Effective Ways to Spot and Avoid Fake or Unlicensed Sportsbooks

Effective Ways to Spot and Avoid Fake or Unlicensed Sportsbooks

With the Euro 2020 finals just around the corner, many enthusiastic fans are getting ready to support their chosen teams. Accordingly, keen football bettors are also starting to look out for online sportsbooks offering betting markets and odds for the European Championships.

For most experienced online sports bettors, selecting the best online betting platform may seem a little easier, often choosing to continue using the online sportsbook they have used previously. However, for beginner bettors, selecting a sportsbook to use can be a challenging task. This comes as countless online bookmakers have appeared, giving them a wide range of betting platforms to choose from.

While the abundance of online sportsbooks provides bettors plenty of options to choose from, the wide range of selections can also be a disadvantage for them. Not all of these platforms are legitimate and trustworthy; some sites were created to trick or scam bettors of their money.

Hence, if you are looking for an online sports betting platform to prepare for the upcoming European Championships, you must take note of these signs to effectively and quickly identify fake or unlicensed sportsbooks:

Sudden Changes in the Website Address

When the online betting site you are using suddenly changes its website address, this may be a sign that the sportsbook is ‘hiding’ from authorities.

Illegal online bookmakers typically change their web addresses to trick regulatory authorities trying to block unlicensed betting sites. They usually switch to a different mirror site to keep the licensing authorities off their track and continue accepting bettors.

To avoid getting scammed by fraudulent sportsbooks, keep a keen eye on their website addresses. If you happen to see changes in the web address of the betting site you are using, close your account immediately and look for a reputable and licensed sports betting website.

Poor Website Design

Legitimate sportsbooks will invest in their website to ensure a professional, functional, fast, and secure site. Most sports betting sites will have UX or UI design which allows the website to provide a better interface for users, regardless of whether they are betting on a desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, or other electronic devices.

Thus, looking for an online sportsbook for your betting activities, looking at the website, and checking if the pages are correctly loading and functioning is one of the easiest ways to check if the site is legitimate.
Suppose you are clicking around a sports betting website and happen to see that it is buggy and its pages are not functioning; in that case, you need to get out of there and stay away from the site.

Customer Support is Never Available

Sportsbooks attract bettors to their site by offering them a wide range of betting markets to wager on and provide them with a customer support page to contact representatives or associates of the bookmaker if they face a problem or issue.

Reputable online sports betting websites will have a “Contact Us” page and customer support representatives available 24/7 to assist you with your problems. But so does the fake and unlicensed online sportsbooks. They will also provide a customer support page on their website and promise you responsive and professional customer support. However, the difference between a trustworthy sportsbook and a fake, illegal bookmaker is that the former will respond immediately while the latter will not, even if you wait a few days to get an answer.

The Verification Process Takes Too Long

Most sports betting websites will require you to submit your credentials and apply for approval before using the platform for your betting activities or confirming your withdrawal. The verification process is a necessary step for sportsbooks as real money is involved.

Usually, sportsbooks verify a bettor’s identity and authenticate their credentials within a few minutes after submission. However, if you encounter a verification process that takes too long, this is another red flag that you must not disregard.

Some sports betting platforms will allow you to deposit and place bets even when you have not completed the verification process. However, the catch here is they will not let you withdraw your money until you get your account verified and approved. This is a common trick that fake and illegal sportsbooks use to delay or avoid paying bettors. They will claim that the required verification information was not received and make multiple requests to have the same information sent again.

Betting Lines and Bonuses are Too Good to be True

As a bettor, you will want to maximize the offered bonuses and betting lines of a sportsbook to increase your likelihood of winning a bet and making a profit out of it. Hence, when looking for a sports betting platform to use, you seek these two factors.

When looking through bonuses and shopping for betting lines, you must be extra careful at which site you choose. Many fraudulent sportsbooks will try to lure you with bonuses and betting odds that are too good to be true.
Betting lines vary from one sportsbook to another, but the differences should never be huge. If a betting platform offers lines that look off and is hugely different from the range of lines other bookmakers provide, you should take your business elsewhere. This also applies to bonuses – if you see massive bonuses with terms and conditions that are too good to be true, do not fall for the offer and keep yourself away from them.

Unexpected Changes in Terms and Conditions

Businesses using online platforms change or update their terms and conditions from time to time and often alert you about the changes. This also applies to sportsbooks – legitimate sportsbooks also change their terms and conditions and notify their customers in time. And usually, the changes in their terms and conditions have nothing to do with withdrawing money.

However, this is not the case with fraudulent betting platforms. Changes in the terms and conditions often happen unexpectedly, and most changes are related to withdrawing money. They often change their terms and conditions to prevent you from starting money that you won in a bet.

Usually, fake sportsbooks change their terms and conditions for withdrawing money when you want to make a withdrawal. For example, you won in a bet and want to cancel the money. However, when you are trying to go through the withdrawal process, the option is not available. So, typically, the first thing you do is contact customer support — but this is where things change. The customer support associate will tell you that the sportsbook’s terms and conditions were updated and point out oddly specific terms and conditions to justify why you cannot claim the winnings you are supposed to be entitled to.

Routinely Delays Your Payments or Audits Your Account

Payment delays and account audits do happen, but with a realistic timeframe and conditions. Your sportsbooks will tell you exactly why your payments are delayed and how to address the issue. Consequently, they will give you valid reasons why your account needs to be audited.

However, when the delay for your payments and the auditing of your account happens frequently and becomes a routine, this is a tell-tale sign that the sportsbook you are using should not be trusted. Payment or withdrawal delays and frequent auditing of accounts are among the tactics of fraudulent sportsbooks to avoid paying out winnings.

Is it possible to find a reputable, licensed sportsbook?

While some fraudulent sports betting websites want to lure people and scam them of their money, there are still many reputable and licensed sportsbooks available for bettors who wish to wager on sports online.

A trustworthy online sportsbook typically has a fully functional and secure website with clearly identifiable licensing, good reviews from online betting communities, reasonable terms and conditions, responsive customer support, and offers fast payouts.

Where can you start betting?

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