Online Sportsbook – Online sports betting is getting more and more popular across the US. The latest reports show there has been a huge growth in traffic to sportsbooks from mobile devices and computers.
At the same time, across the world there has been a gradual relaxation of rules about gambling. This has led to more sports betting sites opening and offering more high-tech betting opportunities – and more players being attracted to use them.
As online sports betting has grown though there has been more and more pressure for increased security around the whole industry. This is a billion-dollar business, so customers have every right to expect their money and data to be treated with the highest level of modern security.
There are always stories about online frauds and betters losing everything to a site that took their money and disappeared. But some experts consider that online players often worry too much about security. In overall terms, online betting can be safer than any other form of gambling.
It’s true that compared with walking out of a betting shop with a pile of money in your hand or placing a bet with someone you’ve never bet before, online sportsbooks have a very low level of risk.
Of course, we’re not talking about the risk of losing the bet. Sadly, there’s always going to be that risk! But while there is some small element of danger in online sports betting, all gamblers should take care.
We’re mainly talking about the risks of losing data or having your account hacked. That’s why the leading operators take such great pains to ensure safety and security for all the transactions to their site.
For players it makes sense right from the start to choose an established and reputable site. Yes, there have been very rare instances of fake sites or sportsbooks that don’t pay the winnings or even disappearing with their customers’ money. Nobody wants to be the victim of a fake site – however rare an occurrence it is.
So, if for example you wanted to enjoy NFL playoffs betting at a sportsbook, it’s best to double check it’s regulated and the odds are competitive. Sites which offer odds on the NFL playoffs are likely to suspend betting while games are being played, meaning no bets can be placed at certain points when the odds could be dramatically impacted. But how do you find the top reputable sites like that? It’s quite easy to spot the sites that you can trust. Check for these signs:
- Established history
- Proven track record
- Licensed by a proper gambling authority
- Good reviews and few complaints
- No recent negative comments online
Of those, the most important is that any sports betting site you use is licensed and regulated by one of the reputable gambling authorities or commissions. Look in the section labelled ‘about us’.
These strict organisations ensure that their licensed members adhere to tight rules about fair practices and honest dealings. The licensed sites must follow the regulations laid down by the gambling authorities. These bodies are worried about their reputation too so generally have a zero tolerance policy to any security infringements.
Also check how long a betting site has existed. If a gambling site has been around for a few years it is unlikely to be a shady operator – they don’t survive for long if they’re quickly surrounded by critical reviews and complaints.
It’s also important to check the security technology of any sportsbook site. It should operate on an encrypted connection – so your transactions can’t be read by an outsider. You want to be sure that no outsiders can access your personal data and get at your financial assets.
Also look out for security symbols like the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate that is used by many financial organisations around the world to safeguard their communications. Another good thing to find at a new site is the padlock symbol at the start of the address bar.
The absolute gold standard or re-assurance is a certificate of approval on any new sports betting site that you are considering. These should be independent quality checks from expert outside bodies. Typical seals of approval come from bodies like the UK’s eCOGRA testing agency, or Verisign, a US-based security certification body.
Another insiders’ tip about checking sports betting sites is to simply use Google. Do a ‘news search’ on the site name. If anything dodgy has been reported in recent months it will soon show up there.
Many regular gamers like to check a site by seeing how responsive and professional the customer services are. Is there a knowledgeable and friendly live chat system? Or are they pushy and refuse to answer the difficult questions?
It sounds like delaying the fun but once you have safe access, of course, you’ll find that the best online sportsbooks offer a wide choice of gaming. They might range from horseracing and football odds to virtual casino games and live poker.
Yes, it’s wise to check and double check the security of any new betting site. But also don’t lose sight of while you’re there – an online sportsbook site is primarily all about you having fun. An internet sportsbook is designed to enhance your enjoyment of the wonderful world of sport.
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