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Sportsbook Review

Sportsbook.com, or Sportsbook.ag as it now known, is a privately held online gambling site which offers sports betting, online poker and casino games to a US target audience. It is one of the biggest sportsbooks in the US, but it has had a history plagued by controversy.

The company was launched in 1996 by Patrick Callahan as a site called PlayersOnly.com, which moved from a telebetting operation to one designed to take advantage of the internet betting explosion.

Callahan was the first bar owner with a bookmaking business to accept credit cards and by late 1998, the site became Sportsbook.com.

By this time, Sportsbook.com was booming, offering customers the opportunity to bet on a variety of sports as well as poker and casino games, helping it become one of the leading lights in the US betting scene.

However, this is also where the issues began to arise.

In October 2001, the New Jersey Attorney General initiated civil actions against several online gambling web sites, including Sportsbook.com. Though these cases never went to court, they all related to a number of disputes with players who claimed the sites were delaying pay outs on winnings.

Sportsbook.com were alleged to have regularly frozen accounts of big winners when they requested a cash out, claiming that these were “account audits.”

The players in question were eventually paid, but they had to go through a lot of hassle to access their winnings, submitting extra documentation and being forced to wait much longer than usual to get paid.

These issues led to the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Prior to that bill being passed, Sportsbook.com was owned by Sportingbet, who owed several US sportsbooks. After the UIGEA Act was passed, Sportingbet sold all its US sportsbooks to Jazette Enterprises Limited, for the sum of $1.

There was a view taken by some that this deal was struck because Sportingbet was a publicly traded company, so its shareholders were vulnerable to criminal prosecution by the US government if they continued with their services in the US.

By this stage, Sportsbook.com’s reputation was shattered as punters simply didn’t trust them and it has taken a long time to get back on track.

Since 2006, they have taken a number of steps to improve their image, including being licensed and regulated in Antigua after authorization by the Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gaming.

This allowed the site to accept players from the United States (from certain states) and most other countries around the world.

In 2011, the company did change to Sportsbook.ag from their .com domain, and once again, this was viewed to be a move to hide their past, as federal government had seized many online gambling sites .com domains in recent years.

Sportsbook.ag will always have this negative reputation over their heads, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to become bigger and better.

As part of Jazzette Enterprises, Sportsbook.ag own several other betting sites, all of which operate with the same cashier, share the same odds and have the same Merge Poker Network player pool. These include CarbonSports.ag and PlayersOnly.ag.

 

Pros & Cons of Sportsbook

Pros

  • Comprehensive betting markets for sports, casino and poker with US sports in particular having a tremendous variation in the types of bets on offer.
  • Extensive number of offers and promotions to get involved with as well as annual and weekly competitions.
  • Very user friendly on both the desktop and on mobile, making it perfect for both novice and experienced punters.

Cons

  • Poor past reputation due to a history of lengthy delays with customers waiting weeks to access their winnings from their account.
  • Bonuses and promotions are quite complicated, with most requiring customers to rollover their bet a number of times before being able to benefit from it.
  • Lack of live streaming and audio for in-play betting which is disappointing for a sportsbook who strongly push US sports.

Sportsbook Overall

The site itself is good enough, without standing out in any way and once you have signed up to access its services, there is something for every type of punter, with betting on every sport you can think of and a comprehensive list of casino and poker games to get stuck into.

Their offers and promotions may be a little complicated with regards to terms and conditions, but the amount on offer is very impressive indeed.

However, all of that matters little if there is any lack of trust. When a site has such a poor past reputation and has delayed allowing customers to withdraw their winnings for over six weeks, it is difficult to recommend it.

Sportingbook User Interface

Sportsbook.ag’s website is very easy to navigate, with a clear layout that makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

Like most established betting sites, you will find the main betting tabs at the top of main site, with sports, live betting, casino, poker and promotions all in attendance. The left-hand side provides all the latest betting markets while in the centre, you have the latest in-play action and the key events that are coming up.

This is a site that has been designed with consideration for both punters who are new to the online betting scene and also the regulars. Everything is where you would expect to find it.

Sportsbook Betting Markets

One thing that Sportsbook.ag can’t be criticized for is a lack of markets to bet on.

They have an extensive list of sports, casino and poker markets to peruse through, though as you would expect with a US sportsbook, the sports betting is very much focused on sport from that part of the globe.

NFL, basketball and baseball take centre stage, while there is also plenty of markets available on sport including football and even on events like e-sports.

The types of betting available is very impressive, with straight bets (point spread, total and moneyline), parlays, teasers and round robin all included in the sportsbook. Props, futures and even cross-sport props are also on offer.

This site is famous for its Super Bowl proposition bet offerings, where you’ll find hundreds of different ways to bet on the game, and with the NFL, they really do push the boat out in terms of innovation with the bets they provide. For instance, they offer half-price lines on Fridays for the NFL and basketball to stand out from their competitors.

Sportsbook Bonuses and Promos

One area in which Sportsbook.ag really looks to stand out is through the comprehensive list of welcome offers, bonuses and promotions that they offer.

In terms of the welcome offer for new customers, if you deposit $50 or more when you sign up, you’ll receive a 20% match bonus, as long as you rollover that bet a certain amount of times for either horse racing, sports or on the casino.

The only drawback for prospective customers is that this offer is hidden from view until you sign up with them, so more could be done to make these more visible on the site.

You also have a huge list of bonuses for poker and casino, including ‘Match Bets’, where first-time casino players will receive a match on their first bet of $1 to $100.

Once they have done that, they will receive the match bonus immediately after making the bet.

Sportsbook Content (Live Streaming, Audio, Radio, Blogs, Previews)

In terms of additional content, it has to be said that Sportsbook.ag really does struggle to deliver.

There isn’t any live streaming or audio to accompany their in-play betting services, though there are graphics and stats on display.

For a betting site that is so strong on US sport, it is disappointing that there are not any previews or tips for the NFL, basketball or baseball, which many other betting sites cover in-depth.

Sportsbook In-Play

Sportsbook.ag offers plenty of in-play betting options for all sports, and though the experience they provide may not be as immersive as other sportsbooks, there is plenty to keep you entertained.

A lack of live streaming and audio is a drawback, but Sportsbook.ag do deliver live graphics and stats to inform you of how an event is progressing.

Odds are quickly updated in keeping with the action in-play, and there is a plethora of betting options for you to get involved with.

For instance, you can find second half lines for NFL and third quarter lines for NBA games, so you always feel that you are part of the action on the field.

Sportsbook Stats & Form

The media offerings on the site may be a little bare, but in terms of statistics and form, Sportsbook.ag certainly deliver.

They provide stats and form for the key US sports, which include results, points scored and averages.

There is even a tips page, which highlights betting trends in American football and basketball that you should look out. These include looking at lower ranked teams to pull off an upset against sides who may ‘struggle to raise their game’ against weaker opposition.

Banking with Sportsbook

This has to be the biggest drawback with Sportsbook.ag after so much dissatisfaction from customers on how long it takes to make withdrawals from their accounts.

In terms of making deposits, there are limited options in transferring money into your account, with cards the main option while Bitcoin is also a method they accept.

Sportsbook.ag claims to have “the highest credit card acceptance rate in the industry,” so making deposits via Visa or Mastercard will be a simple process.

One plus point is that just $5 is required as a minimal initial deposit, which is fairly low compared to most betting sites.

However, when it comes to withdrawals from your account, a number of problems arise. Each customer is allowed to make one withdrawal per month without incurring a service charge, which are offered as courier cheques, gift cards or bank transfers.

The minimum withdrawal for cheques and gift cards is $50 while the minimum for bank transfers is $500.

Not only are these overly complicated, but that isn’t even the worst part. Whichever withdrawal method you choose, it is estimated to take between 6 and 8 weeks which is painfully slow, and really is a huge turnoff.

Customer Satisfaction with Sportsbook

As we have already seen, Sportsbook.ag don’t have the best of reputations.

Lengthy delays in the past with withdrawals means it is a betting site which has often been placed in the avoid box, with many customers mentioning the difficulty in getting a response when this problem arises.

In terms of contacting Sportsbook.ag, their customer service has improved over the years but still needs a lot of work.

They offer a 24/7 live chat service on the main site while via their email address, they promise to get back to you within two to four hours.

If you want to speak to one of their support team via the phone, they do not currently have a toll-free number, so you will be charged for calling which is disappointing, especially for a company who are looking to improve their customer satisfaction rates. 

Sportsbook’s Mobile App

It has to be noted that Sportsbook.ag have done a very nice job with their mobile app.

Just like the main site, the interface is well organised and very user friendly, with betting available on sports, casino and poker games.

In downloading the app on Android or via the App store, customers are rewarded with a mobile wager for free up of up to $25, which can be used for wagering at the casino or on horses.

While Sportsbook’s features are user friend, Betting.net hesitates to recommend it to readers. Sign up with caution.

 

Written by Tom Scholes

Tom Scholes is a huge sports fan with football and baseball his main passions. He follows football in England, France, Italy and the USA and when he’s not busy writing, Tom is usually making short documentaries or teaching music and history.

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Our Opinions of Sportsbook

This US sportsbook rebranded itself for the European and UK markets. Given the controversy-laden past and the lack of decent promotions and features, punters are better off with another sportsbook, if only to place bets with a trustworthy and reliable bookie.

  1. Poor track record amongst punters lead Sportsbook.ag to still be viewed poorly
  2. Complicated offers and promotions for punters
  3. All in all, a hard to use sportsbook