Today there are only a select few sports books that I trust. These sites have maintained a positive reputation, a track record of consistent payouts, player complaint resolutions and a dedication to ethical business practices.
Which Sports Betting Sites Are Legit in 2020?
“A person should gamble every day, because think of how bad it would be to be walking around lucky and not know it.”Robert Turner
These are the sportsbooks I trust today.
All of these bookies offer competitive lines (that you should compare), live, in-game betting and nearly every sport and prop bet you can think of.
If betting on sports is going to be your primary focus then there are a few more legit sportsbooks I recommend in addition to the ones from my super short list of legit poker rooms. Bookmaker and 5Dimes have great sports betting clients but the poker is bad.
If you are mostly interested in sportsbooks and not poker so much then Bookmaker and 5Dimes are great options. They are primarily sports betting focused, both offering early lines, super competitive odds and all the bets you could ever want. They maintain a stellar reputation and have done so for years.
I like Bookmaker for the early lines and they seem to sometimes have better odds when I’m betting the favorite. I like 5dimes because they have a lower vig option when initially signing up instead of a deposit bonus which I really like as well.
Bovada features a sportsbook along with poker and casino games. Bovada has a fairly strong history of being a fantastic place to bet on the underdogs. Often times having more player friendly lines than books like 5dimes and Bookmaker.
If you are mainly a poker player and have an account at one of these sites already then it makes sense to do your sports betting at the same place as your poker do to shared cashier and wallet. But if you are actively looking to compare lines and odds and do not mind the process of opening a new account then check closely at 5dimes, Bookmaker and the other sites listed above.
If you have accounts at multiple sites with a spread out bankroll you can shop for the best lines and place strategic bets at each sportsbook depending on whomever is offering the best odds for the bet you want.
Sportsbooks and Bitcoin
Crypto is the 900lb gorilla in the room when it comes to online sports betting.
Today, bitcoin is king among the other popular cryptocurrencies when it comes to gambling site usage and adoption. And bitcoin has established dominance vs other crypto coins like bitcoin cash or ripple in terms of public knowledge, usage, acceptance and market share.
All of the sports betting sites listed here accept bitcoin for deposits and withdrawals, and have done so beginning in early 2016, when crypto began it’s movement in earnest into the world of online gambling.
Most of these bookies accept Bitcoin Cash as well. And a few of them (bookmaker and betonline) accept a wide variety of crypto’s for deposits, something like 60+ alt-coins.
Bitcoin Wallets – Hot Wallets – Quick Picks For You
Think of a hot-wallet on your phone like the wallet in your back pocket.
You keep any spending money in that wallet but you don’t keep your life savings there. The same is true for a bitcoin ‘hot wallet’.
A hot wallet is an app that you use to send and receive bitcoin, as well as hold small amounts that you plan to spend or use in the near term.
- GreenAddress.it – I use this personally with my iphone and it works great. I believe they are secure, I own my keys and that means I control my bitcoin.
- BRD.com – BRD – or “bread” as they were known before shortening their brand name down is a popular wallet for Android users. It has very positive reviews and user recommendations across the crypto communities on reddit.
Cold Storage Wallet – I recommend the Trezor.io products. Always buy directly from the manufacturer directly (Trezor.io). Do not buy via Amazon, there have been reports of shady amazon resellers opening the devices, activating them and copying down the private keys before repackaging them and selling the Trezor to an unsuspecting user. Once that user loads up some bitcoin the shady reseller can steal the coins because they know the private keys. I f you do not own your keys you do not own your coins.
I like the trezor and use it myself as it is easy to use, easy to update and secure. If you have any bitcoin you plan to hold on to for the time being then it is probably worth it to you to buy a Trezor.
Steps To Use Bitcoin At A Sportsbook
In as simple terms as I can put it.
- Buy bitcoin (coinbase, cashapp, localbitcoins, a bitcoin ATM, you can see this in-depth guide on how to get bitcoin the first time)
- Send bitcoin to your ‘hot wallet’ (you should create this before buying bitcoin)
- From your hot wallet send bitcoin to your casino of choice, making your deposit.
- Gamble all you want.
- Withdraw from the sportsbook – Give the sportsbook your hot-wallet receive address and have them send your bitcoin there.
- From your hot wallet, send your bitcoin back to coinbase, cashapp or localbitcoins and sell/trade it into $USD and cash that out to your bank account.
- Spend your $USD as normal.
Do not skip the step of sending to your hot wallet in-between the sportsbook and coinbase/cashapp. Always use the ‘middleman hot wallet’ to keep your fiat on-off ramp open to you.
Coinbase will shut your account down as transacting with a gambling site is against their terms of service. Coinbase offers you a built in wallet but they will do coin analysis and shut your account down if you break their T’s and C’s.
Sportsbook Bonuses – Buyer Beware
All sports betting bonuses come with strings attached. Before accepting a bonus make sure you understand the terms and conditions.
Rollover is a term you should be aware of. If you deposit $100 and get a 50% bonus you have $150 to gamble with but you must rollover that amount a multiple amount of times. That multiple can be as high as 30x (usually for casino).
And it’s deposit + bonus x the multiple often. With a 30x rollover requirement on a $100 deposit and a 50% deposit you get the following:
$150(your deposit amount plus your bonus amount) times 30 (rollover requirement) = $4500
That means you have to wager (rollover) $4500 worth of bets prior to cashing out.
That is an example of a string attached that come with the bonuses. Specifically sportsbook and casino bonuses. They all come with rollover.
Friends want to know, ‘what’s a reasonable rollover?”
Well, that depends on you. I’ve seen as low as 3x-5x being offered for pretty solid bonuses on the sportsbetting side. But of course there are other catches.
Bonus funds vs Funds You Can Withdraw (or play poker with)
So even if you are offered a nice and low rollover requirement you are happy with, there are other gotchas and strings to be aware of.
Bonus money is classified by the online casino differently than funds you deposit with and or play poker with. Bonus money is money that can be used to make real money bets and win real money and meet rollover requirements, but it can’t be withdrawn until all of those rollover requirements are met.
Should You Take A Bonus? Yes Or No?
My advice is: do not take a bonus.
It locks you in, it can make your account more confusing as to how ‘up’ you really are and quite frankly just either use the sportsbook because you want to bet online or don’t. Do not try and instantly double your money with some flashy bonus. It doesn’t work like that.
If you win a big bunch of money you want to be able to cash it out! Bonuses lock you up.
Sportsbook and casino bonuses strongly favor the online gambling site, not the player.
The only time I would say sure, grab a bonus is if you are 100% totally gambling for ‘shits and giggles’ and the money means absolutely nothing to you. Then hell yea amigo bonus on up! You can choose from dozens of sportsbook promotions kept up to date over here.
Regular guys like me should avoid bonuses and save yourself the headache.
Poker bonuses are often different. Those are given out as cash earned as you play real money poker games during your introductory period at the site as a reward. This poker specific bonus does not usually hinder your cash out ability.
Sportsbook Deposit Options For US Players
Bitcoin is king.
All the sports betting sites take it and it is unstoppable as it is not controlled by any one central government. Deposit success rates are virtually 100%.
Bitcoin is decentralized and no one owns or can shut it down. No one can stop you from sending or receiving.
There are a few other deposit options, let’s just build a big list.
- Bitcoin and other crypto currencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple
- MasterCard – has probably the highest success rate of the credit cards somewhere around 50% but this number is steadily shrinking
- Visa – has a similar success rate for credit cards
- American Express – yes, even AX is sometimes accepted on and off.
- Person2Person – essentially an international money transfer for individuals that some books have set up for deposits like this. Timely and costly
- Money Orders – requires working with a live chat agent at the sportsbook to be walked through this process
- Bank Wire transfer – takes 3-5 days and a live chat, plus very high minimums. Much cheaper and easier to use BTC
Of these deposit methods, crypto or credit cards are the only one I would be comfortable doing. And credit cards are declining in acceptance rates and increasing in fee’s every single day.
There will be a time when it is crypto or nothing for sports betting.
My guess is likely in late 2020 or 2021 credit cards will be shut down for online gambling deposits and everything moved to bitcoin. We will see and keep up with the market as time moves forward.