How to pick a good bookie. Online sportsbook assessment methodology.
We only publish Reports and Recommendations on those online bookmakers that PASS our tests.
We FAIL approximately 85% of all sports betting sites we test but based on legal advice have elected not to publish negative reports or a rogue bookies list.
We collate and maintain a set of industry benchmark data for all major online bookmakers.
The BookieLabRat.com team comprises of:
- US, UK, European and Southern Hemisphere members
- Casual punters and professional gamblers
A formal test scorecard is completed by each tester for each online bookmaker tested.
To ensure objectivity the scorecard is based on the following criteria:
Bookmaker Security and Reputation
1. Size of company and extent of business operation (eg start-up vs subsidiary
of major gambling player) and length of time in operation
2. Regulatory practices (eg licenced in Gibraltar, UK, Curacao, etc)
3. Professional intergrity and Business structure - how easy is it to find
ownership details, financial and audit information and full contact details?
4. "Noise factor" from forums and the media. If there is bad press - how did the
Pay In / Cash Out, Money Management
1. SSL or similar site security in place around financial transactions
2. All popular payment options available, debit, credit, web wallets... (Regional
favourites if casino is targeted at a specific market, eg UK-centric).
3. Fees & withdrawal limits and practices compared across bookmakers & other
online gambling sites.
4. Delays in payout due to non-bank related processes
5. Account holder Identification processes and constraints around cash-out, if any
(achieving a balance between anti fraud and blatant "use of funds" practices!)
6. Currencies accepted and reputable exchange rate processes.
7. Legislative or jurisdictional limitations are stated clearly on site before you start the Account establishment process and/or deposits funds.
Ease to Find & Place a Bet - Site Design & Content
Tested by both experienced and novice punters this aspect analyses the following at each Bookmaker web site:
1. How quickly a user can, once registered and funded, locate the odds on a
specific series of bets (1X2, Asian Handicap (if applicable), Acca, Special) and
then place the bets.
2. How quickly a bettor can locate game results and cash out winnings.
Points are scored for overall good site design and lost for "frustration factor".
Help, Support and Customer Service
1. Number of support channels offered (toll free phone, non-toll free telephone,
fax, email, live chat, a call me back service, etc.)
2. Quality FAQ sets and getting started help is on site and is easy to find.
3. Multi-language support is offered and delivers. (Site and/or phone support in
languages other than English where the online bookmaker targets global
4. Friendly, professional responses (set questions are asked of each bookmaker
tested, some basic and others more advanced and specific to betting and
5. Response time. Immediate and/or minutes not hours or days depending on what
was promised via the bookmaker web site (and type of question).
Bookmaker Bonuses and Punter Promotions
1. "Up to" values offered and how clearly the Terms and Conditions explain the
bonus qualification and eligibility requirements. (Assume no lawyers required)
2. Achievability (bet-through and other deposit requirements) for both casual
and professional punters.
3. Bettor loyalty incentives (ie not just join bonuses)
4. Variety and fun-factor - bonuses are an integrated part of the bookmaker's
operation. For example related to new service launches, special event
promotions or linked to a given outcome (eg cash back if player sent off) &
potentially reward any registered punter not just the high rollers.
Bookmaker Sports Betting Coverage
Football (soccer) - Number of leagues covered for each main country and tournament. (E.g. first division only, no lesser level leagues scores less than betting available on second division and alternate leagues).
Bet types available: 1X2 and standard accumulators plus game score, tournament winner, first/last goal scorer, top season/tournament goal scorer, etc.
Core punting coverage: Football, Golf, Tennis, Motor Racing
Additional coverage: NFL, Specials (like election results, financial markets,
Not included in assessment: Horse racing (as there are lots of specialist track bookies).
Speed of odds to market - are they early posters? Do they hold a price?
Bookmaker Odds, Fixed, Asian Handicap, Special Bets on Offer - Value
Scored based on the consistency and best value of the odds pricing by that bookmaker over the test period. Data is collated by bookmaker and then assessed and ranked across all bookmakers tested (We analysed the performance of 105 betting sites in the last assessment round).
Testers add comments like "Best odds against favourites" or similar to the reviews as these may assist you to select a bookmaker to match your specific gambling style.
Online sportsbook review specialists. About us. About BookieLabRat.com.