What are the key factors to look at when reading sportsbook reviews?

Apr 18, 2024 - by staff

What are the key factors to look at when reading sportsbook reviews?

Authentic customer insight can be an invaluable tool when determining the quality of a business or service. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find authentic reviews in a digital world in which bots, AI, paid advertisers and influencers masquerading as subjective market experts can help drive their own narratives.

While it’s challenging, it’s not impossible – and that’s the first point to note. We will be diving much deeper into the crucial factors that should help you find sportsbook reviews that are objective and holistic. We’ll also consider the finer elements of sports betting reviews, helping to give you a broader picture of what a particular platform truly offers.

What are sportsbook reviews and why are they important?

As we alluded to in our introduction, getting an accurate, authentic picture of a company’s offerings can be a challenge. While TV adverts and social media promotions might be glitzy and highlight their strengths, getting a natural feel of what they’re about is usually something you can grasp from organic word-of-mouth reviews online. Sportsbook reviews help bridge the gap and put you in the shoes of other punters you can relate to.

Online reviews are crucial in maintaining the balance – and this doesn’t just apply to sportsbooks, either. If online reviews were absent, it would allow the more prominent names who have more significant influence to push narratives and muddy the waters about the potential pros and cons they have. Luckily, the internet has meant that we can do our own DIY reviews, whether on YouTube or writing them ourselves. While this opens the door to reviewers who can be fairer, it can also lead to a wider breakdown in standards, so it’s important you know what to look for.

How reputable is the reviewer?

You can check this fairly easily, especially if they’re a YouTube blogger or have a central website they use to conduct all of their sportsbook reviews. Be sure to look out for any paid advertisements or over-the-top language used to describe a specific provider. Vloggers can be highly influential; you only need to look at how Jake Paul has gone from a YouTube entertainer to fighting Mike Tyson to see how much reach popular vloggers have.

That’s not to say that reviews or reviewers can’t be complimentary – but if they’re using language like “best online sportsbook” or other similar statements, then it’s always wise to seek out other reviews and opinions to see whether this is mirrored throughout the sector or whether there are negatives to consider that this reviewer didn’t touch on.

Is the review in-depth, or does it gloss over key areas?

A review can often seem in-depth, but once you scratch beneath the surface, it’s quite superficial. An in-depth review shouldn’t just list the sports betting markets available; it should also cover every corner of the website and mobile app.

Providers like DraftKings also have a renowned NFL fantasy football service that millions use. Still, they’re also developing their sportsbook, which is one of the most popular in the US. A DraftKings sportsbook review should cover all of its elements, and provide an overall comment on its strengths and any areas that need improvement.

Detailed review example

So instead of generic comments like “they provide NFL and NBA markets for the Super Bowl and other key tournaments”’, a more in-depth review should read something like “although the app initially had problems loading, we spoke to Michael, a customer service agent who advised we had not downloaded the updated version of the app.

“This issue rectified itself, and while we found some of the college football parlay markets slightly thinner than the competition, the provider more than made up for this by offering free, detailed insights via their blog page.”

So, as you can see, expanding on specific areas and highlighting that they’ve spoken to somebody within the company, had app issues and browsed other areas of the site or mobile app to read through some of the blogs on offer shows that the person reviewing the sportsbook has taken time and effort to see what was on display instead of just regurgitating generic observations that could apply to any sportsbook.

A detailed review may also examine niche sporting markets, such as gambling on PPV wrestling events, fringe sports like volleyball, or specific athletics tournaments. Again, you’re looking for detail and knowledge – and you’ll be able to identify it quickly if it’s in a particular area of sport you enjoy.

Exploring bonuses and promotions

Another angle to consider is whether or not the provider has taken a look at the welcome promotions or bonuses that are on display. Usually, a sportsbook review that covers a welcome bonus is an ironclad guarantee that they’ve actually explored the site and not just used a range of YouTube reviews or other online reviews to form their own rehashed opinion of a site that they haven’t fully explored.

You want to find the same thoroughness we mentioned in our previous section. Instead of saying things like “You can use your bonus to bet on football and horse racing”, a more detailed sportsbook review, which actually shows they’ve used the promotion themselves, would read more like:

“Although the 60x playthrough requirement is high, and we were only able to use the bonus on selected NFL betting markets, the max cashout of $50 meant that we were able to withdraw the majority of our winnings. It wasn’t paid out in free spins or bet credits you couldn’t redeem for real cash – which is another positive. By making sure you read the terms and conditions properly, you can determine whether you want to use the welcome bonus or whether you’d rather use your own money, which isn’t subject to these rather high playthrough requirements.”

You can see the differences between these two reviews. One reviewer has clearly used the site and explored the promotion, as well as read the terms. The other has glossed over it and applied a general sentence that could apply to any sports betting promotion, but also fails to give any sort of meaningful insight into what is on offer.

Licensing and responsible gambling

A good review will discuss the sports betting platform’s license and give you a list of countries where it can operate. Exploring licensing is important because it will provide you with solid proof that the reviewer is aware of how licensing works, regardless of the jurisdiction.

While many countries and legislative bodies have written mandated responsible gambling practices into law, meaning that sports betting platforms must adhere to and highlight responsible gambling services

alongside their commercials, reviews that dive into this angle can vary considerably. A review that clearly details the licensing and highlights the quality of the sports betting platforms and responsible gambling awareness are two vital considerations as well.

Final thoughts

It’s a smart move to combine several of the factors we touched on today. Once you ensure a review is detailed, has a solid reputation and isn’t used as an advertisement for the platform, you can take the opinions and writing more seriously. We recommend seeking out many reviews from different websites and reviewers so that you have a broader selection to choose from and can build your own experience regarding the crucial components to check.

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