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Are Online Sportsbooks Safe?

The online betting market first began in the 1990s. Rudimentary websites began popping up, where people could follow their favorite sports, and place wagers with a credit card. However, in 2023, more than two decades later, the industry has grown into an unstoppable force, generating billions of dollars, and appealing to everyone from traditional sports fans, to gamblers, to even crypto fans.

Most punters have already embraced online sports betting, as have most countries. It makes sense too, as online sportsbooks generate billions of dollars, and help bolster industries and economies. Not only that, but they come with excellent bonuses that make betting a lot simpler for new fans. 

Reliable bookies offer different payment methods. Not only can you bet using credit cards or e-wallets, but you can also try crypto betting, as the practice is growing in popularity. However, with cybercrime on the rise, many are beginning to wonder, just how safe online sportsbooks are. To assuage some of these fears, we are going to go over the safety tips you need to bear in mind, when talking about online sportsbooks.

Legality of Online Sportsbooks

The first thing you need to worry about is the legality of online sportsbooks in your area. Now, you will be happy to learn that, in most of Europe, Africa, and North America, online sports betting is absolutely legal. The same cannot be said about online casinos, so make sure you differentiate between sports betting and gambling online. 

In 2018, the United States government passed a law making online sportsbooks legal on a federal level. Which means, US citizens should have no trouble placing bets, no matter which state they are in. Advocates in favor of online casinos are pushing for a similar bill. However, they have not had much luck so far.

Validity of Online Sportsbooks

Another aspect of online sportsbooks is reputation and legitimacy. It is of utmost importance to be able to determine whether a sportsbook is safe to use. But, how can we do so? The truth is, it is quite simple to determine whether an online bookie is valid. All that you need to do is look for a license and positive reviews.

A license ensures that a reputable organization has reviewed the website, looked at its security terms, safety conditions, and oddsmaking, and determined that they are legit. Reviews on the other hand, tell you how well all of these things work in practice. If you aren’t certain about a website, simply look at multiple reviews by both official critics and customers, and you can determine whether the website is legit or not.

Payment Options

Finally, it is important to look for websites that offer multiple payment options. Even if you are devoted to only using credit cards, a website that gives you more options tends to be safer. Also, it is incredibly important to research which payment option are safest when making transactions online. Out of the available ones right now, the most popular and safest are the following:

  • Credit Cards
  • E-wallets
  • Cryptocurrency

In this final section of the article, we are going to go over each of the four payment options individually, and discuss their pros and cons. If you want to learn more about the industry, stick around.

Credit Cards – Pros and Cons

The main advantage of using credit cards is that they are trusted, safe, and provide a very quick service. Best of all, no matter where you are betting, whether at a matched betting site or anywhere else, they are likely to allow credit cards. If you want an option that is certain to work, credit cards are your best bet.

However, they do have their own downsides. First and foremost, some banks may choose to block gambling-related transactions, which often does include sports betting. If you have an overbearing bank, you are not likely to be able to place a bet. Another downside is that credit cards may incur some hefty fees, so be careful how and where you wager.

e-wallets – Pros and Cons

e-wallets use encryption technology to ensure the safest possible wagering. On top of that, they also feature quick processing time, and almost instant payouts. Which is certainly one of the main reasons why e-wallets are among the most popular payment methods at both sportsbooks and online casinos.

They do come with one major downside. The fees that you have to pay when wagering with e-wallets are often exorbitant. For many punters, paying these fees is not worth the other benefits that e-wallets bring to the table. However, if you are willing to pay extra, then you should have little to no problems using e-wallets.

Cryptocurrency – Pros and Cons

Cryptocurrency has been making waves in the world of finance. However, investors and financers are not the only ones affected. The whole world has gone through a “crypto revolution,” so to speak. Online sportsbooks are not far behind. 

Like so many businesses, you can now use cryptocurrency to fund your casino accounts. The major benefit of using crypto to gamble or wager is that payouts are instantaneous. Crypto is a peer-to-peer system, meaning there is no middle man to process the payments, which is one of the major reasons why it is so quick.

However, it is also incredibly secure and anonymous. For those who want to keep their identity to themselves, cryptocurrency is the best option, by far. Not to mention, unlike e-wallets, cryptocurrency requires little-to-no fees at all. All of this makes it one of the most popular payment methods at online sportsbooks.

It does, of course, have a few disadvantages. The biggest of which is the high level of volatility that cryptocurrencies are known for. To be fair, many skeptics misunderstand crypto volatility. However, it does exist, and it is a problem for gamblers. Still, if you are a skilled investor with a knack for crypto, using it for wagering can be quite an interesting challenge. But, we wouldn’t recommend it for any newbies or newcomers to online sports betting.