Choosing the Right Online Bookmaker

Avoid Sportsbook ScamsIf you’re an online poker player looking to get into betting sports online, the first thing you need to understand is this. “If you select an online sportsbook using the same method you would a poker room – you’re likely to be scammed.”

As poker players we’ve come to trust online poker rooms because the majority of poker rooms are in fact trust worthy. Generally speaking, the largest and most successful online poker rooms are the ones with the best promotions so it’s only logical that we seek out the best offers, deposit and beginning playing poker. The entire process from getting started to cashing out winnings is entirely hitch free and occurs naturally.

The sports betting industry, unlike the poker industry, should not be trusted blindly. The internet is filled with dishonest sportsbooks including many outright scams posing as a successful online bookmaker. These sites use large bonus offers and marketing shills to lure unsuspecting gamblers to post up money to sportsbook accounts. I’ll discuss this issue further but in the meantime let me point out that when searching for a sportsbook the three most important criteria:

  1. Financial Security – look for established bookmakers (5+ years) with no negative payment history.
  2. Gaming Jurisdiction – EU licensed bookmakers are held much more accountable then say Costa Rican or Kahnawake licensed bookmakers.
  3. Reasonable Bonus Offer – Beware of sites offering higher than a 20% sign up bonus.

Here are some bookmakers we recommend:

#1 Pinnacle Sportsbook which has operated out of the Dutch Antilles, known for a strict gambling commission since 1998. With more than 10 years in the business they’ve never missed a single payment and are widely considered to be one of the most trusted and highly respected bookmakers in the world. Pinnacle is also known for offering the lowest margined odds on most sports and for their prompt and hassle-free payouts. To learn more about their offerings visit the Pinnacle website.

Betfair Betting Exchange#2 has operated out of the United Kingdom, known as the strictest of all gambling commission, since 1999. What makes Betfair so attractive is their company is not a traditional bookmaker but rather the owners of the World’s largest betting exchange. They act simply as an intermediary to players betting against one another. Betfair has had great success and in 2003 they won an award from the Queen of England (The Queen’s Award) for their entrepreneurial accomplishments and business ethics. To learn more about Betfair and to get a £25 free bet visit the Betfair website.

If you’re interested in a complete guide with honest sportsbook reviews you can check out another site we own Sportsbook Prop and visit the Sportsbook Rating Guide.

If you’re interested in learning more about sportsbook scams and how to avoid them continue reading as for example purposes we expose the scam.

When it comes to sportsbooks, don’t Trust Most Review Websites!

To support more of what we’ve already discussed earlier in: “if you chose a sportsbook as you would a poker room you’re more likely to be scammed” lets think of these independent review websites. In poker these websites play a big roll as they often provide exclusive bonus codes, rakeback offers etc etc. As poker players we’ve been trained to understand that we often get better deals, support and treatment if we sign up to a poker room through an affiliate, so of course when choosing a poker room we often visit these “independent review” websites.

BetUS Sportsbook ScamTo illustrate the problems of independent review websites as far as sportsbooks are concerned, let’s use the real life example of For lack of a better term BetUS is what we’ll call a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” sportsbook. BetUS has a long history of driving out winning players by basically flat out stealing from them. They’ll pull stunts like canceling wagers after games have started, or confiscating player’s funds by citing minor (or made up) rule violations, and/or do whatever else it takes to steal from winning bettors. Don’t believe us? Do a Google search on the term: BetUs scam. You’ll be amazed out how many hundreds (if not 1000’s) of complaints have been logged by players who have been victims of this dishonest sportsbook called BetUs.

Now that you’ve read the horror stories of people who have been scammed by BetUs, do a Google search on “BetUs Review”. While you’ll find some negative listings, for the most part you’ll find sites praising BetUs as being the best online sportsbook and you’ll find BetUS listed in the top of these, so called, bookmaker rating guides. Even more disgusting is many of these review sites will flat out lie by saying things like: We’ve tested 120 online bookmakers and monitored BetUS for 6 months before listing them here as our top rated sportsbook.

Get a £25 Free Bet at Betfair

There are a number of reasons BetUS is successful in running their scams. One of many contributing factors is their affiliate program, which happens to be one of the highest paying sportsbook affiliate programs in the industry. Most of these so called review sites list BetUS as a top rated room and have BetUS ads all over their website because the BetUs affiliate program pays them the most. The bottom line is there is a ton of money to be made for those who sell out and help aid scam sportsbook websites like

For every person scammed there are a dozen losing gamblers at BetUS. Losing gamblers don’t complain about not being able to cash out, because losing gamblers don’t cash out. As any smart gambling company would, BetUs goes out of their way to give losing players the VIP treatment to ensure they keep losing their money with them rather than elsewhere. Because these losing players are treated so well, they’ll often defend BetUS in various forums, etc. Also defending BetUS in sports betting forums are the shills. Many of these scam sites have hundreds of employees who between fielding phone calls, participate on sports betting and other gambling forums. Of course they don’t disclose that they’re working for a sportsbook but when it comes time to suggest which bookmaker to join they’re usually there to recommend the company they’re working for.

BetUS Gag OrderAnother common practice used by scam casinos and sportsbooks are gag order settlements. A player wins a jackpot and is waiting for $100K, they’ve posted all over the internet how this company has stolen from them. In the end they are offered a settlement, usually for less, but they must report having been paid and continue to remain quiet on forums about the situation in order to receive the full settlement. This happens all the time, and generally forum posters don’t take kindly to people who say they accepted a gag “and lied” as the lying part is considered contributing to the scam. This helps a lot of the no pay, slow pay claims all over the internet die down and people think “well the site sometimes pays slow, but they always eventually pay”.

We could go on and on about how there are many scam operations posing as large and successful bookmakers but I think by now we’ve made the point. Understand this though; there are hundreds of companies as bad or worst than and we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg in explaining some of the techniques they use to rob winning bettors. We strongly suggest sticking to A+ rated websites like Pinnacle and Betair or using honest sportsbook review sites like,, or to aid your decision on which sportsbooks to join.

Note to US Bettors

If you live in the United States refer to this website where you’ll see some of the best choices for Americans. According to their reviews currently this former BetCRIS brand is rated tops.