It’s essential that you research a bookmaker before making a wager. Most sportsbooks, both online and offline, are reputable and offer fair wagering to their customers, but some are operating outside out of legal means, and so caution is advised. Here are some of the signs you should look out for before signing up, so that you can avoid betting scams and have a fun, safe experience.
A bookmaker’s operating licence should be prominently displayed on their site or in their shop, with online bookies providing links to the relevant regulatory body that issued the documents. Always look up licensing details and ensure that they are up to date. If you can’t find information about the licence anywhere, you can contact the bookmaker for more information; they should provide it freely and without hesitation. If they don’t, look out!
Ensure that the bookmaker you are using presents itself in a professional and honest manner, especially online. A poor quality site or shop is not one that you would feel safe trusting your money with, but at the same time, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a fraudulent bookmaker hiding behind a flashy, put-together site to tempt in potential victims. Again, check to see that the site or the bookie has a current and valid licence, no matter how good the deals and odds appear to be.
Make sure that the bookmaker you are placing your bet with is reputable and guaranteed to pay out if you win; you can read independent reviews online to make sure that the bookie has a history of honouring winning bets. Mistakes may happen from time to time, but if you find that a site has nothing but negative reviews about lost deposits and missing returns, you’re better off taking your business elsewhere.
Bookmakers offering huge bonuses in exchange for a larger than average deposit amount should be treated with extreme caution and are best avoided altogether. A £100 deposit is unlikely to yield a bonus of £1,000. Once money has left your bank account it may be impossible to retrieve. Fraudulent bookmakers can also often give themselves away by offering unbelievably good odds on events. Remember - if it looks too good to be true, it usually is!
It’s also your responsibility to ensure that your bets are valid - keep a record of all your wagers in a safe place. A recent betting scam, known as ‘ghost games’, involves fixtures that have technically not taken place but are available to bet on. With thousands of sporting fixtures taking place around the world on a daily basis it’s impossible to be au fait with all of them, so it is important to check other sources to confirm the event you are betting on has actually occurred.
Sports betting is designed to be fun, so don’t let fraudulent bookmakers ruin your good time - spot the signs of a scam before you’re taken for a ride.