BetOnline has been around in the online gambling space for a long time. The origins of the site date back to 2000, when they were one of the first sites to set up shop in Panama. They also have a “license” from Panama, which as you may probably already know amounts to nothing.
We are going to review the site in its current state, and I will give you full disclosure: I know many of the people who were involved in the site from the beginning and those who took the site over when it was in disarray a few years back. We’ll go into some more details on that a little further down the page.
A sportsbook when it started, the company has expanded to now include Poker, Casino, Horse betting and even financial betting.
Depending on who you ask, you will get various answers to this question. Let’s try to bring you up to speed on everything that has happened to BetOnline and their players since they opened their doors.
In the early days of the online gambling industry, it really was like the Wild West down in Central America. Many of the main bookmakers from the U.S moved down to Costa Rica and Panama and set up their organizations, but with no real regulation to speak of, they were still running their operations with minimal player-friendly practices. In fact, if you do a little research, you will find a significant number of complaints and negative stories about the site. There have been incidents of the site removing suspected cheater’s funds, of the site knowing everyone’s passwords, and of players being generally harassed by the company if they weren’t adhering to BetOnline’s strict policies.
All of this came to a halt in 2012 when the company, which was in financial trouble as well, changed its entire management group. The new management included many industry veterans, and they vowed to turn things around. To be honest, they succeeded…there were far fewer complaints on the forums, and players were being paid. Everything looked to be on the up and up…until this happened in February 2017:
In BetOnline’s defense, they do not own or manage the Live Dearer platform; they license it from a third party. However, given their history, it certainly did not look good for the casino to have yet another controversy on their hands. They were quick to jump in front of the issue. Instead of hiding it, they came right out and addressed it, and also quickly fired that software partner and added a new Live Dealer software, which we will review a little later.
In my opinion, I would say that BetOnline is a legit site for you to play in 2017. The Live Dealer issue aside, the company has worked hard on its reputation over the last 5 years and are definitely trending in the right direction.
For the purposes of this review, we are going to be a little more casino-heavy. We’ll be looking at all the following topics during this review:
For their digital casino, BetOnline has chosen Betsoft as a partner. Over the years, the site has used several different vendors, but I am happy to see that they have settled on these guys for their games. For those of you who may not know the name, Betsoft has been around for many years and is one of a handful of software vendors that still allow their operators to take U.S. action. The software is excellent and is known for their great selection of slots games.
With every review I write, I find myself immersed in a game for far longer than I expected, which of course tends to slow down my writing but amps up my overall experience. With BetOnline, I got into a groove with their Pai Gow Poker game – I love the game in land-based casinos, and the Betsoft version is an excellent digital companion. You can try the game for free if you have never played it or if you want to check out the quality of the Betsoft table games:
The casino also offers many Blackjack variants, and a full array of the table games you would see in almost any casino.
The cornerstone of the Betsoft slots offering is their 3D Slots games. The graphics on these games really show the quality of the developers that the company has on their team, and there are some fantastic themes to many of the slots. Check out the detail on The SlotFather as an example.
All of this adds up to a great experience for the player. BetOnline features the entire catalog of Betsoft Slot machines, which includes some of these popular titles.
The average video poker player is one who isn’t looking for too many bells and whistles in a game; they are more focused on the game selection and more importantly the pay table for that game. If played correctly, some games can actually have a player edge. Betsoft has a few video poker variants – not as many as some casinos I have reviewed, but certainly enough to make the average player very happy. Have a look at their current variants:
Usually, the Specialty Games section of a website is pretty boring to this reviewer; I am not much of a Keno or Scratch Card player. I was very pleased to see a unique type of Specialty Game being offered at BetOnline. They call them Skill Games, and the titles are games you will know and no doubt love:
Yes, that’s right, you can play Yahtzee for Real Money! They also have a Play Money version of the game, which I think you should stop and play right this second – you’ll be hooked!
BetOnline also has an entire section of their site dedicated to Horse betting. This is in itself a niche type of betting as it entails an entirely different set of bets and betting rules. If you have never bet on the horses before, I would encourage it…it can be a lot of fun and races end so quickly as opposed to other sporting events that your bet will come in within a couple of minutes of the post time!
As we mentioned earlier, the BetOnline Live Dealer casino was full of scandal earlier in the year. The site has since changed software providers and their new partner, Visionary I-Gaming, is a very reputable company. I suspect we will not be seeing any similar behavior in the future. Here are the games they currently spread in their Live Casino (and don’t forget their free $25 match bet just for the Live Dealer section!):
If you are a player like me, you like to have a little dabble into some sports bets on top of your casino experience. BetOnline has everything you need to make those wager, featuring odds on all the top North American sports as well as some sports from around the world. Here’s just a snapshot of what you can bet on:
As a result of being one of the few poker sites that didn’t leave the U.S. market as a consequence of the changing legislation of 2006 or the Black Friday crackdown, BetOnline has a fairly robust network of players. The site offers cash games from penny tables to high stakes and has over $250,000 in Guaranteed Tournaments on their weekly schedule. Add in some great freerolls, and you have a site that is very easy for someone to join and be seated.
There are a couple of poker-specific promotions that I would like to highlight:
Rake Races have been around for a while and as far as I am concerned they are the best way to create a frenzy among loyal players. Here’s what BetOnline is offering:
$10,000 worth of extra cash prizes is up-for-grabs each and every week for loyal cash game players. To get your share of the $10K, simply play in any of our real-money ring games. Once you are in on the action, you will earn points based on your play and work your way up the Leaderboard to some extra cash winnings.
These events are usually very easy for good players to make money; it’s likely a tournament made up of fish, and many people who will register and forget to show up. $5,000 is an excellent prize pool, so I think this is a great way for some seasoned gamblers to make some easy money.
There is no doubt that BetOnline’s Customer Service department took a beating in February and March when this cheating scandal came to light. The good news for you is that the casino seems to have survived this issue, and if you have any issues with your experience, you can reach the site 24 hours a day by telephone via their toll-free number. I tested this number late one night, and someone did indeed answer the phone and was probably confused when I simply told them to “Have a nice night” and hung up.
A nice touch for players at BetOnline is that they have different email addresses for the different customer service areas, split by game. This is great as it can become difficult to train a CS representative on all things about the site; having poker-specific service as an example should speed up the time to solve any issues you may have.
One thing that isn’t lacking on any front at BetOnline is promotions and bonuses. The management of this company is keenly aware of how competitive this business can be, and they are looking for every angle to try to attract and retain their players. Rather than have site-wide promotions, there are loads of game-specific offers that will give players across sports, casino, and poker lots of choices.
Let’s take a look at the bonuses that are most attractive to casino players at BetOnline:
I have to give the casino credit here: a lot of sites just stick one Welcome Bonus in front of players, and they make the percentages so high that truthfully no one ever takes full advantage of what they can earn. At BetOnline, there are a couple of Welcome Bonuses along with a “lifetime” reload bonus which they also put front and center when you are looking for compelling offers.
If you have never made a deposit with Bitcoin before, you can earn a special 100% Bonus on your first-ever deposit via Bitcoin. Use promo code BTC2017 and we will match your deposit dollar for dollar from just $20 all the way up to $1,000.
Get an extra 50% added onto your sports betting bankroll on your first-ever deposit at BetOnline.ag. Simply use promo code NEW2500 while making your initial deposit and your 50% bonus will be added onto your balance within seconds. To maximize your earn, you can score up to $2,500.00 worth of free plays from this one deposit.
LIFEBONUS… that’s the promo code you need to use whenever you make a qualifying reload to score the most generous reload bonus program in the industry – our Lifetime Bonus Guarantee. Once your deposit goes through you will score a 25% bonus good for our Sportsbook. To maximize the value off of your bonus, you can score up to $1,000 worth of free plays per qualifying reload.
What I love about BetOnline is that they are always posting different promotions which appeal to players of all different games. Here is an overview of the current casino-focused promotions at the site:
We are putting $1,800 worth of extra cash up-for-grabs every week in our Live Casino Blackjack & Roulette Leaderboard Challenge. Finish the week in the Top-3 in either the Blackjack or Roulette Leaderboard, and you will take home a share of the $1,800 cash prize pool.
Serious Casino players can earn up to $200 worth of bonuses every month. Your High Roller Bonus will automatically be added to your account within the first week of the month.
Each and every month you can earn a 20% Rebate in the BetOnline.ag Casino – with up to $10,000 worth of Casino bonuses. Your rebate will be paid in the form of a slots bonus.
Get your first THREE Casino deposits matched 100% from $25 all the way up to $1,000.
A guaranteed $2,500 CASH prize pool is up-for-grabs in our new Blackjack Boss Tournament on Thursday. With 1st Place paying out $1,000, you will definitely want to be in on the action.
Get up to a $25.00 free play on your first ever bet placed in BetOnline.ag’s Live Dealer Casino. If your bet wins: Congratulations, you are on the way. If you lose, BetOnline.ag will return your funds through our freeplay bonus. It’s a win-win all the way.
As with most of the U.S.-facing gaming sites, BetOnline faces challenges in trying to locate processors who will accept U.S. transactions without massive charges or monthly minimums. As a result, they get creative with how they can get you to make your deposit, and it is definitely worth a chat with them to see if they can sweeten the pot with higher bonuses if you use a method that doesn’t charge them as much as credit card processors.
Withdrawal times vary of course, but there aren’t too many issues that we have discovered of players being paid super slowly or not at all… There are of course always exceptions to the rule, and you can never be too sure if what you are reading on the forums is entirely accurate either.
At this time there is no mention of a VIP program on their website. I have to assume that they have a subjective VIP program which they deliver to their players on an individual basis. This is a bit disappointing as I always like the terms of a Comp or VIP program to be front and center, so players know what they are trying to attain.
I am pretty torn about this review as a whole. I have known many of the principals and employees of BetOnline for a long time, and truth be told I have had an account there for much longer than this review’s purposes. I want to believe these guys and take them at their word with regards to their Live Dealer cheating situation. Given the fact that they changed their entire management a few years ago and that they swiftly and publicly dealt with the latest scandal, I am willing to give these guys another chance and recommend them to you as a site for all your gambling desires.
This review was made by: LegitCasinosOnline.com Rating: 9 out of 10