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How can I distinguish a reputable bookmaking site from a fraudulent one?

How to distinguish from bad site to good one

What makes a good betting site so much better than a bad one? It is a good question - because even seasoned bettors may not have an easy answer. But it is vital to consider for anybody looking to join a quality betting service or someone starting out betting online. 

Fortunately, there are many ways you can tell if the betting site you are considering joining is a good or bad option.Below are some easy ways to tell the good betting sites from the bad, and the great from the good!

Licensing and Regulation

Here's the good news for anyone considering a betting site. Most countries that permit betting sites have strict legislation in place to regulate their operations. Betting operators are required to be licensed by a local or regional authority, such as the Gambling Commission in Great Britain. This regulatory framework ensures a certain level of quality and safety across the industry. 

This means that almost all betting sites have a minimum set of operating standards. These standards also pertain to ensuring customers receive a fair, safe, and reliable wagering experience. 

Ensuring where you bet is fair, regulated and secure is the foundation of any good betting site. Never consider joining an unlicensed and unregulated site.

Good betting sites will also clearly display: 

  • Terms & Conditions of the site
  • Privacy Policy
  • Licensing details and certificate number

Furthermore, you should also be able to see where the company is registered.

Safer/Responsible Gambling Commitment

It is the duty of betting sites to ensure that they offer responsible gambling support to their customers. The best sites not only do this but also offer a variety of tools for customers to use to ensure that they gamble responsibly. 

Good sites will prominently display Safer Gambling options, including a dedicated section on what options they offer. Additionally, a good betting site will display prominent links to support groups that can help customers who may be at risk of problem gambling. 

The best sites will then add to this by offering blog posts or similar that guide their customers on what to look out for when wagering and identify the behaviours that put them at risk of problem gambling. 

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Extensive Customer Support Options

At some point, customers may need some guidance or assistance when betting with an operator. It is then that the quality of customer service options becomes vital.

Most sites will have an extensive help section, sometimes labelled as an FAQ section. Many now also have an option to email customer services. That is the bare minimum a reputable site should offer.

The better betting sites will also offer Live Chat, while the best tend to offer a telephone number and even a call-back facility. Ideally, these services should be available 24/7, or at the very least at the times you are likely to be using them. 

Great Value Welcome Bonus and Other Promotions On Site

All sites generally offer a welcome bonus to new customers nowadays. Very few do not. However, the quality and value of these welcome deals can vary considerably. Bonuses can involve new customers receiving free bets, bonus cash, free spins, bet insurance or any combination of offers.

The best value welcome deals are easy to access and offer good value for money, without forcing the customer to jump through hoops to receive the bonuses. Also check out the wagering requirement on your bonuses. Some can be as little as 1x the bonus, or even have no wagering requirement. However, some can be as high as 15x, 20x or even 40x your qualifying deposit and bonus, which makes them far less appealing. 

In addition to the Welcome Offer, the best sites will also offer a wide range of other promotions, especially across the most popular sports, but also covering other sports too. Some of the best sites now also offer free games that offer real cash prizes for customers to try and win every week. 

Finally, some sites also offer a loyalty scheme and these can be lucrative, especially if you are a regular bettor on the site.

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Huge Choice of Betting Markets & Bet Types & Features Available

It goes without saying that a good bookmaker offers a wide range of sports to bet on, but also a wide range of fixtures and tournaments for each sport. Additionally, there should be a wide range of markets available on each fixture, allowing you free reign to make the bets you want to make.

The better sites have features such as Cash Out, Bet Builder, Partial Cash Out and more. Many will also offer free-to-play games, or even fantasy sports options to allow you to diversify your wagering options.

However, the greatest sites will be those that combine a wealth of markets available across a wide range of sports (including esports and Virtual Sports) alongside attractive betting options.

These will include both single and multiple selection bets, as well as the option to place less commonly-used betting options (such as Banker bets, Forecasts, Tricasts etc). 

Consistent Good Value Odds

It is not possible for a bookmaker to offer the best odds on every market all the time. However, good betting sites tend to offer at least the average mark, and often better than the average on the majority of their markets. 

Odds comparison sites are a good way for you to check whether the site you want to join generally offers its customers good value odds. 

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A Wide Selection of both Deposit and Withdrawal Options - With a Verification Protocol

The more payment methods a site has open to you, the better the choice you will have both in terms of how you want to fund your account, but also in terms of the withdrawal options available to you too. You should check if a site offers unnecessary delays on withdrawal options, or charges a fee for withdrawals. 

Ideally, withdrawals should take no longer than a day or two and, in many cases, could be instant. Furthermore, the site should not charge you for depositing or withdrawing funds. 

Many sites now also verify their customers' identity and address, and this is a good thing. It prevents fraudulent users from using the site and protects against under-age gambling. The minor inconvenience of the verification process is outweighed by the benefits it offers.

The best sites will offer a range of payment options including debit cards, eWallet services, Prepaid cards, bank transfers and in many cases, cryptocurrency.

Access to a Range of Other Wagering Options

The best betting sites now also offer a range of other options from your login. This can include items such as :

  • Casino
  • Live Casino
  • Poker
  • Esports
  • Virtual Sports
  • Fantasy Sports
  • Bingo
  • Non-Sports Betting Markets (eg Politics, TV Gameshow Betting)
  • In Play Betting (Ideally with Live Streaming) 

The more options you have available from a single login, the more versatility you will have in future when betting on the site.

The good news for potential betting site customers is that the industry is buoyant and there are a great many good or better betting services available, than bad. Which one is best is entirely down to your preference!

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