Are Online Sports Betting Sites Legitimate?
When you first hear about online sports betting, your first question is probably something along the lines of, “Are online sports betting sites legitimate?” This is a pretty good question. Sports betting online can be done legally in the US and the top-rated online sportsbooks that are operating today are legitimate. That being said, legal US sportsbooks must be located and operated in different countries and have a license or regulatory body that they adhere to. Fortunately, it’s easy to spot the phonies, and there are precautions that you can take in order to make sure that you’re using a legit online sports betting site.
The good news though is that there are some great legal sports betting sites even though they have no US involvement. Just because the betting sites do not base themselves in the US does not mean that they aren’t trustworthy or legal sports betting sites but rather follow a different set of codes. In other words, online sports betting sites are great just as long as you are using a safe and reliable outlet. This page is here to help you figure out just exactly makes the online sports betting site legitimate, safe, and legal.
How To Tell If A Sports Betting Site Is Legit
There are several courses of action that can be taken by bettors to ensure the legitimacy of a sports betting site. The first is checking up on the track record of the site. See if they have proper licensing from a reputable governing agency and you can also check up on other things like any relevant awards and accolades received. Furthermore, you can look into the reputation of sports betting sites and how they treat their account holders. A quick google search will give you a ton of insight into whether or not a book treats its customers well. It will also give you several other nuggets of useful information, including security measures used and how reliable their payouts are. Just a little bit of time researching a sportsbook will give you the answer you seek to the important question of online sportsbook legitimacy.
What Do Legitimate Sports Betting Sites Offer That Others Do Not?
Well, aside from offering you a legal and viable sports betting platform, legitimate sports betting sites offer you a number of things that others don’t. Each book is unique and offers promotions and features that are specific to that particular site. So, what it really boils down to is whether or not the sports betting site does exactly what they told you they would do.
Security is another feature that is a definite on legitimate sports betting sites. You will notice when you go to make your account or a deposit that the encrypted icon will be in your search browser at a reputable site. This is because they go through extra lengths to ensure your personal and baking information remains secure on their platform. Untrustworthy sites will not discuss their security measures, which makes believing in their abilities that much more difficult.
Sports betting sites that are legitimate will follow through with their promises. If they advertise a welcome bonus or reduced juice, you’ll be able to easily collect on these promotions. On this page, we have researched several sports betting sites that have reputations for being legitimate and tested them ourselves. These legal betting sites are perfect for anything you’d want to bet on and are extremely legitimate.
Player Safety + Security... Legit Online Sportsbooks Go Above + Beyond
The security of your account information is of the utmost importance to the best online sportsbooks. A legit site will not disclose your information. It's also important to know that legit sports betting sites will not get you in trouble for betting there. There are plenty of legal and safe betting sites for American players to get in on great action. You will see ESPN talk about betting odds all the time, and list the odds from several of the sites that we mention on here. If that doesn't spell legit then we don't know what does.
How Do I Know That I Will Not Get Into Trouble For Betting Online?
You will not get in trouble for betting online because federal sports betting laws in the US only prohibit the operation of a site and not the act of betting. Using these sites are 100% legal, as US residents have been on them for years with continued success. Because of the language used in these laws, you will not be in any trouble for placing bets at legitimate online sports betting sites and furthermore, there has never been any record of anyone being arrested, let alone charged with a crime for using online sports betting sites. In short, the US government will not go after you for betting at an online, offshore sportsbook.
Legitimate Deposit Methods At Online Sports Betting Sites
Depositing funds into a legitimate sports betting account is extremely easy. There are a number of methods available to bettors all over the US, and really, it’s a matter of choosing the one that is most convenient for you. While each site is different in what methods they accept, how long it takes to fund your account, and minimum/maximum limits, using a credit card, Bitcoin, and check are the most common methods. The best deposit funds that you can use are listed with brief pros and cons below.
Credit Cards – Using a card to fund your account is probably the most popular legitimate deposit method. It takes a couple of minutes at most, and usually less than that. Most sites will take at least one of the three major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. When you use a credit card (or debit card from the same vendors), you might get a payment declined every now and then.
This doesn’t mean that you’re in trouble, it just means that the bank couldn’t process the payment thanks to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA, 2006), a federal banking regulation. If this happens, you just need to choose a different deposit method. If you want to stick with a card that won’t get declined, we recommend prepaid cards. These work exactly like credit cards but because the funds are preloaded, banks don’t have to process the transaction, so you’ll never have a declined payment. Just make sure that your prepaid card is certified for overseas use, as not all of them are.
Bitcoin – This digital currency is processed just as quickly as credit card payments. Bitcoin is a deposit method that won’t get flagged by the UIGEA because it is not a currency that is processed by any US financial institution. Bitcoin transactions are monitored and recorded by cryptocurrency miners, who store the transaction on a blockchain, which is a public ledger used for quantum-hacking-resistant data security. Bitcoin is one of the most trusted legitimate deposit methods available, and it is also by far the safest way to send and receive funds over the Internet. Some sites will even accept Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, DASH, and more!
Check – Finally, we have the check. A more traditional payment method, it allows bettors to deposit large sums in a single transaction. The tradeoff for this is that it takes a few days to reach the book and get credited to your account. Payments are guaranteed and credited to your account as soon as the check reaches the sportsbook, though, making this one of the most legit deposit methods available. Getting your money back this way can feel like an eternity though. Regardless, know that wire transfers and checks are a reliable deposit method for sports betting accounts.
Legal + Legitimate Online Sports Betting Sites That Can Be Trusted
We've mentioned several times on this page that there are some great legit sportsbooks to choose from and the table below shows some of the ones that we are talking about. Every one of these sportsbooks has a great reputation not just for the betting odds that they offer, but more importantly for how they treat their account holders by keeping their information safe and ensuring that all winnings are paid out.
BetOnline Sports - Proven Track Record Of Discreet Services + Promised Payments
BetOnline produced a great section that centers on the safety and protection of their account holders. Certainly, the reason to come to BetOnline has to do with the extensive selection of odds and lines and competitive payouts, but it's comforting to know that a website is backed with the central focus of the customer. The theme at BetOnline as stated on their site is “building trust”. That is an important aspect of sports betting sites. Sportsbooks that are built on a foundation of being safe and trusted are the sites that grow, and there hasn't been one that has expanded more over the last 10 years than BetOnline.
New members are welcomed with a 50% bonus on their first deposit when they use a non-crypto transaction. Using the code BOL1000, you will gain up to $1,000 in free play just by entering that code. Read the rules and terms first, as they detail the 30-day expiration date of free play and other stipulations of the promo. For those who want to use cryptocurrency, they boost your welcoming bonus by 50% to match your first deposit dollar for dollar. This 100% match is accessed by using the code CRYPTO100 and also allows for up to $1,000 in free play.
Bovada Sports - Most Professional + Legit Sports Betting Site That Is Legal In U.S.
From the standpoint of legitimacy, Bovada wants their account holders and anyone thinking about creating an account with them to know that they are responsibly run and operated. Visitors to the site can review Bovada's 'Certificate of Good Standing' under the Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s license (granted out of Canada). But extending beyond that is what can be found on-site in terms of reviewing the site itself. Read reviews, browse the sportsbook, and check out the betting lines and everything else that Bovada offers. Not only is there a wide selection of sports odds, but there are also resources that are available designed to inform and educate bettors new and old alike.
Bovada continues to be the measuring stick against which all other sports betting sites in the industry are compared. Unfortunately, their welcoming bonus is one of the lower ones in the game, but they reward you with many more once you have signed up. A 50% bonus (up to $250) can be attained simply by starting an account with Bovada. No promo code is necessary unless you fund your account with Bitcoin. This allows for up to $5,000 ($500 for the sportsbook, $4500 for the online casino) in free play, with the promo code BVSBITCOIN50. The casino code is the same but has “150” on the end instead of “50.”
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