My intention was always to find a career that allowed me to explore my love of sport, which eventually led me to a journalism career. After five or so years, I was looking for a new challenge, and writing about sports from a betting perspective was the obvious choice: it was new and interesting, but allowed me to stay in touch with the sports I loved so much.
It didn’t take long for me to notice that the way most publications write about sports betting is very, well, samey. I carried on regardless, but the dissatisfaction was mounting, and right when I thought it was going to peak, I was offered the chance to write for PlayersBest.com. I haven’t looked back since: joining this incredible ride has given me the opportunity to write content I am genuinely proud of, and which I am sure will serve you, the reader, well in the future.
Pilot Joe Davies is part of the sports team at PlayersBest.com. He contributes betting tips, news articles, bonus reviews, and strategy guides.
Welcome to the dark side! Here at PlayersBest, our experts are compiling honest reviews on blacklisted sportsbooks to keep our readers from venturing into the black hole of online sports betting. It’s an unfortunate task, but a necessary task.
Below, we dissect what makes a sportsbook turn sour, why sportsbooks would look to take advantage of their customers, and a few warning signs for our readers to look out for. Not only this, but we hone in on what we expect legitimate sportsbooks to offer clients and why we at PlayersBest would only ever recommend licensed and regulated platforms.
Mission Statement: What is a blacklisted sportsbook?
Similar to a blacklisted online casino, a blacklisted sportsbook looks just as presentable, legitimate, and honest as any other online sportsbook. However, blacklisted sportsbooks hold one major difference – they are out to better themselves dishonestly.
The “dishonestly” is crucial in this sense as, of course, all bookmakers and online casinos will be looking to make a profit – after all, they are a business. However, there are many clever tactics honest bookies will use to entice users in, such as sign-up bonuses, promotions, or enhanced parlay odds. Unfortunately, many of our blacklisted sportsbooks will be much more sinister in their approach to profit from their members.
Illegal sports betting has been around for years, but with tighter restrictions, legal processes, regulations, and licenses to be obtained, things are looking up, and we are finding untrustworthy sportsbooks are soon being shut down.
With that being said, operations are still very much alive to this day, and, unfortunately, many US bettors are still being conned out of their hard-earned cash. Later, in our blacklisted sportsbook US review, we will dive deeper into the main warning signs that would suggest to our experts it is time to “Abort Mission!”
Our experts work tirelessly around the clock to offer our readers the most honest, authentic, and comprehensive reviews of US sportsbooks and online casinos. It is when we are compiling these reviews, we stumble across platforms that may not necessarily be illegal US sportsbooks but still deserve a spot amongst our blacklisted sportsbooks.
There are a whole host of reasons a sportsbook could enter our sportsbook abyss, but the main reasons revolve around blatant disregard for customer welfare, not honoring bets, withholding the cash-out facility, voiding bonuses, or refusing to credit accounts entirely.
A journey far and wide: Keeping our readers safe and discovering blacklisted sportsbooks across the US
Here at PlayersBest, we do not go out looking to blacklist sportsbooks. Far from it, what we would really like is to research into a platform, compile our findings, and deliver the great news that we have found the greatest online sportsbook across the US. However, no mission can be completed without a few side quests, and, on occasion, we must encounter one of the bad guys.
Below, we have itemized a few key features we look out for when compiling our sportsbook reviews. We have also added in a few obvious warning signs that would suggest all is not as it seems.
Licensing and security
First and foremost, it is worth noting that any online sportsbook that features on the PlayersBest main site is legal, legitimate, safe, and secure. We want our readers to feel safe when selecting their next online betting home, and a great way for us to confirm a site’s security is by reviewing the licenses they hold.
Once a legitimate license is confirmed, our experts would then look at the type of encryption technology that is used on-site to ensure that client funds are kept safe and free from the risk of hackers. We would also review where client funds are stored in the hope that they are kept separate from the sportsbooks.
We at PlayersBest would certainly be concerned if any of the above cannot be confirmed or located. A lack of licensing instantly allows for rules and regulations to be disregarded. More information can be found by visiting our blacklisted casino reviews, while a lack of encryption technology and segregated bank accounts enhances the risk of fraud or theft.
Bonuses and loyalty programs
Roll up, roll up! Time to get our hands on something out of this world… Or, maybe not! Throughout the online sportsbook industry, it is well known that sizable sign-up bonuses and promotions are a great way to entice fresh customers to try out their sportsbooks.
However, if an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. Our reviews dive deep into the terms and conditions associated with each sign-up bonus and promotion. We will uncover the specific wagering requirements, the minimum deposit and maximum withdrawal allowed, any promotional codes needed, and which payment methods will unlock your bonus.
There is a fine line between the good, the bad, and the ugly – and it’s usually uncovered when we take our trip through the bonus terms and conditions!
A critical component to all aspects of life. Whether you are doing a weekly food shop, getting your hair done, returning some clothing, calling a cab, or having difficulty placing a wager, you would expect a first-class service.
When we look at blacklisted sportsbooks, we look at many factors within the customer service header, including the contact methods available, the knowledge of the support staff, the reliability and response time of different methods, as well as whether any self-help tools are available on-site.
Red flags for us at PlayersBest would include rude or ill-mannered customer support agents, a lack of options to contact customer support, slow or unresponsive agents, and a lack of any self-help or FAQ page.
Usability and accessibility
Any online sportsbook needs to be smooth, fast, innovative, clean, and crisp in all it delivers, from the ease of placing wagers, depositing into your account, opting into the latest promotions, or skimming through the selection of betting markets.
A lot of online sportsbook users will now wish to find a platform that offers a mobile-friendly app or at least offers mobile browser compatibility.
This section is the toughest for our experts to uncover whether a site truly deserves to be blacklisted or if they are just a little behind the times. Similarly, some of the most intricately designed platforms turn out to be putting on a front, housing an illegitimate sportsbook!
An easy way to detect whether a platform is hosting illegal activity is to review any fees and charges attached to well-known and reputable payment methods.
Many e-wallet giants would not wish for their name to be tarnished by being associated with illegal or dishonest sportsbooks. However, without regular checks of each payment provider, it would be difficult to tell if your platform was dishonest in the fees and charges associated with your deposits and withdrawals.
Here at PlayesBest, we suggest choosing a deposit and withdrawal method and sticking to it. Review the fees associated directly with that method and be wary of any obscure charges to your account.
Danger! Danger! – Five warning signs to help avert danger
Now you understand the positive attributes we look out for when curating our US sportsbook reviews; it’s now time for us to highlight things that stand out for all the wrong reasons!
Check for legitimate licensing.
As mentioned previously in our blacklisted sportsbooks US review, licensing is a vital part of any secure platform.
Often, a legal sportsbook will display their license certification like a badge of honor at the bottom of their homepage. If not, you will only have to travel a short way to find out this information – possibly heading to the About Us section or FAQs.
Our suspicions would arise if, after some time, there is still no sign of a legitimate license. Customer service is unable to provide a confident answer. Or if there is an unrecognized license shown at the bottom of their landing page.
Bonuses that are too good to be true
There is no doubt that bonuses and promotions are a great marketing tool to help lure in new customers. However, we would advise that the most appetizing are often the hardest to capitalize from.
We would advise reviewing the terms and conditions before opting into any special promotion or sign-up bonus and, specifically, before depositing any money into your account. It only takes large wagering requirements or an excessive minimum deposit to change your appetizing bonus into a nightmare.
Negative real-user reviews
Bookies that find themselves featuring in our blacklisted sportsbooks list will have no doubt come across some negative press in their time.
Before joining your preferred platform, and before reading through our own review on your chosen platform, take some time to look at some real-user reviews. There is no better feedback than that of those who have used the platform.
If you are finding regular mentions of phrases like “avoid at all costs,” “frauds,” “haven’t received my bonus,” or “scam,” then it may be worth considering another sportsbook!
Complex terms and conditions
We briefly touched on wagering requirements earlier in our blacklisted sportsbooks US review, but we believe it is worth highlighting again in its entirety here.
While wagering requirements are a huge aspect of the bonus conditions, complex general terms and conditions can cause users just as many headaches! Dishonest sportsbooks will rely on users ignoring the terms and conditions or only skim-reading when signing up.
Unfortunately, this then opens up a whole range of potential problems further down the line. If you have agreed to the terms and conditions, only to later realize that the minimum account withdrawal is over $1000, or the time it takes to withdraw your funds could be up to 30 days, it is very difficult to argue against your platform – unless, of course, they are an illegal outfit.
The availability of your betting options may seem like a strange warning flag, but we feel it is worth mentioning in our top 5 today.
Before signing up to your chosen platform, you will have access to study the sporting markets available to you. However, what you will not have access to is how easily and readily available the cash-out feature is.
Some of our blacklisted sportsbooks will have found themselves featured due to dishonestly abusing the cash-out feature, meaning they have withdrawn the facility from user’s bets, suspended the feature for a prolonged time, or not honored the cash-out amount.
Reporting back to base – The black hole of the online sportsbook world
Trying to explain why any human does something dishonest is difficult to understand if you are not that way inclined. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why our blacklisted sportsbooks have opted to deceive their customers, but most of the reasons surround money.
From our combined years of experience, it appears that the dishonesty begins at the sign-up process, and once you are in their trap, it will continue right through until you try and withdraw your funds.
The first tick on the blacklisted sportsbook box is the false sign-up offers made available to you. Often, blacklisted sportsbooks will make use of 100% deposit matches up to any value upwards of $500 in the hope of capturing your attention. If they have proven successful, terms and conditions will be displayed in very small text or in a separate window that requires a lot of digging to uncover the true terms associated with wagering and withdrawing.
Once you are on-site, the next step is to get you to deposit into your account. With plenty of deposit methods available but no mention of fees or charges readily available, you are quick to deposit into your account in the hope of unlocking your sign-up bonus.
While using the blacklisted sportsbook, do not be surprised to discover more promotions and offers readily available for you to take advantage of; this is a simple technique used by fraudulent blacklisted sportsbooks in the hope of getting some more cash out of you.
When reviewing the betting markets and options available to you, all may still seem above board. With wagers being placed with ease and in accordance with the odds and stakes-placed.
Once your first bet has resulted, this is when you should expect to receive your initial deposit bonus at the very latest. If you are still yet to receive your bonus, I would consider reviewing the terms and conditions again or, alternatively, discussing promptly with customer service.
If customer service is non-responsive, responds with little information, or refuses to help, alarm bells would now be ringing.
If you haven’t already, we would suggest attempting to withdraw your current deposited cash back into your personal account. Unfortunately, some blacklisted sportsbooks will operate identically to a legitimate and safe sports betting platform up until the withdrawal stage.
At this point, depending on the amount in your account, the blacklisted sportsbook may attempt to send error messages, ignore your emails, decline further deposits or withdrawal requests, or, potentially, close down your account or their website entirely.
To avoid this happening to yourself, we would advise taking note of our advice throughout this backlisted sportsbook US review, as well as taking advantage of our online sportsbook reviews.
Here, we take an expert look into the pros and cons of each betting platform, paying particular attention to the sports offering, usability, customer service, licensing, and bonus offers. We highlight how accessible your chosen platform is, whether the loyalty program lives up to the expectation and our honest conclusion of the sportsbook in question.
Abort Mission – Avoid our blacklisted sportsbooks
Thankfully, we can see the light and have made it out of the sportsbook abyss. However, before we do, we want to enlighten you with some industry knowledge to help you on your own quest to a healthy and profitable sports betting career.
Firstly, check for a legitimate license – we cannot stress this enough! With a legitimate license comes boundaries, rules, regulations, and a platform that must adhere in accordance with said boundaries, rules, and regulations! Find yourself a platform without, and you could find yourself a platform with plenty of problems!
Secondly, no matter how boring, check the terms and conditions! Whether it is a bonus, sign-up offer, loyalty program, or the general terms of your platform – read the terms and conditions! It will save your blushes later, and possibly your hard-earned cash too!
Finally, make use of our honest US sportsbook reviews. Here at PlayersBest, we aim to provide our readers with the most authentic reviews of the best sportsbooks across the US. Stay away from our blacklist, and discover a platform that is licensed, user-friendly, and supports the sporting markets you are after!