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Choosing the best betting site

Choosing a betting site is almost mission impossible nowadays. How does one decide between so many options? And aren't they all much of a muchness anyway? To the untrained eye, perhaps. But with differing opinions and betting preferences, the process requires some reflection on your part, something this chapter will help you along with.

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What you need to consider when choosing a betting site

It’s easy to lose time traipsing through the vast amount of online sports betting sites that all seem, from first view, to be much of a muchness. Time that could actually be better spent wagering and earning yourself a few bucks, I reckon.

So, without further ado, here are the main factors you should be considering when choosing a sportsbook or betting company.

Reputation

Longevity is the key word here. You want a betting site to have been around for a good length of time with a solid standing in the industry. Knowing the company has served other bettors over a period of time means, first and foremost, it can be trusted and its integrity is high.

We’re dealing with money, sometimes large sums of money at the end of the day. To know your money is safe and secure at a website that plays by the rules, pays out when it should and provides a fair and friendly level of customer service, has to be rule number one when it comes to beginning your search.

Fortunately, you're in safe hands with United Gamblers the only sportsbooks we list are those regulated and 100% legal to operate.

Online customer service

Given the 24 hour, 365 day nature of the betting industry, there is likely to come a time you need an issue resolving outside of the traditional working day, even in the middle of the night.

A high-quality betting site will provide service around the clock and respond timely and efficiently to any queries via a range of options made available, including social media.

By visiting Facebook or Twitter it's possible to gauge, to a certain extent, how a company fares in terms of its customer service.

Should you feel the site is lacking in this area then that’s enough of a reason not to sign up - at least in our book.

A thought: Be mindful of customer service reviews

A sense of perspective is needed when you consider the majority of customer service reviews online are negative.

People are always open to sharing negative experiences, it's the human thing to do. But very few actually take time out to praise good customer service.

You've therefore got to be mindful of reviews, especially in a fiercely competitive industry such as betting; one bad customer experience for one person, doesn't necessarily mean you will experience the same.

The majority of betting companies will go out of their way to please. With that in mind we recommend always checking out a betting site for yourself.

Finding the best lines

What is your incentive to bet? For most it’s a fun pastime which brings the opportunity to win money. For others, it’s the other way around. In any case, I’m right in saying, you want the best bang for your buck, right?

That’s why shopping around for the best lines and finding any edge you can is a must and well worth the extra-time spent doing. No matter how small you perceive a difference in a line to be, you must remember that over time, every dollar won or lost adds up. What’s more ‘line shopping’ is a way of beating the ‘vig’ (the price sportsbooks charge for making a bet).

To illustrate the importance of finding the best lines, let’s say the Knicks to win are -110 with one book, and -115 with another. Now, to someone without much knowledge of betting, this may not seem like a big difference.

When broken down however we can see it does. For example, a $110 wager over 250 games at -110 will require you to win 131 games to break even, while a $105 bet over the same number of games, will see you need 128 games to break even.

Sports betting is known for its fine margins so even though this may only be a difference of three games, it could in fact be the difference between being in the red or the black come the end of the month. Underplaying the importance of finding the best lines results in the profit margins of many a bettor taking a hit - make sure this doesn’t apply to you!

Range of deposit methods

You don’t want to wait around for the money you deposit to hit your account; you want an instant transaction so you can get on with more pressing matters. Like betting.

The same principle applies to withdrawals. Even more so actually. If you win, why should you have to wait for your winnings to be processed out of your betting purse and into your bank account.

Processing times can depend on the payment method however meaning, the majority of the time, the sportsbook aren’t always at power to speed things along.

Thus, the best online betting sites pride themselves on providing a wide range of banking methods including cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards and bank transfers. Enabling all customers to withdraw and deposit in a convenient and timely manner is fundamental for the smooth running of any betting site.

Bonuses

Understandably, one of, if not, the deciding factor for many new bettors, is the sports betting bonus on the table in return for signing up. I mean, damn, who doesn’t like the idea of profiting from a bet you’ve been given for free?

This said, it’s important to read the terms and conditions as many offers will require you to adhere to the conditions of the bonus before withdrawing winnings. And a further bit of advice: don’t be blinded by the biggest bonus offers.

More often than not, the biggest offers are trying to compensate for lacking in other areas. A company may win your custom initially but is likely to fall short meeting your needs elsewhere.

Essentially, the purpose of a bonus is about getting to know how a site operates and whether you feel it ticks all the boxes.

Variety of sports/betting markets

Most of us who bet tend to have a genuine affection for sport too, I think it’s fair to say. And, normally this isn’t limited to only one.

The typical sports fan is just as happy watching the Knicks shoot hoops in the NBA, as they are watching Chris Gayle smash sixes in a T20 cricket match. Ok, maybe not. But you get my drift.

We believe a betting site shouldn’t just include the big four leagues. It needs to cater for all. Plus, what happens when your favorite game is in its off-season and you don’t have a sport to bet on?

It’s good to experience something different from time-to-time and betting on another sport may just open your eyes to a game you’d never considered before.

Betting on a new sport not only adds more excitement to the equation but means you’re more likely to pick up the rules quicker too.

Variety is also the word in terms of betting markets. Aside form the traditional bets - money line, point spread, totals - it’s fun to play and try your luck in alternative markets also. You can read more about the different kind of betting markets in Chapter 3 of this guide.

Transparency

Does the betting site lay its cards on the table when it comes to its terms and conditions? If you’ve followed our guide in picking a betting site with a sound reputation within the industry, it’s unlikely you’ll need to consider this.

But if essential information is not easy to find or a question put to a customer service staff member is danced around rather than being answered with clarity, alarm bells should begin to ring as to whether this is a site you can trust.

The best betting sites make all the vital information with regards to depositing/withdrawing your money, minimum withdrawal amounts and the like, readily available.

Recap: Key questions when choosing a sports betting site
  • Does it have a good reputation within the industry?
  • How does the company fare in terms of customer service?
  • Is there value in the lines offered?
  • Are there a wide range of deposit methods?
  • Does the welcome bonus serve its main purpose?
  • Is it possible to bet on a variety of sports?
  • Is the site open and transparent about how it does things?
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