One of the first questions people transitioning to online sports betting ask themselves (or should, if they haven’t) is whether it is safe to bet online in the first place. This is definitely a good and very important question. As many of us have learned over the years, the Internet is not the safest place to be and it seems that everything “online” should be approached with caution and suspicion. Alas, betting online at the internet sportsbooks should receive the same scrutiny.
As we always do, let’s get right down to the answer, before we delve further into the meat and potatoes of this topic. So, is it safe to bet online? The somewhat simple answer is that, yes, it could be, but only if you are careful about it...What, did you expect a cut-and-dry answer? That would be like asking if it’s safe to buy online…Just like there are good online sellers, there are literally thousands of scamming websites for every one of the legit merchants. Sadly, this is the state of the Internet as a whole and the online sportsbook sites aren’t much different. Sure, there are legit places to bet online safely, but there is a ton of junk out there that shouldn’t even be visited, not to mention – opening an account with them and wagering. The truth is that every “online sportsbook” would seem legit when they are taking your money and would be more than happy to do so, but the real test comes when it’s time to pay the winnings. At this time one would quickly find out if it is safe to bet online at the particular sportsbook.
When we talk about if it’s safe to bet online, we should consider a few aspects. First, as we already noted, most people see this question as whether or not the online sportsbook would pay them their winnings. And this is a legitimate concern, the forums and social media are full of complaints that sportsbook A or sportsbook B didn’t pay them once they won a bunch of money. While there are a few stories of this nature with more to them than disclosed by some people, the majority of those complaints are real and unfortunately this happens more often than any of us would wish. Then there are some online sportsbooks that would pay small requests, but once you hit a winning streak and try to withdraw some serious money – they will find all kinds of reasons to not pay you fair and square.
Obviously paying on time and without problems is what most people consider a sportsbook safe to bet online, but don’t forget that there is another faucet to safety. After all, you will be giving out some personal information when you open an account at the sportsbooks – is this information safe? Despite the fact that it is not common to end up at a “fake” sportsbook, created solely to steal your information, one should still make every attempt possible to protect their information when online. Some people make the silly mistake of using a disposable email address or fake personal information when opening an account at a sportsbook, but then run into issues when it’s time to cash out. The online betting sites would generally do little to no verification when you are depositing money (except if you do so with a credit card), but become really through when it comes time to pay. In the end, they don’t risk much taking your money, but it’s a whole different story if they have to pay. Even if you go with Bitcoin deposits, which are generally the safest and easiest way to fund your betting account, you still have to identify yourself to the sportsbook. So, choosing a sportsbook that would guard your information is very important when trying to be safe betting online. A reputable online sportsbook would closely guard your information – you are their asset and they don’t want to lose it to a competitor or worse. On the other hand, sportsbook startups that can’t make it, are more than happy to sell their customers’ information as a last attempt to make some more money before they fold. Thus, if you want to bet online safely, choosing a reputable sportsbook with a long and proven history is a must.
The biggest question now becomes, how do you find these mythical safe places to bet online? The easiest way is to use the recommendations of others. Not to toot our horn, but our sportsbook recommendations are the cream of the crop, which is why on our home page we have approved a number of sportsbooks you can count on one hand. Sure, there are other review sites that may list hundred or more sportsbooks, but we know there aren’t that many safe sites to bet online. One can also browse the various betting forums and social media channels for recommendation, but take those with grain of salt, as well. A lot of those discussion websites make money from advertising, therefore just because you saw a banner on a reputable website, doesn’t mean that the sportsbook advertised is the best choice. Just some food for thought when searching for safe betting sites.