BetAmerica may be one of the newer online sportsbooks on the scene, but the parent company knows a thing or two about the world of betting. In fact, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of the company – Churchill Downs, Inc., the same group that owns a certain racetrack down Kentucky way.
Incredibly, that’s exactly where the business began, back in 1875, with the first running of the Kentucky Derby. And for over 100 years, the company held onto the original track and bought and sold a few others. In the 1990s, they got into simulcasting. From there, casinos. And in 2017, they bought the fledgling BetAmerica.com, which at the time was an ADW site – advanced deposit wagering – that wholly concentrated on horse racing.
Fast forward to today, and BetAmerica is a full-service sportsbook (which also features a full horse racing site) and online casino in states where iGaming is permitted. For purposes of this review, we’ll concentrate on the sportsbook side.
As a newer player on the scene, there will be hiccups – for instance, geolocation was spotty in our attempts to access the site – but overall, the BetAmerica experience is fast, clean, and neat.
In what states is BetAmerica online sportsbook available?
BetAmerica first became available in the U.S. marketplace in 2019 in New Jersey, and so far, is up and running in three states — having added Indiana and Pennsylvania — with Tennessee likely to become the next state where it is live.
|Indiana||TBD||Rising Star Casino||December 2019|
|New Jersey||TBD||Golden Nugget||February 2019|
|Pennsylvania||TBD||Presque Island Downs||January 2020|
Differences between states for BetAmerica
BetAmerica has also announced they will be entering the online sportsbook market in Michigan in the “near future,” according to a company press release. Colorado is also on the docket. It’s widely expected these won’t be the last states BetAmerica will seek to enter in the near, and distant, future.
There is little difference in the experience for BetAmerica customers in the three states it currently operates in. The biggest difference is on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sites, where there are plenty of come-ons for the online casino, which is not offered (by law) in Indiana.
The other difference is simply the number of sports you can bet on, and again, this is based on individual state law. All the major sports – and most of the minor sports – are available for wagering on all three sites, but the Pennsylvania and New Jersey sites do differ in some of the more off-the-board options. For instance, bettors in Pennsylvania can wager on handball, volleyball, bandy, and snooker. New Jerseyans can lay some action on darts and table tennis.
The design of the individual sites are more or less the same, with the only real difference being the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sites having plenty of links to the casino. One interesting wrinkle in New Jersey: You can’t bet on the Houston Rockets. Why? Because their owner Tilman Fertitta also owns the Golden Nugget, which is the casino partner for BetAmerica.
Main welcome bonus package at BetAmerica
|BetAmerica Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|Promo Code||Coming Soon|
New accounts to BetAmerica are getting one of the lower-end, basic bonus offers in the sportsbook game: Bet $50, get a $50 free bet. Not exactly an offer that brings the house down, but it ain’t nuthin’, either.
Our expectation is that BetAmerica sweetens the pot a bit and when they do, we hope to be able to bring you an exclusive bonus offer. Stay tuned.
Like all other online sportstbooks, BetAmerica makes sure that you are at least 21 before allowing you to register an account. This is verified with your birthdate and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
You must be physically located in a state where BetAmerica is licensed to operate in order to place a bet, but you can create an account from anywhere. In other words, anyone over 21 can place a wager, but you have to have your feet on the ground in one of the legal states to get a bet down.
As far as the types of bets, BetAmerica offers the more-or-less standard in the industry, with straights, parlays, and teasers.
BetAmerica also offers what’s quickly becoming the new standard in the industry, namely live betting options. And again, depending on which state you’re in, those live betting options are rich and varied. For instance, at the time of this review – early morning on a Friday in New Jersey – live action included wagers on basketball in China, baseball in South Korea, and soccer in Croatia. Go NK Sesvete!
Additionally, the layout of BetAmerica – both mobile and desktop – is about as clean and neat as you’re going to find. It’s sharp, intuitive, and quick-response. It is exceedingly user-friendly.
BetAmerica mobile app
The BetAmerica mobile site is sharp. As said above, there is little by way of clutter on the app, and navigating through it is a cinch.
Here is a quick peek into the app and what you might expect from it as a user.
- Availability – The BetAmerica app is available for both Android and iOS devices, but like all other gambling-related apps, Android users must go to BetAmerica.com and download the app direct from the website, whereas iOS users can just go to the App Store to download from there.
- Speed – Speed of the app is lightning fast. There is zero lag when bouncing around the app. You click a bet, it takes you right to the betslip, where the bet is already waiting. The response time is as good or better than any other sportsbook app we’ve tested.
- Stability – Zero crashes when tested, although the geolocation service – at least on Android devices – did have some blips. On occasion, the “we can’t you” message would pop up when trying to access the site. This has happened with other sportsbooks, so it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, though the rhyme and reason behind it is opaque. Literally, one room in a house didn’t allow access, and moving to another room did. We don’t want to make it sound like this is a systemic problem, but it did happen twice during the testing. It appeared that clearing the cache also helped clear up any geolocation issues.
- Appearance – Have we said the app is clean and neat yet? We did? Well, we’re going to do it again. It is without bells and whistles, and quite frankly, that’s preferred. After logging on, you’re taken to the home page. Across the top is a scroll bar featuring the main sports, with an option front and center to be taken to “all sports.” Underneath that are the day’s promotions and bonuses, and below that are some of the featured contests of the day. At the bottom of the app are links to all sports, live action, open bets, and the betslip. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there’s also a “casino” link. There’s a menu option in the top left, account option in the top right.
- One drawback? When you click on an individual league for the slate of games, you’ll get to see, at most three at a time. And once you click on an individual game, you’ll see, again, maybe three markets at a time. A lot of scrolling, in short.
- Responsiveness – Without question, the response time on the app is world-class. There was simply zero wait time when clicking through, and jumping from bet slip to account to personal information to live betting to wherever went off without a hitch.
- Cash out – Cash out is available on most markets at BetAmerica, and is accessed through the “live bet” tab.
BetAmerica Web-based platform
The website, while also clean and neat like the app, does have a bit more going on. For instance, a link to the horse racing site – which is legal in 40 states, and demands a separate account to wager- is prominently displayed at the top of the site. There are also a few more links to some handy features that are a little more difficult to find on the mobile app, such as live chat and a dropdown menu to change how the odds look, from American to decimal to fractional.
There is also a “bet search” function, which, quite frankly, we couldn’t find on the app.
Diving in a bit deeper, games for individual sports are stacked on top of each other, and the font is a bit on the wee side. It somehow suffers from the opposite problem of the mobile app, in that there’s almost too much to easily digest on the screen. It’s hard to hold your eye across the game, the time, the stats (more on that in a moment), the spread, the moneyline, the over/under, and the more bets.
But yes: The stats. Looking at the NFL markets, for example, there is a little stock market ticker looking doohickey thingee between the teams playing and the lines. Click it, and it takes you to a page with a bunch of not-terribly-actionable statistics about the … “match.” Yeah. Match. So for instance, when you click the Vikings-Packers doohickey thingee, it takes to a page that tells you all about their past “matches.” It’s disconcerting, obviously, as the only thing us Yanks know from matches are tennis and “do ya got a?”
Furthermore, the stats are pretty much useless. For instance, the Packers have a 51-46 record against the Vikings since 1972, outscoring them by an average of 21.88 to 20.71. If this is how you’re betting games, please – please please please – stop and take up another, less costly hobby.
It would be fantastic for this feature to have some actual, actionable information. Dare to dream.
One area BetAmerica’s web platform is excellent at is the bet slip. It’s always visible on the right side of the screen, and once you click on a bet, it populates immediately into the bet slip. No need to slide between screens to see if you have 10 or 11 legs in your parlay. Additionally, it tells you your potential winnings in the winnings + stake form, unlike some other books (hello, FanDuel) that leaves the math up to you
Past that, the site and the app are more or less the same. The home page offers a look at upcoming action, as well as prominent live action. Down the left side are links to all the sports, and … and that’s pretty much that. It’s simple and not in the least bit confusing.
Pricing and betting options at BetAmerica
Betting options at BetAmerica are not as expansive as some other sites, though all the basics are certainly covered.
For instance, baseball games feature the obvious money lines, points spread, run lines, and over/unders. On the game prop front, you can expect first to score, five-inning bets, and plenty of player props. Football offers similar options, such as first touchdown scorer, basic player props, and quarter and half action.
A few downsides
(1) It’s a scroll-fest, specifically on the mobile site. To see all the markets, you have to continuously scroll through them. This is not to say they are difficult to find or navigate; they are just stacked on top of each other in a way that prohibits easy viewing of many at a time. For instance, on NFL player props, you can only see three separate props on the screen as you scroll through.
(2) The pricing is wonky. For example, for a regular season NFL week, rather than -110 on both sides, or -115 and -105, you’ll often find some oddballs like Seahawks -3 (+112) and Bills +3 (-132). There’s usually alternate lines to bet, but we don’t love that the SB Tech-powered sportsbook doesn’t keep the straight bets straightforward.
(3) Additionally, pricing on the player props are not ideal. BetAmerica’s moneylines, over/unders, and spread bets mostly fall on the -110 spectrum (some sides are both -110, other games are -105 and -115 or +100 and -120) but the player prop bets mostly fall on the -115 spectrum, with both sides either being -115 or -110 and -120. This is an area where BetAmerica is certainly lacking against some other sportsbooks. You can often find player props priced -112 on both sides elsewhere, such as FanDuel.
Also – and this may be COVID-related, though it’s unclear – there seems to be a definite lack of futures markets at BetAmerica. As in, none, at least as far as we can see. Obviously, if BetAmerica is to be taken seriously by serious bettors, a robust futures market is needed.
On the promotion side, BetAmerica offers some creative ways to get money back in your pocket. Some sample promotions we’ve seen include getting $5 for every passing touchdown in an NFL game if you bet $50 or more on the spread, a $10 live bet Monday Night Football bonus, and a buck for every run scored if you bet an MLB moneyline. They also offer daly “super odds” – aka boosts – on a variety of outcomes.
Overall user experience at BetAmerica
BetAmerica is one of the newer entrants in the American online sportsbook world, and with it comes a few issues.
On the positive side, the look and feel of the app and website are exactly what you want from a sportsbook. It’s easy to navigate, inviting, and quicker than Kyler Murray leaving the pocket.
Downside? Betting choices are just not up to par when compared with many, if not most, other sportsbooks. For beginning bettors, BetAmerica is a fine place to start, but for more experienced people, there will definitely be a little wondering where the rest of the site is. The lack of a futures market is certainly a downside.
But the upsides are certainly there. It’s so quick and so intuitive that the aforementioned-beginners won’t be overwhelmed, and more experienced players will welcome the speed at which the app operates.
Another nice feature is the 24-hour email customer support and live chat. The site also offers phone support, but only from 9am to 6pm EST. In our testing, the live chat response time was very quick, usually within a minute.
Deposits and withdrawals
BetAmerica makes it easy on the deposit and withdrawal front.
For deposits, BetAmerica accepts:
- Online banking: In addition to the major national banks, BetAmerica offers access to seemingly every other bank in the nation. Log in using your online banking credentials. The list is very long, and unless your bank is a guy named Paulie, you should be able to find your bank for a deposit.
- PayPal: You probably already have an account.
- ACH/echeck: Perhaps the easiest way to deposit next to PayPal, once you link your bank, it’s there whenever you want to make a deposit.
- Play+: If you have a Play+ account set up, you can easily deposit from your credit card or checking account.
- Skrill: A PayPal competitor, it accepts nearly two dozen more currencies. So if you’re planning a trip abroad, maybe check out Skrill.
- PayNearMe: Select this option, get sent a code, bring code and cash to participating stores in your area, such as 7-Eleven, Family Dollar, or CVS, and presto! You’re deposited.
- Debit/Credit Cards: Debit cards are almost certainly going to be accepted, but credit card companies often decline charges to gambling sites.
- Cash at casino cage: This depends on your home state’s partner casino (if there is one). Before you go, call to make sure they accept deposits/withdrawals, please make sure, due to COVID-19, they are A) open and B) accepting cash at the cage.
For withdrawals, BetAmerica allows all except PayNear Me.
The minimum deposit at BetAmerica is certainly the lowest we’ve come across at $1 even. They come through immediately, and there is a $3,000 daily limit.
Jeff is a veteran journalist, working as a columnist for The Trentonian newspaper in Trenton, NJ for a number of years. He's also an avid sports bettor and DFS player. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.