A lot has changed in the world of online gambling since we began working in this industry in 2004.
Today, online sports betting is 100% completely legal and regulated for a small portion of the United States. States like Nevada and New Jersey led the way with legal online poker, daily fantasy sports and even sports betting.
The rest of us have the luxury of playing at the offshore poker sites that accept US players. I say that part in jest but mostly in honesty. The offshore sites are arguably better, in many ways.
First of all, the sites we list have been around for many years.
You will not see new online casinos and sportsbooks listed here. A viable online poker room or sportsbook is not something that could be started today from scratch with any sort of certainty. My rule of thumb is avoid the new gambling sites and stick to one of the reputable and legit existing sites that has been accepting USA players for 5+ years now.
So, it is legal to bet at USA betting sites, and if so, which are the most reputable and reliable sites to deposit and bet with? Interest in these topics has risen, in part, due to the recent crackdown seen in the online poker industry.
Additionally you will not see any or very many at all online sports betting sites listed here. An online sportsbook is only as good as it’s reputation. The good news to US bettors is that there are enough high quality sportsbooks that want US traffic that they have to compete for our business. They compete on reputation, promotion and bonuses, user interface, odds and lines, customer service and ease of deposits and withdrawals.
We’ll quickly explain below why folks in the U.S. have little to fear when betting on sports online. The key is to choose reputable online sportsbooks that accept USA players. With that in mind, we’ll show you how to pick those that are reliable, trustworthy, and worth your time.
The top USA sportsbooks are actually located outside the U.S. Because they’re offshore, the U.S. government has little jurisdiction over them. Legislators are left with trying to make it tougher for banks, credit card companies, and transaction processing firms to move money back and forth. If action is ever taken against online sportsbooks (a big “if”), the folks placing bets – that is, you and I here in the U.S. – are at little risk.
Our exposure is limited to the funds we have locked up in our sportsbook accounts. If you keep this low and to a reasonable level you have little to worry about.
That’s why one of the most important things you can do is to select dependable USA-friendly sportsbooks at which to place bets. Read on to learn how to do that…
How To Choose The Best USA Betting Site
There’s no trick to picking reliable betting sites. It’s just a matter of doing some due diligence. We’ll tell you which books we like upfront…
Bovada – Great reputation under the Bodog name, and lots of proposition bets.
Bookmaker – Attractive sign-up bonus, long track record, and easy cash out options.
BetOnline – Great sign-up bonus and easy banking options.
If you’re already using an online sportsbook, check to see how it measures up to the competition in the following categories…
Easy Deposits And Cash Outs
Most betting sites make it very easy to deposit funds. They’ll let you do so with credit cards, debit cards, eWallet services, select gift cards, bank transfers, and even checks. Keep in mind that some deposit options are imperfect. For example, some books have trouble accepting credit cards issued by certain banks. But with lots of options available, funding your accounts shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s mostly the payout options that you’ll want to focus on. Online sportsbooks vary on the methods they allow. Some send cash outs to bettors via check, bank draft, Person-to-Person payments, and Rapid Transfer. Others will let you transfer your winnings between betting sites in the same network. It’s also worth noting that some betting sites are quicker than others in processing and mailing withdrawals.
Bottom line: you want transactions to be as easy, flexible, and seamless as possible.
Simple-To-Use Sportsbook Betting Platform
When it comes to sports betting platforms, simple is usually best. That assumes you’re not forced to sacrifice usability or functionality. You want a robust platform that displays all relevant details on one screen in a format that’s easy to absorb and use. Ease-of-use and presentation are largely matters of preference. This is the reason you should explore a sportsbook before joining.
It goes without saying that the betting site should protect your privacy and ensure the security of your trades. If it can’t do that effectively, look elsewhere.
Broad Coverage Of Sports Events
Don’t assume you’ll only bet on your favorite sports. Even if you’re a lifelong fan of the NBA or NFL and can’t imagine betting on any other events, keep an open mind. You’ll often find the best odds and lines in the less-popular and often-neglected sports.
The top sportsbooks for USA players will definitely host bets on the majors, such as the MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL. But also look for coverage on soccer, NASCAR, rugby, and MMA. Some betting sites – for example, BetOnline.com – even carry lines on cricket, lacrosse, and boxing matches.
Variety Of Betting Options
You want as much flexibility as possible in the types of bets you can place and the manner in which you can place them. Most of the top-rated US sportsbooks will let you bet a number of parlays, prop bets, and futures. In our opinion, the more, the better.
Parlays give you a chance to make a huge profit on a relatively small wager. Prop bets give you an opportunity to place side wagers on things that may have little to nothing to do with the outcome (i.e. winner) of a game or match. Futures allow you to wager on things that may not even occur. Even if you’re a straight moneyline sports bettor, you’ll be surprised by how tempting some of these bets are.
Some US-friendly sportsbooks offer live betting and mobile betting. The former gives you a way to place wagers on random things that take place during the course of a game (for example, whether a certain pass will be caught or dropped). The latter allows you to place bets on your mobile. If you’re always on the road, mobile betting can be extremely convenient.
Sportsbook Bonuses And Promotions
Sports betting sites that accept US players offer sign-up bonuses to lure new bettors. For example, BetOnline is currently giving folks a 25% Free Play deposit bonus when they register and fund their accounts (tip: use promo code TXBONUS). Bovada is giving new bettors a 50% Free Play bonus match on their first deposits (use promo code 130347).
The top sportsbooks also host a variety of promotions throughout the year. These promos are designed to encourage existing account holders to place bets or increase their betting volume. For example, you may see reload bonuses that match players’ deposits on certain days of the week. Or, you might see reloads on certain sporting events.
Leveraging these offers is a great way to squeeze more profit from your overall betting activity. Take advantage of them. But keep in mind they come with certain terms and conditions. Read the details carefully before registering your accounts.
Responsiveness Of Customer Support
Don’t underestimate the importance of having access to a top-notch customer support staff. If you bet on sports long enough, you will inevitably run into technical issues or have questions for which you need quick responses. This is the case regardless of which sportsbooks you use. And it’s the reason the best USA betting sites give their customers access to professional, well-trained support representatives.
If you want to know how responsive a site is, reach out to its support staff before you register an account. Most sportsbooks provide access via email and live chat. Some also encourage their customers to call a toll-free number. Prepare a few questions in advance and test how helpful the customer support representatives are when providing answers.
Last Thoughts On Choosing USA Betting Sites
No sports betting site excels in every category we’ve listed above. (If one did, we’d definitely know about it by now.) Each site has inherent strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to figure out which categories mean the most to you, and identify the books that excel in those areas. Then, test drive the sites. Use our recommendations above as a starting point, but trust your own instincts.
One last note: we suggest registering accounts at three or four USA-friendly sportsbooks. You’ll discover that the lines for bets are often different at each book. Having access to several accounts allows you to pick and choose the best lines available at any given time.