Gamblers in search of a new online sportsbook have a lot of choices and a lot of things to consider. Each top-rated sportsbooks offer something a little bit different. All of them have a different layout and a different feel. Some are heavier on their sign-up bonuses, while others are heavier on promotions and contests after you sign up and start really placing bets.
Just about all of them have an online casino and a Racebook. Some of them have a poker room. For bettors of all shapes and sizes, there is a book that will fit you like a broken-in pair of jeans.
A lot of bettors, though, get caught up in the aesthetics. They get caught up in the look or the gaudy bonus advertisements or the sales pitches. They lose sight of what is most important – safety and security. There are a lot of fly-by-night operators out there in the world of online gambling because they take advantage of users that sign up without realizing what, exactly, they have gotten themselves into.
One of our jobs here at Sportsbooks.ag is to tell you what makes a safe online betting site in 2020. Sure, we review the bells and whistles, the bonuses and promotions, and the nuts and bolts like deposits and withdrawals. We also want you to know that we weed out the pretenders to focus only on the legitimate outlets. We’ve been burned before and we don’t want that to happen to any of our readers. Therefore, we put a focus and an emphasis on isolating the safest betting sites.
So, with that in mind:
What makes a safe online betting site?
Reputation – The fact of the matter is that offshore sportsbooks are unregulated. The level of competition in the industry and a sportsbook’s reputation are what keep customers from getting burned. If a sportsbook participates in some shady activity, word spreads like wildfire. With so many other options out there vying for betting dollars, it is imperative for sportsbooks like those in our Top Ten to be highly regarded.
You can figure out a lot about an online sportsbook by how long it has been in business. By how long it has survived and even thrived. The sportsbooks that are still standing and those that continue to have success in an ever-changing sports betting world often have a reputation that stands out. Those are the types of sportsbooks that our site and other sites like ours prioritize because they aren’t going to burn our loyal readers.
Security – If you go to a sportsbook website and scroll down to the bottom of the home page, you will see a lot of things about their affiliates or where they are licensed or some terms and conditions. You also want to look for something about the website security. Do they use SSL encryption technology? Are they using something else to keep players and their personal information safe?
You can even use the Address Bar in your browser or look up the site settings to make sure that some form of strong encryption and security are being used. A browser like Google Chrome will show you the site certificate and the issuer. You want to make sure you are giving your information to a secure site. Financial information, as we know, is very delicate. Safe online betting sites that incorporate strong levels of security show that they are serious about protecting their clientele.
Payout Times – If a sportsbook seems like they don’t want to pay out in a timely manner, it is because they probably don’t. The biggest watchdogs in the sports betting industry are the bettors themselves. When a sportsbook doesn’t pay out in a timely manner or somebody has to fight with chat support and/or email customer service to get the funds that are rightly owed to them, that is not a sportsbook that you want to associate yourself with.
The safest online betting sites will make a promise about how quickly payouts will be processed and clearly outline what the expected wait times are based on the method you choose to receive your funds. If you don’t see that information in the Help Section, that is a major red flag.
High Betting Limits – Betting limits are another way to read the so-called tea leaves about a sportsbook. Sportsbooks that are unwilling to take big bets are unwilling to take big players because they are scared of them. If you find a sportsbook that isn’t open to taking large wagers and having big decisions, they could very well be looking to nickel-and-dime customers.
Furthermore, big bettors are only going to bet where they are comfortable. It is one thing for somebody to be betting $10-20 per game. It is another for bettors to be betting $10,000 to $20,000 per game. If you get burned by a sportsbook and lose a couple hundred dollars because they aren’t as reputable as you thought, that’s one thing. For a big bettor to lose a bankroll of six or seven figures, that is a substantial amount of money.
If big bettors don’t want to bet there, you probably don’t want to bet there. There is a reason why they don’t want to be posted up there. Even though you may not be moving that kind of money, doesn’t it make sense to trust the heaviest hitters in the business?
Trust Your Gut – If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. We all have intuitions as gamblers. We’ve all had those times when we’ve wished after the fact that we had trusted ourselves. That is going to be true of determining whether a sports betting site is safe or not. If it doesn’t look right or doesn’t feel right, move on. Try another one.
As always, you can find a ton of information about what makes a safe online betting site in 2020 and beyond right here at Sportsbooks.ag by reading our reviews and looking at our Top Ten list of preferred sportsbooks.