How to Choose an Online Betting Site?
Know what you're looking for
By knowing how you will use your chosen online sportsbook, you'll be able to determine which features or services matter the most to you. If it's just a one-off, then perhaps the betting site with the best welcome bonus will be the best. However, if you're looking for a single site to use for all your betting, other aspects will be just as important.
Read Trustworthy Reviews
Whether you're reading reviews by other bettors or from trustworthy sites such as ours, you should be listening to the people who use these sportsbooks. There's no faster way to find out the best or worst features of a betting site. Check out the eight pillars we review against in the following section, these are why our reviews are the best and most honest you will find online.
Create a personal shortlist
Once you've read the reviews, choose one or two sites that fit what you're looking for. Without depositing or signing up, you can take a look around the site or app to validate what you've read, listened to, or watched about that particular sportsbook. This is where you can decide exactly which sports betting site is perfect for you.
Make some final checks
At this point, you should be certain of your chosen site's security protocols, key features, and betting market range. However, we recommend making two final checks which are absolute deal-breakers. First, check that the site is available in your region; legislation can change quickly and it will save you wasting time with registration. Secondly, ensure the banking method you intend on using is still featured on the site. This is particularly important if you have just one means of depositing.
Register and make your first bet
By signing up to an online sportsbook, you aren't making a long-term commitment. If you register, make your first bet and decide it's not right for you, that's absolutely fine. Think of your first few days with a betting site as a test, and be sure to note down what you might not like. This can help when speaking to customer support, or if you decide to sign-up elsewhere.
Be sure to check our gambling laws guide for more information on sports betting laws in the US and how sportsbooks operate in different states.
Inside Our Sportsbook Review Process
For 25 years we've been sending bettors to the best online sports betting sites across the globe. Sports bettors continue to trust us because of our detailed, rigorous reviews. Our eight-step process is how we hold online sportsbooks accountable to the high standards the modern bettor demands.
After all, our reviewers are sports bettors themselves, and they know exactly what makes up the perfect experience when betting online. We tell all our reviewers to only recommend sportsbooks which they would bet at themselves, meaning you only see the very best. Each review is carried out over a few days, with our experts spending time to use the site and explore all features and services.
Below is just an introduction to our tried and tested review process. These eight pillars guide every single sportsbook review you see on our site. By holding the sites we work so closely with to the highest of standards, we give you the edge right at the start of your betting journey.
By listening to our community, we know how a sportsbook is perceived by bettors. If we receive multiple complaints about any sports betting site, it'll be put under instant review and removed from our partner list.
Deposits & Withdrawals
When depositing at a sportsbook, you should be given a wide range of banking options. Deposits have to be instant, with no fees attached and withdrawals fulfilled within days, not weeks. Poor service during withdrawals is a common reason for a site being added to our blacklist.
Safety & Security
You bet online to win and get the biggest payouts possible. When reviewing a site, we'll scour the figures relentlessly, comparing the odds to those offered at a range of other sites. Quite simply, we'll only recommend the sites that offer competitive odds across the board, as well as those which regularly offer enhanced odds promotions to their members.
Range of Betting Markets
A sportsbook that only offers markets on major sports events just doesn't cut it with us. We expect to see markets offered on a range of events from the Super Bowl down to lower league soccer matches. Once you open each event, we also need to see depth in the bets they offer; our bettors will bet on much more than just the outright result. It almost goes without saying, but all sportsbooks we review must offer live or in-play betting.
Bonuses, Promotions, and Free Bets
It's rare to find a reputable sports betting site that doesn't offer new users a welcome bonus or a free bet after signing up. The best sites will offer additional bonuses and promotions to existing players, or a loyalty scheme to reward regulars. We won't recommend sites that have absurdly high wagering requirements or punitive terms and conditions that make it impossible for players to take advantage of their bonuses.
Customer support should come in many forms – including live chat, email, and telephone – and in an ideal world, it will be available 24/7. Support teams should be equipped to answer questions on any issue that might arise, such as deposit problems or betting disputes, and we'll get in touch with them to put them through their paces. Customer support should also be able to provide fair odds, especially if there's anything akin to a "request a bet" scheme being offered.
Many people now bet using their mobile rather than a desktop or laptop. Many gamblers look to place or update bets from the stadium or local sports bar if that's where they're watching the game. Top sportsbooks offer a well-optimized mobile website or a dedicated app that allows users to take advantage of all available bets, wherever they might be wagering from.
Online Betting Sites to Avoid
The nature of our rigorous review process means that some sites won't be approved by our team of experts. This isn't a decision we take lightly, but with your safety and security as our top priority, we won't ever promote a sports betting site that could jeopardize your money or enjoyment.
Report a Casino
We look out for our betting community.
If you experience any issues with an online betting site, tell us below. We'll investigate the problem and add the online sportsbook to our banned list if found guilty.
Why Read Online Sportsbook Reviews?
While many sports bettors will head straight to their favorite betting site, there are many benefits to reading reviews of these sites. Here are our top three reasons for reading sportsbook reviews:
Find safe and trustworthy betting sites.
Take the guessing out of your decisions and choose a sports betting site that is renowned for being safe, secure, and quality for betting.
Get the best welcome bonuses.
Sportsbooks will often release new bonuses and reviews are the best places to find these.
Learn about online sports betting.
If you're relatively new to online sports betting, reading reviews is one of the quickest ways to understand how it works, what is important to bettors, and which sites are the best.
Why Trust Us?
We have 25 years of experience
Since 1996 we've been sending sports bettors to the top betting sites in the world. Our mission is to give gamblers the edger by providing the best and most trusted experience online all day, every day.
Millions visit our site each year
Millions of bettors trust us every year to give them expert betting advice and provide them with the safest and best online betting sites.
We are honest
We hold the partners we work with accountable for the quality and safety of their sites. We're not obliged to list any site and only recommend sportsbooks that meet our requirements
Are online sportsbooks legal?
Yes, sports betting is completely legal in the UK. The only requirements are that you are over 18 years old and can prove this with one or multiple legal documents.
There is some ambiguity around betting laws in Canada, but there is nothing to say online sports betting is illegal. For a full breakdown of sports betting laws in Canada, visit our dedicated sports betting guide.
The legislation is always changing in the United States. As of February 2021, 25 states have legalized sports betting. For a full breakdown of sports betting laws in the United States, visit our dedicated sports betting guide.
Do sportsbooks payout?
Yes. All the sportsbooks listed on our site payout on time and in full. Part of our rigorous review process is to check the efficiency of deposits and withdrawals.
How do you use a sportsbook?
Using a sportsbook is simple. Firstly, enter the required details to sign up and make your first deposit. Head to the event you wish to bet on, choose your market, and select your stake. Then place your bet and check it has been accepted by checking your 'open bets'. If your bet wins, your balance will adjust accordingly, and you will then be able to withdraw your funds.
How do you know if an online betting site is legit?
Every sportsbook you see listed on our site is completely legit, as we have tested them all rigorously. Aside from reading our reviews, the best and quickest way to check if a sports betting site is legit is to check whether it's properly licensed and regulated.