The global sports betting market is massive. Punters spent $203 billion on sports betting during 2020. To put that figure into context, the music industry enjoyed revenues of $1 billion and the movie industry $101 billion.
Gone are the days where you had to visit a dark, smoke-filled betting shop to place a wager on your favorite team. Of course, they still exist, but the internet has given betting companies a global platform to reach even more customers. Dozens of companies claim to be the best sportsbook online, but they will hardly claim otherwise. How do you choose the best sportsbook for your needs? You start by reading this handy guide.
- Check Out Impartial Reviews
The first step to choosing a betting site is to read impartial online sportsbook reviews. These reviews are written by sports betting fans who sign up for an account at the online sportsbook, make deposits, place some bets, and request a withdrawal.
The best sportsbook review sites are honest with their findings, highlighting the positive to each betting site and informing you of any negative points.
- Get a Feel For the Betting Site and Its Sign-Up Process
You can visit the sportsbook’s website without needing to create an account. These companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building a website that is easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. Some websites tick all the boxes; others fail miserably.
Load up the website and have a look around. Is it fast and responsive when you click a tab or link? Can you navigate around the site quickly to find the cashier, promotions, and customer support sections? You will spend a lot of time on the website if you are a frequent sports bettor, so make sure the site suits your personal needs.
Pay attention to the sign-up process, too. This is generally a simple task involving entering a few personal details. Most online sportsbooks request a copy of some photographic identification as part of their fraud prevention schemes. Do not be concerned if you are asked to prove your identity before placing bets or getting your hands on your profits.
- Does The Sportsbook Offer Your Favorite Sports and Markets?
This may sound obvious but ensure the sportsbook offers betting markets for your preferred sport. Most major online sportsbooks have dozens of different sports to bet on, although some only cover the top teams and sporting events. There is no point in creating an account with a company that only offers NFL betting markets if your area of expertise is college football, for example.
Have a look at the different markets for each sport. Again, each online sportsbook is different, so it pays to shop around. All the best sportsbooks feature Moneyline bets on the result, but not all offer parlay bets or bets on markets such as the first team to score.
Not all companies offer in-play or live betting; they close the market as soon as the game or race begins. In-play betting is hugely popular because it gives you the chance to place bets on games that are taking place in front of you. Your favorite team’s opposition may be playing poorly, so you can bet on them losing while the game unfolds.
- Banking Options, Customer Support, and Bonuses
You should have your choice of sportsbooks narrowed down to a more manageable number by the time you get this far down. Now it is time to narrow your search further.
Start by looking at the different banking options available, both for depositing and withdrawing. More established outfits tend to have more banking options for their customers and more options that are free and faster to use. Some have minimum and maximum limits in their terms and conditions. Always read the small print.
Take a look at the different ways you can contact customer support. All offer email support, but what about live chat or a telephone number? It is unlikely you will ever need to contact support, but it is good to know there is an easily contactable team waiting to assist you if you do.
Finally, cast your eye over the sportsbook’s promotions and bonuses. The competition for new customers is fiercely fought in the online sports betting world, which means the sites offer bonuses to attract those new punters. Ideally, opt for a bonus that you have a realistic chance of meeting the wagering requirements and a betting site that offers frequent promotions that help boost your bottom line.