How to create a sports betting account
Welcome to this chapter of the Beginner’s Guide to betting in the US, where we will show you how to create a betting account.
You’ll be pleased to learn that regardless of the betting site you choose, a straightforward sign-up process awaits. From start to finish it should take no longer than ten minutes to complete.
So, let’s get straight to it! Here’s a quick summary of what you need to do when creating an online betting account in the US.
How to Set Up a Sports Betting Account
- Choose a betting site
- Register personal details
- Choose your payment method
- Make your first deposit
- Collect your welcome bonus
1. Choose a betting site
Choosing a betting site is all about knowing what you want out of an online sportsbook. Once you do know what you’re looking for, you can focus on which betting sites meet your requirements.
With all of the sportsbooks in the US now, whether you're after the best odds, payment methods, live betting, customer support, or welcome bonus, finding a top-notch operator has never been easier!
In the previous chapter, we discussed at length how to choose a betting site and the factors to consider. But if you’re short on time, we’ve provided a small collection of our staff's personal favorite betting sites for you to pick from directly. All are reputable betting sites, licensed and legal in the US.
Best Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses
Best Betting sites with the Best Bonuses
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2. Register personal details
Now you’ve picked a betting site, you can press ahead with setting up your account.
To do this, simply visit the homepage of your chosen betting site or, if you've selected one of the above sites, tap the create account button. You’ll be taken to the homepage of your chosen betting site where you will then need to register personal details and create a login.
The information you need to provide includes:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Last 4 digits of your SSN
- Full Address (city, state, zip code)
- Mobile number
- Security question & answer
- Email address & password
This list is typical of all US betting sites. The order in which you’re required to enter the details may vary depending on the betting site, however.
At this point, you may also get to set certain preferences such as deposit limits (daily, weekly and monthly), how you want the odds displayed, and your preferred time zone.
Depending on which betting site you’re signing up with they may also prompt you to enter your welcome bonus code.
HOW VERIFICATION WORKS AT US BETTING SITES
Legitimate betting sites across the world are obliged to follow the Know Your Customer (KYC) process in order to verify your identity and that you are old enough to bet online, and comply with online gambling laws. By confirming the identity of all new customers, betting sites are able to protect themselves from fraudulent activity and also protect players.
The betting site in question may ask for a copy of a valid government ID and proof of residence. Should your ID show your address, that’s all you need. Otherwise, you’ll need to send a scanned copy (or a mobile image) of a recent utility bill that shows your name is registered to that address.
And if you’re thinking, “who the heck still has paper bills sent to them” then don’t fret; most sites will accept a recent bank statement as proof of address.
Once the operator is satisfied, you won’t be asked to confirm your identity again, though you will have to go through the same process if you choose to sign up with another site further down the line.
3. Select your preferred payment method
As a new bettor, you’re no doubt eager to get money in your account as quickly as possible.
At the same time, it’s important to choose a way of paying that is convenient for you and you’re comfortable with using.
Here's a list of banking options you will find offered by the majority of US betting sites:
- Credit/Debit Card
- Prepaid Card
- Online Bank Transfer
- Bank Wire/Check
- Cash Cage
Payment methods explained
By far the most popular means of funding your account is through VISA or MasterCard.
Thanks to online payment processors all that’s required is for you to punch in the long number on the front, the expiry date and the last three digits on the signature strip, on the reverse of the card - referred to as the Card Security Code (CSC) or Card Verification Value (CVV) - and you’re good to go!
Unfortunately, you may find that some popular banks do not allow online gambling transactions. Cards issued by Bank of America, Capital One or Santander, for instance, are not accepted. But it's always best to check this with the betting site.
An e-wallet acts as a middleman between you and the betting site and is a popular payment option for many bettors.
By choosing to fund your account with PayPal for instance you can make deposits and withdrawals seamlessly and you money is secure in an account controlled by you.
Skrill and Neteller are also popular e-wallets you can use to fund your sports betting account.
If you’re security conscious, then an option like PayNearMe is probably your best bet, pardon the pun!
Here, you make a deposit in cash at a participating 7Eleven store or gas station using a unique barcode created on the betting site.
You won’t get charged and you'll see your deposit in your account within 30 minutes. Security and anonymity is guaranteed, while you can also limit the amount you spend on betting this way too.
Online Bank Transfer
VIP Preferred (ACH) and Online Banking provide an easy and secure way of making a payment to your betting account, especially for bettors less tech savvy, shall we say.
Don't choose this payment option if you're not prepared to wait some time though. To use this method, you need your bank to be included on the list of banks approved by the betting site.
A throwback to the good old days of transferring funds, a bank wire or a paper check isn’t at the top of payment methods used today.
In fact, it’s considered a last resort due to the time it can take, yet, wiring money or writing a check can be useful when depositing or withdrawing large amounts.
You can, of course, visit the land-based casino partner of your betting site and make a deposit or withdrawal in person. Retail casinos are subject to operating times however and often require you to make a car journey.
The opportunity to to deposit and withdraw funds freely is limited here.
Our favourite sportsbook for payment options
2 Risk-Free bets up to $2,000
PointsBet is easily one of the best sportsbooks around when considering ease of payment. They offer extremely fast payouts, instant deposits, and a great range of payment methods.
PointsBet deposit and withdrawal options include:
- Visa & MasterCard
- PointsBet MasterCard
- In-person (where available)
4. Make a deposit
Now you have selected your welcome bonus and the payment method of your choice, you’re now moments away from starting your online betting journey!
All you need to do at this stage is use your prefered payment method and enter the amount you want to deposit (the minimum is normally $10).
You can make a deposit anywhere in the US!
5. Collect your welcome bonus
You should now have a fully functioning betting account and be able to place real money wagers. It’s (typically) at this point where you can cash in on your welcome bonus, too!
Depending on the type of betting bonus, you may see your first deposit amount matched instantly, or, a risk-free bet kick-in upon making your first wager. Bear in mind, a deposit is required for the majority of welcome bonuses to work.
Remember, you need to be physically located in a legal sports betting state in order to place a real money wager and pick up your welcome bonus!
Gambling Account FAQs
Is online gambling safe?
Online gambling is 100% safe as long as you only place wagers with legal & licensed betting sites in regulated markets and practice responsible gambling (ie not wagering what you can't afford to lose).
For example, gambling with Bet365 (a legally licensed operator) in New Jersey (a legal and regulated state for online gambling) is completely safe and you won't have to worry about being a victim of a scam.
Conversely, if you place a wager with an unlicensed operator (such as Bovada) that operates off-shore (ie not from a legal and regulated state), you are subject to having your money essentially stolen with no protection as a customer.
How many legal gambling sites are there in the US?
In short, a lot. In fact, there are over 25+ different betting sites that legally operate in different states all around the US. Some major betting sites such as PointsBet, FanDuel, and Unibet operate in multiple states, while some smaller betting sites only operate in one state.
If you would like to learn more about which betting sites operate in your home state check out our sports betting sites page!
What is the best gambling site in the US?
How long does it take to create an online gambling account?
Typically, it takes no more than 5-10 minutes to create an online gambling account.
This can vary, however, depending on the operator and their ID verification method. Additionally, some state laws prohibit remote registration, which means customers in those states are required to register their accounts in person at designated locations (usually brick-and-mortar casinos). This would also affect the estimated time to set up an account.
How old do you have to be to create an online gambling account?
In most states, the minimum legal age to gamble online is 21 years old.
However, there are some states where the legal gambling age is reduced to 18 or 19 years old. Make sure to always check out your state's gambling laws before creating an online gambling account.