How to Choose the Right Sportsbook

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There is a sudden concern over trigger terms in advertisements such as "risk free bets" and the like that have regulators the world over shaking their collective heads and pouncing.

Choosing the right sportsbook should be like picking the winning team in sports betting, not just a reaction to an ad you come across on the internet or on television.  Just as athletes train relentless to achieve greatness, bettors (punters) must invest their time wisely to find the perfect sportsbook match. After all, the right sportsbook can make all the difference between a triumphant victory and a disappointing defeat.

However, with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this article, we'll explore the key factors to consider when choosing a sportsbook.

Consider Reputation is considered the premier watchdog site and news media outlet covering the world of gambling, both retail and online, but in no way are we the final say in what makes a particular sportsbook or casino good or bad. 

Research a sportsbook's reputation by diving into online reviews and ratings the same way you would any other product.  Never rely exclusively on what a single entity has to say, including us.

While individual opinions may vary, a consensus regarding a sportsbook's reputation can provide valuable insights. 

Bonuses and Promotions - How They Really Work

Nobody wants to encounter the wrath of regulators and advertising standards committees, certainly not this site.

As mentioned above, the dreaded "risk free bet" will draw the ire of said regulatory agencies.  Our own Payton O'Brien has been known to scold an editor or two for allowing the so-called "bad" terms to slip into a piece appearing on the G911 site.

Let's look at the good and the bad below.

Welcome bonus, offered to new users when they sign up for the sportsbook

"There is no such thing as an instant $500," O'Brien explains.  "A new customer must work for these bonuses.  This means playing through a certain amount or wagering a set amount before claiming the promotion."

It's also based on the amount you open your account with.  A 10 percent bonus means you will receive 10 percent of the amount of your initial deposit.  For example, a 10 percent bonus on a $200 deposit is equivalent to a free $20, not a free $500.  In order to receive an advertised free $500 with the 10 percent bonus offer, one would have to open their betting account with $5000.

"Our standard wording is 'up to' the advertised amount, which is common terminology today," explains O'Brien.

But again you don't just receive that amount promised on a whim.  There is what is commonly referred to as a "play through" or "rollover" requirement, meaning a set amount of wagering activity before claiming that bonus.  The industry standard is 10x, but some websites allow for less while others require more.

Free Bet

This is a promotion bonus sportsbooks offer on a specific game or event and are a one time specified amount.  These types of promos are especially common when customers lose their first bet.

"These are often the 'risk free' bets referred to," O'Brien notes.  "They involve refunds on a user's first bet in case of a loss.  But that language is often missing in advertisements.  Hence, the gambler is mislead into believing a 'risk free' bet applies to all wagers, winning or losing."

Casino Specific Promos

Additionally, many online sportsbooks offer casino games, and the availability of free spins casino promotions can be a factor to consider when deciding.  This is by far the most popular advertised casino promo pertaining to slots play.

Other Common Promotions

Loyalty programs are popular but tend to be directed more towards established (existing) customers as are reload bonuses.

When evaluating any of these offers, it is essential to consider the terms and conditions found on all websites.  There are typically restrictions on the types of bets you can make in addition to the rollover requirements discussed above.

Customer Service

Good customer service is crucial when choosing a sportsbook, as it ensures a smooth and satisfactory betting experience. Here's why it's important:

Prompt Assistance and the Ability to Communicate

In case of any issues or inquiries, reliable customer service provides timely support, resolving problems efficiently and minimizing disruptions to your betting activities.  From the dawn of time, gambling sites emphasized the need to have on staff individuals who were multilingual as well.  For the North American market, the standard has long been English and Spanish while European gambling sites are more specialized.  Even in North America, niche websites specialize in various Asian dialects.  No matter which language you speak, there's a gambling site that caters to you.

Trust and Transparency

A sportsbook with good customer service demonstrates transparency and fosters trust by promptly addressing user concerns, clarifying policies, and maintaining open lines of communication.

Transparency is regularly referenced when mentioning crypto and blockchain casinos/sportsbooks.

User-Friendly Interface and Features

A user-friendly interface and intuitive features are essential when choosing a sportsbook. A well-designed website can make navigating and finding the desired markets or games easier, ensuring a more seamless betting experience.

In addition, mobile compatibility is becoming increasingly important as more and more people prefer to place bets on their mobile devices. A good sportsbook should offer a mobile-friendly version of its site or a dedicated sportsbook app specific to a certain region that is easy to use and navigate.

A Final Word From Payton

"The best of the best sportsbooks will have players who wager large amounts or a multiple number of bets almost daily whenever their sports of choice are available and they will choose to play on that sportsbook almost exclusively.  Retention is the key and any successful operator understands this.  Once these websites start reducing your limits, it's time to move on.  Any solid operator worth their salt knows that customers will have their winning streaks and their losing streaks.  Scared sportsbooks do not deserve your business."

- B.E. Delmer,

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