Sports betting online is becoming increasingly popular. It has always been popular in many parts of the world such as the UK, but it is only recently in some countries like the US and Canada, that have begun legalising the activity. Now people of all legal ages and backgrounds are turning to the internet to place their bets. This is not surprising, given the widespread use of computers and mobile gadgets.
However, it can be hard to decide which sports betting sites to bet with because so many new websites have appeared. Many choose to go with older and more established bookmakers from the high street that have made the switch to online too, but some of the new ones can be worth checking out as well.
These online sports betting sites offer their customers the opportunity to make bets without having to leave the comfort of their homes or even when they are on the go. But it can be difficult to know where to start and not to become a victim of some dodgy websites imitating real betting sites. That’s why we’ve compiled a mini-guide to help you find the best online betting site for your needs.
Pick a legit sports betting site
When looking for an online sports betting platform, there are several things you should take into account. First and foremost, you need to make sure that the site is reputable and trustworthy. There are many scams out there, so it’s important to do your research before handing over any personal or financial information.
Check licence availability
All reliable bookmakers operating in the UK and elsewhere in the world must have a licence. Government regulators thoroughly examine all the facts about bookmakers, their operations and their owners, check the methods of protecting personal information and financial transactions, and much more.
Usually, you can find information about the availability of a licence and its number at the footer of a betting website. Also, you are recommended to visit a regulator’s website to see for yourself the licence credentials of the bookmakers you are interested in. You must make sure you are dealing with a reliable licensed operator and not with a scammer which will pump money out of you by all possible means.
Check the website’s name and deposit, stake and winnings limits
It should be pointed out that in order to protect yourself from scammers, it is also particularly important to double-check the name of a betting site, as scammers often make the appearance and names of their websites look similar to those of genuine bookmakers. Sometimes they change just one letter or one digit in the name to lure users who are sure they are on a website of a reputable bookmaker.
Another aspect for greater attention is the stated deposit, stake and winnings limits. Scammers often accept deposits and stakes of unlimited amounts and usually promise to pay out any winnings however large they might be. With reliable bookmakers, the situation is different. They always determine a maximum deposit and a maximum bet, and these limits cannot be exceeded.
As a rule, winnings are also limited. It is specified, for example, with such a phrase: “the maximum winnings are capped at …”. The danger of dealing with scammers, in this case, is that they will not pay out your winnings, but they are happy to accept deposits which you will hardly ever get back.
Contact customer support service
You should also check out the sports betting site’s customer support service options, as this can be very helpful if you run into any problems later on. You have to make sure that you get an answer to your question and that it does not take ages. It will be great if you can contact the support service by several means, e.g., by phone, email, chat and social networks, and if you can speak with a live operator and not with a bot, since some problems may require comprehensive and detailed answers which a bot is unable to give.
Look at the markets and events on offer to bet on
Another thing to consider is the selection of sports betting markets and events on offer. This means that you should be able to find a market that suits your interests and betting style. The best online sports betting sites will offer a wide range of markets, from football and horse racing which are the most popular disciplines in the UK to tennis, golf and cricket. An increasing number of online bookmakers are also offering to bet on Esports and virtual sports now as well.
Assess honestly your interests, knowledge and prediction skills in sports, focus on one or more betting markets and make sure they are present in the selection offered by the bookmakers you have chosen.
Check out sports betting odds
You’ll also want to make sure that the betting site offers good value for money. This means checking out the odds on offer and making sure that they are competitive. This is an important factor to consider since odds directly impact your potential winnings. The better the odds, the greater your potential winnings.
You can compare different bookies by looking at the odds offered for the same event on their websites. To save you some time you will also often find some odds comparison websites like Oddspedia and Oddschecker that compare all the latest odds for you to show you where the best odds on the markets you’re most interested in are.
Choosing your sports betting site
Now you have looked at all of the information you need to consider when selecting a sports betting site, it’s finally time to pick one. When you’ve taken all of the above factors into account, you should be left with a shortlist of potential online sports betting sites. From here, it’s simply a case of trying out a few different sites and seeing which one you prefer. Remember, there’s no need to rush into anything – take your time and find the right betting site for you.
There is also nothing stopping you from using multiple different sports betting sites to ensure you can take advantage of various different offers and bonuses. In fact, it is encouraged because having multiple accounts allows you to move around different sportsbooks to get the best odds. Especially as some will sponsor certain events and have exclusive offers such as the best odds or in the likes of horse racing will offer each way betting on more placements than their competitors.
And there you have it, you should now be better equipped on how to identify legit betting sites and what kind of areas you need to identify to find the best ones. The one last thing to mention is that no matter where you are remember to gamble responsibly. Sports betting is meant to be fun, but it can be addictive too. Never gamble more than you can afford, never chase your losses and if you think you may have a problem, seek help. There are many online services such as Gamble Aware that are there to help you when you find yourself in the dark hole that is problem gambling.
Many sports betting sites will also help support you and offer many tools to help gamble responsibly. From the ability to set deposit limits, have reality checks check to make sure you’re ok and have access to profit/loss statements to manage your spending. Many of the best sites even allow you to self-exclude yourself from their services should you feel like you’ve got a problem, which is always a good idea if you feel you have a problem as they will actively help stop you from gambling.
If you have any questions about the topics in this article, feel free to ask away in the comments below.
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