The thought of betting online sounds convenient. No more trips to the racetracks. No flights to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. All you need is your iPhone, and you could wager on virtually any sport. Although it’s appealing, online betting can also be risky.
You have to provide your details to the sportsbook. Also, you need to trust they won’t run with your money or sell your data. So, how do you ensure an online betting site is safe before you create an account?
A Valid License
Sports betting is a regulated industry. In the US, regulation used to be a matter of federal concern. But starting in 2011, the sector was handed over to states. New Jersey, which sponsored the bill to strike-off PASPA and legalized sports betting, is now the biggest market for online betting.
At least 20 states now legalize sports betting. Florida isn’t one of them. Online betting through offshore sportsbooks isn’t legal by law, but it’s not illegal either. As a result, you can bet at the safest betting sites based in Europe or the UK. Before you create an account, however, look for a valid license. It’s a mark of legitimacy and safety.
Most betting websites display their regulators at the bottom of their websites. They also feature their license number and a link that redirects to the regulator’s official website. Click the link to ensure you’re betting on a site licensed by the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority.
Security and Safety Features
When you think about it, nearly every safe website has security features you can quickly identify. Think of your favorite social media network, shopping website, or entertainment platform. There’s a padlock sign on the address bar.
It represents SSL encryption, a data coding technique that keeps your personal information safe from hackers. Then there’s a login feature that lets you create a unique password to create limited access. Some sites also incorporate 2-Factor Authentication, requiring a code sent to your phone or email as an added security layer.
In the casino space, security features are equally mandatory. If a website lacks SSL encryption, it’s unsafe. There’s no way around it. Luckily, some browsers like Google Chrome also notify you about sites without SSL encryption and warns you to avoid them.
That said, the best sportsbooks look beyond standard security features. They also invite independent auditors to check their books and software for fairness. This helps build trust with new players, most of whom are keen on checking safety features before signing up for accounts.
Safe and Transparent Banking
For many sports bettors, the betting choice comes down to banking providers and the banking policies involved. Maybe a bookie only accepts Visa and MasterCard, and they prefer PayPal. Or a website’s minimum deposit is $50, and the player wants to start small.
Due to this, it’s essential to read about a company’s banking process before you create an account. For starters, look for your preferred payment methods. Many sportsbooks provide a series of payment methods, from cards to e-wallets.
Choose well-known payment methods. They’re most likely safe, trustworthy, and regulated. Then look at the deposit and withdrawal limits. Do they fit your budget? Check the betting limits, too, and the time it takes to withdraw your money.
For the best result, review online reviews about different UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority. It gives you an overview of what experts and punters think about these companies. Logically, select the best-rated betting websites.
Sweet, Transparent Bonuses
If you’re like many sports punters, you love bonuses. Maybe you aren’t particularly fond of them because of bad experiences. But given a chance, you would happily claim a bonus with reasonable terms and conditions. In light of that information, bonuses are excellent marks of a sportsbook’s safety.
Nearly every betting website gives out bonuses to new players. Review a handful of these offers. Check the amount. Then read the policies: qualifications, betting limits, withdrawal limits, and wagering requirements.
The best bonuses are decent in size and come with favorable policies. For example, you can use the free bet to wager on your favorite sports and not one chosen game. Then you can wager with decent limits and withdraw $500 or more of your winnings.
In many cases, wagering requirements are the biggest concern for punters. If they’re too many, then a bonus might not be worth it. What’s more, the process of fulfilling wagering requirements should be transparent and done within a reasonable amount of time.
Quick, Knowledgeable Support Staff
For some reason, the Internet has a customer service problem. Far too many online businesses provide terrible customer service. The online betting industry isn’t an exception. As such, spend a significant amount of time evaluating bookies’ customer service.
Live chatbots, email, and social media are the most popular contact channels at betting websites. Chatbots are everyone’s favorite way to communicate with online businesses. So, pick several companies and verify their chatbots’ work by asking general questions.
Naturally, you should expect quick, helpful answers. If you’re ignored or receive unhelpful feedback, try a different company. As we mentioned, reading reviews is the best way to get objective feedback about betting websites.
A Good Reputation
Business reputation is like a currency. If lost, a company can lose money and become bankrupt. If gained, a business grows and becomes profitable. That said, reputation is also a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff as far as security is concerned.
If you want to know how safe an online betting company is, learn about its reputation. What do people say about its security? What about odds and withdrawal speeds? Reputable businesses are generally safe and provide quality services. On the flip side, betting sites with poor reputations are unsafe and offer unreliable services. Logically, you can want to choose the most reputable betting providers.