A tonne people will bet on the Super Bowl this Sunday. Sports betting is legal in one form or another in 30 states, and 31.4 million Americans are expected to file a total of $7.61 billion on gambling, according to projections from youthe American Gaming Association.
But before joining the crowd, take a few minutes to make sure you don’t get scammed or misled. Like Carmen Million with the The Better Business Bureau said so“eEveryone wants to get on board, everyone is excited about it, but you need to take a moment and investigate before you invest.
Here are some things to watch out for to avoid being scammed when betting online sports.
Determine if and how you can bet in your state
Gambling laws vary from state to state, so look into the legality before placing bets anywhere.
If you live in a state where sports betting is prohibitedlegal, you should not bet. Same “social game” is illegal in some places, so unless you fully understand the intricacies and accept the risks of illegal (or quasi-legal) gambling, don’t bet on the Super Bowl…or anything else.
Only bet with state-licensed bookmakers
If you live in a state where sports betting is legal, you can try to avoid illegitimate and criminal betting scams by evaluating betting sites and apps individually. BBut instead of taking this defensive approach, play offensively: Go for “whitelisted” sportsbooks that have been approved by your state’s gaming commission.
Go to youthe Action Network websiteclick on your state and choose from the list of established online and in-person bookmakers who will take your bet.
If you plan to place a bet with a site or application that has not been approved by your state’s gaming commission, no. It could be a scam, and even if it’s not a real scam, it could be illegal. So ignore all game-related pop-up ads, spam emails or random text messages and make the proactive choice to go with a “safer” bookmaker.
That said, it’s not like state-approved gambling operations are guaranteed not to be sleazy – shadow and gambling have a long history, after all, and not all sports the books are also ethical.
Examine the reputation of the site
Before you spend your money on a sports book, go to a consumer-centric site like the Better Business Bureau Where trusted driver to see what other users are saying. Stay away from reputation and review sites run by the gaming industry itself.
The devil is in the details
Gambling sites and apps often offer incentives or bonuses, especially to new users and around big games. BBut like any sales pitch, these can be misleading. If it sounds too good to be true, you’re probably missing something, so read the fine print on bonus offers and other incentives. carefully.
Here are some examples of dubious and/or confusing offers from betting sites, courtesy of New York Attorney General Letitia James.
- Despite their name, “risk-free” bets are often not without risk. Instead, “risk-free” can mean that the money you lose becomes site credit that you can only use to place further bets.
- Sites that offer “sign-up bonuses” to new users often require them to wager a certain amount of money before they can access these bonus funds, sometimes to ridiculous extremes –like a site offering $1,000 that can only be received after playing with $25,000 of your own money.
- Some sites penalize players who take advantage of offers and promotions strategically, even calling compliance with the rules “suspicious behavior”.
Make sure you can withdraw your money
Some gambling site users report being penalized for appearing to have an “unfair advantage” or “irregular gambling patterns”, and sometimes have their winnings frozen by gambling sites for these reasons. Sites usually reserve the right to restrict user activity without warning, but whether those users actually deserve it depends on the situation and point of view.
Theexact definitions from betting tactics considered suspicious or irregular vary from site to site, so you should understand that gambling companies can and do freeze people’s money for various reasons, and trying to “unfreeze” it could involve red tape, hassle, and even legal action. (That said, good luck!)