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Sportsbook.ag Review Summary
While Sportsbook.ag meets the requirements for longevity in the offshore industry, their history has been full of controversy. Their parent company launched in 1996. Where they began taking bets by phone before jumping in on the internet betting explosion. Sportsbook.ag is licensed and regulated in Antigua and is authorized by the Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gaming. The site accepts players from the United States and most other countries around the world. Due to legal concerns, Sportsbook.ag does not accept new accounts from citizens residing in Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Utah, Nevada and Washington State.
In addition to their full-service sportsbook, they offer an online racebook, casino, and poker room. In July 2015, they began offering daily fantasy sports. Sportsbook.ag owns several others skins. These operate with the same cashier, share the same odds and Merge Poker Network player pool. Owned by Jazzette Enterprises, and include CarbonSports.ag and PlayersOnly.ag.
Sportsbook.ag was one of the larger online bookmakers in the world. Happened during the rise of online gambling in the United States. Awarded by many online gambling publications, including “Best US Sportsbook” in 2005 and 2006. After the US government passed the UIGEA in 2006, their parent company at the time, Sportingbet, decided to sell Sportsbook.com and several other US facing assets to a new business, Jazette Enterprises Limited.
Sportingbet was a publicly traded company. Their shareholders were vulnerable to criminal prosecution by the US government. If they decided to continue to offer their services to Americans. To help this “sale,” Jazzette formed. Sportingbet sold Sportsbook.com to Jazzette Enterprises Limited for a single dollar. Perhaps, only Bovada (Bodog) is more sought after by the US government. Sued several times by many states, including Kentucky and New Jersey in 2001. Unlike many other US-facing online sportsbooks, they have not had their domain names seized by the Feds.
The company did move to Sportsbook.ag proactively in 2011 from their .com domain. This has become commonplace as the federal government has seized many online gambling sites .com domains in recent years. Proactively, online gambling sites servicing Americans are moving to domains like .ag or .eu to keep their operations running smoothly. The sportsbook.com domain is still operating but redirects players to the .ag domain.
A Personal Opinion on Sportsbook.ag
What We Like About Sportsbook.ag
Sportsbook.ag has one of the best designs and interfaces around, along with a massive list of markets for American sports. They geared their pricing towards public betting action, so their underdog odds are usually excellent. They also offer a host of bonuses and promotions year round. Sportsbook.ag has never been a pillar of fairness in the online sports betting world, but after some major transgressions years ago, they have improved drastically.
Their cashout speeds will never be up to the standard of the best sportsbooks servicing US players. However, after taking months to pay players in 2015, their check speeds are sitting around a month in early 2016. They have also added other withdrawal methods. One of the better aspects of the sportsbook is how slow they are to limit winning players than other sites. Savvy bettors may get more leeway at Sportsbook.ag than mid-tier sportsbooks.
What We Don’t Like About Sportsbook.ag
Even before they were sold in 2006, Sportsbook.ag had been mired in several disputes with players. The sportsbook regularly froze accounts of big winners when they requested a cashout, claiming that these were “account audits.”
These players were eventually paid. They had to jump through hoops, submit extra documentation, and forced to wait much longer than usual to get paid. Although they made whole in the end – this is a textbook example of a sportsbook slow paying clients.
Further issues came with Sportsbook accusing players of bonus abuse – claims which were dubious at best. Sportingbet and Sportsbook ran many different skins, and players had accounts at several of these network sites. They allowed this to occur. It wasn’t even hidden deep in the fine print of their terms and conditions. Of course, players who lost money were not accused of bonus abuse during this time. The most frequent targets were players who accumulated large balanced. Many of these players had their winnings taken, despite this not being a company policy. Sportsbook.ag at least, refunded their original deposits.
When the company sold for a mere dollar, they canceled all pending bets. This was despite the company transferring the balances and holding on to funds they deemed “no action”. Even though they were moving players over to a new site, they canceled hundreds of thousands of future bets and graded them as a loss. Even viewed through rose-colored glasses, this is still blatant theft.
Since 2006, things at the book have been better. Payouts are not up to par with the rest of the industry, but the runarounds, reneging on bonus promotions and balance seizures seems outdated. In recent years, perhaps the main issue with their business has been slow cashouts. These have improved, but six weeks waiting on a payment would still classify as a slow pay in regards to the rest of the US-facing industry. One aspect which hurts Sportsbook.ag however, is their withdrawal fees and policies. They are among the worst around for US-facing sportsbooks. They once offered a free monthly payout but as of August 2014 they now only offer one free payout per year. They also charge a minimum 3% fee for all withdrawal methods.
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What Bettors Are Saying About Sportbook.ag
Many sites have poor ratings for Sportsbook.ag or as they were formally known, Sportsbook.com. They’ve had their issues, but do pay their players (though, that can take a while sometimes). They also don’t have an affiliate program, so there is little need for sportsbook watchdog sites to promote them or say anything positive about them. SBR has them at a D-, which, our opinion, is too low of a rating.
Sportsbook.ag Review – Deposits and Withdrawals
Improving Cashier Options
Sportbook.ag’s cashier options have improved within the past year or so, but with that said, they’re still below average when we consider their entire package. Deposit options include, Visa cards, cash transfers, e-wallets (not available for Americans), and Bitcoin. Visa cards process instantly, while cash transfers can take several hours. Within an hour or less, bitcoin deposits credit your account.
Withdrawal Methods and Times
You can find documented Sportsbook.ag issues with withdrawals. Also find some of their shady business practices. After taking 3-4 months to process check withdrawals for most of 2015. These speeds have gone down to one month in 2016. However, it’s important to stay up to date on their processing speeds, as rates could once again slump to those levels.
Requesting a check has a max payout of $2,500. The processing fee for all checks is 3 percent, regardless of the amount. Bettors receive one free check per the calendar year. Yes, one free check per year, not one free check per month.
Bank wires are also available for some. They process at about the same rate and have the same 3% fee on the requested amount. Bank wires have a maximum withdrawal amount of $5,000.
Cash Transfer and Bitcoin Payouts
The other two options are cash transfer and bitcoin. Western Union and MoneyGram process the cash transfers. They can take up to a week to process, which is slower than other sites. These come with fees ranging from 15-20 percent of the requested amount. Getting a bitcoin withdrawal processed is slower than at other sites. On average, they process in 4-7 days. This is poor Bitcoin speeds, but is one of the fastest ways to withdraw from Sportsbook.ag.
Bitcoin withdrawal fees should be zero or close to zero. There have been reports of fees attached when withdrawing with BTC. These range between 3-5 percent of the transaction. Some players also report no fees charged for Bitcoin withdrawals.
Sportsbook.ag is still an above-average sportsbook, despite all the negative price. Their cashout fees are terrible, but they do offer a 20% Bonus on every Bitcoin deposit. That more than makes up for the 5% withdrawal fees. Their odds are among the softest for players residing in the United States.
20% Bonus on Bitcoin Deposits
Sportsbook.ag doesn’t have many open bonuses. They recently added a great incentive for players to use Bitcoin as their deposit method. Every time a player makes a Bitcoin deposit, they will receive a 20% matching bonus.
With the increased deposit and withdrawal speeds of Bitcoin, this is a great Sportsbook.ag bonus. Be sure to check out the terms and conditions before you accept the bonus.
Deposit Bonus through Email or Account
While I have had an account at Sportsbook.ag since 2004, I have rarely used the sportsbook, mostly for the reasons described above. When I looked to see Sportsbook.ag’s deposit and reload bonuses, I found little information.
I went to affiliate sites that were promoting the room, and they had a multitude of different offers. Their bonus offers are dependent on the site promoting them and use bonus codes. So, if you sign-up without a bonus code, you won’t likely receive a deposit bonus.
When I logged into my account, I was offered a 25% deposit bonus (this is likely the default first-time deposit bonus for new customers though I’m not entirely sure of this) if I deposited on Thursday and used a bonus code. Apparently, Sportsbook.ag offers deposits and reloads to players via email, but special offers inside their account.
Bad Rollover Requirements
Sportsbook also has one of the worst bonus rollovers around. To cash out your bonus, players will need to roll their bonus over a total of 20x the bonus amount. Even a 10x rollover would make it extremely tough to profit from a bonus; a 20x rollover is highway robbery. The site claims to give away millions in bonus cash every year, but few bettors clear the bonus and profit given the rollover.
Other Confusing Promotions
Sportsbook does offer a host of other promotions, though, including a free $25 bet for mobile play and loads of year-round contests centered on American sports. These include a $65k March Madness Bracket Buster, $100k Survivor Pool for NFL and a host of other promotions.
Sportsbook.ag Review Highlights
Sportsbook is like one of our top recommended sportsbooks, BetOnline. Although BetOnline is a much better option. International markets are available for some sports, but the focus is American sports. This makes sense, as the vast majority of players at Sportsbook.ag are in the United States.
Sportsbook has the standard assortment of betting options. Straight bets via point spread, moneyline, and totals are available for most major sports. The shop also has parlays, teasers, round robins, if-bets, and reverses. There are futures available for almost every market they offer, even international sports. Assigned mainly to US sports, player and team props come in large numbers. They are also one of the few sportsbooks to offer parlays on props, and there are many parlays that cross two different sports.
The more expansive markets center on American sports, with the NFL being the largest. This where you will find the lion’s share of markets, including props, futures, and live betting options. The NHL, NBA, NFL and both NCAA football and basketball aren’t far behind.
Despite their US focus, Sportsbook offers an extensive list of foreign sports, including soccer, the Canadian Football League, boxing, mixed martial arts, tennis, auto racing, rugby, snooker, cricket, and cycling. They also offered odds on politics and entertainment.
Those interested in daily fantasy sports will also find options at Sportsbook.ag. As far as we know, they’re the only offshore site currently offering DFS contests that are similar to those at DraftKings and FanDuel.
Traffic is substantially lower in Sportsbook.ag’s DFS lobby compared to those DFS giants,(and the prize pools are much smaller) but there is a fairly decent player base. NBA contests seem to fill, and there is a lot of action in the lobby during NFL season.
Sportsbook.ag offers overnight lines for baseball and other sports, which is a plus for bettors who want to get a jump on early lines. However, they don’t offer dime lines, which overall makes them a poor bad option for baseball.
NFL odds post late Monday, which isn’t as fast as the top sportsbooks, but is squarely in line with the industry standard. They also offer -105 pricing on some NFL markets on Friday, which is nice, although usually by this time most NFL markets are rather sharp. I’m not complaining about reduced juice, but it would be much better to offer this throughout the week.
One of their best pricing attributes is their underdog lines. Like Bovada, Sportsbook.ag shades their lines heavily towards the public, which offers some excellent prices even after the market has shifted.
For teasers and parlays, their odds are just around average. Two-team, 6-point NFL teasers are -110, which isn’t especially great. Two-team parlays pay +260 while many sites pay +264, so again, nothing special. Their 3-team parlay odds are slightly better than the average market at +600; most sportsbooks have these at +595.
There is one area where Sportsbook is especially soft, however. Their proposition markets are vast and can sometimes be in stark contrast to other sites’ pricing. The recreational focus of their oddsmakers is in play here as well.
It seems as if they “spam” large numbers of player and team props knowing the vast majority of their bettors don’t have a clue. That appears to work for them, but provides savvy bettors with markets that are full of inefficiencies. Sportsbook’s props might be the most beatable out of any US-focused sportsbook.
Wagering limits will vary widely depending on the market and in some cases the amount of time before the game. The reduced juice and overnight lines have a maximum bet of $500, even for larger markets, which makes them less useful.
Their largest betting limits are available on NFL sides ($11,000) and totals ($5,000). The other main sports max out at $5,000 or less. Smaller market sports, or almost every non-American market on the board, will usually be $1,000 or $500. Propositions are normally $500, but some can be as low as $250 or less.
The sportsbook is certainly not an option for high-limit bettors, especially when it comes to smaller markets, but it is fine for recreational bettors or beginning bettors who are looking to build a bankroll.
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Sportsbook.ag Review – Overall Thoughts
For beginning to intermediate bettors who are looking to take advantage of some underdog lines and soft prop markets, Sportsbook.ag is a strong option. The sportsbook has cleaned up their act over the past year, but there are still plenty of reasons to avoid Sportsbook.ag. With that said, they do pay players, eventually.
If you absolutely don’t want to deal with delays in withdrawals, you may want to go somewhere else. However, if you can deal with not being able to see your money for a few months or possibly more, (with the tradeoff of wagering on some soft odds) go ahead and deposit.