If you’ve Googled “betting site reviews” or something to that tune before, you know that there are a lot of sites out there offering their opinion on the quality of online betting sites. If you’ve ever actually read some of the reviews on different sites, you also have noticed that there is a huge quality difference between the reviews and even more importantly a big difference in the information they are providing.
You can have one review site singing the praises of an online betting site while another site is telling you that they’re the devil’s spawn and that they’ll do nothing but steal your money. This can make it extremely hard for you the consumer to know who you should trust and where you should get your information from.
To try and help with this, we wanted to be completely transparent with how our review and ranking process works. We wanted to let you know first of all what we don’t do (probably the most important part of the process), the criteria we use to conduct our reviews and make our recommendations, and lastly what makes our reviews better than what you can find elsewhere on the web.
Before we dive into everything we want to cover, we want to make sure that you understand why all of this is so important. We take our online betting site reviews extremely seriously and for a good reason. You see, when you choose to bet online, you’re entrusting your personal information and your hard-earned money to people that you haven’t met before. You’re trusting that they will keep the details about you safe and that when you’re ready to take your money offline, it will be there ready and waiting for you.
Here’s the good news first. The online betting industry as a whole is trustworthy. There are a lot of great sites out there that are offering a great platform for you to make your bets and have fun. But, as is the case with literally any industry in the world, there are some companies out there that just can’t seem to get it right. Whether deliberately or by sheer incompetence (it doesn’t really matter), they aren’t able to offer the top-notch and safe betting environment that we demand from any site we’re going to recommend.
The problem, though, is it can be really hard to spot who the good guys and who the few bad guys are. That is unless you know what you’re looking for. Many people feel that the bigger the site or the prettier their homepage, the more they can be trusted. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It takes a trained eye to be able to look under the hood of the site and behind the scenes to see whether they can be trusted.
Sounds like a lot of work? We know. It is. But, that is where we come in. We work our tails off to bring you the most accurate and honest online betting site reviews. That way, you can avoid these few landmines that are lurking out there in the water. As you’ll see in this write-up, we know what to look for and employ the right resources to get the answers that we need to make a correct analysis of the quality of an online betting site.
Let’s show you how we do what we do.
We want to start off by showing you what we DON’T do and what we DON’T allow when it comes to conducting our reviews and making our recommendations. Sorry for the all caps, but we wanted to make it crystal clear that these are things we will never do under any circumstances.
In our opening, we mentioned that these things might be the most important part of this write-up. The reason for that is because we didn’t just come up with a random list of things that we don’t do. This list is inspired by the things that we have seen and know that other online betting review sites are doing.
And it’s not just a few of them…Way too many review sites than we care to believe are doing things that make their review processes virtually worthless. While our moms always told us not to worry about what everyone else is doing, it matters here. It matters because they are pumping out useless information that is putting people like you in tough predicaments where their money and safety are being compromised.
So, with all of that said, let’s take a look at the things that we don’t do when we’re reviewing online betting sites and making our list of top recommended sites.
This is one that really irks us. There are a lot of online review sites out there that are letting betting sites pay them for better reviews and higher recommendations. This is unacceptable. When they do this, they’re really just letting the site tell them, “Hey, we might suck, but we want you to ignore that and tell your people that we’re awesome. Here’s some money for doing that.”
What they’re really doing is letting them purchase an advertisement and then disguising it as a “review.” A review should be something that is honest and independent of outside influences. You shouldn’t be able to buy, barter, trade, or influence your way into a better review. Sure, you should be able to purchase advertisements for your business, but you shouldn’t be able to purchase a review that’s not honest and accurate.
We never let this happen here. The only way that we’re going to give an online betting site a glowing review is if they deserve it. The only way that we’re going to recommend an online betting site to you is if we think it’s worth it. If we wouldn’t recommend it to our friends and family, we’re not going to recommend it to you.
This should be cut and dry, but unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that value money over honesty. Rest assured that while we do like money, we don’t like it enough to jeopardize our reputation. Our reviews are completely merit-based.
Another disturbing trend that we seem amongst online betting site reviewers is that they tend to only focus on the positives. Now, there’s a pretty strong chance that this is connected to the first no-no we talk about (getting paid for better reviews), but we do think there are some people out there that just want to believe the world is all rainbows and unicorns.
Most likely this stems from them not being qualified for the job. Sure, there is no academy of online site reviewers or no certification process to prove you know what you’re talking about. But, if you don’t have extensive knowledge of the industry both as a player and as someone on the other side, you’re going to struggle. You’re going to fall victim to the little tricks and traps that the bad sites use to cover up their negatives.
Betting sites don’t have posters out front or banners on their homepage that point out what’s wrong with them. In fact, most of them do a pretty good job of keeping that stuff under wraps. While we don’t like them for being a subpar site, we can’t really blame them for trying to hide their negative shortcomings.
All that being said, we’re not going to help them hide their negatives. We have absolutely no shame ripping an online betting site to shreds if it is warranted. Don’t believe us? Check out some of our highest rated sites we recommend, and you’ll see that for most of them we still have negatives and things that we’d like to see the site improve upon.
If an online review site is ignoring negatives whether it’s to appease a site that paid them or they just don’t know any better, it doesn’t matter. They are doing you a disservice, and you can’t trust the quality or usefulness of that review.
Reviews are not everlasting. Why? Well, how many companies do you know that were great one day and then slowly (or rapidly) declined in quality? What about companies in any industry that were mediocre at best and then finally got their act together to provide an awesome product or service? If you really think, the answer is probably a lot. Some companies are capable of keeping things going great, while some can have a tendency to step off the gas a little and get complacent.
This is true in other industries and is certainly true in the online betting industry. Because of this, it’s important that reviews are frequently revisited and updated especially for sites that are being recommended. Sure, we can’t update them every single day as that’s just not feasible, but our team does their best to regularly and frequently update our online betting site reviews.
If it’s a site we’re heavily recommending, we’re on top of them like white on rice. Sometimes this does mean that we have to remove sites from our recommended list. It also means that at times there are sites that we weren’t high on that make their way onto our recommended list. The bottom line is this. Our recommendations list is not a fixed area for sites to hang out. They have to continue offering the best services and products or else they’re going to find themselves off the list either because they aren’t that great anymore or because a newer site has come along and done things better.
Reviews and recommendations are a lot like computers. The second they are released they are already starting to become outdated. That is why our team works their butts off to keep our reviews and recommendations as up to speed as humanly possible. You’re not going to get any value from a review from years ago, let alone one from a few months ago in a lot of cases.
It’s probably safe to say that everything on this list irks us, but this one holds a special place in our hearts. Often, you will see a review site make a claim about a particular site that is either really positive or really negative. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, what we have a problem with is when they make these claims and then don’t do anything to support it or back it up. This is not only unfair to you the reader, but it’s also unfair to the sites themselves and brings into question the quality of the review.
“This site sucks!” Okay, good to know. But, why does it suck? What are they doing that makes them so terrible? When you review a bad online betting site, your review should almost read like a manual for the site to get their act together. You can’t just say that you hate their user interface or don’t like their banking options without telling the reader what you mean. Unsupported claims should fall on deaf ears. But, often, review sites will get away with this because they know a lot of people aren’t really reading into things and are just looking for a quick answer.
The same is true when an online betting site is being praised. “They are the best!” Great! We love to hear about great sites. But, why are they the best? Are they the best because of things they’ve done or that they offer? Or, are they the best because they paid you and you really have nothing good to say to back up your claim?
Sorry if it seems like we get a little fired up about this because we do. If you ever get a claim from us, it is going to be supported by evidence that we will share with you. Otherwise, we can’t honestly expect you to trust what we’re saying if we can’t break it down for you. Also, there are sometimes when things that are negatives to us are actually positives to you that you’re looking for. We may hate the way a user interface is set up, but you might love it. If we don’t explain why we called it a negative, you may never realize that they have exactly what you’re looking for.
There’s a lot of reasons that it’s important to back up any review claims you make which is why we work hard to do that with every single one we make whether it is positive or negative.
In a few of the earlier sections, we mentioned that there were some tricks and traps that subpar online betting sites used to cover up their issues. We were referring to things that they do to dress up their site to look like a winner when really they’re just putting a band-aid over a mess.
When we read some other reviews, we see them confusing three main things with quality – the size of the site, the quality of the graphics, and the level of promotions they offer. While we love to see sites that are big and established, have a great looking interface, and offer bonuses, we’re also not using these as the big indicators of quality.
These are things that can easily be faked, and while they should be seen as positives, they should be used as indicators. When we do our reviews, we keep this and mind, and we don’t get these three factors mixed up with defining quality. Yes, they are a part of quality, but they are not the defining factor. Things like security, trust, reliability, bet offerings, payout speed, etc. are what really define quality.
Now that we’ve gone ahead and covered everything that we don’t do when we’re reviewing and recommending online betting sites, it’s time to talk about the criteria that we look at. While this is a pretty extensive list of the major factors we look at, it is not everything we look at. If we were to list out every single thing that we look at, we’d be here all day. But, when you read our reviews, you will see all of that stuff put in there as we want to be as transparent and thorough as possible.
Though we didn’t list out the criteria in order of importance from top to bottom, we did want to put the two most important factors first. The first of those two factors is the overall trust in a particular site. Are they a site that can be trusted with your personal information and your money or are you constantly going to be worried about whether you’re safe? Not only is it the site’s responsibility to keep you safe, but it’s also their responsibility to relay this information to you.
It’s most important for you to be safe, but it’s also important for you to feel safe. Otherwise, your online betting experience is going to be trash. When we’re reviewing the trust factor of an online betting site, there are a lot of things we look at. Here’s a list of some of the more important things we analyze.
As you can see, there is A LOT that we look into when we’re looking at the trust factor of a particular online betting site. It’s just not as simple as flipping through a few of their pages and taking their word for it. 100% of betting sites will tell you that they can be trusted. Actually, 100% of ALL businesses in the world will tell you that the can be trusted. Do you really think that is true? It’s not, and that’s why we do our own homework and dig so deeply into all of this.
The number one factor when reviewing and recommending an online betting site is trust. There is no margin for error on this either. Some of the other criteria on this list there is some margin for error. We’re okay recommending a betting site that might not have the best user interface, and it might not have the best graphics. But, we’re never going to recommend a site that isn’t 100% in the trust category.
Your money, your experience, and your personal information are all too important to take any chances here. We don’t waiver when it comes to reviewing the trust factor, and we don’t think you should either.
The second of the two most important factors when reviewing and recommending an online betting site is the site security. This is much more technical than the trust factor, though, they are still somewhat interconnected. You can’t trust a site that doesn’t take your security seriously.
Specifically, we’re talking about two things. First, we’re talking about the technical side of things. Are they encrypting their data properly? Are they updating their software and programs to account for web-based threats? Do they have a team responsible for security or is it an afterthought for them? Are they reactive or proactive when it comes to technical security?
Every single one of those questions is extremely important and as you can probably tell can’t be discovered by just flipping through a few web pages. You need to have some technical knowledge and know what you’re looking for.
The second thing that we look for is the website’s processes. These can be tougher to figure out, but we dig as much as we can. Basically, we want to see how they are handling your money and your personal information. With your money, are they keeping player’s funds segregated from company funds? Do they have quality banking options in place that will keep your money and transactions safe? With your personal information, are they selling your personal information to third parties or keeping it for themselves? Are they collecting unnecessary information that might raise red flags? Are they keeping this information on a need to know basis or is it available for everyone in the company?
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into site security. The biggest questions we have are whether or not they are currently adequately protecting you and your money and do they have a plan to actively continue doing so. Web security is an ever-changing game, and if you are not proactively working at it, you’re falling behind. This might be okay on a random blog website, but when you’re talking about people’s banking information, money, and personal information, you need to be on top of your game.
One of the worst feelings in the world is to have a problem and not be able to get in touch with anyone to help you. You can feel like you’re living on a helpless island and we really can’t think of much that is more frustrating. Because of this, we think it’s extremely important that an online betting site has a quality customer service department.
Notice that we did not say that we just wanted them to have a customer service department. We said that it needs to be a quality customer service department. What does that entail? First, it starts with options. If the only way to get in touch with them is email, that’s not that helpful. We like to see live options like phone support or live chat as well as written options like email, contact forms, and social media. It’s not necessary that they have all of these, but at least a few good options are important.
Secondly, it matters the time frame that these options are available or how long it takes them to respond. If they have 20 different options, but it takes you a week to get an answer back, that’s trash. You should be able to get an answer back within a few minutes, a few hours, or at the very worst that’s acceptable within 24 hours depending on the method you’re using. Anything longer than this is pretty worthless and shows a lack of commitment from the betting site.
Lastly, the quality of customer support is important. It’s great if you have a ton of different options and can get ahold of someone in seconds, but that doesn’t do you a lot of good if they can’t actually help you fix your problems. If it’s clear that they went with the lowest bidder when it comes to customer service, we’re not interested. We need to be able to get actual solutions to our problems. Yes, we understand that sometimes issues need to be elevated to a higher level associate, but if this is 100% of the time and the help from that higher level associate takes forever or doesn’t help, then it’s…everyone say it with is…trash.
Now that we’ve worked through the “logistical” things that we like to see, let’s start talking about the actual betting. When you’re looking to place sports bets, you’re going to want to have as many options as possible when it comes to the sports they cover and the types of bets they offer. Everyone has their own personal preferences about what they like to bet and how they like to bet, and we think it’s extremely important that a quality betting site accommodates for this.
Specifically, we’re looking for three different things. First, we’re looking for which sports they cover. Do they just cover the major most popular sports or do they also cover some of the more obscure sports? While it’s not a dagger when they don’t get into the obscurities, we do like to see some variety in the options.
Second, we look for how many games within that sport they cover. Are they just doing the primetime games or are they covering every single game? Are they just hitting the major conferences or are they getting everything? Are they just doing the playoffs or are they doing the regular season and preseason as well? If there are exhibition games or matches that don’t fall under the context of a covered league within a sport, are they covering those as well? More is always going to be better here.
Lastly, we want to see a lot of variety with the types of bets that are offered on each of these games or matches. Are you just getting the major bet types like moneylines, point spreads, and totals? Or, are they giving you the lesser-known options like first half bets, futures bets, prop bets, and in-game bets just to name a few? Again, more is always going to be the better option here as long as they are presented in an organized fashion which we will cover in the next criteria.
How easy is the betting site to use? That’s what this one is going to boil down to. Are you wanting to lose your mind when you try and make your bets or is it seamless and simple to do? How easy is it for you to find the bets you’re looking for? Is it easy to sign up, create your account, and get funds on and off the site?
These are just a few of the questions that we ask when we’re taking a look at the user-friendliness of an online betting site. While this is an area where we are willing to cut some sites a little bit of slack, it’s also the area where a lot of sites can excel way out in front of their competitors.
While graphics play a role in the user-friendliness, we’re more concerned with how easy the simple tasks are to do, or at least the tasks that should be simple to do. Can you make an account without losing your mind? Can you make a bet simply and under about 30 seconds max? Does it take forever to figure out how to withdraw your money or is it set up to be a simple process? We could go on and on for days with these questions, but we think you get the idea.
User-friendliness will have the biggest impact on your enjoyment or lack of enjoyment of an online betting site outside of trust and security.
In the early days of betting online, the thought of being able to bet on a smart device was just a dream. But, that dream became a reality as online betting sites started rolling out mobile betting platforms. First, it was dedicated apps, and then it was mobile-responsive betting sites.
When we used to review this category, it was all about whether or not a site had mobile betting capabilities. As the options were very limited, we weren’t very hard on sites in regards to the quality of that mobile betting platform. But now, it’s become industry standard to offer mobile betting access, so you’re most likely going to see at least some level of action available on mobile.
Now that everyone is offering mobile betting access, we’ve really clamped down and started to be pretty hard on the quality side of things. Sure, it is probably challenging to shrink all of that information down onto a much smaller screen, but we know it can be done, and we know it can be done well. We want people to be able to get the exact same betting experience they can get from their desktop on their phones or tablets no matter where they are (as long as they have a connection, of course). Anything less than this is now a big knock in the wrong direction from us.
We harped on bonuses and promotions earlier pretty hard, but it’s possible we gave off the wrong impression. We LOVE bonuses and promotions. We love free money, free bets, and any other freebie that an online betting site is willing to give us. But, we don’t take bonuses and promotions into account when we’re deciding on whether or not we are going to recommend a site. Once we have deemed a site to be trustworthy, safe, and offering a great experience, then we take a look at the bonuses they have to offer.
You’ll find with a lot of other betting sites (and with a lot of consumers) that they start with the bonuses and promotions and work backward. We can understand why this is tempting to do, but it ends up blinding you from the more important elements. While we really do LOVE free stuff, we make sure to look at this last as to not be swayed from our proven reviewing methods. If we know that a site is giving away a ton of free stuff, we might be tempted to subconsciously rank them higher in other categories.
Don’t let yourself get blinded by bonuses and promotions. That being said, take advantage of these promotions and bonuses when they come from reputable sites.
The part of the online betting process that usually scares people the most is the banking side of things. When you bet at a brick and mortar location, you just walk up to the cage, give them your money, and leave. When you win, you go back to the cage, hand them your ticket, and collect your winnings. When it comes to online betting, though, things operate a little differently. Thankfully, things can be just as convenient (if not more) as long as you’re with a good betting site that has high-quality banking options at your disposal.
So, what exactly are we looking at when we’re analyzing the banking options and quality? First, we’re looking for options. We don’t want to see just one way to get money on and one way to get money off. We don’t need a million different ways, but we at least want to have a couple different options so that you can choose the one that is best for you. It’s important to note that we want a few great options on both sides of the transaction. If it’s super easy to get money on the site but hard to get it off, that’s no good. They need to have quality options on both ends of the transaction.
When we say good options, we mean options that are trusted and set up in a way that is easy to use and keeps you safe. Whether it’s a direct method through them or the use of a third-party processor, the requirements are all the same. You need to know that you can load money on quickly and safely, and you need to know that you can withdraw money quickly and safely as well. It shouldn’t be that hard, but for some reason, there are a handful of online betting sites that just can’t seem to get this right.
While there can be a lot of useless noise within an industry, you can’t ignore what people are saying without at least doing some homework to get into its validity. How is the online betting site regarded within the industry? Are they known to be a high-quality and trusted site or do they have a less-than-favorable view within the industry?
There’s not a whole lot that we can expand on here except for this. We use a site’s industry reputation to tip us off to anything that we might be missing. It’s a surprisingly small industry, so it’s hard to get away with something without the industry knowing exactly what you’re up to. We use that to our advantage to make sure that no sketchy sites slip through the cracks of our reviews.
Lastly, we like to look at what customers are saying. Now, we do have a few drawbacks here that we use in fairness to the sites and also in fairness to you. You’ll see why blindly looking at customer complaints especially within this industry is a bad idea. First, we make sure we look for trends. If it’s just a one-off bad experience from an emotionally charged user, we’re usually not going to put a lot of weight into it. We’re certainly going to investigate it further, but we aren’t going to call it the smoking gun.
Second, we look into exactly what the customer is upset about. You’d be amazed at how many customer complaints in the online betting industry are just people who are angry that they lost. They’re mad that they didn’t win their bet and they want to take it out on the site. Or, they didn’t read all the rules of a particular promotion and are mad at the site because they didn’t do what the site asked them to do.
We’re not trying to dismiss customer complaints because a lot of times they are valid and should not be ignored. But, we’re just saying that we are careful when we look at things in this category. You never know who is just mad that they lost or who is running a negative marketing campaign for a competitor.
All that being said, we still do spend a good amount of time researching customer complaints. If we find something that we think is valid, we try and look to see how the site reacted. A lot of times you’ll see the story from the upset customer, but the response from the site is never reported. Betting sites do make mistakes, but a lot of them are great about fixing them and making things right.
Whoa, bold claim, right? We’re not just saying that our reviews and recommendations are better than some or even most of the others you’ll find out there on the web. We’re saying they are the best. While this is a bold claim, we can back it up.
In the sections below, well detail the reasons that we feel strongly that our reviews and recommendations are truly the best on the web. Hopefully, this information and everything else we’ve detailed in this guide will let you realize that if you’re looking to find an online gambling home that you trust, this is where you want to be.
Because we’re not letting sites pay us for better reviews or recommendations, we don’t answer to them. As they are not our customers, but you are, our focus is on you and making sure that you find the best online betting site for you. If we start letting sites dictate what information we give you and what we recommend, then we start doing you a disservice. All we care about is that you find the right betting site that offers exactly what you’re looking for – nothing more and nothing less.
Ever read a review for an online betting site and feel like the person writing it really doesn’t get it? Like they have no idea what an actual bettor wants, needs, or cares about? Yea, we’ve read a lot of those, and they really bug us. How can someone tell you whether or not an online betting site is quality if they are not a bettor themselves? The answer is they really can’t with any sort of actual answer that means anything.
Our team of reviewers is comprised of industry experts, former betting site employees, and actual sports bettors. We’re talking about people with years of experience on both sides of the aisle who know exactly what a site might be trying to pull, know exactly where to look to get information, and know exactly what a bettor is going to want to have a great experience.
The last thing we want to cover about our rankings and reviews is that we don’t rush things. We don’t rush to get a review out just because we want the page to be live. We take our time. We make sure that we cover all of our bases, do the adequate research, and give a thorough review of the quality of an online betting site.
We’ve been to some review sites that look like they had a race with their reviewers to see who could finish their review first. While this might be great for them to be able to check it off the to-do list, it’s absolute trash for you. They’re going to miss things, and you’re not going to get an honest and accurate picture of the betting site. Even if they happen to be using the right type of reviewers and looking for the right criteria, the review is still going to turn out terribly.
We don’t care if it takes us hours, days, or even sometimes weeks to finish an online betting site review. We’re here to be thorough and give you the best and most accurately honest review possible. End of story.
So, now that you know how we go about reviewing and ranking online betting sites, you can check out our actual reviews and recommendations. Keep in mind that we follow this process for every single review we do. There are no special exemptions or anything crazy like that. It’s our entire goal to make sure you find whatever betting site is the best for you and your needs.
Thanks for reading and good luck out there!