Betting on sports goes back centuries, to the age when Roman citizens would wager on the outcome of chariot races, and some global betting markets have also been around for centuries.
By contrast, the US sports betting sector is relatively new. Sports betting was effectively illegal throughout most of the 20th century across the US, but that situation changed dramatically in May of 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, the law that had prohibited sports betting.
As a result, there has been a rush of US states legalizing sports betting, and bookmakers have scrambled to make the most of the opportunities. Millions of Americans are now engaging with legal sports betting for the first time, and like all newcomers to betting, they are exploring their options and working out how to find the best US sportsbooks. To help with the search, we’ve put together a few things to look for when you are choosing the best US sportsbook.
Legal and reputable
The starting point in your search for the best US sportsbook should be to ensure that sports betting is legal in your state and that any sportsbook you consider using is fully licensed and regulated by the appropriate state betting regulator.
Currently, 35 states have legal sports betting, while several more are in the process of setting up their betting industry, but some states only allow in-person sports betting, so check with your state gambling body to make sure that don’t end up using illegal or unregulated sites.
You might be tempted to think that all bookmakers’ odds are the same, but this is not the case, particularly if you are betting in relatively obscure markets.
The idea of clicking on dozens of sportsbook sites and comparing the available odds may sound a little tedious, but fortunately, you don’t have to do that. There are numerous odds-checking sites online that will enable you to compare odds from a range of bookmakers for your chosen sport. Take some time to check the odds in the markets you are likely to bet on, and look out for sites that consistently offer the most competitive prices.
Most sports betting sites will attempt to attract customers by presenting bonus offers of varying sizes. It is a good idea to check these bonuses out to find those that are the best, but when checking bonus offers, it is important to look at the terms and conditions closely. All bonus offers will have significant restrictions attached, so dig deep and don’t allow yourself to be seduced by the headline amount.
As mentioned above, not all states allow for mobile betting, so check to ensure that it is legal to bet using your mobile in your area. If you are planning to do a lot of your betting through mobile devices, you should check out the quality of a bookmaker’s mobile platform before you sign up.
Check whether a bookmaker offers a downloadable app or uses a mobile-browser platform that is supported by your mobile operating system. Does the mobile site or app offer the full range of markets and features or is it restricted? Checking out reviews of mobile betting apps can also help you to narrow down the search for the best sites.
Sports betting features
Modern sports betting isn’t just about the pre-match winners’ markets. In the modern sports betting world, there is a host of features and options out there to help boost your betting. Look out for bookmakers that provide tools such as Bet Builder, Cash Out, Partial Cash Out and Parlay Insurance.
The best sportsbooks also offer an excellent choice of live betting markets, along with comprehensive live streaming of sports events, data and statistics to help you to shape your betting strategy, and news, features and previews to enable you to keep in touch with the sports betting world.
Banking options may not be high on your list of priorities when you’re choosing a sportsbook, but this aspect of any sports betting platform is important. The most obvious detail to look for is that the site you are planning to use offers deposits and withdrawals using your preferred banking method.
Beyond that, you should also look for the size of the minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal to ensure that you won’t be restricted in your betting, and check for any fees associated with withdrawals as well as checking out the speed of withdrawals at each site. The last thing you want is to be restricted by slow deposits or withdrawals when you are betting on sport.
As with banking, sports bettors often don’t give a lot of thought to the quality of customer support they receive at a betting site, but this too is important. If something goes wrong or you have a query, you want to be able to easily access fast and efficient customer support, so look out for sports betting sites that offer 24/7 live chat, email and telephone contact options, at a minimum.
Ultimately, choosing a sportsbook will depend a great deal on your betting style and preferences, but hopefully, following the advice in this article will help you to make a more informed choice.