Sports betting is fun. It makes sports a bit spicier since you now have stakes that make the games more exciting. But do you know what’s not fun? Being scammed out of your deposit and winnings. As unfortunate as it is, it’s very common nowadays, especially online. And while most of the sports betting sites you see on the internet are legit, a small portion are out to scam money out of your pockets.
Even though they are a minority, that doesn’t mean you can be complacent when looking for sports betting sites online. But how exactly do you know if a sports betting site is legit? Looking for a green flag is worth another article, so we will talk about the red flags you should look out for today. Let’s start.
Shady Domain Name and No Regulator Seal
One of the most obvious red flags that offshore US sports betting sites always have is a big sign that broadcasts “All US Players Welcome!” Some people might be lured because of that, but you must remember that not all states regulate sports betting.
Some states even deem it illegal. Since sports betting is not legal in all US states, no site should be legally allowed to take in players from all states, and if a site welcomes all US players, that should be a red flag for you.
Not only that, but you should also be critical when looking at a site’s domain. If the domain name ends with a .eu, .org, .ag, or .lv, then it is not a regulated site. However, some sites can look very professional, which is why many people are still getting victimized by these sites.
Another thing you should consider is the regulator seal. A regulator seal signifies that the local governing body has licensed and certified the site. When you see that seal, you know that the site has undergone an arduous and thorough background check, their operations have been certified fairly, and the site is not doing anything fishy.
The Bonuses are Too Good to be True
If you think the bonuses are too good to be true, there’s a huge chance it is. Most sports betting sites offering promotions usually have some catch attached. For example, if the sports betting site is offering to give you free money to bet with once you deposit, its catch would be that you have to deposit a specific amount of money before you can take advantage of that bonus. Usually, you can read it in the fine print.
That said, if you can’t find the terms and conditions for the bonus, you should know that something fishy is up. That’s a huge red flag designed to lure people into depositing on their site. The usual modus operandi for this is that once you deposit your money, you won’t get it back anymore.
Fishy Payment Options
Regarding payment options, the usual payment methods should always be there, like Visa, MasterCard, Amazon Pay, and PayPal. For example, if you’re looking to bet on FanDuel NFL odds, you can deposit money on Fanduel through MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.
However, if you find that the payment options for your chosen sports betting sites are banks or e-wallets that you’ve never heard of or cryptocurrency, then that should be a huge red flag for you. Also, payments on legally operating US sports betting sites are usually transparent and can be traced anytime.
Not only that, but legal US sports betting sites are also required to hold their players’ funds in a separate account. This is important because even if the sports betting site closes down, you can still get your money back. This is unlike fishy sports betting sites that usually shut down once they get the money they want and take it with them, never to be seen again.
No Well-Known Gaming Partners
In the US, it’s usually required for online sports betting sites to be partnered with a well-established brick-and-mortar casino. Doing so adds security because of their partners’ reputation in the sports betting industry. Also, if the player can’t settle a concern online for some reason, they can just waltz in on the land casino and ask for help with their concern.
In addition, it’s also a huge green flag for sports betting sites to have their business endorsed by famous people such as celebrities, athletes, influencers, etc. Usually, sports betting sites have a statement and even a promotion when they are partnered with a great gaming partner. That said, it should be a huge red flag if you don’t see any information about their gaming partners like a land-based casino or famous public people..
The Website is Not Secure
One of the most important things about a sports betting site is that it should always be secure. They have to ensure that your information and money are safe 24/7. This would be possible through encryption and putting all your information through separate servers that are inaccessible to third parties and even the owners themselves.
So, how would you know that a website is secure? You can simply check the address bar of the site. If you see that the address starts with an “https”, then the website is most likely secure, and all of your information on the site is safe. If it only shows “HTTP,” then you might want to think twice before giving out any information on the sports betting site, especially your financial information.
Plenty of communities and third-party reviewers on the internet can give you information about the sports betting site you’re eyeing. Naturally, if the site has many complaints and speculations about being run by scammers, that should be a huge red flag for you.
However, you should also know that the site having many good reviews doesn’t technically mean it’s safe. Many sports betting sites pay people to say something good about their site, so you should always be speculative about what you read on these sites.
When choosing a sports betting site, always be on the lookout for the red flags we discussed above. If you see at least one of them on a site, then you should not take the risk and just avoid betting on the sports betting site altogether. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.