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How Come I Can’t Access My Sportsbook

Ryan Metivier

by Ryan Metivier

Updated Mar 4, 2020 · 3:54 PM PST

With each passing day, sports wagering is becoming more accessible to bettors. Whether at a casino, from your desktop or through a mobile app on your phone, bettors have plenty of ways to get some action on their favorite sport. But sometimes, you may have a problem trying to place your bet at an online sportsbook.

Read on to find out more about why you might not be able to access your sportsbook and the most common reasons that sportsbooks stop working.

Mobile Betting Issues

With the growing popularity and legalization of sports betting across the United States, so too is the ever-increasing ease of placing a wager through your mobile smartphone. However, if you’re having issues with your mobile sports betting application (or browser) be sure to consider the following:

  • You may need to remove content control or parental control settings on your phone to access restricted apps involving betting.
  • Sometimes the app may not even be offered through an app store like Google Play if it has been deemed restricted. However, a process called side-loading will often give you a workaround to obtain the app.
  • Similar to many apps you may download to your mobile device, developers of sportsbook apps are constantly working to improve their products and update their apps to provide improved features. There may come a time where you’ll be required to download a software update or purchase an entirely new phone in order to keep betting from your mobile device.
  • If what you see on your phone looks different from you see when betting from your desktop, that is likely because you’re using an app or viewing the mobile version of the sportsbook’s website. In either scenario, the experience will be slightly different, and it doesn’t necessarily imply that your sportsbook isn’t working.

But Wait, My Sportsbook Won’t Open at All

If you’re trying to view your sportsbook from your desktop and are having issues, you may want to try clearing your cache. Web browsers store old information in a cache that can prevent you from viewing your sportsbook as the company has intended. This can happen if an update was made to the sportsbook, but your computer still has the old information stored or memorized.

There are several reasons the site may not be opening though, especially when it comes to something like gambling. Perhaps the sportsbook website you’re trying to access has been blacklisted through your own security software, restrictions placed on your wifi network, or in rare cases, even by government censorship.

Be Sure to Monitor Web Updates

Whether your book has moved domains, has scheduled maintenance, or is dealing with heavy traffic, there are a number of reasons you may not be able to place a wager at a certain time at your book. Online sportsbooks are no different than any other website in this regard.

High Betting Volume Can Overwhelm Sportsbooks

Have you ever been trying to visit your favorite website only to find out it has crashed? There are many reasons a site can crash and too much traffic is sometimes one of them. Remember that amazing online Black Friday sale you tried to take advantage of? The one that hundreds of thousands of other people also heard about too which the online retailer wasn’t prepared for?

Well, sometimes sportsbooks have the same issue for major events which attract large betting volume. Too many people all betting at the same time can sometimes be enough for a site to go down.

Just as that online retailer’s servers may not have been prepared for the increased traffic, if you’re betting at a sportsbook which hasn’t considered how to prepare for high traffic, they may face the same issue. This means that when Super Bowl Sunday or that huge MMA fight you’ve been waiting months for finally rolls around, that sportsbook’s website may go down with so many extra bettors visiting their site the same time.

Sportsbooks Often Plan Periods of Scheduled Maintenance

Online sportsbooks require upkeep and maintenance like any other site. Spend enough time betting online and you’ll likely come across a time or receive a message from your sportsbook about a period of “scheduled maintenance.”

Scheduled maintenance could mean any number of things but often include software updates, plugin updates, report generation, updates to content or graphics, HTML editing, creating backups, or applying security patches.

These periods of maintenance typically happen in off-hours, generally overnight when betting volume is at its lowest.

Are You Betting Outside of Your Sportsbooks’ Legal Jurisdiction?

What is legal in one state or country, may not be legal in another. With the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) being repealed in courts in 2018, legalized sports betting across the United States has been on the rise and states are slowly adopting their own rules around legalized sports wagering.

What that means is, while you may be able to place a wager on your favorite app while in-state, should you travel into another state where laws differ, your app may no longer work. Betting apps and websites use geolocations to determine the physical location of players. If you find yourself located outside of your sportsbooks’ legal jurisdiction, chances are you won’t be able to open the app or website.

Bottom line, if you’re planning to travel outside of where you usually place your bets, whether in another state or another country altogether, be sure to check the regulations of both your sportsbook and that of the location you’re traveling to.

Sometimes Sportsbooks Need to Move Domains to Remain Legal

From time to time a sportsbook may change their domain name. Sometimes, this is simply because of the site/company rebranding or expanding.

In other instances, a sportsbook may be forced to change their domain to ensure that they’re compliant with legal requirements in the region they’re licensed in. In this scenario, it would mean that they’ve opted to change the extension of their domain or website name. For instance, if the sportsbook you typically bet at used to be located at a .com extension, perhaps it can now be found at an extension such as .co, .eu, .ag or one of many other extensions available on the internet.

Are You Betting at a Safe Sportsbook?

There are countless online sportsbooks around the globe which you may encounter or hear about when choosing where to give your business.

Many online sportsbooks are reputable with proven reputations of solvency and customer service, but there are many that don’t have their customer’s best interests at heart. Unfortunately, there are many fraudulent sites out there which mean bettors should also do their homework before opening a new account.

If the book you’re currently betting at has suddenly disappeared and you aren’t receiving any communication from the site as to why it could be a sign you’ve been betting with a fraudulent sportsbook.

There are a few key things to look for with an online book when betting. If any of these issues present themselves it could be a sign to find a new book. They include:

  • Extremely delayed payouts taking over 30 business days
  • Lack of customer service response
  • Not crediting winning wagers
  • Making off with deposits in their totality

Those are just a few examples of things to look for, but there are many ways to spot a fake and unlicensed sportsbook.

Now You Know What to Consider If Your Online Sportsbook Stops Working

At the end of the day, if you do a little research when selecting a sportsbook and plan ahead of maintenance periods, you’ll be well-prepared for an excellent online betting experience.

We have answers to plenty more of your sports betting-related questions over at our Sports Betting 101 section. Be sure to check it out to find solutions to all the questions you may have about the sports betting industry.


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