Tips for Selecting the Best Sportsbook

Online Sports Betting - Selecting an online book

Before you start. Make sure you don't have a gambling addiction. Gaming is meant to be an enjoyable experience. If you think you might be addicted gambling you need to seek help!

When selecting a sports book you should consider the following:
  1. Reputation Do they have a reputation for honesty and fair play? Are they endorsed by the leading independent gaming organization? Have you read a number of bad reviews about them online? Do you have any friends who use them?
  2. Financial Stability Bottom line is 'will they pay?' How can you tell? Do they disclose their finances? If so, are they profitable? Do they maintain an escrow account equal to the total of players accounts on deposit? Hint: What are their bonuses like? Most sites offer bonuses for new players but do the bonuses seem too good? A site offering 100 or 200% of your deposit in cash bonuses (especially to get large deposits) - is a potential sign the company is in financial trouble. Often, they need a cash influx to payoff outstanding obligations.
  3. Location Are they legal and licensed by the government under which they operate? Does location affect their accessibility and server uptime? Does the country they operate in have 'real' regulations?
  4. Customer Service Is email AND telephone contact information prominently displayed on their web site? Do they offer wagering help and registration assistance 24 hours, 7 days a week? Do they have a good track record for dispute resolution?
  5. Security Do they employ the latest state-of-the-art security technology to ensure the safety of your online transactions? What is their policy with respect to the security and privacy of your personal information?

What can I do to protect myself? Make my sports betting experience safe and secure?
  1. Read press articles as opposed to reviews - reviews are usually written by the sportsbook's marketing team.
  2. Test run the software by joining and playing for free - most sportsbooks offer this facility. Lets face it, you don't want to loose money because you don't understand their system.
  3. Find out if your funds are insured or separated in ESCROW accounts so that if the sportsbook company goes under - your funds are still safe.
  4. Find out if the sportsbook is independently audited. If they are audited they are MORE likely to be legit.
  5. How long has the operation been online - three to four years is usually a good marker as a minimum.
  6. Test out the customer services to see if they meet your standards or the standards they promise you. If their customer service is non-existent or they don't answer your concerns you should look move on to the next one.
  7. If you know about betting already, then check some of their odds and lines - are they in keeping with what you would expect? Some less scrupulous sportsbooks offer very attractive prices to lure unsuspecting bettors.
  8. Find out if the sportsbook is part of a larger group of companies. Sometimes this means added solidity. The larger the institution the more stable secure they will be.
  9. What are the deposit and withdrawal options and the associated charges? These vary quite a bit from book to book. Options should be available that are 'free' or where the sportsbook absorbs the charges. But ask yourself; "how easy is it to get access to my money and how much does it cost?"
Not all the criteria above is critical but the more research you do will go along way towards finding a reliable secure book. If you have already have an account with a sportsbook watch out for lapses in customer service and slowness of payment - these are tell tale markers that the company could be in trouble.

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