What’s the best betting site for you? Our criteria for a great gambling site mainly comes down to three things: safety, quality of odds and customer service. As long as you know your money is safe, you’re getting acceptable odds on a wide array of games and events, and the staff is there to help you if you need them, you’re set.
Depending on how deeply you’ve been involved in the online betting market, you may already know that sites rarely meet all of the three criteria. Really, meeting even one of them is often too much to expect.
Focusing on only one or two areas is often not enough, either, since the site might seriously lack in some other area. For instance, a betting website may offer you great odds but if having your money on the website is risky, there’s little sense in betting on the site, no matter how good the odds are.
There’s no such thing as ”winning” unless you actually receive your winnings.
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Similarly, if a site provides great customer service and is considered safe (being a profitable business with an appropriate license to operate where you live is a good starting point), it may still offer you horrible odds. In a country like Finland, for instance, where one government-owned company has a monopoly on gambling advertising, the company can afford to offer expensive odds to its customers since other betting websites have a hard time getting their names in front of potential bettors.
Indeed, many of the biggest online sportsbooks offer worse odds than their competitors — they’re able to do so because they spend more money on marketing and customer service (that gambling company in Finland, by the way, is one of the biggest spenders on advertising overall in the country!). Plus, in the case of a public company, there’s added pressure from investors to increase profits every quarter.
Then again, being willing to sacrifice better odds for safety and service is understandable — I’d even argue it makes a lot of sense in some situations since there’s no use in winning money from sports betting unless you’re able to withdraw the money to your bank account. As long as you’re not paying any ”brand premium,” of course, meaning there’s not another site with equivalent service and safety level but better odds due to spending less money on marketing.
Finally, there’s no ”best” option that applies to every game and event. Bet365 and William Hill often offer different odds for certain games and events — sometimes the other one has better odds and sometimes the other way around.
One might give you better odds for the underdog in tonight’s game; the other one might have better odds for the underdog in tomorrow’s game. In situations where you have multiple operators who are likely to be safe and secure (the case in pretty much everywhere except for the U.S. market, where legitimate operators are far and few between), it makes sense to have accounts at all of them. Line shopping is a thing, and the internet makes it easy.
As important as it is to recognize the best betting sites in the world, it’s even more important to recognize the bad ones… meaning the ones that are likely to steal your money. Those are the worst. I’ll take bad odds and subpar customer service any day over a business that fails to pay what it owes its customers.
Do your research before depositing money to any gambling site. Don’t base your trust on a single review because there’s a real chance the review has been influenced by advertising dollars (most gambling reviews are). So read reviews, sure, but also read forum posts and stuff like Reddit threads. We write honestly and do our best to keep the information at BettingSite.org up-to-date, so I certainly recommend checking out our reviews.
In short, though, bad betting websites do things you wish they didn’t. Unfortunately, sometimes they start by doing something that seems really good (maybe even too good to be true) but once it comes time to pay or to come through with the initial promise in any form, you start seeing trouble.
A magnificent betting deposit bonus? Remember: it’s easy to promise a great bonus if you never have to pay the money anyway. I can also make all kinds of promises if you just send me the money first and I don’t have to send it back, right?
For bettors outside of the US, it’s easier to find operators that can’t afford to cheat their customers. Losing a license in a big country or being a public company usually gives the sportsbook motivation to do the right thing. Being under such scrutiny of the public eye essentially removes the possibility of an individual site being a total scam (also having the company’s financial information online allows you to make sure the sportsbook is doing OK and isn’t likely to go bankrupt any time soon).
In the U.S., however, online sportsbooks aren’t licensed in the vast majority of states. If you live in California, Florida, or Texas (three states that alone make up 27% of total U.S. population), you have no licensed options, and no stock-listed companies operating there. Every gambling site that accepts real-money customers from those states (among almost every other state except for New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware), therefore, is doing so with an offshore license (and certainly without the permission or approval of the U.S. government).
In these cases, you just have trust what other people are saying about the site. There are those with good reputations within the US market (and a long history in the business). They’re not as ”legitimate” as many of the options operating outside of the US market, but they’ve proven to be reliable betting sites in any case.
Aside from providing you with honest reviews of online gambling sites, we’d love to help you to do better at sports betting. We’ve written a bunch of useful guides on several sports betting topics.
Knowing statistics, tips and strategy involved in betting on your favorite sport(s) is plenty useful. We’ve done our best to make the guides as easy to understand as possible, and we sincerely hope you’ll find them helpful. Winning at sports betting is far from easy so we wanted to provide you with all the information we possibly can to improve your chances.
If you read this far, you probably already have a good idea of our criteria for ranking online gambling sites. Just to clarify (after all, we’re a review-based site so we should explain our review process carefully), here are the main criteria we look at and consider important:
As the saying goes, ”safety comes first.” Do they pay money out to their customers in a timely manner? Which payment options are available? Do they take their security seriously in other ways (surprisingly many betting operators still lack fundamentals when it comes to their website and betting client security).
If you’re an active user of any web-based service, you’re likely to eventually run into problems or just have some questions you’d like to get a helpful answer to. You only miss customer service when you have problems… and when you do have problems, it’s too late: either the customer service is fast and helpful (as it should be) and you’re problems get solved, or it’s something else and you’ll have a hard time getting your situation taken care of.
The last piece of the holy trifecta of online gambling: are the odds any good? Usually, you have to give up a little bit in the quality of betting lines in exchange for getting the best of the two above, but that’s not always the case. Depending on the sport(s) you’re about to bet on, different internet sportsbooks offer different depths within their gambling selections — in fact, depth of selection is also a significant factor when we analyze the quality of betting lines. We’ll tell you all about this on our sports betting review page.
Additionally, you’ll want something that matches your personal preferences. Excluding those who live in the U.S., you’re likely to find suitable deposit and withdrawal options at pretty much any gambling website that’s worth signing up for. For U.S. gamblers, though, banking options are a serious consideration, especially in case your credit card deposit gets declined and you’re unwilling to use Bitcoin for deposits. (At non-US sites you’ll have options like Neteller, Skrill, Paypal, and even ecoCard.)
Something that affects the betting experience greatly is how easy the sportsbook’s interface is to use. When everything works as it should and you can find what you’re looking for, it’s a lot of fun to bet with real money. However, when you’re frustrated trying to find the sport or game you’re looking for and to place your bet on it the way you want to, it makes for a poor overall experience… for which you’re paying for with real money.
Finally, betting bonuses are worth mentioning, although I recommend not placing too much weight on this factor (we certainly refuse to do so). Getting some extra money when depositing is a nice… well, bonus, but they often come with terms that make it difficult to withdraw your money (or at least any of the bonus winnings). Make sure to pay attention to deposit bonus terms and to never choose a site based on this factor alone (again, theoretically, it’s easy to offer a great bonus if you’re never going to pay the customer his or her money).
Feel free to check out sports betting blog, which features interesting news, rumors and events from the world of sports as it relates to betting opportunities. Stay in the loop and try to get an edge on sportsbooks and fellow bettors by following our blog.
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