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Image for Grant Mitchell Grant Mitchell - Updated September 29, 2023

Safest Online Betting Sites 2023 | Trusted Online Sportsbooks

Sports betting is the fastest-growing form of sports entertainment not only in America but in the entire world—but with the phenomenon has come a proliferation of illegal sportsbooks, which is why it is important to find the safest, legit online betting sites. 

While it might sound daunting, you have nothing to worry about in finding those trusted betting sites. We have your back!

We at WSN, the World Sports Network, are a team of international sports betting industry veterans and experts with decades of combined experience. It is not only our job to have a deep awareness and understanding of everything within the world of sports wagering but to constantly update that information with the latest developments and precedents. 

In this betting guide, we have pooled together our knowledge of the safest online betting sites and used our BetEdge sportsbook rating system to separate legit betting sites from fraudulent ones. As we continue, we will go over everything that goes into determining the safest online sportsbooks, plus what betting on them looks like.

Here we go!

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Tips for Finding a Safe Online Sportsbook

Before we talk about any of the factors that go into determining which online sportsbooks are legit and which ones are not, we want to let you know that we have simplified the process further down in this guide by providing a list of the safest betting sites with a description of what each one entails. We highly advise that you check out that list to help guide your selection of a sportsbook, especially if you are new to sports betting.

The simple but sad reality is that sports betting involves a lot of money, and where there is a lot of money, there are scammers and hackers itching to steal your hard-earned funds. Don’t let this dark picture we’re painting scare you off from sports betting in general, but let it be a word of warning that just like when you’re choosing a new bank or traveling to a new country, you need to be wary of people trying to take advantage of you.

Let’s talk about what goes into separating the fraudulent betting sites from the trusted ones, starting with the former. 

Offshore Sportsbooks

For starters, all offshore sportsbooks are illegal in the United States. These are betting sites that are not headquartered or licensed to operate in the country and take advantage of the confusion of laws that has led many to believe they are legal. If you see an offshore sportsbook advertising itself as being legal in the U.S., you must be aware that that is a fraudulent claim, and you are breaking the law by using that site.

If that isn’t enough to scare you off, you should also know that because offshore sportsbooks are not licensed to operate in the U.S., they do not have to provide any protection against fraud, hacks, or other nefarious activity. That means that if you check your account balance and find everything has been reset to zero, there is nothing you can do and nobody you can turn to that will get your money back for you.

General Characteristics

Looking at the internal make-up of a betting site might seem like a boring task, but it is also an essential part of determining what is both a legal and trustworthy sportsbook and what is not. 

With that in mind, let’s talk about the different aspects of sportsbooks that separate the legal and legit ones from others that should be avoided.


First of all, licensing. Even if a sportsbook isn’t an offshore sportsbook, it still has to be licensed in your state for it to be legal. That’s not so much of a distinction between trustworthy and untrustworthy but is still a general principle to keep in mind because it can separate the legal from the illegal options.

Payout Times

The speed of payout times will also help bettors distinguish more reliable and consistent betting options from those that, well, are just the opposite. For example, a sportsbook that claims to have the best betting options in the world but is only willing to guarantee payouts within two weeks probably is not the most reliable. 

Compare that to top sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings (which we will talk about later) that offer rapid, sometimes instant payouts, and it’s obvious that one of those groups is much more trustworthy than the other.

General Sentiment

We’re not saying that word of mouth and stereotypes are everything, but they often offer a strong frame of reference. So, if you’ve heard lots of negative comments about a particular betting site, it’d be wise for you to investigate those by reading reviews, betting guides, and personal experiences from other bettors. 

Security and Customer Support

Digging into a sportsbook’s security protocols and software can also help highlight which sportsbooks take their security seriously and which do not. Obviously, a company that is not willing to invest internally should not be a company that you as the consumer are willing to invest in with your personal money. 

Bettors can also consider the customer support options as a tributary of a company’s willingness to invest in its infrastructure and its customers. Always keep in mind the different options available to you in the event that you encounter a problem at that particular site.

For a frame of reference, trustworthy betting sites almost always have live support, and in most cases, that’s for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There will also be different support contacts via telephone and email, along with links to other resources.

Responsible Gambling

Sportsbooks that are legit and trustworthy also usually promote responsible gambling or at least have links to various resources that will help bettors who are struggling with addiction or would just like to speak to a professional. If your betting site offers none of that and does not have other basic user safety features such as time reminders or warnings, then that could be another sign that you’re on an untrustworthy betting site.

Above all, use your best judgment and trust your gut. If you get the feeling that something is wrong, then it probably is. You will always have the chance to bet on sports, so don’t feel pressured into using a site immediately, especially if you feel like there is an opportunity for something to go wrong.

Signs of an Untrustworthy Betting Site

Now that we’ve gone over different criteria to be aware of and to consider when evaluating different sportsbook options, let’s discuss what the general signs of bad, untrustworthy, and even illegal betting sites look like.

Remember that there is no cookie-cutter mold of a “bad” sportsbook and that these are general signs. Always dig beneath the surface using the criteria we mentioned previously to ensure that you are using the best sportsbook option(s) possible.

If the betting site that you are researching appears on a blacklist, then you are almost guaranteed to want to avoid it. Research more information about why it has appeared there, but expect the worst.

Bettors should also read reviews on sportsbooks—not just from users, but also from experts (like us). If there are no reviews available for your betting site of interest, then that is a bad sign. All reviews should be weighted with importance based on who they are written by. For example, User379503 is probably not as trustworthy as a reputable magazine that publishes a review.

While looking at these reviews, look at some of the basic components we talked about earlier. What are the security measures like? Are the payouts inconsistent and abnormally slow? Are there a lack of safety features and customer service options? All of these indicate that the site is NOT legit and could put you in danger of fraud.

Here’s another rule of thumb: If you open a sportsbook and there are incessant pop-ups, lots of lag on the site, glowing and/or flashing advertisements, and other abnormalities that feel “scammy,” then that betting site is probably NOT legit.

As we mentioned earlier, if you find out that a sportsbook, no matter how clean and trustworthy it looks, is based offshore, then it is ILLEGAL and not meant for use. Don’t be fooled by false promises or confusion of the law, you are not supposed to use that site.

All in all, keep the general principles that we have outlined in mind when you are evaluating the trustworthiness of a betting site. Does it look legit? Do other sports betting reviews and guides say that it’s legit? Is it consistent with basic safety features? Does it deliver on realistic expectations?

If you have any other questions, you may also engage in public forums or do deeper research with more reviews and guides, or you can search for answers yourself. No matter what route you go down, we cannot emphasize enough that you should do your research before committing to a sportsbook.

Now that we’ve gone over the good, the bad, and the ugly of sportsbooks, let’s talk about the most trustworthy and safest sports betting sites and what betting on them looks like.

Safest Online Betting Sites

A Closer Look at the Safest Online Betting Sites

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings is one of the leaders in American sports betting and has cultivated a sleek and robust sportsbook with tons of betting options. It covers betting markets from sports all over the world, has live and parlay betting, futures odds, and plenty more. 

DraftKings has also introduced innovative features such as a social tab that helps bettors stay connected to their closest friends and trusted betting allies. 

This sportsbook is one of the most trusted in the industry for numerous reasons. First of all, it is so large that it has developed enough of an infrastructure to douse nearly all fires before they start and to immediately address any small ones that pop up. It also has all of the basic safety features from a tech perspective and has a 24/7 customer support team ready to help with any issues.

DK also offers rapid, sometimes instant payouts, depending on the method of withdrawal. In a similar vein, it allows bettors to make deposits via numerous resources, all with consumer protection.

DraftKings didn’t grow to occupy its market share without having one of the most trusted sports betting sites in the industry. Our BetEdge review system highly recommends it for bettors of all levels, and we firmly give it the WSN stamp of approval. 

Find out more in our detailed DraftKings Sportsbook review.

DraftKings Safest Betting Sites


  • Numerous safety features, fast payouts, licensing in numerous states
  • Tons of betting markets and opportunities


  • Minor input lag 

Sign-up Offer:

DraftKings Sportsbook User Ratings 

Review Site


No. of Reviews

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Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook is another top and trusted betting site. It is part of the “Big Four” sportsbooks that dominate American sports betting and has been able to do so because of its highly-developed mobile and web apps, promotions and opportunities, diverse betting markets, and consistency. 

This site is also a mainstay for not just betting in major markets, but parlays, exotics, futures, in-play betting, and more. Bettors have access to betting odds from tons of different sports and leagues and can do so under the elegance of the Caesars brand. 

Caesars processes withdrawals 24 hours a day and can have funds transferred to your preferred location within an hour in some circumstances. It is licensed to operate in most states with legal sports betting markets and has basic custom protections and safety features that everyone should expect from a top sports betting site.

Caesars has occasional issues with slow processing times in the mobile app, but it never crashes, and the delays are not because of fraudulent activity in any form. This is another highly recommended app that will suit new and experienced bettors alike. 

For more information, read our Caesars Sportsbook review.

Caesars Safest Betting Sites


  • Great layout with an array of betting markets plus a lucrative sign-up bonus
  • Fast withdrawal speeds and great customer support


  • Mobile app loads slightly slower than other top sportsbooks

Sign-up Offer:

Caesars Sportsbook User Ratings

Review Site


No. of Reviews

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FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel is the leading operator in American sports betting. According to a recent study, it occupies as much as 45% of the online sports betting market’s GGR. 

FanDuel has been so successful because of its variety of betting markets, well-developed mobile and web apps, and responsiveness. Bettors are not only treated to all sorts of betting odds, but those odds are also regularly updated and often at a greater speed than other sportsbooks.

Because FanDuel is the biggest domino in the sports betting world, it naturally has tons of safeguards and safety procedures to ensure that bettors are protected. It is also licensed to operate in 22 states, which means that it has one of the widest ranges of jurisdictions.

Anyone that is still unsure or encounters any issues can contact FanDuel’s customer support team at any time through a variety of methods. This sports betting site is as trusted as they come and also provides one of the best sports betting experiences of any platform, which makes it perfect for users of all experience levels and backgrounds.

Read our full FanDuel Sportsbook review for a deeper analysis.

FanDuel Safest Betting Sites


  • Highly-developed and functional app
  • App basically never crashes, customer support team is available 24/7


  • Odds update even while bets are in the bet slip, meaning they might look different by the time a user goes to place the bet

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FanDuel Sportsbook User Ratings 

Review Site


No. of Reviews

Apple App Store


1.1 million

Google Play Store






BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM is another member of the “Big Four” and occupies the third-largest market share in American sports betting. It has a treasure trove of experience and a strong infrastructure because of its MGM Entertainment brand and has quickly become one of the best outlets for online sports betting.

What makes BetMGM special is the elegant aesthetic and clean layout that makes bettors feel like they are experiencing lavishness with every bet. The mobile and web app also load different pages quickly and without issue and don’t have some of the lag that other sportsbooks, even the top ones, do.

As is the case with the other dominant sportsbooks in the industry, the likelihood of encountering problems with BetMGM is as low as it is with any online betting site. And in the event that there is even a slight issue, it also has multiple ways for customers to get in contact with a customer support team that will help resolve the issue.

At the risk of repeating ourselves, BetMGM is a suitable and trustworthy resource for all sports bettors in states where it has licensing. These are, after all, the best and most reliable sports betting sites. Feel free to place your parlays, live bets, or anything else in complete comfort at BetMGM.

You can read our BetMGM review for a deep dive into the sportsbook.

BetMGM Safest Betting Sites


  • Clean aesthetic, app is easy to follow
  • Expansive betting markets that never crash


  • Lack of visual enhancements such as a live game cast

Sign-up Offer:

BetMGM Sportsbook User Ratings 

Review Site


No. of Reviews

Apple App Store



Google Play Store







PointsBet is the fifth and final entry on our list of the most reliable sportsbooks. Don’t take that to mean that these are the only five, they are just five that we chose to highlight because of their popularity, reliability, and level of development.

PointsBet is known throughout the industry as one of the most innovative online sports betting sites, one that constantly creates new opportunities for bettors. For example, they pioneered a new form of betting called points betting, which turns game units into financial units.

So, if a user bet $10 on Team A -3 and Team A won by five points, that user would win $20 [(5-3) x $20]. They also have other engaging promotions and even allow bettors to request betting lines if they cannot find them on the sportsbook.

However, PointsBet agreed in 2023 to sell its North American assets to Fanatics for $225 million, and it is only a matter of time until those are fully converted. But in the meantime, PointsBet has the basic safety features needed to keep it on our list of the most trustworthy betting sites, and one of the best online sportsbooks in general.

Take a look at our full PointsBet review right here.

PointsBet Safest Betting Sites


  • Creative betting markets and promotions
  • Basic customer protection features


  • Unclear future following sale of assets

Sign-up Offer:

PointsBet User Ratings

Review Site


No. of Reviews

Apple App Store



Google Play Store






Untrustworthy Sportsbooks To Avoid

Now that we have listed and detailed a few of the best and most reliable sportsbooks in the industry, we are going to dive into sites that we advise all bettors to avoid. 

Note that this is not a comprehensive list and that there are plenty of other bad apples floating around. Always go through the basic steps we discussed above and do plenty of research before choosing a sportsbook, especially if you notice it has any red flags, was recently established, or sets off any internal worry.

Again, read plenty of customer and expert reviews about the site as well before you deposit any money or provide any of your information. With that being said, here is a list of sites that you should avoid.

  • 105Vig
  • 21k
  • Bet1128
  • Paradise Bet
  • Alliance
  • BetCSI
  • BetRevolution
  • BetIslands
  • FreeSportsbook.us
  • Mobibet
  • HitItBet
  • Odssmaker
  • WSEX
  • Sportsbook.com
  • BetOnUSA
  • Bettingexpress
  • Canbet
  • Carib
  • Enterbet
  • InstantActionSports
  • Wagertonight
  • Topcatcasino
  • AllStarviacasino
  • Vegasthrill
  • Truebet
  • Thevalleyokings
  • Sportshustler
  • And more…

Are Offshore Bookies Safe?

We talked about offshore betting sites earlier in this guide, but allow us to use this space to clear up any confusion.

Offshore sportsbooks advertise themselves as a legal alternative to sports betting in states where it is not illegal, or even in states with legal markets. That is mostly because prosecutors (usually) won’t directly come after players who use these sites.

However, offshore sportsbooks—which as the name implies are not based in the U.S.—that are not licensed to operate in the country are acting illegally. In the event they are shut down, hacked, or the operator simply decides to defraud its users, there is nothing that can be done to protect the customer or refund any lost money.

If your bank discovers that you have wired money to an offshore sportsbook, it can shut down your account if it wants to because of the illegality of the act. So even if you succeed in breaking the law and survive the risk of the sportsbook defrauding you or it being hacked and your account being drained, you may still lose access to your legal funds.

Find a regulated sportsbook that you trust for your sports betting endeavors instead of breaking the law and creating numerous problems for yourself.

Tips for Staying Safe When Betting Online

Assuming you have gone through all of the steps to picking a safe betting site, there are still steps that you can take to ensure that you are as protected as possible against any wrongdoing.

One of the most basic tips is to create a complicated password that is hard to break (we’re talking to you, the person that puts “password” as the password). After that, enable two-factor authentication to add another layer of security. 

You can also turn on email notifications to see whenever someone logs into your account which will help you know if someone else tries to access your account. Add security questions to your account too so that would-be hackers have yet another layer to break through before they can enter your account (which will be next to impossible if you follow all of these steps).

Once you have done all of that, make sure that you are only using reliable banking methods to transfer your money to your sportsbook. If you want to use a card, use a credit card instead of a debit card because credit companies can do more to get your money back than they could if a person steals funds from your debit card.

Also, avoid using public wifi when placing bets as that puts your personal details on the public radar, and you don’t want that.

Sportsbooks will also have additional tips to help protect your account either in the fine print or during your account registration. Take them seriously and make your account as safe as possible.

How We Rate Betting Sites

The WSN team that worked on this review of the safest betting sites has years of experience in the sports betting industry and compiled the information with no agendas other than wanting to keep you as safe as possible. 

The team also used information from our BetEdge review system, which is a method of evaluating and rating sportsbooks based on a multitude of factors. That led to FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet being mentioned as some of the best and most trusted sportsbooks in the industry (though again, that is not a full list of every safe betting site). 

We highly recommend following every step that we outlined when determining where you are going to spend your time as a sports bettor. We also want you to know that it is okay to make mistakes, but it is also vital that you address them as quickly as possible if you recognize that you made one. Shut down your account and unlink any banking methods as quickly as possible if you realize that you have ended up on an unsafe or even illegal betting site.

There are plenty of considerations that should go into choosing a sportsbook other than safety, including: betting markets, visual appeal, promotions and opportunities, ease of access, jurisdiction, processing speed, deposit and withdrawal time, unique features, mobile app, and more.

However, choosing a legit and reliable sportsbook should always be central in your process. If you aren’t safe and can’t trust your sportsbook, you’re not only set up for failure but will never have peace of mind during your betting endeavors.

Final Verdict

If there’s anything that we would like for you to take away from this guide, it is that keeping yourself secure is of the utmost importance. There’s a ton of money at play in sports betting, and there are plenty of illegal outfits and scammers waiting to defraud you of your hard-earned money. 

Follow our steps, stay smart and vigilant, and protect yourself against any wrongdoing. Read customer and expert reviews to help determine which sites are safe and which are not.

Gamble Responsibly

Nobody’s perfect. If you experience any problems associated with or that you think could be tied to a gambling addiction, please reach out to someone you trust along with any of the following resources (or other alternatives that can help you).

Many gamblers suffer from an addiction. It’s only a problem when you refuse to realize it or refuse to seek help, so don’t do yourself a disservice and bury it inside.

You can help prevent addictive behaviors and impulses by taking frequent breaks from your sportsbook and setting deposit limits. If that still isn’t enough, you can put yourself on the self-excluded list of gamblers to disable your access to sportsbooks.

Here are five resources that can help you deal with gambling addiction and provide helpful insight.

1. The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)

  • Call: 1-800-522-4700 (24-hour confidential national helpline)
  • Text: 1-800-522-4700 (24-hour confidential national text service)

2. 1-800-Gambler

  • Call: 1-800-gambler

3. Gamblers Anonymous

4. Gam-Anon

5. Smart Recovery

  • Call: 440-951-5357


What Is the Most Trusted Online Sportsbook in the US?

There is no number-one “most trusted” betting site in the US—however, market leaders such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet, among others, are at the top of the list.

A Sportsbook Is Asking For My ID and Social Security Number, Is This Safe?

Yes, this is standard practice for sportsbooks to verify your identity. However, you need to make sure that you are giving this information to a safe sportsbook and not one that wants to bring you harm.

Is It Safe to Give an Online Sportsbook My Credit Card Information?

If you have vetted the sportsbook and verified that it is legit, then yes, it is safe to provide it with your credit card information.

What Are the Safest Payment Methods to Use for Online Betting?

Sportsbooks accept a variety of payment methods. We advise using secure transfer services or, if you want to use a card, a credit card instead of a debit card.

How Do I Check if a Betting Site Has a Gambling License?

Your state will have a public list of sportsbooks that have been licensed to operate locally. Other expert sites (such as WSN) will also have state reviews that highlight sportsbooks that are in operation in different states.

Which States Have Legal Online Betting?

As of September 2023, 40 states (plus Washington DC) have legalized sports betting, and 36 have operational markets. They are as follows.ArizonaArkansasColoradoConnecticutDelaware (retail only)IllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMississippi (retail only)Montana (retail only)NebraskaNevadaNew JerseyNew HampshireNew Mexico (retail only)New YorkNorth Carolina (retail only) North Dakota (retail only) OhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Dakota (retail only) TennesseeVirginiaWashington (retail only) West VirginiaWisconsin (retail only) Wyoming

If I Am Not in a Legal State, Is It Safe to Bet With an Offshore Sportsbook?

It is not only unsafe, but it is also illegal to bet with an offshore sportsbook regardless of your state’s stance on sports betting.

What Happens to My Money if My Sportsbook Gets Hacked?

If your account gets hacked, you should reach out to your sportsbook’s customer support team. If the betting site you used is regulated, then you will be protected by the federal government.

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Grant Mitchell

162 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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