The best part about the legalized gambling boom is that for sports bettors, there are more options in terms of where you can place a bet than at any time before.
The downside is that sites which probably shouldn’t be used are taking in a large amount of action on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this is just the nature of the internet.
If you spend a few minutes vetting each platform before you make a deposit, you’ll like avoid any problems that these bad sites present. Simply put, if an online sportsbook doesn’t have these 5 things, it’s time to look somewhere else.
1 – Some Official Security Guarantees
In most cases, everyone tries to avoid any and all forms of “the fine print.” When it comes to your hard-earned cash however, it’s best to make sure you know exactly how much protection you should expect from your real money online sportsbook.
Nearly all reputable online sportsbooks have a section where they lay out the security protocols that let you know your money is secure. When I say secure, I don’t just mean from hackers or other online criminals looking to poach bankrolls from betting sites.
While it isn’t common, some of the sketchier websites have been known to skim money off the top of users. The best way to avoid this is to look for some type a page on the site (or a footer) that lays out the legal framework for how the site operates so at least you know it’s “official.”
It’s boring, it’s tedious, but you only have to check once and it could prevent you from losing your money. In the end, it’s necessary to do a brief background check prior to your first deposit. If you really want to avoid having to seek out the necessary verbiage, usually Google will have some reviews on the website you’re considering.
At the end of the day, if you get your money stolen from an online sportsbook you have nobody to blame but yourself. Do your due diligence and rest-assured your money is safe and sound.
2 – A Clearly-Defined Payout Procedure
If you live in a state where online sports gambling still isn’t fully legal (which is a significant number of states in the U.S.), you’ve probably experienced the pain of the payout procedure.
I don’t have a great understanding of the specifics, but whatever the reason, it’s usually a lengthy process, if not complicated too. The money must make several pit stops in various offshore banks in order to come back to you in a way that skirts the legal guidelines that have held online sports gambling back for the last decade.
With all of that being said, at least there is a way to bet on sports online, get paid, and not get arrested. Even though it’s more complicated than most would prefer, it’s better than nothing.
One way to avoid some of the headaches that are inevitably going to be associated with the payout process is to make sure you understand how it works…before you’re ready to cash out. Actually, you should see how it works before you even make a deposit.
I’ll give you some firsthand advice at why this is so important, and why you shouldn’t think, “whatever, I’ll figure it out when I need to.”
Online sportsbooks know that the harder it is for you to get your money, the more likely it is that you’ll just bet until you lose it all. Say, for example, you deposit $100 and after a great week of betting, you’re balance sits at $250. You decide you should cash out your winnings and go to the withdrawal page on the site.
Next, you’re presented with a list of not-so-great options. There are plenty of options to be paid instantly via crypto currency, sent a check within 30 days (for a 5% fee), peer-to-peer money exchanges where someone has to essentially buy your balance from you…the list goes on. If you’re wondering, these are real examples of payout procedures from gambling websites when betting in an area where it isn’t legal, and yes, it’s annoying.
Once you’ve looked over all of the options, you decide, “Well, I might as well keep betting until I have a higher amount, then I’ll really work hard to withdraw it.” Next thing you know, you’re balance is down to $0 and your only thought is that you won’t try that site again.
3 – User Reviews… A Lot of Them
The great thing about the internet is that any betting platform is able to be reviewed publicly by its users. This means you don’t actually have to play for yourself to get a feel for whether or not a site is worth using. On the flip side, it’s not exactly rocket science for a bad site to decide that posting fake reviews is a great way to instill a false sense of confidence in their platform.
In your quest to safely bet online, reviews are your best friend – but only if there are enough to see if its okay to gamble at an online casino or if you should avoid it entirely. I’m not talking about a handful or even a few dozen. If there are less than a several-hundred positive reviews on a site, it’s just not worth the risk.
As I’ve mentioned a few times throughout this article, there are plenty of options available to bettors. It just doesn’t make any sense to settle for anything less than a site that feels safe and secure, and can be backed up by scores of users who have utilized the platform before you.
4 – Good Bonuses
The funny thing about bonuses – the perks that are offered on betting sites when you sign up and periodically after that – is that they feel too good to be true. I mean, why would a site match your initial deposit up to hundreds of dollars (and even more in some cases)?
Believe it or not, these offers are real, and they should be taken advantage of whenever they’re presented to you. Now back to the original question – why do these perks exist?
The reality is that over the course of your betting career, you’re probably going to lose money overall. Obviously this isn’t true with everyone, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the vast majority of players aren’t going to have profitable gambling careers. But, if you think about it, endless hours of entertainment and the thrill of gambling doesn’t need to win you money to be worth it.
Betting sites know that if they can create a happy customer, in the long run they’re going to make money. Not to mention, most people will end up losing their bonuses on bets anyways.
The next time you’re evaluating different betting platforms, see what the bonus situation looks like and recognize that if you use them properly, they can do wonders for your bankroll.
5 – All Types of Betting Options
Some websites only offer sports betting, some specialize in the casino realm, others take prop bets on social events, elections, reality TV, and just about anything else you can think to wager on.
While most bettors stick to one type of betting primarily, it’s always nice to have the alternative options should you decide to use them. For this reason, I would suggest finding a sportsbook that also has offerings for a number of different types of bets.
Sure, if you decide you want to bet on something and the platform you’ve been using doesn’t offer it, you can just find another one. However, this is both time-consuming, and forces you to go through the vetting process again. It’s just not worth the effort for one bet.
Most people will tell you to have multiple sportsbooks so that you can compare odds. This is true, but it’s also best to have one “primary” platform that can be used for all your betting needs.
When selecting this primary site, look around before signing up and ask yourself if every possible betting option you’d want is offered. If so, see steps 1-4 on the list and start testing you luck.
Your choice of online sportsbook is going to determine how easy or difficult your betting experience will be – especially if you’re a frequent gambler. Take the time to find one that has everything you’re looking for, and you’ll be able to simply focus on making the best plays possible.
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