As sports betting grows in popularity across the US, a whole host of different sites are beginning to compete for the attention of customers in the states where this type of activity is legal.
Of course if you are new to the concept of placing bets online, you might not know what makes a good betting website, and what signs suggest that a site is worth steering clear of.
To bring you up to speed, here are seven ways to test prospective sites so that you can enjoy sports betting without encountering any of the potential headaches.
Check independent reviews
You do not need to rely on your own instincts or past experience to put sites through their paces, as finding feedback on mainstream operators offered by trusted, independent sources is straightforward.
When it comes to the best sports betting sites in the USA, various options are available, and if you stumble across a site that looks legitimate but is not widely covered elsewhere, you should probably give it a wide berth.
Ensure the connection is encrypted
This is a small but important point to look out for not only on sports betting sites, but indeed any website you visit.
This is easily done in most modern web browsers, as you should see a padlock symbol or equivalent in the address bar next to the name of the site. Also, a good web browser should also actively tell you that a site you are about to visit does not have a secure connection if this is the case, allowing you to use your discretion and look elsewhere for your sports betting fun, rather than leaving your data at risk of exploitation.
Consider the betting options available
The quality of a sports betting site is not just down to the technical aspects, but also the kinds of events that are covered and the features that are available. This could determine whether or not it will meet your needs, and ultimately dictate how much fun you have.
For example, while some sites will cover major sports like football and basketball, they may not offer wagering on more obscure yet still broadly popular activities, such as MMA and Formula 1.
Luckily you can easily compare these sites without needing to create an account, so putting them to the test in this way is straightforward.
Assess sign-up incentives
Another important test to keep in your back pocket relates to the bonuses that are available for new customers of the various high profile sports betting sites that now operate in the US.
Most will match your initial deposit, often to the value of several hundred dollars, allowing you to play with cash that is effectively provided by the operator, rather than your own. Of course there are minimum wagering requirements to keep in mind which could impact the value represented by these incentives, so it is a good idea to read all the terms and conditions so you know what you are getting yourself in for.
Look out for smartphone app availability
While using a sports betting site from a web browser on the device of your choice is always an option, you may prefer to take advantage of a more convenient smartphone app counterpart to the service for when you are on the move, or even just sat on the couch rather than in front of a desktop PC or a laptop.
The test of a good site should involve checking to see whether a mobile app is offered by the operator and, moreover, whether the app is easy to use and offers all of the same features you have come to expect from the site itself.
Consider state-level support
The small but important point of checking to see if a betting site is licensed to operate in your state should always be considered by any bettor.
You should be able to choose your preferred region when you first visit, and of course only a small but growing number of states have legalized sports betting anyway, so it is best to determine this before you proceed.
Get word-of-mouth recommendations
If you are still unsure about a sports betting site, the best thing to do is to ask friends and family if they have any experience of it, or if they have separate recommendations to make for other operators.
In short, whatever it takes for a site to earn your trust, you should do all you can to tick these boxes, as this is the only way to guarantee satisfaction in the long run.