With the popularity of sports picks on the rise, there has been a boom in online sportsbook options.
Some of these new books have been established by industry veterans, who know what it takes to run a strong and reliable business. However, many of these new shops are simply “Get Rich Quick” schemes launched by people without much background in the gaming industry and with little regard for creating a viable business model.
Here’s how you can spot the difference between a good and bad book:
Odds and offerings
Some of the most established sportsbooks out there have a larger menu of wagering options. For the major sports, they have spreads, sides and totals, but also futures, game props and alternative wagers like teasers and parlays. A robust betting menu is a sign of a sportsbook that has the time and energy to book and monitor the handle on all these options. They have a staff of oddsmakers to create the lines and a risk management team to monitor the handle and liability.
An overnight shop may not have their betting menu as built out. The only offer the basics: sides, spreads, totals. They likely offer futures odds or any other season-long market that takes an entire year to pay out, since those wagers tie up your money for an extended period – perhaps just long enough to shutter the business and take off. If they do off parlays or teasers, there are strict limits to how many games and how much they will pay, because it’s more than likely the book doesn’t have enough overhead cash to pay out a customer who hits a big parlay win.
Any reputable sportsbook will have various ways to fund your account and withdraw your winnings. The industry leaders will take most major credit cards, pre-paid cards, money transfers, e-wallet transfers and now, BitCoin digital currency – which allows both book and bettor to instantly exchange money without the hassle of regulations or laws. These experienced sportsbooks will also have a knowledgeable customer service team that can assist in any banking matters.
Banking options may be limited when it comes to the overnight books. They’ll gladly take your credit card number, and will likely sell that information off to the highest bidder on the dark web. Money transfers will be directed to suspicious business addresses far away from where the sportsbooks states it is operating. And as far as customer service, be prepared for the runaround – if you actually get to speak to someone.
Perhaps the easiest way to spot if you’re betting with a reputable book or not is how well the website/mobile works. The books that have been around for a long time and have a loyal base of customers don’t go down – ever. They have backup servers on top of backup servers as well as the very best in protection software for outside attacks. It could be minutes before Super Bowl kickoff and their web interface moves as smoothly as it does in the dog days of summer.
Web support and protection is often an oversight for many new sportsbook operators, who don’t think of the frame work around the book itself. The site is constantly crashing at the busiest times, leaving you hanging on a Sunday morning when you’re trying to get your NFL bets in. On top of that, their protection against attacks is lacking and that leaves your personal and banking info vulnerable.
Before you sign up for a brand new book, be sure to do some digging into their history. Use a site like BestOnlineSportsbooks to research the book’s background and connect with other users who may give valuable insight into how those sportsbooks operate.