Pearls of wisdom for sports bettors and casino gamblers

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Online sports betting and casino gambling has never been easier. A few mouse clicks or swipes from your smartphone will have you logged in and ready to roll in no time. It's easy for the technology challenged, too. Assuming you can operate a telephone, many companies accept wagers the old-fashioned way: Give me $500 on the Yankees. What's the line?

However, for as easy as it is to wager, it's even easier nowadays to go bankrupt.

The following tidbits should help you stay in the game and improve your overall wagering experience.

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” 

You must be prepared to do your homework. Start by researching a good sportsbook: A company that has stood the test of time with excellent financial history. SBR advises players to choose a sportsbook rated minimum B+. Avoid start-up companies. Be skeptical. Sports forums can be incredibly valuable, but customer feedback may not always be genuine. 

"This sounds too good to be true."

It probably is. Realize that sportsbook bonuses come with rollover requirements. This means you must wager a certain amount of times before you can ask to be paid. Also understand that new sportsbooks offering 100% bonuses are likely destined for failure or are outright scams.

"There's always tomorrow."

One of the most common mistakes sports bettors make is chasing losses. Bankroll management is key. Bettors must understand there will always be that blown save in the bottom of the 9th, the interception returned for a touchdown that causes the total to go over ... it never ends. However, your gambling days certainly will if you extend beyond your means.

"Do you need my fingerprints too?"

Accept the fact that for as many honest Abes like yourself, there are a million more ruthless, blood-sucking scammers who drive up industry costs and pickpocket bookmakers every chance they get. As a result, good sportsbooks have Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines. If you make a deposit by credit card be prepared to scan or fax copies of your card along with other documentation. Keep a flash drive preloaded with copies of your passport, driver's license, recent utility bills. This will save you trips to Kinkos and preserve some of your sanity in the long run.

"You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

The truth is, many customer grievances are not all that important to the clerks answering our calls. Clerks have their own set of problems, not the least of which might be their long hours for mediocre pay, so an irate customer whining more than a two-year old is not likely to garner much sympathy.

"The customer is always right."

We're not always right. Period. Be willing to accept that your anger could be misguided, and the source of your frustrations ... well, might just be because of something you misinterpreted. Double check facts on your own time, but do not waste the time of clerks without expecting loss of good will.

Most of all: Keep gambling fun. Not everyone is destined to be Billy Walters, but you can make a nice side income for yourself by having a sensible go at it. If you get stuck, check out the SBR Handicapper Think Tank, where like-minded forum posters share ideas and betting strategies.

Follow on twitter. SBR has been the leading online sportsbook industry watchdog since 1999. Players in need of assistance should submit a sportsbook complaint form. Players with general questions may also contact SBR by writing to

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