Few industries are expanding as rapidly as the world of sports betting. It seems like every day, there’s another story about the latest developments in this ever-growing field, another region moving to actively pursue the benefits that sports betting can bring to that area.

In the USA, more and more states are moving to legalize sports betting. There are now 21 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia that are offering legal sports betting, with another six states poised to join them by the end of 2021.

Online and mobile wagering are proving to be massive money makers for state governments. With increasing opportunity to wager on sports, many newcomers are being drawn in to give it a try. Faced with so many choices, how does a newbie sports bettor know how to choose the best online sportsbook for their needs?

These are some of the most important factors to consider when seeking out an online sports betting site.

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Reliability

The roots of online sports betting extend back to the early days of the internet in the mid-1990s. Sites like Intertops, Bovada and Bet365 have been in the game almost from the outset of internet wagering.

Others, such as William Hill, stretch back much further in terms of their betting expertise. William Hill was founded as a retail betting shop in 1934, but has seamlessly made the transition into an online powerhouse.

For organizations to have not only been in the game that long, but to be considered industry standard bearers to this day, then they must be doing something right. The sports betting community is a tight-knit group. If a site does someone wrong, word will spread of this miscreant deed rapidly, tarnishing the image of that site forever. Once a betting site loses the trust of its clientele, the game is over for them.

This is where the internet can help you in your search. Read up on betting sites via third party online reviews. Every site is going to draw the occasional complaint. It’s the price of doing business. However, a steady stream of negative reviews for the same site is a good sign that you’ll want to steer clear of that bunch.

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Bonuses and Promotions

When you check the supermarket ads prior to the weekly trip to do grocery shopping, you look to see where the best deals can be had each week. It’s no different when searching out a betting site.

Every online sportsbook is going to dangle some sort of signup bonus offer in front of new players to get them to join their site. These offers tend to vary between risk-free first bets, no-deposit bonuses and matching first-deposit bonus promises.

At first glance, all of them will hold merit and seem like a great deal. That is, until you read through the fine print of the terms and conditions attached to these offers. Some of them can be very draconian.

A 20 percent matching first deposit up to a value of $1,000 offers sounds great at first glance. However, once you do the math and realize that you’ll need to deposit $5,000 to get that extra $1,000, the deal doesn’t appear as fantastic as it originally sounded.

Likewise, a risk-free bet worth up to $500 sounds like a no-lose scenario. However, in almost every case, if that bet loses, the $500 is returned to the player in the form of site credits. That means you’ll have to bet the money again. And this time, if it’s a loser, you’re a loser as well.

Sites will also attach what are known as play-through requirements to bonus offers. That’s the number of how many times the bonus funds must be wagered at the site before you’ll be permitted to withdraw any of the funds. With some sites, the playthrough requirement is a simple one time. Others, though, will require as much as play-throughs of 25 or 30 times before the money is truly yours to have and to hold.

What Does The Site Offer?

If a tailor advertises a great sale on sport coats, but the offer only covers Nehru jackets and you’re in the market for tweed, it’s really not much use to you at all, now is it?

It’s no different in the sports betting world. If it’s football you desire to bet, don’t sign up with a site that puts the emphasis on basketball.

Likewise what types of wagers do you want to make? All sites will carry straight bets – moneyline, point spread and totals. Others will emphasize more exotic wagers such as parlays, props and live in-play wagering. Be certain that what you want to bet is offered at the place where you’ll be making those bets.