Whether you are gearing for the NFL season, watching the NBA games or want to bet on any of the many sports available throughout the year, finding a legit betting site is the first step of your endeavor.
While a Google search may seem as the easiest way to find an online sportsbook to take your wagers, more often than not taking the advise of long-established review websites like ours is the best way to go. The search results are not really curated, depending on a mystery algorithm to rank the order of appearance of the websites, so it’s anyone’s guess whether a betting sites at the top is legit or rogue. Add to this equation the ads that could be almost mistaken for an ordinary result and your chances of landing on a legit betting website become very slim.
We will talk about this in depth further into the article, but if you are not concerned about any of this and simply want to see the current ranking of the legit betting sites this year, here is the skinny:
Legit Betting Sites for 2023
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Legit Betting Sites Reviews
Exceptional customer service, nice app, ease of transactions and overall great product is what led to the Bovada sportsbook reclaim the title of the top legit betting site a few years ago. Many pundits erroneously predicted that the legalization of sports betting in many states, and the consequent flood of “established” land-based sportsbooks, mostly from Vegas, would lead to the demise of the popular offshore sportsbooks. Of course, this was never the case and Bovada shows us how competition helps improve the product, regardless of the industry.
Established more than 20 years ago, this is the epitome of a legit betting site. It has never closed its virtual doors, it has gone through the many rounds of hard times plaguing the world over that time-frame, yet continues to tick like a Swiss watch. Keeping up with the times, Bovada was the first website to come out with an actual honest-to-god app for both the iOS and Android, not just a smaller, mobile version of their website. The betting menu works perfectly on smartphones, everything is easy to complete and even the slots are a thing of beauty on the Bovada mobile app.
From all the legit betting sites, this is by far the best option for the everyday bettor, i.e. unless you are looking to place a 6-digit bet, there is nothing the rest of the betting websites can offer you which is better than Bovada. Quick and effortless banking, both for funding your player’s account and for cashing out your winnings, an enormous coverage of all the sports markets, great odds and excellent customer service is what’s propelling this sportsbook to the top. The multitude of bonuses and promotions are nothing to sneeze at, either.
Another very old and reputable online sportsbook, Bookmaker is by far the most dependable legit betting site over the years. While some sportsbooks may have a bit of a hard time expediting the payouts of customers around big games, such as the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals, one of Bookmaker’s strengths has always been it’s speed of cashing out the player’s winnings. Add the very strong finances this legit betting site boasts, and you have easily found one of the best online sportsbook around. This sportsbook is certainly geared more towards the pro bettor, with large bet limits, adjustable odds, ability to deposit and withdraw large amounts of money, etc. While a casual player would have no issues here, they may feel a bit more at home with our top choice for the legit betting website above.
One of the biggest advantage bettors have when wagering here is that most of the time the betting odds offered would be the best around. There is no need for an odds-comparison service if you bet with Bookmaker, almost always they offer the best value, and sometimes you can pick and adjust your own odds, taking a bit of a hit on the payout, of course. Great for players who wish to squeeze every single point they can out of their wager.
There are a few reasons why we did not rank Bookmaker at the top of our list of legit betting sites.
Firstly, the website and the app look extremely dated, especially when compared to the top quality products of other legit sportsbooks, like Bovada for instance. We have to admit, the website is fast and functional, and for some bettors this could be a good thing, even preferred. But one can’t shake off the feeling that every time they visit the sportsbook’s website they get beamed back to the early 2000’s internet age. Again, we’d be the first to admit that some websites have become just way too complicated to navigate, especially if you value and need the speed when placing live bets. But it could certainly be spruced up a bit.
Another sore point is the limited live betting options, again, in comparison to the leader of the legit sportsbooks ranking. We would love to see Bookmaker spending more time increasing the offerings in the live-betting area. But if you prefer to place your bets ahead of time (and possibly locking in some sweet early odds), this is hardly a concern for you.
Game Time Bets (often shortened to GTBets) is our preferred choice for a legit betting site to cover the middle ground. It is great for the casual, non-pro bettor, the folks who like to place a bet or two to make the weekend a bit more interesting and the game more fun to watch, yet the pros and the high rollers could also find value in what GTBets has to offer. All said, however, we recommend that the pro bettors choose Bookmaker over GTBets for the simple fact that this betting site has the tendency to limit high rollers quickly. But if you are making “normal” sized bets, there would be no issue on this front.
The bonuses are very nice, regardless of your bankroll, the odds on the games stay competitive throughout the year and cashing out your winnings is a breeze. It has been around for a very long time, considering it was the offshoot of the famous VIP and Nine sportsbooks, extremely popular betting sites a decade ago. They were consolidated to the current GTBets and continue to provide the same great service.
What does it mean to be a legit betting website
We consider a legit betting site to be any online sportsbook which has been around for quite a while and offers the full product you’d expect at any of the offline sportsbooks and betting shops. To be considered a legitimate betting site, there must be is a clear history, for many years, of the sportsbook paying their customers in a timely fashion, without making them jump through hoops.
This is by far the main factor in considering a betting site to be legitimate – paying when the customer wins, no questions asked. A lot of what we consider to be rogue sportsbooks are more than happy to take your bets when you are loosing, and will even pay out your small wins, but the real trouble starts when you win big. At that point, unless you are betting at a legit sportsbook, forget about getting paid. A myriad of reasons will be given as of why your big win ticket won’t be paid, ranging from erroneous grading and/or odds, missing documents, previously unpublished win limits, to outright ignoring both your cashout and the many attempts to contact them about it.
The best legitimate betting sites must offer odds on the most popular sports in the world, at the very least, although we do expect each sport to offer plenty of additional betting markets, such as props, side bets, exotic wagers, handicaps, etc.
Legit Betting Sites: Why choose one?
This may seem like a silly question, but here are a few advantage of choosing one of the legit betting sites ranked on our list, compared to picking one from the search results, which we often equate to throwing a dart while blindfolded.
History (those who don’t know it are doomed to repeat it)
The legit betting sites listed here have a very long track record, well-established history of over 20 years in the industry each, and can be considered the cream of the crop. While there are many other “online sportsbooks” on the internet, the majority of them are fly-by-night crooks, looking for a quick buck. By choosing one of the top 3 betting websites you can be certain that you will be a customer of only the very best.
With the number of hackers increasing seemingly by the minute, along with their sophistication, making sure you process your transactions with a legit sportsbook is extremely important. Unfortunately, this facet of online gambling it is also often ignored by the potential customer. People tend to assume that any website is secure, mostly because it’s easier this way. But ending at a sub-par betting website could cost you in more ways than just not getting paid. Not surprisingly, gambling websites are a juicy target for hackers, scammers and the like, considering the large amount of money moving to and from them every day. A quality online sportsbook will always make sure they are safe and secure, both for their customer and themselves.
There are plenty more reasons to why you should always choose a legit betting site from the rankings. Things that may seem minor and inconsequential at the moment, become a big deal once you are affected by them. For example, the speed of payouts the legit bookmakers offer may not be a top priority of you right now, but once you experience a 2-3 month wait for getting your money out of a shady sportsbook, your opinion of the need for same day payouts the legit betting websites offer will chance in an instant. Or the fact that the bonus offers may not be as big as some unknown sportsbook you had the unfortunate accident to land on, but if you dig down deeper, you would quickly recognize that the terms and conditions are much better. We can go on forever why a legitimate website is preferred to the seemingly inexhaustive list of bookies you an find lurking online, but most people should’ve got the idea by now. So good luck with your bets and stay safe out there.