Choosing the proper sportsbook can be a daunting task and due diligence is required. Here are some key questions to answer before making any deposits.
1. How reliable are they?
It may be a shocker for people to hear this, but there are some unscrupulous individuals out there that like to steal other’s money. It’s a fact. Some of those people may even try creating fake sportsbooks. Which means being on the lookout, and only open accounts at reputable sportsbooks.
Ultimately, a little back ground check on any sportsbook is required. Do a Google search and find out if there are any complaints about the company. Check the internet archives and make sure the site has been around for as long as claimed. Check out gambling forums and see what other gamblers have to say about it (These can be found at places like MMAjunkie.com, Sherdog.com, or BloodyElbow.com). Finally, checkout our Sportsbookreview.com
Also look for common red flags. First, that the lines are much better than at other sites. If a fighter is -200 at most sites and -130 at the intended sportsbook, be very wary. They may be using extremely good lines to lure in gamblers and then disappear with the deposits. Second, look at the design of the website. If it is sloppy or buggy, take caution. Finally, look out for huge bonuses for initial deposits. No bookmaker in their right mind would offer to quadruple the money on an initial deposit without some stipulations. If there is bad vibe in general, don’t open an account. The first rule of any type of investing is to not lose money. Don’t throw the bankroll away on a scam.
2. What are the deposit options and fees?
Most reputable sportsbook provide funding options that include credit cards, Bitcoin, money orders, and even peer-to-peer options. These can all have different minimums, maximums, and associated fees. The different options can also be limited by country, so be sure to find out any country specific limitations.
3. what are the Withdrawal options and fees?
This is probably the most important question to ask. Every sportsbook should have a section in their FAQ or help center that lists out withdrawal methods and associated fees. If using a credit card, a credit card authorization form may be required. Before choosing a reputable site, make sure to have at least 2 theoretical ways to withdrawal money. For example, a cashier check or Bitcoin.
An additional dimension to withdrawing winnings out is the amount of time it takes for it to arrive. Nobody wants to wait months for a check that is “still in the mail”. The only way to really know how good a sportsbook is at payment speed is to check out the forums, read reviews, and possibly test them with smaller amounts before making large deposits.
4. What country do all of these terms effect?
When looking at deposit and withdrawal information, be sure to look closely at what terms affect what countries. Some sportsbooks only take customers from certain countries, or have financing services that are blocked in specific countries. So check to see.
5. What bonuses are available?
Pretty much every sportsbook will offer bonuses/incentives for opening up an account. Make sure to get the most for the initial deposit.
6. How good are their lines?
There is very little reason to open up an account with a sportsbook that has poor lines. The explanation for Line Shopping here. However, always check out Best Fight Odds
and see how often they have the best, or close to the best, lines. Watch their site for a few events and compare lines at given intervals to see how they stack up to other sportsbooks. If their lines are overly expensive, they may not be worth opening an account with, especially for gamblers with smaller bankrolls.
7. What are the betting limits?
This can affect a gambler in two different ways. If starting small for example the bankroll is only $100, it doesn’t really make sense to open an account at a sports that has a $20 minimum for their bets. This bet size can be bad when it comes to bankroll management. A general rule of thumb is that if the minimum bet size is higher than 2% of the bankroll, it may not be worth opening an account.
On the other end is betting limits. If the bankroll is in the $100,000 range, and a sportsbook has a $100 limit on MMA events, it probably isn’t worth the time, unless attempting to spread bets out over numerous sportbooks.
8. How is their customer service?
After reading through their FAQ and help sections, determining all the limits/minimums, and figuring out which payment options available, then call, chat, or email the sportbook help desk. Talk to a live person and ask them to verify the information on their website. They may also have several other options that are not listed on the website when it comes to deposits, withdrawals, etc.
However, the main purpose for calling is to scout out how easy and friendly they are. Its better to be annoyed during an initial phone call, instead of later for a legitimate problem and money is on the line.
Finding the right sportsbook just takes a little research and due diligence.