First Things First: What Did BetOnline Do Exactly?
What exactly did BetOnline do to make so many people mad?
We think a better question is this: what didn’t they do?
BetOnline’s poor choices crosses the spectrum of shady behavior, ranging from telling likes to withholding money to having shoddy security.
There are plenty of examples we can show you. But LegitGamblingSites.com has already done the work for us. They uncovered several examples, which you can see for yourself on their BetOnline review.
Here’s our TL;DR version:
When BetOnline first introduced their poker product, they lied about what network it was on. They first claimed to be on the Hero Poker Network, even though they were actually on the Action Poker Network. There were also stories about how they were on the Chico Poker Network, but then were kicked off.
Later reports (from BetOnline) suggested that things were fine and fixed, and that BetOnline was (and still is) on the Chico Poker Network.
Odd thing to like about, eh? (Though we might lie too if we were on a shoddy network like Action.)
Everyone agrees that BetOnline lying was a stupid move and a bad way to market a new product. It doesn’t instill confidence. And it makes you wonder: why would they lie about something so trivial in the first place?
$60,000 Confiscated for No Reason
There have been many, MANY reports about BetOnline confiscating money from customers. The reasoning was almost always because the customer allegedly cheated, even though no proof was ever provided from BetOnline (in the examples we’ve read).
One example that caught our eye was of a pro who had $60,000+ confiscated because BetOnline said he cheated. They refused to send him all his hands, but did offer to send him the hand histories that showed him cheating (for proof).
He never got them though. What he did get was empty promises about how they were on the way, and the runaround when they never showed up. They eventually told him they couldn’t send him the hand histories because the files were too big.
(Anyone who knows anything about online poker and hand histories – let alone about downloading files to your computer – knows what a crock this is. And, why wouldn’t you send proof someone cheated if you have nothing to hide?)
Eventually Sportsbook Review (SBR) got involved and helped the player get his money back. His last update mentions being relieved about how it worked out for him, but also said the same thing happened to his friend.
Chip Dumping $50 Means You Owe BetOnline $30,000+
In this example the player did do something wrong – he chip-dumped to his friend. But here’s the kicker:
He chip-dumped to his friend at a HEADS UP table where no one else would be hurt. He did it so his friend could have an extra $50 to play with at BetOnline.
The funny part is they were playing from the same house at the time. Most sites wouldn’t even let two people from the same IP address sit down at the same table – but BetOnline did.
The person had his account suspended (way after the fact, whereas most sites would’ve caught it much sooner), which no disputes or thinks was a wrong move on BetOnline’s part. What IS though, is how they wanted to also take his $37,000 he earned since that incident.
Forum members suggested that most legit sites would never have allowed two people from the same IP to sit at the same table. And, if they did, as soon as they suspected chip dumping had occurred, the player’s account would come under review. He’d never have the chance to earn the $37,000.
But now that he did, BetOnline wanted it. But, technically, the money should go to whomever was hurt by this player’s actions (which was no one). So it’s ridiculous BetOnline thinks they should be able to keep it.
BetOnline Knows Your Passwords
The last example we want to share is a case where a BetOnline rep outed how the staff knew their customer’s passwords and login numbers. You can see the live chat log here.
The original poster has a good point. If everyone in the company has access to your login information, what’s stopping them from running a VPN, logging into accounts and taking your money?
The BetOnline rep didn’t have a good answer, just a “ha ha ok sir.”
Scary stuff. Scroll down the forum thread and you’ll see even more examples. It’s ridiculous.
What’s even more ridiculous is how these examples are a drop in the bucket compared to the sheer number of (similar) complaints against them. A quick Google search for “BetOnline scams” will also keep you busy.
Then BetOnline Does Something Funny: They Acquire SportsBetting.ag
During the same time BetOnline was struggling, SportsBetting.ag was struggling to. They were struggling to pay their customers.
Thent a few months later a story broke – BetOnline acquired SportsBetting.ag.
The crazy part wasn’t so much the acquisition, it was the fact that BetOnline also agreed to be on the hook for all the current and past payouts. Even after all their stingy-like shenanigans.
An excerpt from SBR:
Most importantly, the new investment team is committed to get SportsBetting.ag winners paid in a more expedited manner.
“The new shareholders unconditionally guarantee past and future payouts from SportsBetting.ag,” the rep stated. “However, since there is a sizeable backlog of pending payouts, they need to be run through various fraud checks, prioritized and fulfilled. Once the backlog is complete, clients will experience drastically improved payouts thanks in part to upgraded payment options, including same day options.”
No one knows exactly how much BetOnline had to make in past payments. In fact, BetOnline was reportedly “shocked” to find more than $1.5 million in liabilities that wasn’t reported by the previous management. So I think it’d be safe to assume that the past debts exceeded $1.5 million – and apparently BetOnline has paid it all off.
What Does That Mean for BetOnline in 2016? What Does That Mean for You?
Honestly, we’ve had a hard time finding anything negative to report about BetOnline from over the last year or so.
There are some complaints; normal stuff all companies face that we’ll address later on in our review when it makes sense. But it looks to us like the majority of BetOnline’s problems are over.
They even have satisfied customers, if you can believe it.
Now, what does that mean for you? Should you forgive and forget? Are they safe enough for you to join, make a deposit and play?
We’ll be honest – there’s no way we would’ve played at BetOnline back in 2011-2012 if we had known or heard about any of the reports above. No one in their right mind would. You’d be safer lighting your money on fire.
And we also don’t want to downplay the mistakes they’ve made. Lying, making baseless accusations, withholding funds and insecure software is not to be taken lightly.
However, since buying SportsBetting.ag and adding new management to oversee operations, things have improved drastically. So much so that we’re comfortable now recommending them to our readers.
And it’s not just us. If you look at other BetOnline reviews, you’ll see similar thought processes. In most cases the reviewers first condemned them for their actions (in 2011-2012) and recommended NOT playing there, only to have a change of heart once they saw how much BetOnline changed.
So, here’s where we stand on the matter –
BetOnline has made mistakes and is far from a perfect sportsbook, poker room or casino. They had and continue to have their shortcomings, the most recent of which we highlight in our review below.
But, as best as we can tell, they have righted their wrongs and continue to improve on what they currently offer to players. So we feel safe having accounts here.
It’s up to you to decide if you feel the same way.
2016 Main Review of BetOnline
With their past out of the way, let’s jump into what’s important today – and that’s what BetOnline offers in terms of banking, betting options and promotions.
Deposit and Cash Out Options, Fees and Time Frames
BetOnline offers a solid selection of banking options. However, you’ll want to keep in mind that what’s available to you will be determined by where you live.
Let’s start with their deposit options.
Here are the payment methods BetOnline accepts and the min/max limits for each:
The biggest complaint about deposits are their 6% fees for credit and debit cards. They’re one of the only sites that charge for (credit/debit card) deposits. Bovada’s one of the other ones, charging 4.9%.
When you’re ready to cash out your winnings, you can use:
What I don’t like is how you’ll pay a fee for every banking option. Even bitcoin, which is usually free at most sportsbooks and casinos. But here you’ll pay a 2% fee.
That said, I’ve seen firsthand reports from customers who say they’ve received payments within 10 days, bank transfers within 3 days and bank wires in 2-3 days. This is fast considering they’re in the US market.
BetOnline says nothing about it on their website, but I’ve seen reports that suggest BetOnline gives you a $50 credit every month if you put in your request on a Friday. In many cases this won’t cover the entire fee, but it is better than nothing.
BetOnline’s Products: What Can You Bet On or Play?
BetOnline is an “all in one” company. That means you can bet on sports, play poker and casino games.
Their longest standing, and likely most popular product, is their sportsbook. So let’s start there.
Bet on Sports, Horses and Financials
BetOnline offers action on sports, horses and finances.
In their sportsbook they more or less cover the most popular sports in the US. Those include:
- Auto racing
- Martial arts
You can also bet on futures and prop bets on these markets:
- Canadian Football
- Formula One
- Pro Football
- College Football
- Pro Baseball
- Pro Basketball
- College Basketball
- Women’s Pro Basketball (WNBA)
They offer live betting too. These options change constantly, obviously, to coincide with what games or events are going on. When I last looked they had lines for soccer, baseball and tennis. You can also keep track of a couple games simultaneously using their multi-event tab and plan for future games using their live betting calendar.
One thing they’re known for are their higher-than-average betting limits. These vary from $1 to $25,000. Most markets will max out at between $1,000 to $3,000. But it just depends. You can see all their wager limits here.
Their sportsbook also runs a fair number of promotions, and far more than you’ll find in their racebook and financials section combined. A few of the better options include:
- 50% Welcome Bonus – Get a 50% match on your first deposit up to $2,500.
- 50% Kickoff Reload – Get a 50% reload bonus up to $1,000.
- Live Bet Free Play – Get a $25 free play. This is more or less insurance – make a bet and if you lose, they’ll reimburse you up to $25.
Beyond that you’ll see a list of races on their main page. Each listing tells you how many open races there are, which when you click on it will expand to show you the races, horses, jockeys and odds.
If you’re unfamiliar with their site or horse betting, a good section to look through is their racebook info tab in their navigation. Here you’ll find information on:
- Their track limits. This tells you the max you can bet per race.
- Payoff odds. Find out how much you’ll make if your bet(s) win.
- Their rules and the types of bets you can make.
- Horse betting tips, FAQs and terms (in case you don’t know what a word or phrase means).
It’s a good section if you’re new to horse betting.
And that’s about it. This section is far smaller than their sportsbook.
That said, their racebook does have a few offers too, though nowhere near the quality or quantity their sportsbook offers.
Here are some of their offers:
- Track Rebate – Get a 7% rebate on your bets daily with no min volume or caps on how much you can earn.
- $25 Risk Free Bet – Make a bet for the first time in the racebook. If you lose BetOnline will reimburse you up to $25.
Last up is their financials section. Here you can bet on currencies, indices and commodities. Your betting options include touch, range, turbo and one touch. The assets/markets you can bet on will depend on your bet type.
This section looks like an afterthought. It certainly doesn’t get the attention or marketing BetOnline’s other sections do.
Their poker room is one of the most popular options for Americans. They’re part of the Chico Poker Network, who’s 13th in overall traffic rankings, but is 3rd for US poker sites. When I last checked they had around 2,100 players on their site.
In 2016 BetOnline performed a much-needed software upgrade. In the past they had many complaints about the quality of their software. This included complaints about blurry graphics, poor sound and animation quality.
But following their upgrade we’ve seen suggestions that they may have some of the best software in the US market.
From worst to best in one upgrade? That might be pushing it. But based on the images I’ve seen, their software DOES look better.
However, there are still a few areas BetOnline can improve.
Right now they have a download for PC and Macs. But they don’t have any options for mobile players, which we think is a no-brainer in this day and age. They also only offer holdem, omaha and 7-card stud. It’d be nice to see more game options.
Overall, though, it’s nice to see they’re making improvements and are becoming more competitive with what other top tier US poker sites offer.
Speaking of which, some of their poker offers or promotions include:
- Welcome Bonus – They will match your deposit 100% up to a max of $2,500. They pay this out to you $5 at a time. You’ll have 60 days to clear the offer.
- $50,000 GTD – They’re running a $50,000 guarantee for $99.
- $90,000 Guaranteed – BetOnline guarantees more than $90,000 in tournament prize pools every single weekend.
They have a few leaderboard and cash race challenges, too.
And it’s not exactly a “bonus,” but the games here should be softer due to the US traffic and the crossover traffic from their sportsbook or casino. Making money from their poker tables should be easier here compared to other poker (only) sites.
Casino and Skill Games
Here you’ll find lots of game options ranging from table games to slots to video poker and skill games. Their games come from both Rival Gaming and BetSoft software, both of which are known for creating topnotch games. Here’s how their games breakdown:
- 9 blackjack variations.
- 13 table games.
- 19 regular slots plus 37 3D slots.
- 17 video poker games.
- Live dealers for blackjack, roulette and baccarat.
Let’s get more specific though. Here’s a small sample of the casino and skill games you can play at BetOnline. See our casino review for a complete list.
- American Roulette
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Multi-Hand Blackjack
- Three Card Poker
- American Blackjack
- 21 Burn
- Poker3 Heads Up
- Monkey Money (slots)
- Reel Outlaws (slots)
- Wizards Castle (slots)
- The Bees (slots)
- Ghouls Gold (slots, a 3×3 hold slot machine)
- It Came From Venus (3d slots)
- Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (3d slots)
- Mr. Vegas (3d slots)
- RockStar (3d slots)
- Lost (3d slots)
- Five Draw Poker (video poker)
- All American (video poker)
- Double Bonus (video poker)
- Joker Poker (video poker)
- Deuces Wild (video poker)
Then there’s their skill games. These include favorites like:
- Gin Rummy
And while you play their games you can also clear bonuses, earn points and get cash back. Here are some of their top offers:
- Slots Bonus – This is a 100% match bonus up to $1,000 to use for your favorite slot games.
- Live Dealer Bet – Play your first bet in the live dealer casino. If you lose, BetOnline will reimburse you up to $25.
- Reload Bonus – Get an extra 25% bonus every time you make a deposit of $25 or more.
- Rebate Program – Get a 10% rebate every week you lose $100 or more.
You’ll want to read our casino review to learn about all their offers, as well as their terms and conditions since they’ll be different for each offer and game you play.
If you run into a problem or have a question, you can reach out to BetOnline using one of the following options:
One thing to point out here are the reports I’ve seen about how BetOnline’s support is unfriendly.
One example came from a poker player turned site reviewer. He shared his experience, which was one of the worst I’ve heard ever, let alone heard about BetOnline.
Here’s an excerpt from Gaming the Odds:
Since BetOnline’s poker software is not high-quality, I expected them to shine at customer service. How else could you explain the popularity of their poker room?
Turns out I was wrong, big-time. In fact, through their live chat support (and I just have to mention it in this BetOnline review), I had the worst customer service experience in my life so far.
After the live chat session started, I had to wait a few minutes until the customer service person bothered to reply, not just completely ignoring my question but asking for my username and password as well. Would you feel comfortable entering your username and password into some live chat box? I sure didn’t.
I explained that I don’t want to enter that information into a chat room and, more importantly, the question requires no such information since it was about BetOnline.ag in general. I had to wait ten more minutes for “assistance” (I use that word loosely here), while receiving “Thank you for waiting. I’ll be with you in just a moment… ” every now and then.
That said, I’ve also heard the opposite. A reviewer that actively plays on BetOnline says they offer excellent customer service. He also says that your best bet is to take advantage of their live chat (only available to account holders).
Their experiences are polar opposites. This suggests to us that BetOnline may have inconsistencies with how they handle customer support …and that your mileage (experiences) may vary.
Conclusion – Is BetOnline Legit?
This is sort of tricky because the first 25-33% of our review was all about BetOnline’s sordid past. And if that’s all you read, or all you remember about them, then the answer’s obvious – heck no!
But do us a favor – forget about their past for a minute. What are their biggest problems?
The biggest problems for us are their banking fees. Not only do you pay fees for every option – including bitcoin – their fees are pretty high, too.
The flip side is they offer $50 credits once per month if you turn in your request on a Friday. And, there are many reports from players saying that BetOnline’s paying players out fast.
That sort of balances out the high fees, doesn’t it?
Another thing we wish BetOnline offered are mobile options in their poker room and casino. However, since they did just upgrade their poker software, this leads me to believe that mobile apps or games could be next on their list. And, they DO have mobile (sports) betting.
Our last complaint – their customer service. It sounds like it’s hit or miss, that they could be more consistent.
And that’s it. Which isn’t all too bad or abnormal. Almost par for the course, really, if not slightly better.
When you factor that along with the fact that they offer 3 products (sports, casino, poker), accept customers from all 50 states …and have picked themselves up from the dirt to turn things around and become a seemingly safe and legit company…
…it becomes a bit easier to see why we encourage most everyone to create an account here.
People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished. But they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings. – David Millar
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Check out BetOnline today.
Scott | 20 Jan 2017
I agree with the first two comments above. This review unfortunately is absent of any statistical analysis of their poker software. I would be much more interested in that kind of review. I too have witnessed the most unrealistic draw outs uncommonly often on bet online. It is sad that pokerstars no longer allows us players because they seemed like they actually shuffled the deck. Action flop theory as well as equitable distribution theory are definitely at work with the rng at bet online. I play on there, but only freerolls, and i have been playing for a while and often there due to limited choices for players in the US. I have spent plenty of time observing the slant that their 'shuffle' has. It's not rigged to favor any certain player, IMO, mind you...just has a ridiculously limited amount of permutations where the dominating hand holds up. EXTREMELY unrealistic!
Rich Mignone | 17 Jan 2017
most unrealistic poker ever - useless for anyone that truly plays poker - wayyyy to much of an aroma of a scam
B. Dole | 15 Jan 2017
I would be very interested in an investigation in to their RNG for poker. After playing there for almost a year I can say without a doubt there are more insane draw outs than any other site I play on. I actually first heard of "Action Flop Theory" because of the amazing draw outs that come from BetOnline Poker.
Josh Speer | 29 Dec 2016
I have been a betonline customer for over 6 years and they will no longer pay me bonuses because I have placed future wagers. I called to get customer service and couldnt get any. I have used Bovada and they give me those same bonuses.
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