When a company has been in the online gambling business for the better part of two decades, it becomes pretty easy to find complaints against the operator online. However, what a company does to deserve those complaints is wide-ranging, and while many of these tend to come from whining players who have lost their bankrolls, some are legitimate complaints.
The site we are reviewing on this page, BetOnline, has a very checkered past in the sports betting world. However, a management change seemed to turn the tide, and now the question that remains is whether or not it is a site worthy of us recommending to our readers.
BetOnline’s origins go all the way back to the early days of online gambling. The company set up shop in Panama in 2001, and have a license to operate from that country. To be honest, that license does nothing to protect players, so it really isn’t worth talking about it anymore.
The company started as a sportsbook, and right from the beginning it seemed there were issues with the company. Over its early years, BetOnline was accused of everything from being able to see everyone’s passwords to arbitrarily removing money from players accounts. One thing was clear: the company had a significant number of in-house rules, and if you were suspected at all of breaking one of them, your funds were going to be seized.
This is, of course, a terrible way to do business, and as the industry became more competitive, it was getting harder for BetOnline to attract and retain players. The company then started a slow death when it was clear it was slow paying its customers. On life support, the company’s management team was replaced and some money pumped back into the company in 2012. This turnaround was a welcome piece of news for players and the industry as a whole. Since that time, it appears that the company has turned itself around and continues to be a viable option in the market, especially for U.S. players. As the company operates with only the business license from Panama, it can take players from anywhere it chooses.
Before you can even get to the betting pages, you are greeted with a Registration screen and a Welcome Bonus (more on the bonuses later). Don’t worry, you don’t have to create an account to see what the company has to offer. The site’s navigation is excellent, and the bright background makes for easy reading of the different options.
Starting with the sportsbook section, we find a pretty standard navigation. The odds are displayed in the middle of the screen, with the different bet choices and leagues on the left-hand margin. We like that Player Props and Futures get their own tabs – these bets are very popular and don’t require the game outcome to be paid. On the right side of the screen, you will see the betting slip which will fill as you select your teams and odds. With only a few clicks, you will be able to make the wagers you want.
Overall, the site design is excellent and given how many sports you can bet on at BetOnline, being able to find the bets you want is even more important. The odds can be changed form American to Decimal or Fractional with a drop-down menu at the top of the betting page.
BetOnline offers players a wide range of products in addition to the traditional sportsbook. We like that eSports gets its own tab at the site – while the company is focused on the U.S. market, it definitely recognizes that a new demographic of potential gamblers will be using eSports as the point of entry. The company could definitely expand the bets offered, but at the very least they are trying.
There is both a Live Casino and RNG Casino available for players at BetOnline as well. The casino software comes from Betsoft, which means that players will be able to play some awesome slots games as well as a stable of table games. Having survived the scandal with its first Live Casino provider, the company continues to push this method of playing table games with its new provider Visionary I-Gaming, offering promotions specific to these tables. There is also a full poker site available, and while there isn’t a ton of action on there, you can still find a few cash games running all day and night. These games offer a great way to kill time while you wait for the results of your sports bets.
BetOnline is an unlicensed gaming product aimed primarily at the American market, so you can probably see where this section of the review is headed. The current state of mobile gaming in the U.S. is well behind other markets around the globe. The shuttering of online gambling in both 2006 and 2011 has made it near impossible to get a real money gambling app into the Apple or Android stores. However, players at BetOnline can access the site via the browsers of the mobile devices. Here, you will find all the betting options that you would on the desktop version of the site, and while you are at the mercy of your mobile internet connection, as long as you have a relatively strong one you shouldn’t see much of a difference in speed between the two.
As we mentioned, the marketing department at BetOnline has built a different set of offers for each of their products, and all of these can be found in the Promotions section of the website. We are going to focus on a couple of them here.
BetOnline is a sportsbook before anything else, so the company is focused on rewarding you for being a loyal bettor. The welcome offer for sports gamblers is a 50% deposit bonus up to a whopping $2,500! If you are willing to make a $5,000 initial deposit, you can take full advantage of this deposit. This offer is not open to players who use Neteller or Skrill. There is a 10x rollover for this bonus, which is pretty standard compared to other sportsbooks. Overall, this is a pretty nice bonus if you are planning to make a lot of sports bets.
Free Bets on the platform
Here is where you can take advantage of some great ongoing offers from BetOnline. The company wants you to get used to their full line of sports betting products, so they are offering free bets or guarantees across the board:
There are many Terms and Conditions to be met to qualify for these bets, but there is nothing stopping you from using all three, so we highly recommend that you do!
As with many sportsbooks that are open to American players, the payment options are a bit limited at BetOnline. The company is pushing cryptocurrency with a 100% match bonus, and some e-wallet options are available outside the U.S. as well.
BetOnline has had its fair share of issues over the years, so it is not surprising that it now has a robust customer support department. The new management made a real effort to improve this area of the business, and it shows in the speed at which the agents respond to queries. We tested the email customer support (there are different email addresses for different support departments), and we got a
response in only a few hours, which is surprisingly fast. There is a telephone number that you can call, but currently, there doesn’t seem to be a Live Chat option available.
There is always a certain level of risk for gamblers who choose to play with sites that are for the most part unlicensed. American gamblers are facing that risk every day, and while BetOnline has received less than stellar reviews in the past, we were more focused on the present when we did our due diligence. What we found in this new management was a full-service online gambling site with sports as the primary focus, with excellent betting options and software. The company seems to have left its damaged history in the past, and as a result, we can recommend this site to our readers. As with any U.S.-facing site, we recommend you leave only an amount of money in your account that you are willing to lose if the site shuts suddenly (although we hope that isn’t the case).