Online sports betting has existed almost since the advent of the internet. Back in 1996, when America Online launched their first flat-rate dial up service the betting site Intertops already had 20,000 users and a 10-month track record.
We went on to witness gambling sites VIP Sports, WWTS and Bet Jamaica rise to the top and eventually closedown. Those three sites did however take care of their players before their virtual doors closed. The same can’t be said for BetonSports, Cascade, BetEd and countless other websites that disappeared into the night taking their player’s deposits with them.
Of course we haven’t even touched on the large number of scam sites either.
The bottom line here: not all sportsbooks are equal. In fact, it seems for every reputable American friendly gambling website that exists, there are at least a dozen others that are underfinanced, dishonest, shady or outright crooks. In this guide to US online sportsbooks we’ll cover how to select a betting site and then give recommendations of the ones we trust the most.
If you’re searching for a US betting site what you should look for is a site is operated by a well-established company that also has a spotless track record and offers considerable value.
Sites such as Sportsbook.com, BetUs.com and Oddsmaker.com are well established and appear to offer significant value, but if you read their SBR profiles you’ll discover each has a rap-sheet of player complaints including gross slow pays, unfairly voided bets and in some extreme cases – closed accounts resulting in stolen player balances.
Meanwhile site such as BetDSI, Legends, JustBet, and Carib Sports are well established with spotless track records but due to lack of value offered, I personally only wager at these sites when bonuses are offered.
This because as we hinted at in the review, many betting sites go bankrupt. Others run borderline scams, perhaps due to being underfinanced or owned by crooks. In any case, the longer a betting site has been in business, the better chance they’re problem free.
Knowing how long a company has been in business is helpful as a clue, but is not the end all criteria. There are companies such as Future Bet (which owns oddsmaker.com) that have been around for more than a decade yet have managed to steal millions of dollars from players while appearing reputable.
For example, Bovada offers some of the fairest odds on the Internet and also offers higher limits. BetOnline is another great site, but why not bet at our #1 rated US betting site? Meanwhile some of the others are trustworthy but don’t offer near the value of their competitors.
In my personal opinion there are three American friendly betting sites that hands down offer the most value and two others worth considering. I’ll cover those in no particular order in the next section of this guide.
It’s hard to argue against 5dimes.eu being one of the best sports gambling websites for Americans. They’ve been in business since 1998, have an A+ rating at leading industry watchdog SBR and hold the highest rating of all American-friendly betting websites at SBR. The big draw is not only their trustworthiness and lightning fast payouts, but the superior value they offer with their betting odds.
5Dimes on game day offers reduced juice (-105 pricing) for every single game on the board and almost always has the best odds for both futures and props. 5dimes also offers more wagers per match than any of their competitors. For example it’s not uncommon to see 400 different NFL prop bets, and they also have 728 different teaser betting options, not to mention pleasers and other forms of exotic wagers at industry leading odds. Hands down if you’re looking for great value with at an established site with a spotless track record 5Dimes is the site you’ll want to visit.
Bookmaker.eu is the flagship site of Costa Rica International Sports (CRIS) who in 1985 became the first offshore sportsbook focused on the North American market. Back then the business was phone in using a toll free number.
In 2000, CRIS came online launching betcris.com which is now used primarily for the Spanish market. Their website bookmaker.eu is their brand focused on North American sports.
What makes CRIS unique is they pride themselves on offering the highest betting limits while never limit collaring anyone for winning too much. This is a bookmaker that takes five figure bets as frequently as other sites take three figure ones. Also their slogan “Where the Line Originates” is not marketing hype; they have the most talent and open betting lines before anyone else.
In the hours that follow other betting sites will copy the lines from www.bookmaker.eu and then Las Vegas will follow the next day. To state it clearly… this is the site the big punters and wiseguys wager at, meanwhile they are friendly to small time players as well. You’d be hard pressed to find a betting site more finally secure and trustworthy than Bookmaker.eu.
Bovada.lv is a well trusted online betting site that has been online since April 2000 (technically the “Bovada” brand has been around since 2011 but they’ve business longer since they were previously known as “Bodog”).
They’re known for their industry leading customer support department and lightning fast payouts. As a sports bettor what you need to know about Bovada is this is a company that mostly services recreational players.
As a result you’ll find some really unique lines here, generally on underdogs, which offer more value than any of the other USA online betting sites. Also Bovada offers great teaser odds. A few examples include 3-team 6-point teasers at +180, 10-point three team teasers at -110, and 4-team 13-point teasers at -120. With more than a decade in the business and no missed payout complaints, Bodog.com is no doubt a betting site American punters can trust.
As mentioned before, I trust BetDSI, Carib, Justbet and Legends but I don’t find they offer significant value often enough. However, if you were to add in a bonus or promotion, then these become betting sites worth giving a try. Two website that do offer great value that are worth considering are Intertops and BetOnline. As I mentioned in the intro, the start of Intertops.com predates that of flat rate dial-up internet service; their company is a dinosaur that accepted the first ever online sports bet back in January 1996 and in 2001 they accepted the first ever mobile internet. This is a company that built a serious online betting empire without footsteps to follow.
As far as our other suggestion… betonline.ag is a strong leader in the US market, however there are some loose ties to failed betting site BetOnSports involved here and for that reason many betting portals hold back there ratings a bit. Me personally I wager often at BetOnline and have never had a problem with them.
Honestly, all sports betting websites that we haven’t mentioned on this article should probably be avoided. The few exceptions to this include private and trustworthy sportsbooks such as Heritage and Grande which are available by invite only.
There are handful of other sites that might be worth considering including YouWager, Rebate Wager, Bet Horizon, Skybook and WagerChief, but none of us at live betting have enough recent experience with these sites to say one way or another. Beyond that there are thousands of shady and/or scam sites on the net, so many that it is difficult to keep a list.
If you’re from the US stick to sites are on recommended list such as 5dimes, BetOnline and Bovada. To list one site to avoid at all costs… you should avoid Oddsmaker.com – as the owners of this site have scammed more players than perhaps all online bookies combined. This concludes are review of US betting sites; we encourage you to stay smart, understand the risks, and finally to win some money this betting season.