Best Online Sports Betting Sites
Our sportsbook recommendations come from our own experiences in the field. When we say these are the best sports betting sites, we say that with the full confidence that comes from a group of people who have spent years betting and following the industry. If you're in the market for a new bookmaker, these are by far the best options for you.
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There are a number of factors we consider "must-haves" in a sportsbook. The most important is each site's history of hosting bets and paying out winners. Although most betting sites operate in good faith, we have personally witnessed the downfall of more than one book after failing to pay its customers within a reasonable timeframe.
Getting paid is the end-goal of anyone who places a bet on a sport. Sure, it's fun researching your bets, making your picks, and watching them play out as you watch the big game, but none of that matters if there's no guarantee you'll actually be paid. So for that reason, we always put this first.
Almost as important is each sportsbook's selection of lines. All other factors being equal, we would pick the site that covers more markets in more detail. For example, books that cover 20 markets get the edge over sites that only cover 10 markets. Books that offer in-play betting get bumped up over sites that don't. Basically, we take an all-around approach to ranking the best sportsbooks.
Finally, we like to look at all the other little "extras" that a book might have to offer. These extras don't make or break a site, but they do improve the overall experience. Deposit bonuses, special promotions, and features such as mobile betting all make for a well-polished sportsbook.
Top Betting Sites by Sport
The sites that we recommend above are considered the best all-around sportsbooks. They cover most sports to a point, but some sites do better than others when it comes to specific sports. If there's a particular sport that you follow more closely than all the others, you might want to check out one of these pages:
Each of these pages will point you to the books you should consider first for any one sport. There's quite a bit of cross-coverage, especially for the sports like football and baseball. Some books go into much greater detail on those sports. The number one pick might have more lines, better lines, or a greater selection of in-play opportunities for that sport.
This section was written for our readers located in the United States. Making a deposit at a sportsbook is normally pretty easy, but US customers have had issues depositing via credit card in recent times. If you plan on depositing with a credit card, make sure to read on.
Most credit card deposits to sports betting sites go through just fine. However, there have been numerous instances lately in which customers have had their credit card deposits declined even though they had the money. The problem isn't on your end. It's an issue with the sportsbook.
US banking laws restrict certain types of financial transactions to and from online gambling sites. In some cases, credit card deposits are rejected despite the account having enough money. If this happens to you, there are two things you can do:
1. Try a different card.
2. Call your sportsbook and tell them the problem.
The big sportsbooks are experienced with depositing problems so they already have systems in place to help people who cannot deposit. All you have to do is give their customer support number a call and they'll get you situated.
Players in other parts of the world don't have to deal with these issues. This is mostly a US problem. If you live elsewhere and have problems depositing, the two steps above still apply. Try a different card, try a different deposit method, or call customer support. Take it from us, sportsbooks want your business and they will do what they need to help you deposit.
Is it Legal to Bet on Sports?
Gambling legislation is such a broad topic that we could spend the next two hours explaining every nuance and still not be done. So for the sake of brevity, we'll keep this short. Gambling laws vary by jurisdiction. Players from the US fall under one set of laws while players from the UK fall under another set. The laws also change state-by-state, further complicating matters.
US gambling law is especially complex and vague. Not even the courts always agree on what is legal and what is not. What we can tell you is what we've found from our own experiences and research. Take note: we aren't lawyers and this isn't legal advice. We're just going to explain to you what we see and our opinion on the situation.
First of all, we aren't aware of a single US citizen ever being charged with anything related to sports betting under federal law. There was the case in which a guy from North Dakota was ordered to pay a $500 fine after winning over a hundred thousand dollars via online sports betting, but that was one case and it wasn't a big deal in the end.
Other than that one odd example, nobody has ever been fined, jailed or sent to prison for the mere act of betting on sports. Some in the legal profession argue that sports betting is illegal, but most lawyers will tell you there are no federal statutes that actually make it illegal.
Another way to look at it is like this. We've had online sports betting in the United States for about 20 years now. Millions of citizens have placed bets online and billions of dollars have changed hands. In all that time, not a single citizen has seen the inside of a cell on charges related to sports betting. We're happy to bet on sports, many of our friends bet on sports, and we all know how big the industry is in the United States.
The technicalities could be (and probably will be) argued back and forth for years, but the reality of the situation is that nobody cares if you place a couple of bets on sports. What we wouldn't recommend is you going out and starting your own sports betting site and accepting customers from the United States. That would definitely land you in hot water, but as far as betting sports for your own entertainment, you'll be fine.