Although there are certainly other factors gamblers should consider before sending money to an offshore sports book, I believe the list below can be used as a guideline by both the seasoned gambler and the novice.
1) YEARS IN BUSINESS Some sports books will flat out LIE to you on the phone and on the Internet. I would strongly suggest staying away from sports books that claim to have been online before 1995 because there were virtually NONE at that time.
2) PAYMENT OPTIONS There must be viable payment methods that suit YOUR needs and not just theirs. You have every right to inquire about how fast you can access your money when you ask for it and what the cost will be.
3) LOCATION- Similar to real estate, some countries have better track records than others. Antigua, Costa Rica, Panama, Australia, the UK and Curacao are some of the locations that would be on my list to consider.
4) HIGHER BONUSES AND PERKS EQUAL GREATER RISK When will gamblers ever figure this one out? If the deal sounds to good to be true, probably is.
5) AVOID ANY SPORTS BOOK WITH THE WISE GUY/SYNDICATE RULE Simply put, this is a license to steal.
6) READ THEIR RULES AND REGULATIONS CAREFULLY Some unscrupulous operators have ridiculous rules buried somewhere in this section. One of the more dishonest ones is for them to get away without paying you if they believe you to be a wise guy or involved in a syndicate. Folks, if you and a friend are betting together and winning, that can be used against you by a sports book that has this clause. They can claim you two are a syndicate and not pay out. I have seen this happen.
7) ASK TO SPEAK WITH A SUPERVISOR OR MANAGER If you are told this person is in a meeting, chances are you will continue to hear this all season. I would avoid any sports book that says this more than one time.
8) CHECK OUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAYING This may be the most important factor to consider when opening an account. There is a very popular posting forum on the www.bookiesforum.com where gamblers share their experiences with others. But we aren’t the only ones who serve as a watchdog in this industry. I’d also recommend checking out www.askthebookie.com and Sportsbooks.NET. All of these establishments have been around a long time, and they do their best to protect the gambler.
9) HOW DOES YOUR SPORTS BOOK HANDLE DISPUTES? In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be a factor. But we don’t live in a perfect world. I would demand an answer to this question from any sports book you are considering sending money. We are one source that is willing to arbitrate on behalf of the gambler, but the sports book has to be willing to allow this to happen.
10) WHAT IS THE FINANCIAL STATUS OF YOUR BOOKMAKER? I seriously doubt you will receive an honest answer, but the value in this suggestion is to test them for outrageous lies and claims. If they tell you they have more money than any Fortune 500 company, the chances are very high they are lying. Run away while the going is good.