How solid is the sportsbook?
What do the watchdogs say?
What do the clients say?
These are questions you must ask yourself before you send money to a book this season.
How long has the book been in service? The longer the better. However, there’s more to being a secure book than years in operation. Before you deposit funds, take the time to check them out. How big is the operation? Are they up at crunch time? Do they pay? These things tell you how secure the place is. Make sure to study watchdog websites like OSGA.com for specific recommendations and guidelines. Don’t send your money just anywhere. It pays to be an educated consumer. If the deal seems too good, it usually is.
Places don’t stay in business for years giving away the house. You can always check out the OOBG website, Sportsbook Advisor, or SBR for more information about your sportsbook. The more information you have now the fewer issues you’ll have later. Take our word for it.
2- FAST and EASY PAYOUTS
Before joining a sportsbook, ask, do they offer same-day payouts? It’s your money, you shouldn’t have to wait for it. Some books take two weeks or more to send your winnings. That’s not OK. A Bitcoin payout should take hours at most. A check a few days. Anything more than a week doesn’t make sense. Cash transfers should be the next day. But it’s 2017 and you should be using bitcoin by now.
Your sportsbook should offer you multiple ways to deposit. They should be able to take your credit card. Western Union or Moneygram (or even Ria) is a little old fashioned but your sportsbook should be able to offer you the methods that work for you. Our personal favorite method, bitcoin, is a must have. Make sure your sportsbook is paying your transaction fees on deposits.
More importantly than deposits, your sportsbook should also offer you fast, inexpensive payout methods. Checks and money orders are good, but in our opinion, you should bitcoin for the fastest payouts possible.
Make sure they offer you a free payout every couple of months. Ask around: how long do they take send your cash after you request a payout? Do they take your money out of your account immediately or leave it in there, hoping you lose it back? Do you get a tracking code? Our Top Two Sportsbooks (see page 68), are known for paying out rapidly and reliably, which isn’t always true for some of their competitors.
3. GREAT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Does the sportsbook offer all the latest betting options like Live Betting and Live Dealer Casino?
Is the website easy to use?
Can you always reach a live person when you need to?
A top sportsbook should offer state-of-the-art technology and easy to use software. Bets should be easy to place and quick to enter. You should be able to do everything on your phone that you can on your desktop. That includes Live Betting, Horse Racing, Casino, etc.
When you want to fund your account or place a bet before Monday Night Football, you don’t want to deal with an operation that’s understaffed and has a shortage of clerks. Someone always needs to pick up the phone or else you won’t get that play in, and those plays you don’t get in always turn out to be the winners.
Technical support with a real, live human should also be an option, and that interaction should be first rate. Customer service clerks should be pleasant, English-speaking, and knowledgeable. You should be able to reach customer service by phone, live chat, or email. This is the true sign of a professional operation.
4. BONUSES AND INCENTIVES
Deposit bonuses are important but not the sole thing you should be thinking about.
A big bonus is important but the best sportsbooks offer loyalty programs, cash back on your losses, free promos and contests.
An overlooked area is easy to understand and fair rules.
A rollover should be fair (a rollover is an amount you must bet to earn your bonus).
You should always be able to take out your winnings, even before you complete the rollover.
You shouldn’t have to pay back the amount you won in the past before you get a bonus.
The rules should be in an easy to find a place on the website. They should be in clear and concise language.
You should be notified of the rollover before you take the bonus.
Getting a big bonus for referring friends to your sportsbook is something all quality sportsbooks offer. Youwager, our choice for the Top Sportsbook of 2017, offers monthly free cash promos for anyone who is playing. They have a season-long NFL handicapping contest and a NFL survivor pool. They have a loyalty program that gives rebate points on every bet you make, and 5% juice every Friday during regular season NFL. You need to take advantage of these; they can make the difference between a winning and a losing season. Make sure you are always looking out for new specials and promotions as well and enter every contest as you can.
Over the course of a season, every extra dollar you earn (or save) counts. It’s unusual for a sportsbook to offer any cash back program. Youwager gives you up to 25% of your net losses back two times a year. There’s no rollover on the cash-back. You only need to bet 10 out of 26 weeks to qualify, that’s only 38% of the NFL season.
To truly enjoy this football season, you’ll want to sign up with a sportsbook that gives you the most value for your dollar. You should look at these “four factors” when deciding where play this season. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work for you already (see our review of the Top Two Sportsbooks of 2017 on page 68). Sports bettors looking for a safe, solid, reputable company should go with either one of our Top Two Sportsbooks. Youwager pays the biggest bonuses, gives the most cash-back rebates, and pays the fastest out of any sportsbook in the industry. BetPOP offers the highest parlay payoffs and the lowest teaser juice.