Online sportsbooks have seen a boom in popularity in the US since becoming legal in 2018. With that has been an influx of operators offering bettors the chance to stake on a wide range of sports. That’s why it’s important that you have the information you need to find a safe and reliable operator that you can trust.
So, what should you keep in mind when looking for one?

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It is the first thing you should always look out for, make sure the site is licensed by its jurisdiction’s authorities.
Each individual US state where sportsbooks are legal will have a different authority that they must be licensed by to operate there.
Finding this information should be simple. Often, the sportsbook will include a footer at the bottom of its homepage with a handful of logos and links.
In there, you should find either a small logo linking to the authority’s website or a short section of text with a link.

Unibet New Jersey’s footer, displaying the NJDGE logo.

State Authorities

As each state has its own licensing body, you should be aware of which one to look out for, depending on where you’re gambling from. Below is a table which includes each legal state’s authority and a link to their website to find their list of licensed operators.


Authority Name
Arizona Arizona Department of Gaming
Arkansas Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (Racing Commission)
Colorado Colorado Division of Gaming
Connecticut Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Gaming Division
Illinois Illinois Gaming Board
Indiana Indiana Gaming Commission
Iowa Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
Kansas Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission
Louisiana Louisiana Gaming Control Board
Maryland Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency
Michigan Michigan Gaming Control Board
Nevada Nevada Gaming Control Board
New Hampshire New Hampshire Lottery Commission
New Jersey New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
New York New York State Gaming Commission
Oregon Oregon Gaming Enforcement
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Rhode Island State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (Gaming and Athletics)
Tennessee Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council
Virginia Virginia Lottery
Washington State Washington State Gambling Commission
Washington D.C. D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming
West Virginia West Virginia Lottery Commission
Wyoming Wyoming Gaming Commission

Website Security



On a sportsbook’s website, where they include logos of companies they work with, sometimes they will list their security software providers. If they’re partnered with a reputable company like McAfee, you can be sure that this is a safe site.

Other methods that operators use to ensure your safety online is through:

URL Encryption

You will have seen sites that use this form of security without noticing, including here on Profit Squad. Known as SSL or TLS encryption, this protects the site and its user by hiding their connection from third parties and anonymizing and encrypting information. You can tell a site uses it if the URL begins with HTTPS and has a small padlock logo at the left-hand side of your browser’s URL address bar.

The above is what URL encryption looks like in a browser. If you don’t see these details, you should consider looking for a different website to be safe.

Multi-Factor Authentication

One way to be sure that a site is legitimate and takes security seriously is if they use multi-factor authentication. This is a form of security usually applied to your personal account. You will be asked to choose a contact method that will be used when you’re signing in. When you attempt to log in, a code will be delivered to you via said method and you will have to input it to verify that it’s you accessing your account.

Player Protection

Often overlooked but is of utmost importance, is an operator’s dedication to its users. As such, the sign of a socially responsible, trustworthy online sportsbook is what it provides to help keep players safe from gambling addiction. This can come in many forms and you should always look out for those that employ the most comprehensive strategies as those below.



The National Council on Problem Gambling has a list of steps sportsbooks and online casinos should take to protect their players. These are their Internet Responsible Gambling Standards, which can be found here.


If a sportsbook works with its state authority on a responsible gaming initiative, a key part of that will be the ability for the player to block themselves from using online gambling sites. 

How it works: The player signs up for a scheme and will no longer be able to register an account with their details while the exclusion is active.

Playing Limits

Here, players practice self-limitation by imposing a limit either on the amount of money they can stake or lose, or on the amount of time they spend playing.

Access to Helpful Resources

Good operators will provide information to help players identify if their gaming has become problematic, as well as pointing them in the direction of where to seek help, if necessary. This could come in the form of charities or authorities set up to help people in these situations.

Read Reviews

One of the best ways to know if any product is for you and fully legitimate is through word-of-mouth. It’s no different for sportsbooks. Read as many reviews as you can on sites with verified user reviews to get a bigger idea of what a site is really like from a fellow bettor’s perspective. If there are lots of negative reviews that call into question its legitimacy, it’s best to avoid it. You can find verified reviews at lots of sites.

  • Trustpilot
  • App stores like Google and Android Play


Do your research with services like the Better Business Bureau. If a business has received a lot of complaints, it might be worth avoiding them.
If they received a few and appeared to deal with them professionally, they can be trusted.

You can always read our reviews of sportsbooks like Betway for an impartial look at what the operator offers. The more informed you are, the better.

Check Out Their Customer Service

A good way of knowing that an operator is trustworthy is how they deal with their customers and their accessibility. They will offer a range of communication methods such as:

  • Live chat functions- preferably available 24/7
  • Toll-free phone numbers
  • Emails with acceptable turnaround time
  • FAQs packed with useful information.

Payment Methods

Look out for how you can deposit and withdraw money from your betting account. Do they use verified, respected payment options? If a site is offering payments through services like VISA, PayNearMe, or in-person cashier services at affiliated retail sportsbooks, you can be more certain that they’re legitimate.


Avoid sites that:

  • Use payment methods not yet legal in your jurisdiction.
  • Limit users to one payment method, especially if it’s not well-known.
  • Ask for cash payments or bank transfers only.

Making sure to only use well-known and respected payment methods is always a good idea. Some providers, such as credit card companies and e-wallets will often offer protections against fraud for users.

Affiliations and Sponsorships

The best sportsbooks will partner with famous sports teams and leagues for sponsorship and statistics data sharing. 



Betway is a jersey sponsor for English soccer side West Ham, while in the US it’s an NFL data partner and an NHL official betting provider. If the site you’re considering has prestigious partners like these, it’s safe to assume you can trust it.

To Conclude

There isn’t one way to ensure that an online sportsbook is trustworthy. So, use the indicators we have shared with you. The more checkpoints a sports betting site ticks from our guide, the more likely you are to have found a great site that you can enjoy betting with.


If you want to play from a particular state, it must be licensed there. You should not trust sites that allow players from states where they’re not licensed.

A deposit limit is a responsible gaming initiative that allows players to restrict how much money they can put into their betting account.

They can but they must wait a set amount of time before changing to ensure that they’ve thought about their decision.

Not all sites will offer this as it is a supplementary security measure.

If it doesn’t say so on their website, you can go to the relevant state’s licensing board website for more information.