Offshore US Sportsbooks are Hugely Popular – This Updated 2018 Guide Explains Where to Bet and What to Expect
When it comes to betting at offshore sportsbooks from the US, there is plenty of choice.
Books range from big and long-running brand names which are all-in one gambling portals – to the new sportsbooks which cover the latest trends like in-play betting and mobile phone betting options.
This page will give you an idea of your choices, the pros and cons of each book and then goes on to cover some of the practical questions involving moving money on and off of the sportsbook sites and some simple but effective safety guidelines.
Since US friendly sportsbooks are not able to operate from within the US, these are licensed by surrounding countries (and native reservations) where betting it legal and regulated. If you were to look at a map these are dotted around the US in a semi-circle starting in central America and going up though the Caribbean into Canada.
The biggest brands are covered there, and as you will see from the section on safety below – I recommend you stick with the well-known players. The table below has my 3 picks, each for a different reason (after all, not all bettors are the same!).
|BEST US SPORTSBETTING SITES 2018|
US Friendly Sportsbetting Sites 2018 –Summaries of the Different Sites
- Bovada: Used to be known as Bodog, trusted and long running site, great for big events and has a racebook, mobile betting and huge casino / poker room. Legendary promos!
- BetOnline: Long running Panama based operator, famous for their huge reach (niche sports + selection of lines on majors) + lifetime 25% bonus. Easy deposit options.
- 5Dimes: Behind a dated looking site is an amazing book, popular with sharps as their lines are super-tight, again a wide range of betting options and great bonuses too.
- InterTops: Served the US for more than a decade before taking a break – InterTops are now back and better than ever. Recreational gamblers will enjoy their promos.
- Pinnacle: Famous for their reduced juice lines, and for attracting the big bettors and celebs to their book. Mobile betting available and a very solid betting interface too.
US Friendly Sportsbetting – Getting Money On and Off
Once you have found a book which suits you, the next question is how to get money on to place your bets – and how to get your winnings safely off again.
This is covered in depth elsewhere here at High Tech Gambling in this Sportsbook Deposit Methods Guide. ) For this page I will summarize the main ways that US residents are getting money onto and off of the sportsbooks every day.
Getting Money on to US Sportsbooks in 2018:
It surprises many people, but the easiest way is simply to break out your credit card. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at almost all of the offshore books – and Amex is occasionally also on the list. You are making an international purchase when you deposit, so you need to make sure your card is allowed to make international transactions.
Some cards still get declined, though this should not stop you enjoying a bet. Backup options include pre-paid Visa cards (the type you can buy from gas stations), money transfers (think Western Union or MoneyGram types of service), BitCoin (easier than you might think) or even voucher systems. Recently a well-known US sportsbook was stopped from using Amazon.com vouchers to accept deposits (though you never know what other vouchers are currently in use).
The key fact is that there are many ways to get money on board of US bookmakers in 2016. The books could not operate otherwise. If you have any issues with this, then I strongly recommend you get in touch with customer services at your book – this is their specialist subject.
Best for Deposits: In my experience Bovada.lv are the best when it comes to moving money – check out the options at www.bovada.lv.
Withdrawing from US Sportsbooks in 2018:
Only some of the methods used to make deposits also work for withdrawals. In fact the number one method of getting your winnings back off again is very old-school. This involves a paper check, which can be either mailed or sent by courier to your home.
Banks will accept these with no problem, though you will need to wait a few more days while the funds clear into your account.
Many of the US friendly sportsbooks have a free withdrawal by check once per month, charging a small processing fee after that. Some of the other methods involve slightly bigger fees. I recommend that you make yourself familiar with these fees before you sign up – especially if you are betting at a smaller / newer operator that may not have the payment processing side fully solved yet.
Alternative withdrawal options include money transfer services and BitCoin. You may also be able to transfer to other bettors at some sites.
Staying Safe – How to Tell Which Offshore US Sportsbooks are Legitimate
The super-fast answer to the question of finding legitimate offshore sportsbooks is to stick with those with a track record.
It is already a tough market to operate in, and those who have a reputation for good lines, good service and easy payments are the ones that survive though the years. If you take the 5 books that I have covered above, all of them have 10 years or more of history with no major scandals.
If you bet at smaller and newer books, then you are naturally taking on more risk. Staying with the old and established players may not be completely risk-free, but in comparative terms this is a very safe option.
Here is a quick overview of my personal checklist, if any one of these is missing then I recommend you move on to the next book:
Licensed: All of the jurisdictions on the map above issue licenses, make sure your sportsbook has one.
If they offer poker or casino games I like to see external verification of their deal / random number generator
Contact information including a phone number and preferably an address on their website
No major scandals or complaints online (you’ll always get 1 or 2 sore losers, I am talking about major issues here)
Good range of deposit options (avoid books that only accept some obscure voucher system)
Offshore betting is very safe these days, and has been running for many years without major issues. If you stick with the older and bigger operators, there should be no issues.
For me, Bovada.lv ticks all the right boxes.
They have more than 10 years of service (they were previously known as Bodog), are licensed in Kahnawake and have a reputation for the best promos online as well as the easiest deposit methods.
Check out the latest promos for yourself at www.bovada.lv now!