How to avoid online sportsbook scams

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In an industry rife with fraud, selecting an honest online sportsbook has never been more crucial. Dodgy operators prey on unsuspecting victims — players who haven't done their homework. From bonus fraud to slow-pays or outright stiff jobs, players are conned out of more than $1 million per year. SBR aims to educate bettors on the proper manner to evaluate a sportsbook from financial strength to customer service.

Sending your hard-earned cash to an online sportsbook should never be considered gambling. It is investing. Just like most people wouldn't blindly invest in a stock, smart bettors do not hastily choose online sportsbooks. For every organization with an immaculate payout record and state of the art facility, there are 10X as many shoe-string operations with a handful of minimum wage employees manning the phones in a rented office. In the internet information age, there is no need to play Russian roulette with your paycheck.

The goal of is to do the heavy lifting for players. SBR recognizes that players gravitate to bonuses and perks, often rolling the dice on a start-up company seeking value, rather than doing any digging into the company background. SBR offers a ratings guide, sportsbook reviews, as well as business newswire and scam alert service. When players find themselves locked in a sportsbook dispute and feel no light is at the end of the tunnel, SBR does its best to mediate and make recommendations based on its extensive experience as an online sportsbook and casino watchdog.

A reader submitted a question to the SBR mailbag recently on PrimeTimeSports (SBR rating F), a Costa Rica based company indexed on the sportsbook blacklist.

User: I stumbled across a website, PrimeTimeSports, that says they are rated A+ by SBR and have your stamp on it even though they are rated "F." What's going on?

Snapshot of the scam sportsbook's fake SBR endorsement:

Prime Time Sportsbook is not the first company to deceptively market the SBR logo. Operators who recognize the value of the SBR rating in terms of public perception but realize their own business practices land itself on the blacklist aim to snatch up the low-line fruit — players who haven't done research.

Companies like Oddsmaker (SBR rating F) spend over six figures annually on marketing programs and operate world-class sportsbook software. From the outside, Oddsmaker has all the bells and whistles consistent with a high quality operation. Unfortunately for players, Oddsmaker has confiscated over $200,000 in winnings from bettors who were alleged to be non-recreational players. 

SBR urges players to check the sportsbook ratings guide before depositing to a new sportsbook, or consult with fellow players in the sportsbook industry forum. Not doing so is sort of like driving without a seat-belt, or going too far with an unknown partner.

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