Why It’s Not Advised to Bet with Unlicensed Online Bookmakers
Online sports betting has become one of the biggest industries in the world. With the accessibility of sports betting and the increased convenience by which people live their daily lives, never before has it been so easy to place a bet on a sporting event.
According to Match.Center, the amount of UK and Irish online betting sites has grown exponentially over the past few years, a trend that transcends into Europe, America and Asia, with start-up businesses seeing the limitless potential within the world of online sports betting.
Having a captive audience is key for any emerging industry and one of the biggest selling points for online sports betting is the sheer amount of different betting opportunities that are currently out there for punters.
As ever though, a financial opportunity also attracts a wide range of consumers and whilst the majority of online bookmakers are trustworthy and reliable institutions, punters are always advised to be on the lookout for unlicensed online bookmakers.
Gambling is principally fun and inevitably, wins and losses come with the territory of placing a bet on an outcome. However, there are an increasing number of companies posing as bookmakers, in an attempt to fraudulently do business with gamblers.
Bookmakers’ activity is regulated by special authorities and they have to be registered in order to obtain a licence. Any punter that places a bet with a company unable to display their licence number, is no longer covered by the regulations of a gambling authority and is therefore betting with an unlicensed bookmaker.
Here is a rundown of some of the things to look out for when avoiding betting with an unlicensed bookmaker:
Do the Research
Like any investment, doing proper research into the credibility and reliability of an online bookmaker is absolutely essential for all levels of gambler.
It has never been easier or more accessible to read the reviews of other users and customers in the gambling sphere and spending a small amount of time researching an online bookmaker before using them, always pays dividends.
Here are some things to look out for when researching online bookmakers:
- Licence Number–Perhaps the most obvious but most important thing for punters to look out for when choosing an online bookmaker is the licence number. All reliable online bookmakers will display their licence number (usually on the bottom banner of their landing page), which gives punters both financial protection and peace of mind. You can find a full list of reliable betting sites, as well as a lot of other useful information such as expert reviews, ratings etc.
- Read Customer Reviews – Whilst getting feedback from other users can sometimes open up a murky world of fake or just negative comments (we all know that people tend to write reviews only when they encounter some kind of a problem), in general canvassing opinion from other users is a useful tool in the online gambling sphere. If patterns of unreliability and misuse of gambler’s funds are appearing for users, then obviously punters are advised to not bet with that particular online bookmaker.
- Responsible Gambling Protection – That is an important provision. Let’s consider the example of the UK: any registered and licensed online bookmaker in the UK is obliged to pledge to the responsible gambling scheme, which is designed to provide help to gambling addicts. Having an official UK Gambling Commission license is a pre-requisite to being part of the responsible gambling initiative and double checking to see if a bookmaker is signed up, is always an indicator of their licensing credibility.
- Realism – All online bookmakers will look to attract new and existing customers into placing a bet, through a range of offers and promotions. Unlicensed bookmakers often look to entice new customers through unrealistic promotional activity, which is unsustainable for both bookmakers and punters alike. Having a general awareness of realistic offers and trends within the marketplace is also key when looking to avoid unlicensed gambling activity.
Most punters, regardless of their level of betting experience are all too aware that every bet placed has the potential to see users lose money – it is part and parcel of gambling. However, betting with an unlicensed bookmaker sees the punter lose all protection from a gambling authority, and as a result, punters are left exposed to any decisions an online bookmaker chooses to make.
Not having a licence doesn’t necessarily mean a particular online bookmaker wouldn’t pay out if they needed to but punters are no longer protected once they place a bet with an unlicensed institution. Thousands of punters have been tricked into believing their bets have been placed with a credible bookmaker, only to realise that they have been using an unlicensed bookmaker afterwards and should the bookmaker not pay out, the punter does not have any protection.
The majority of unlicensed online bookmakers are funded by subsidiary companies, who are using the sportsbook as a front to acquire the personal details of thousands of unsuspecting users. Betting online inevitably requires some financial output, meaning personal details are often compromised and punters using an unlicensed bookmaker do potentially leave themselves exposed to data breaches.
In addition to the very real threat of data breaches, stolen identities have also been reportedly linked to the unlicensed online bookmaker sphere – with personal details once again being compromised. All licensed bookmakers are legally obliged to ensure that the data of their users is encrypted, meaning punters who don’t bet under the safety umbrella of a licensed bookmaker are potentially leaving themselves exposed.
Few industries in the world are as volatile as the sports gambling fraternity, with serious sums of money exchanging hands every second – meaning it can be very easy to get lost in the plethora of betting opportunities out there.
Volatility is part of the licensed sports betting world, but it is magnified even further with unlicensed bookmakers, who can offer increased odds and incentives to punters – as they don’t pay tax or verification fees.
Betting with an unlicensed bookmaker can leave all levels of punter exposed across a myriad of ways within the online sports betting sector.
Being vigilant is key for punters and doing a relatively small amount of research and background checking, can help protect any gambler – regardless of their betting aspirations.