This isn’t your grandpa’s sportsbook (or bookie) is the worn-out phrase one can often hear when describing the current state of sports betting. But while eye-roll inducing, it’s as true today as it has ever been. Maybe in the past there may have been a few bettors who would make a call to a bookie while at the game, trying to gain a bit of advantage, but chances of those bets going through were slim to none. Enter today’s online sportsbook, where not only customers can place live bets on the games, but they are encouraged to do so by the ubiquity of the Internet in every facet of life, including at every stadium and sporting arena. Unfortunately not too long ago, spotty, slow and expensive cellular connection, coupled with desktop-oriented website design rendered the sportsbooks almost a torture to use on the go.
Luckily, the ever-present WiFi and the proper amount of competition among the internet bookmakers quickly solved these problems. Today a sportsbook would be embarrassed (and lose a bunch of players) if they are not up to par in the mobile scene. Here we will take a look at a few of the best sportsbook apps, if you so wish to call them, and find out which sportsbooks are the easiest to use when all you have is a smartphone or a tablet. Here is our ranking and review of the best sportsbook apps and mobile betting platforms:
This online sportsbook has certainly done their homework and achieved the goal of delivering an excellent mobile experience. Accessing the mobile site of Bovada will definitely give you the feeling of using an actual smartphone app – the layout is perfect, the graphics, navigation, menus – everything is organized and working just the way it’s supposed to do. Truth be told, in this case the bettors are actually piggy-backing on the casino players – Bovada has always ran one of the most popular online casinos in the world and unlike the sports bettor, the visuals have always been one of the most important feature for casino players. Thus Bovada really went out of their way early on to provide their customers a seamless mobile experience. While visuals are not as important to the sports bettor, who would likely care more about how easy and intuitive the app is in placing bets, rather than how “pretty” it looks while doing it, we think that Bovada remains the top dog in the sportsbook apps world with their excellent mobile website.
The Bookmaker sportsbook app (mobile website) is what we would call a complete utilitarian experience. This is actually quite beneficial, since the betting site loads lightning fast on mobile devices and if you are at a game, seeing a player limping out and want to beat the odds makers to the punch and place a wager accordingly – you know it would be a race to the finish and the faster you are the better chance to lock in the numbers before the sportsbook changes them. But even if you are not in one of those rare situations – it’s actually very refreshing to see a sportsbook app that is focused heavily on what they should be doing in the first place – offering a fast and easy way to place a bet. You won’t be overwhelmed by graphics, confusing (and deep) menus – you need to place a bet with the Bookmaker mobile app, you can do it nearly in an instant. Couple the app with the fact that Bookmaker remains the best sportsbook online and you end up with one of the top choice for betting on your smartphone or tablet.
We placed 5Dimes at the bottom of the list not because of bad mobile experience. As a matter of fact, the 5Dimes app is pretty good, it does everything you would expect from a mobile site – nice layout and organization of the various menus, not overly graphical leading to fast speeds, ease of placing wagers, etc. But for a while now this sportsbook has decided to improve their customers’ security by flagging logins from IPs different than your last, which on paper may look good, but in real life is a real pain in the behind. Every time you log in from a different IP or clear your cookies, both things every security-cautious internet user should be doing these days, 5Dimes requires you to verify your login via an email code. And even if you don’t do any of those on purpose, using your phone will do it for you – switching networks, WiFi hotspots, etc., all will force you to verify your sportsbook account login more often than not. We think that this feature is quite annoying but the 5Dimes sportsbook is a legend and a lot of people are willing to put up with this minor annoyance in order to place bets with this top-rated sportsbook. And if you don’t mind doing this on your phone – it’s a minor bother, and the sportsbook app is worth it.
Sure, technically, only the European-facing online bookmakers are actually building apps in the proper sense of the word – programs that run directly on your smartphone without the need of a browser. What we have here are not exactly sportsbook apps, but rather the mobile versions of the betting website for each of the sportsbooks in question. However, if the mobile website was designed the right way, it actually offers more benefit than using an app. For example, security is much improved, since you don’t have to worry about securing two different things (the regular website and the app itself) and especially with the continuous Android fragmentations, it is very hard to keep customers happy by designing a sportsbook app that would run perfectly on all versions. For this and a few other reasons, the sports betting companies have chosen to go with the mobile versions rather than creating betting apps for Android or iOS. We think is the better choice and as you see from the examples of the sportsbooks here, the mobile betting sites are rather intuitive and a breeze to use.