The popularity of sports betting is showing no signs of slowing any time soon. Never have there been more options to choose from when it comes to online and mobile sportsbooks – but with this wide range of choices does come a few pros and cons as well.
One of the biggest cons here is that there are many rogue and unlicensed sites masquerading among the reputable ones, which can make it tricky to find a sportsbook that is responsible with its bettors and their money. Here are our top tips for finding a reliable and secure online sportsbook while avoiding the less scrupulous brands!
#1: Look for Strict Licensing
There are many reasons why you should only ever bet at sportsbooks and online casinos that are strictly licensed and regulated. A reputable site will not delay paying out your winnings, provide poor or absent customer service, cancel winnings, steal your money, or infect your computer or smartphone with viruses.
A safe sportsbook will always prominently display details of its operational licenses and legal permits. These licenses ensure that the brands’ books are open to legal, third party audits, and regularly pass inspections that ensure that they are not committing fraud or theft. A bookmaker with a license from a renowned regulatory region like Malta, the UK or Curacao, is also more likely to be trustworthy.
#2: Check Identity Verification Protocols
A legitimate sportsbook is a licensed and regulated business that is held to certain standards. Of course, these sites must comply with all of the rules and regulations stipulated by their regulators; such rules include always verifying their customers’ identities before sending payouts, which is part of the international KYC and AML (Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering) laws.
Unsafe betting and blackjack online brands tend to skip this security feature, and don’t usually require their customers to verify their identities. However, the best sites to wager at always check who you are before allowing you to play, both for your safety and their own.
#3: Demand SSL Protection
Secure Sockets Layer or SSL protection is a world-class security technology that creates encrypted links between web servers and your browser. This feature is absolutely essential for any website that deals with money, or else your financial details could be at risk from hackers and third party criminals. Needless to say, your sportsbook should always boast SSL encryption protection for its payment systems! If your brand’s web domain has ‘https://’ in front of it, you should be in the clear.
#4: Check Their Customer Support and Promos
If you have any issues while playing at your sportsbook, you should be able to contact the support team and get a near-instant response. Reputable brands pride themselves on having customer service departments that are responsive, professional and knowledgeable – and only trustworthy sportsbooks have the resources to staff, train and operate such a team.
Check your site’s promotions too – if they are offering promos that are too good to be true, they might well be. Your bookie’s bonuses should be in line with industry standards, but anything above that (like a 500% welcome bonus) may be cause for suspicion.
#5: Look for Modern, Professional UX and UI
Sportsbooks with fully functional, professional and sleek user interfaces, a wide range of live betting options, a mobile platform, and a well-designed UX are generally safe to use. No sportsbook that has spent that amount of time and money on supplying their punters with a great betting experience will be aiming to rip you off!