Joining an online sportsbook is a simple process. On average, you can be placing your first bet within 10 minutes of starting to create your account. While it’s a relatively straightforward process, we’ll give you the ins and outs and break down some of the more critical aspects you should be aware of during the sportsbook sign up process.
1. Preliminary Steps
First, to set up an account, you will need to provide a few standard pieces of personal information:
- Full name
- Current address
- Date of birth
- Current email address
- Telephone number
Creating a Username
Depending on which website you’ve selected, you could also be prompted to create a username. Others, your sportsbook provides or a user ID for you. If you are making your own username, be sure it’s something you can remember and won’t hate in a year. This is because, in all likelihood, you won’t be able to change it. If the ID is provided to you, be sure to keep it stored in a secure location so you won’t forget it.
Creating a Password
Obviously, you’ll also need a password to accompany and protect your account. Typically, it will need to be longer than seven characters and should contain both numbers and letters to make it more secure. Keep it in a safe place and don’t share your password with anyone.
Security Is Important
You want to treat your sportsbook account like an online bank account. After all, it contains a lot of the same information. Be sure you log off after each use and don’t use any “remember me” password functions on your internet browser. Your account shouldn’t be something any roommate or kids could easily access if they use your personal computer.
Accuracy of Information
It’s important that the info you provide during sign-up is accurate. Sportsbooks do their due-diligence on all accounts created during the sportsbook sign up process to prevent fraud. They can run automated checks to verify that you have submitted the correct information. If they are unable to confirm an email address or find that you don’t meet the minimum user age (usually 18 years old, but can be 19 at some websites) then your account request can be denied.
If you don’t have an active email, it’s imperative that you create one. Every online sportsbook will ask for one at sign-up. Using a defunct email isn’t an option; some sportsbooks will send out a verification email during the sportsbook sign up process. Even for the ones that don’t send verification, an email will be their primary source of communication. Without an active email, sportsbooks alerting you to bonuses and perks is impossible.
If you forget your login or password, you won’t be able to recover that information without having access to your email account. So don’t sign-up with an old student email because you’re afraid to give your current email.
2. Potential Issues in the Sportsbook Sign-Up Process
As long as the information you’ve provided is accurate, there’s not much that can go wrong during the sign-up process. Perhaps the most common issue is a failure to receive a confirmation email; the solution is often as simple as checking your spam folder.
Sportsbooks limit accounts to one per user and sometimes one per household. So, if you’ve already used the same address and email to sign-up for an account at that website before, you could run into problems. If you forget your old account information, contact customer service instead of trying to open a new one. This is the best course of action and will lead to a quicker resolution than creating the account and contacting customer service later.
You should also contact customer service if you encounter any other issues during sign-up. All reputable online sportsbooks will have a customer service department you can either call on the phone or converse within a live chat window on your computer. They are ready to help you open your account and resolve any issues that may come up during the process.
If you’re a night owl or customer service isn’t available when you’re creating your account, it’s probably best to choose a site that has customer service reps available when you need them. Some sites have reps available 24/7 so keep this in mind when selecting a sportsbook.
3. Depositing Funds into Your Betting Account
The first prompt you’ll receive once an account is set up is to deposit funds. This is another reason including accurate information when signing-up is so necessary, as the name you used to create your account needs to match your payment information. On top of that, some sites send promotions and reload bonuses to your email address. Consequently, providing a fake or inactive email only cheats you out of those opportunities.
Each sportsbook has maximum and minimum amounts available to deposit at one time. These vary within each site depending on the method used to deposit funds. A variety of deposit options are available, but the most common are credit card/debit card, eWallet, Bitcoin and wire transfer.
Credit/ Debit Card
This is the most common method of funding an account. The deposit minimums are usually low (ranging anywhere from $10 to $50). While a credit card or bank account verification form can sometimes be required, your information is kept on file, allowing for hassle-free deposits in the future. Credit card deposits process instantly and enable new bettors to begin right away. You must use your credit card, though. If you borrow a credit card from someone else, it will get flagged for not matching the account holder’s information, and the deposit won’t be processed. However, prepaid Visa cards can be used to fund accounts, as long as they allow for international purchases (since most books house their operations offshore).
More and more sites are accepting cryptocurrency as a viable payment the moving forward, which is good news for those who are hesitant to provide a sportsbook with their credit card information. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency accepted at sportsbooks, making deposits quick and easy, and withdrawals to an online wallet relatively simple as well. As a result, Bitcoin is the most popular and widely accepted cryptocurrency. However, Litecoin and Ethereum are both gaining traction with online bettors and should be a potential option at some books too.
Digital wallets offer the same feeling of security and ease of transfer as a cryptocurrency, but akin to Bitcoin, specific eWallet brands aren’t ubiquitous at sportsbooks. Whether it’s PayPal, Skrill, Neteller or another brand, know that it may not be an option at a specific sportsbook. Sportsbooks place limits on the bettors they accept, either for geographic reasons or other business reasons. (For example, Skrill remains the only digital wallet sanctioned in the state of New Jersey.)
Available at large-scale sportsbooks, this is a slower method of funding your account and has the highest minimum deposit requirements. However, there are also higher maximum deposits when using this method, so only high rollers typically use this method. There are fees from the bank for a wire transfer, but some sportsbooks may offer to cover those costs on your first deposit.
Services like Western Union and MoneyGram allow users to send money to locations around the world without having to share their banking information. The sender just goes to an office and gives their name, address, recipient’s name and payment destination (this info will be provided by the sportsbook beforehand). Then, they’ll be given a reference number that the sportsbook uses to collect the money. It’s a discrete way to pay, but based on your location, it may not be the most convenient method. Fees can be high for this process too, although sportsbooks will usually cover the costs for deposits that are large enough (i.e. greater than $300).
Are Sportsbooks a Safe Place for Your Money?
For those worried about providing banking information, know that MTS only recommends the most respectable sportsbooks. Each website we rate details a comprehensive privacy statement and uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to ensure that the sensitive details you provide are dealt with securely. Similarly, each sportsbook we suggest has a proven track record after years of service in the online gambling industry.
Each sportsbook has a license with the gaming commission within their nation of operation. That information will be located at the bottom of their webpage or within their terms of service. If you can’t locate the commission that a sportsbook is licensed under, it’s one you want to stay away from.
When Can You Start Betting?
As for when you can start betting, your account funds should be available almost instantly after deposit. Books will fund your account before your deposit processes, so you can begin betting right away. But be careful, if your deposit is reversed or uncollectible, all bets made will be forfeited.
Transactions can be denied for many reasons: insufficient funds, entering incorrect information, or your bank may not allow for transactions at a sportsbook. If you’ve investigated all those possibilities, contact customer service at the sportsbook. You may ultimately end up needing to deposit using another method.
If your deposit has gone through without issue, it should show up on your credit card/bank statements within 3 to 5 days. Be sure to keep a record of your deposit slip just in case. Sportsbooks will have a history of all transactions, but it’s a good practice to keep a record for yourself.
While the initial sign-up is pretty painless, be aware that, down the line, you will need to produce documents to verify your account before you can withdraw any money. Most sportsbooks want a scan of a government-issued ID, front and back scans of your credit card (if you use one when making a deposit) and additional supporting documents verifying your address, like a bank statement or utility bills.
Sportsbooks require such documentation in order to prevent fraud, restrict users from creating multiple accounts, and comply with customer identification program guidelines. These programs are designed to prevent the use of their websites for money-laundering.
We’ll dive deeper into the withdrawal process later on, so you fully understand the ins and outs before you attempt to make your first withdrawal.