How we Rate and review Sportsbooks

In our 25-plus years of being the most trusted sports betting authority on the internet, we’ve reviewed hundreds of online sportsbooks. This experience has led us to develop a unique and trusted rating methodology:
The Covers BetSmart * Logo BetSmart System™
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Before being approved and recommended by Covers, our experts spend a few days as a new bettor at each site. Our team of reviewers is composed of veteran sports bettors who know exactly what to look for at an online sportsbook.

We start by signing up and then we do everything that a sports bettor might do in their day-to-day wagering: We verify our identity, we deposit real money, we collect bonuses, we place bets, both pre-game and in-play. We test out their customer service representatives. We check their mobile product and their desktop version. We look into their site security and their licenses. And finally, we withdraw our money.

In other words, we go through each step of the online betting process to give you the most comprehensive review possible.

The Covers BetSmart Logo BetSmart System™

The Covers BetSmart System™ assigns each betting site that we review a rating out of five. This overall rating is comprised of the following five factors:

Bonuses and Promotions Icon

Bonuses and Promotions

Banking and Payout Speed Icon

Banking and
Payout Speed

Key Features Icons

Key Features

Security and Trust Icon

Security and Trust

Customer Support Icon

Customer Support

Banking and payout speed

All bettors want their winnings quickly, so payout speed is an important factor in our evaluation process. We’re also looking for a nice variety of deposit and withdrawal options.

Bonuses and promotions

While a big welcome bonus is always nice, we also check to ensure that the terms and conditions around it are fair. We also evaluate the sportsbook for reload bonuses and promotions for existing customers.

Key features

This is a broad category but we like to see sportsbooks that push the envelope to deliver an amazing experience to sports bettors. Some of the features we look for include:

  • Mobile app
  • Competitive odds pricing
  • Variety of betting markets
  • Live betting
  • Early cash out
  • Streaming options
  • Poker and casino offerings
  • Responsible gambling features

Security and trust

With real money at stake, you need to know you’re depositing at a site you can trust. Before recommending any sportsbook, we’ll make sure they have a valid license for the jurisdiction from the appropriate regulators. We’ll also ensure the website is safe and secure so that your data is protected.

Customer support

If an issue arises, you should be able to have it solved quickly and conveniently by a real person. We like to see different options to reach customer support and how quickly they resolve the issue.

Other factors we consider

While the five categories above are the basis for our sportsbook ratings, we dig deep and look at everything we possibly can at every online sportsbook we review.

  • The sign-up process
  • Verification process
  • Limits
  • Localization
  • VIP or loyalty program
  • User experience

Up-to-date reviews

Online sportsbooks are always updating as they introduce new features or make changes to their bonuses and promotions. That’s why our team of experts is constantly working to ensure that our sportsbook reviews are up-to-date. Our goal is to provide you with accurate information so that you can choose the best sportsbook for you.

Why trust Covers?

Established in 1995, Covers has grown into the premier destination for sports betting information. Our team of experts knows the online sports betting industry better than any other site on the planet. Over 20 million customers per year trust us as their go-to gambling website and you can trust us, too.

You may have seen Covers and our team referenced in numerous places online. Here are just a few of the many publications which have cited Covers as a trusted source of sports betting information.


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Blacklisted sportsbooks

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When reviewing online sportsbooks using the Covers BetSmart System™, we come across a few that we feel should be avoided. We also listen to the complaints from our users. This is why we have created the Covers Blacklist. The sports betting sites listed below are among the worst sportsbooks out there due to payment issues, bad customer support, unfair bet grading, and other questionable practices.

Americas Bookie Logo
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  • Allegations of withdrawal issues
  • No licence information available on site
  • Poor customer service
CRSportsBet logo
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  • Multiple reports of slow payments
  • Allegations of non-payments
  • Risk of account closure simply for winning bets
Zenit Logo
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  • Reports of confiscated winnings
  • Slow customer support response times

To see which online sportsbooks you should avoid or to report a sportsbook, check out our blacklist page.

Top online sportsbooks

Ready to find the online sportsbook that works for you? Check out our top-rated online sportsbooks — we’re confident you’ll find what you’re looking for!

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