Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
Finding the right bookmaker that fits ones particular needs and expectations isn’t always an easy task. With so many sports betting sites out there, punters are given a wide array of options and it can take time to find just the right bookie. Thanks to captaingambling, you don’t have to waste your time on searching.
The goal of this site is to give you all the tools you need to find just the right operator for you. Looking into everything from betting options, over bonuses and promotions, to banking methods and customer support, we try to cover all the bases. On top of all this, captaingambling lets players sort bookies by states, so you can quickly discover what operators are legal in your particular state.
Finding the perfect bookie certainly sounds like a neat idea but things work somewhat differently in practice. There is really no such thing as the ultimate bookmaker that fits everyone’s criteria and expectations. When it comes to betting sports, a lot of it is down to one’s individual preferences and it is impossible for a single operator to meet all of these.
For example, you may be keen on betting a particular sport and there will be operators that focus more on that sport, cover certain events, offer better odds or more accumulator bets and so on. While this bookmaker may not be the best in terms of bonuses, for example, it may still be the best choice for you because it addresses your particular needs.
Beyond sports covered and bookmaker odds, there are things such as payment methods. Perhaps the operator you really like doesn’t offer the payment method you use or are most comfortable with using. In that case, a particular betting site may not work for you even if they pretty much tick all other boxes. At the end of the day, it is a balancing act focused on finding one or two sites that come close to being the best for you and your needs but there is hardly such a thing as the best bookmaker in USA across all categories.
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What Makes a Good Bookie: 8 Essential Criteria
While there is no such a thing as the absolutely best betting site, there are still certain aspects that every bookmaker needs to cover if they want to be competitive. These are the criteria we look at during each and every bookmaker review, which helps us provide players with the most comprehensive and relevant information they need to make their choice.
Betting Offer: One of the most important criteria for every betting site out there is the betting offer. What types of sports are available to bet on, what sorts of markets are offered, etc.
Betting Odds: Do you like the odds? This is one of the first things that you should be looking at when placing any bets. Different sites could offer different odds on the same event and this can be a very important consideration. Have a read of our horse racing odds comparison to see who currently offers the best odds.
Welcome Bonus & Promos in General: Everyone loves free stuff. That’s why we pay some extra attention to those sites that have good betting online bonus offers and other promotions to boost your winning chances.
Customer Support Quality: This is one of the more subject elements that we check. That said, if you are going to put your money on the line, having good customer support team to help if anything goes wrong is very important.
Ease of Deposits & Withdrawals: It is your money so you should be able to have immediate access to it. At least that is what we believe. A good deposit & withdrawal system is a key to a good betting site.
Limits & Payouts: Are you what we could call a high roller? Then you'll be looking for no limit betting sites i.e. operators that support very high limits when it comes to bets and payouts.
Usability & Functionality: Trying to place your bets with an operator that is not easy to navigate can be a total pain. That is why we monitor user experiences to come up with a usability grade for every bookie out there.
Mobile App & Support Devices: In today’s world, a bookmaker app needs to support a wide array of devices and provide punters with easy access on the go. Having a good mobile app is one of the most important aspects a quality betting site needs to cover.
Top 5 Criteria for a Good Bookmaker in USA
Now, to get to the thing that we promised from the very beginning. We are not here to tell you which bookie to choose. After all if you're looking for a sports betting exchange USA, many of our usual bookmaker recommendations will have no relevance for you. At the end of the day the choice is yours. We can only talk about the things that we have seen work time and time again, which seem to be something every good betting operator out there offers.
#1 Are You Comfortable Using Specific Bookmaker App?
This is really what it comes down to when choosing the best gambling websites. It is a lot like going to a car dealership and trying to find the best deal in the lot. Sure, money is going to come into play - it always does. Overall, though, you are probably going to be looking for that smooth ride, especially if you know that you are going to have to spend considerable time in that vehicle. The same goes for choosing your bookmaker. You want the one that just feels right for you and makes it easy for you, personally, to enjoy your time and have fun.
#2 True Value of the Bonus
Almost every bookie offers some kind of a welcome offer for new punters. However, there are many factors that come into play when trying to figure out the true value of a bookmaker bonus. While an offer may seem appealing at first, if it comes with restrictive wagering requirements or the maximum cashout, it may not be as good as it sounded at first. The best in the business offer bonuses that are really appealing to punters and are willing to give up a bit of edge in the process to acquire new customers.
#3 “Exotic” Sports Bets
If you happen to be one of those people that get a kick out of making strange bets like who will win the tip-off on a basketball game or what color of Gatorade will be dunked on a coach you may need to look for very specific sites. The same thing goes for wanting to bet on sailing or cricket. Focusing on finding a bookmaker in USA that handles these types of bets may limit your options but at the same time you want to take your action somewhere where you can bet on the things you enjoy most.
#4 Are the Odds Right?
Sports betting is all about odds and numbers. Even the slickest and the smoothest operator won’t hang around for long time if they offer odds that are subpart in comparison to the competition. If you’re into football betting, you want to put your action with a site that offers the best odds for football games. This is especially important for someone who bets frequently as even small differences tend to add up over a large number of wagers.
#5 Special Features
Most bookmakers are quite similar in many of the areas. The best of the best manage to stand out by offering their customers access to some special features, such as early cashouts or bet boosters on certain events or competitions. While not all of these features are equally as important and not all players will care about them all that much, having some of them handy is always a good thing. Check out our New York bookmakers, top Florida sportsbooks and West Virginia bookies guides to see what our chosen bookmakers have to offer.
Our Top 5 Sports Betting Bonuses
Bonuses are a special and very important aspect of sports betting and they play a huge role for some punters when they’re trying to decide where to play next. Our test winner doesn’t necessarily have to be the best option for someone looking for a huge bonus.
In fact, a bookmaker offering a big welcome bonus may be lacking in some other areas so it may be a tradeoff that some players are willing to make. For example, it may be worthwhile playing on a site with somewhat narrower selection of betting options if their bonus is really big and provides a lot of value for the user. For specific bonus guides, start by visiting our horse racing sign up bonus page.
For some players, the ability to place their wagers on the go is very important. Some people want to have freedom to bet whenever they feel like it and that’s where betting apps come into play. Just like with the bonuses, our overall test winner doesn’t necessarily have to be the one with the best mobile app.
Those players who are interested in mobile betting will want to play with a bookie that offers a smooth, error-free app or mobile site that’s available across all sorts of devices. Furthermore, you’ll want an app that lets you not only bet on your favorite sports but also fund your account and withdraw your winnings with ease.
Why You Can Trust captaingambling Bookmaker Reviews
There are many review sites out there and not all of them have the best reputation. So, it is perfectly normal for you as someone looking to bet sports online to wonder why you should trust captaingambling. What is it that makes this site trustworthy and different from the rest?
First and foremost, this site is fully licensed by the state of New Jersey to provide comparisons for betting operators, which means we have to operate in line with state laws and regulations. Beyond that, it is our goal to really provide punters with the most accurate and up to date information about their betting options these days.
This is why we also maintain and encourage the user community to also contribute with their thoughts, experiences, and reviews. There is no substitute for first-hand player experiences with a bookmaker and we let everyone share theirs with the rest of the community.
Current State of Legal Affairs in the USA
Sports betting on the internet has been gaining a lot of momentum in the US in the past few years, especially after the Supreme Court ruling that gave all states the freedom to regulate this aspect however they see fit within their state borders.
After being outlawed for decades in most of the country, sports betting is finally coming back. As of right now, there are only a few states that have gone through the motions and passed necessary laws to make it possible for their residents to bet in a safe, legal, and fully regulated environment but things are picking up.
That said, it is important to understand that players are only allowed to bet from the states where betting has actually been legalized. For the time being, you can’t place wagers from, say Texas, on a betting site regulated in New Jersey. Those betting must be physically located within the state they’re betting in for their wagers to be safe, legal, and in accordance with the laws.
Not surprisingly, this is the point of confusion for many players. If a site is regulated by a state and they operate legally, why couldn’t they accept bets from everyone who’s willing to do it? While this confusion is natural and completely understandable, there are many legal obstacles to making this possible and the best course of action is to sit tight and wait for your state to actually legalize betting before doing anything. This isn’t to say that players who break these rules are going to get in legal trouble but you’re unlikely to get any of your winnings even if you somehow manage to register, deposit, and place your bets.
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Market Forecast for the Sports Betting Market in the US
Despite current obstacles and holdups, all things seem to indicate that the betting market in the States will continue to grow in the coming years as more and more states pass their own laws and set up bookmaker sites for their residents. While some select states may be slow to do it or refuse to do it altogether, most will likely follow in the footsteps of the few early adopters copying their models and adjusting them accordingly.
Many major operators from Europe are looking to get involved with the US market and they’ll also help move things along faster. These large and established operators have been waiting for the right moment to get involved and with the legislation looming, they’ll do whatever it takes to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
There are still some developments that could put a wedge in the development of online betting market. Another reinterpretation of the Wire Act, for example, could seriously damage all the progress that has been achieved thus far, so there is definitely some fighting ahead. At the end of the day, though, things are looking pretty bright for the industry and we’re likely to see sports betting flourishing across the United States in the upcoming years.
Important Questions & Answers about Sports Betting
To wrap this discussion of online bookmakers, we’ll now address some of the most frequent questions asked by the players. These represent a summary of kind to everything that’s been discussed thus far but you might also find answers to some things that haven’t been fully covered in the main article.
How do I know the site I’m betting on is safe?
To always be sure you’re playing in a safe and regulated environment, place your bets only with the bookies that have been properly licensed by the state authorities. With these operators, you can rest assured everything is done by the book and you won’t get scammed.
Why do different bookmakers offer different odds?
Every bookie is at liberty to set odds however they like as long as they’re not breaking some law by doing so. That’s why it is completely possible and quite common to find different odds offered for the same even by different operators.
How bookmakers make odds?
The process by which bookies establish their odds is quite complicated. They look at different information and use complex algorithms that come up with odds for particular events and markets. Not all operators use the same system although many of them rely on same or similar techniques.
Why bookmakers pay out early?
The best cash out betting sites allow you to cash out bets early, i.e. before the event you’re betting on has completed. They actually do it to limit their exposure because early cashouts are always offered at stakes that are lower than had you waited it out and collected your winnings at the end.
Can bookmakers change odds?
Just like they’re free to set odds, bookies can change them however they see fit. However, in regulated environments, once you place your bet and it accepted, the bookie can no longer change odds for your bet – they can only do it for future bets.
Can bookmaker void a bet?
A bookmaker can void a bet but there have to be some very special circumstances for them to do so. They can’t just arbitrary void bets if they feel like they lost too much. This only happens if there is some sort of cheating uncovered or some other outside occurrence that influenced the outcome of the match.
Is online betting better than in-house betting?
We really think that there is a place for both of these in the world. There are a lot of people who like the whole experience of betting inside a sportsbook. Others love the fact that they don’t have to leave their homes to place their bets.
Are bonuses offered by bookmakers worth taking?
Like with so many things, the answer here is – it depends. Some bonuses are well worth taking while some offers aren’t worth the bother because they will put in too many restrictions, limiting your experience, while adding very little extra value.
If I bet and win with an online bookie, will I be taxed?
Like the rest of gambling winnings, sports betting wins are also taxable in the US. The exact amount you’ll have to pay will depend on the state you’re residing in but you’ll definitely have to pay some taxes on your wins.
Is betting on the Super Bowl a good idea?
Major events like the Super Bowl are usually not the best ones to bet on if you’re looking to make profit. There is much more money to be made in smaller events and competitions. On the other hand, having a bet on the Super Bowl can make watching it much more entertaining, so it depends on what’s more important to you.
Join the Fastest Growing Betting Community in the US
Captain Gambling truly strives to become the best, most accurate, and most fun community for sports betting enthusiasts in the States. If you’re a part of this group, we’d love to have you on board! Sign up today for free and become a member. Help us grow bigger and better by sharing your thoughts and experiences in our dedicated forum sections and have fun chatting with like-minded people!