Best online sports betting & casino gambling sites 2019
Betting Planet is a free online betting and wagering resource that specialises in providing up-to-date website reviews, sports previews and tips, casino game guides and where to play online for real money.
The team at BettingPlanet.com is excited by 2019 and we anticipate it being a huge year of growth as we further develop this site. We take great pride in delivering content that is written by handicappers who know what they are talking about. They make a living in the industry and are passionate about sport, and betting on it.
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Sports and racing betting online
For fans of sports betting, the Internet offers a great variety of wagers all over the world, sometimes even under the same roof as a racebook and online casino. More exotic forms of “sports” betting (wagering on political outcomes, reality television shows, and other non-sport events) is now commonly available as well.
Each online betting site offers its own set of odds, though online odds and the numbers coming out of Las Vegas are generally agreeable thanks to industry competition. Because it is ostensibly cheaper to operate a online sportsbook, some sites are able to offer discounted lines or other promotions that brick and mortar venues can’t replicate. A common tactic used by Web-based sportsbooks is to advertise a line of -105 or (more commonly) -108, in direct competition with big-name traditional sports betting entities and their established -110 offer.
Online sports wagering guides
The first online betting website opened for business in 1994. Within five years, Internet wagers on sporting events and casino games hit the $1 billion mark for the first time. Current estimates of the amount of money wagered over the Internet tentatively are suggested to be around $100 billion. For an industry that began just over two decades ago, that is a staggering amount of growth.
Placing wagers online is significantly different from live gambling. The most obvious difference is the lack of face-to-face contact between the bettor and the house. Transactions are handled via your computer or mobile device rather than by human beings. Other important distinctions between traditional and web-based gaming are discussed below.
Betting remotely is also similar to traditional casino or sportsbook in some important ways. Gaming is available to Web-based gambling customers in the same legal, licensed, and regulated format found in brick and mortar casinos and other gaming venues. That means wagering using your computer can be just as safe and fair as placing bets at race tracks and casinos.
Some of the more popular sports to wager online include:
- Soccer or Football
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Ice Hockey
- Australian Rules
- Horse racing
- Rugby League
How to find a sports betting site
Wherever you are in the world, there is a betting site which will accept your custom. In the USA very few states have a regulated online wagering industry, but the good news is there are plenty of betting sites willing to accept your custom.
Other places like China, India and Pakistan have very strict gambling laws prohibiting online wager, but this does not mean millions of sports fans don’t bet every day. In fact India has a reputation as one of the biggest punting countries in the world, largely fuelled by its obsessiveness over cricket (T20, Tests, ODI).
Then there are countries like Australia, Ireland, England, and many European countries which have fully regulated sports betting environments with licensing for bookies. This means if you are based in a country like this it is smart bet with bookies operating under your laws to offer you a layer of protection.
BettingPlanet.com has reviewed many old and new sports betting sites and made recommendations based off our research, other peoples opinions and many years of our own experiences to bring you one of the most comprehensive guides online.
Bookies we recommend
- William Hill
- 888 Sports
- Guts Sports
- Paddy Power
Common features of good online betting sites
Like any $50 billion a year industry, the world of Web-based betting has many participants. Picking through the pile of websites offering real-money bets would take hours. Researching Internet sportsbooks and casinos in order to find a site to do business with is important, especially for new online gamblers. Here are some questions to ask to help bettors new to the scene compare Internet gaming venues:
Effective/Accessible Customer Service: Does the site offer multiple ways for customers to get in touch with representative, like telephone, live chat, and email? Is it available 24 hours a day?
Variety of Games / Bets / Wagers: Does the site offer the kind of games I like to play? Do they have a sportsbook that offers odds on the games I bet on? Are there a variety of games and odds types?
Player Promotions and Bonus Offers: Can I earn cash or extra bets for making a deposit? Does the site continue to offer promotions to customers that reload their account? Does the sportsbook also offer rewards or free bets to customers?
With mobile betting driving even more customers to the industry, the use of the Internet to place real cash wagers is growing. Legislation is changing around the world to regulate and license gaming from and for new jurisdictions. Gaining an understanding of the online betting world is important for gamblers interested in the future of their hobby, as it continues to make wagering more convenient and potentially more lucrative.
Real money online casinos
Visitors to a modern online gambling website will likely find multiple types of gaming on each site. The trend in the online gambling industry has been toward expansion, so that a single URL can lead a player to bingo games, table games, live poker, horse racing, betting, and even games available through mobile apps designed for use on a smartphone.
Some example of this type of gambling company is Bet365 which boasts both online casinos, sports betting and various other gambling related activities. In the UK 32Red has a sports arm, a very popular online casino and a bingo offering, with all of it licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
The reality of of online casinos is that there are well over 1000 different options, where you can realistically expect to wager safely, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t rogue sites out there, but most are operating above board.
As always if your country has licensing available for online casinos you are probably better of using these casinos and in turn the protection the governing body will provide to the person playing, if there are any issues. Basically it gives you an avenue of appeal.
Many casinos that accept players from a certain country, won’t have licensing in this country, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t safe, it simply means you are playing under the conditions of the host country, which could be the UK, Malta, Gibraltar or one of many licensing bodies with good reputations.
Best online casino software
Online casino software companies have to be licensed and audited just like casino operators have to be. This means the good companies like Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech and Betsoft are all licensed to operate in countries where legal casinos are. Many of these same top shelf companies will also operate in grey markets, or markets that don’t have specific laws addressing online casinos, like Australia and New Zealand.
Because some countries like the USA and China have banned online casinos it means the best software operators don’t allow their products to be marketed to these countries, forcing casinos facing these countries to use alternatives like RTG, which was actually founded in Atlanta, before moving its operations to Costa Rica in the late 1990s. Despite some controversy years ago RTG has kept a relatively clean sheet and is a good option for those of us living in markets with strict gambling laws.
What games are available at online casinos
What types of games are available for online wagering? Anything a player would expect to find on the gaming floor in Atlantic City or Las Vegas is available at online casinos; baccarat, craps, blackjack, roulette, keno, slots, video poker, and other titles (most available in several versions and rule variations) most-often seen at brick and mortar casinos are all found at any worthwhile Web-based casino.
Useful casino game guides:
- Online blackjack
- Online baccarat
- Online roulette
- Video poker
- Online slots games guide
- Playing Pai Gow at online casinos
- Online pokies
What is the best online casino
Like we have mentioned previously on this page it comes down to where you are in the world. The difference in quality of games is huge between a company legally able to offer games in a regulated environment and those operating in grey or illegal markets. BettingPlanet.com takes great pride in recommending the best online casinos. Our tables which you can see above are geo targeted, meaning they only show casinos you can sign up at.
If you follow the review links on the table you can read a full review of each casino that you personally can sign up at, including what deposit methods it has, what makes it worthy of a review and the types of games it has on offer. We also generally speak a little bit about the background of the casino, like its licensing and ownership.
Online casino sign up offers
Online casino sign-up bonuses
Online casinos offering new players an opportunity to double, or sometimes even triple their initial deposit. These sign up offers are extremely popular with slots players because these games clear the wagering requirements at 100% at most casinos.
Often included in your welcome package is free spins on a slots game. For instance the casino you are signing up might give new customers up to €100 free and 100 free spins on a NetEnt slot.
Included will be the terms and conditions which could include clauses that you must turn the money over 35x before you can withdraw it. This is just a way of ensuring the player doesn’t simply get their free money and withdraw it. A term on the free spins could be that any winnings are capped at a certain amount, meaning if you won a huge jackpot you would not be eligible to claim the full amount. What we are saying is that it pays to do your research on the terms and conditions of bonuses before investing your hard earned cash.
How do you find the best casino bonus? You might ask. Well it’s pretty easy. Check out the table above which clearly displays the online casino bonus sign up offer for each casino. For further details you can click the link to the review which will run you through the ins and outs of each individual site’s welcome package.
How to deposit at online gambling sites
In an ideal world, one that is likely to happen in the future, everyone would simply use the safest and most secure deposit method to fund their gambling account, but because of draconian in laws in places like the USA, China and many other Asian countries it has forced us to get creative with our gambling deposits.
Some gambling sites have agents on the ground who will facilitate the deposit, others will only accept methods like bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards and payment processors like Western Union.
For those lucky enough to be in a country with regulated gambling you are spoilt for choice with payment processors like Paypal actively pushing their ability to deal in large sums of money.
Visa and MasterCard are the two most prevalent types in the world, and 1000s of sports bookmakers and online casinos accept them. Sometimes USA punters could run into issues trying to deposit with Visa of payment blocking to gambling sites enacted by their bank. But largely this is the most common deposit method in the world and also one of the safest.
One of the most common gambling deposit methods. Can be facilitated in any number of ways with the most common simply being to transfer money from your online account, to an account owned by the gambling site. You could also phone or visit your local bank to organise a bank transfer to a casino or sportsbook. Another bank transfers type could be Western Union, which allows you to transfer money from one of the many outlets around the world, to any bank account in the world.
Put a third party between your bank details and the gambling site by using a web wallet. You may not want to use your credit card at a gambling site, for one reason or another, but many people are happier using their card to fund a web wallet, which can then be used to fund a gambling site. Some of the more popular brands include Neteller and Skrill with millions of people using this services all over the world.
There is too many different pre-paid cards to name them all here, but as a general rule these cards can be bought from 7-Elevens, convenience stores, supermarkets and many other retail outlets. Some businesses like Paysafecard even allow you to buy the card online. They work much like a credit card, except you have money pre-loaded onto it and can only spend that amount. They are often used by USA and China residents for gambling deposits because they can get around payment processing issues. Some of the more popular cards include pre-paid Visas and Mastercards, Paysafecard and Skrill pre-paid cards.
Is online betting and casino gambling legal?
It all comes down to what country you are based in. Much of Europe and the United Kingdom has a fully regulated gambling environment for both online casino and sports wagering. But some big goliath like the USA and China have strict gambling laws, while not insurmountable, do make it more difficult for us to bet online.
In time BettingPlanet.com will link to a lot more pages covering the specifics of many countries gambling laws and how to bet on sports or play online casino games from these places. For now though, we will cover some of our main readership areas, including the United States, Australia, China and the United Kingdom.
USA gambling laws
USA punters unfamiliar with the online betting world often have questions about the legalities of these bets. They may be familiar with the legality of bets placed in well-known gaming jurisdictions, such as riverboat casinos or the big gaming floors in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, but not comfortable with questions about the legitimacy of laying wagers online.
The answer to questions about Internet gambling legality is complex, and depends on at least three different factors:
- Local (State or Regional) Gambling Laws
- Federal Gambling Laws
- Licensure and Regulation of Gambling Websites
Bettors in some parts of the United States contend with state laws that explicitly outlaw wagering over the Internet – for these people, placing bets over an Internet connection is technically illegal, though instances of state action against individual bettors is very rare. If there are no state or regional laws that apply to a bettor’s jurisdiction, they must then look to the federal level.
The US gambling market is one of the largest in the world and contains some further legal complications. Though it is not explicitly illegal for individual Americans to place wagers over the Web, it is illegal for some financial institutions to make funds transfers to “known gambling operations.” These restrictions make it slightly more complicated for US bettors to fund their accounts but not to legally participate in online gaming.
Other countries besides the United States have laws against the practice of placing any type of bet over an Internet connection. Gamblers concerned with the legal status of an online sportsbook or casino betting should consult a legal professional familiar with gaming law in their jurisdiction.
Obviously, the use of a online betting site that’s legal, holding a current license to provide Web-based gaming, and under regulation by a third party is a factor in the legality of wagering via an Internet connection – sites that follow the rules and post appropriate information regarding their legal status are easy to find and make their auditing details public and easy to access. Illegal gaming sites don’t offer this information and are to be avoided.
Australia sports betting and casino wagering
Australian laws surrounding sports betting and casino wagering are completely different to each other. Australian sports betting is fully regulated with many bookmakers based in this country. There are some restrictions with live or in-play betting over the Internet ruled illegal in 2014. But overall there are many online bookmakers, based in Australia, which will accept your hard-earned money.
Online casinos are more of a grey area. While the IGA rules that it’s illegal to host an online casino in Australia, it is perfectly legal for its citizens to play at “offshore” websites. Throughout 2015 there was much debate over these laws and a review was ordered into it, but it appears there will be minimal changes to the existing model in the near future.
Australians are some of the biggest gamblers in the world, so many casinos hosted in places as diverse as Malta, United Kingdom and Costa Rica target this lucrative market. This means there are huge bonuses and incentives on offer if you look in the right places.
United Kingdom gambling laws
The United Kingdom has fully regulated sports betting and casino wagering environment. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is the governing body and they issue both bookmaker and online casino licenses. Popular events to bet on include horse racing, football (the English Premier League) and cricket.
Many of the biggest names in online wagering like William Hill, Bet365, Paddy Power and Betfred began operating out of the UK and do the bulk of their business in this jurisdiction. Most have expanded to include an online casino in their operations with the full array of real money games available.
There are many stand-a-lone online casinos based out of the UK, which offer a huge selection of games, from either one developer like Microgaming, or multiple software companies.
Kenya sports betting and wagering
Sports betting in Kenya is extremely popular with it available at both land-based betting venues and online. It has been an online pursuit for close to 10 years now with the Kenyan Betting Control and Licensing board in charge of keeping tabs on it.
Some of the more popular sports to bet on include horse racing, with the only track in Kenya being Nairobi’s Ngong Race Course.
Football, particularly the EPL which features numerous Kenyan players and the Kenyan Premier League, which has steadily grown domestically and internationally for years.
Cricket is another to be popular with sports bettors with the national team making inroads in recents years.
Online casino gambling is a tougher proposition for Kenyans with the only sanctioned site being BetKenya, launched in a joint partnership between Amaya (Pokerstars parent company) and the government. Other online casinos based in offshore countries are banned – although many players get around this.
Germany online betting and casino laws
The laws surrounding online sports betting in Germany are tough with OddBet the only legal site. Although many Germans bet at websites based outside of Germany, much to the government’s disgust. The German government has made numerous attempts at stopping offshore wagering, including a highly publicised case against leading betting company Bwin. The 2007 case opened the floodgates and now many offshore companies accept punters from Germany.Technically Germans are banned from betting at online casinos. But millions of people do at offshore websites. There has been a growing movement to look into the policing of online casinos and expect to see movement in this area in the not too distant future.
About the team at BettingPlanet.com
This website is owned and operated by 8th Rule Media and has a team of dedicated writers, journalists, editors and sports and gambling fanatics at its disposal. We have team members in the USA, China, Australia and many other far flung places. We firmly believe that there is no point writing about something unless you are passionate about it, so we do our best to make sure our authors are qualified.
You can email us at [email protected] or via our contact us page.