Almost every punter seems to have that one person in their life; a prophet of doom who takes every opportunity to cluck and to tut ominously about online sports betting. If they were to be believed, you wouldn’t not be able to place a single bet anywhere, but thankfully, there are plenty of reputable sportsbooks. You just need to know what to look for.
Keep reading to find out what that is, and why you need to look for it when looking for the brands that will make Mother (or Father) Grundy eat their words.
Licensing and Regulation
When checking out a new bookmaker, you will be tempted to start browsing the sports offering. Before you do that, though, scroll to the bottom of the page and see if you can find out which authority licensed the sports betting site.
There is no sense in getting all excited about an apparently incredible selection of markets or irresistible odds if the site does not have a valid license or is not regulated. Licensing and regulation ensure you have access to betting services that are monitored for fairness and transparency.
Sports and Odds
Most punters do not limit themselves to betting on one type of sport. Even die-hard football fans are happy to bet on rugby, cricket, boxing, MMA, motorsport, horse racing, and just about any other sport you can think of.
If the site you are checking out is licensed, take a good look at its betting offering. At almost every online bookmaker, the home page is dominated by football. Do not be fooled into thinking that the beautiful game is all that is on offer. Check the navigation bar at the top of the page and in the panel on the left or right side of the screen. A reputable site will offer odds on events in a range of other sporting codes.
American, Australian, and Canadian rules football, Basketball, baseball, cricket, golf, hockey, MMA, rugby, swimming, tennis, wrestling, and other sports should be available. You also should find novelty markets such as entertainment and royalty, as well as political election and financial market betting. You should be able to place straight win bets, accumulators, prop bets, live bets, and more, and the odds, at the very least, should be competitively priced.
Customer Service and Banking
Even though you may never need to contact customer service, it is important that you check that the brand you are thinking about betting at offers a high level of support. If live chat is not available 24/7, it should be available for extended hours. Support also should be available via email.
Banking is an essential part of online sports betting. You will want to make sure that any bookmaker at which you are thinking about betting uses 128-bit SSL to encrypt the site. It is also helpful to check that the banking service accepts your preferred web wallet, prepaid card, credit card, or other payment method.