for help and to make gambling safer for you or your loved ones.  Remember all gambling sites and guides are 18+ only.

Casino sites listed on our site may not be available in your region. Check your local laws to ensure online gambling is available and legal where you live.  Our reviews are independent and reader-supported and we may receive commissions for recommendations made in our websites guides, this does not affect our rankings methodology and we always recommend sites we believe will provide the most enjoyable gaming experience.

Visit these organizations for free gambling addiction resources:

https://www.ncpgambling.org/programs-resources/resources/
https://www.gamstop.co.uk/
https://www.gamcare.org.uk/
https://www.begambleaware.org/


The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

This sponsored content article is governed by our Online Gambling Content Disclaimer (the “Disclaimer”) available here (or at the following URL: https://www.denverpost.com/online-gambling-content-disclaimer), and this sponsored content article constitutes “Gaming Content” as that term is defined in the Disclaimer.  Among other things, the Disclaimer governs your access to, and use of, this Gaming Content.  By accessing and using this Gaming Content, you expressly agree to the terms and conditions of the Disclaimer. The entire Disclaimer is incorporated herein by this reference. We strongly encourage you to please read the entire Disclaimer carefully.

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