With the increasing popularity of online sports betting, sports betting sites are getting more traffic. The US has begun loosening restrictions on sportsbooks and the growth of new sports like eSports and cricket only increases the potential amount of online players.
With all the sportsbooks gladly accepting money, which ones are actually secure and reliable? Here are a few simple things to look out for:
It must be on a secure, encrypted connection
The first thing you can do is to check if the sportsbook is on a secure and encrypted connection. This is the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate that will protect all the data you provide the site including your personal information and money. This is the same technology other legitimate businesses like financial institutions use.
On your address bar, the site should have a padlock symbol just before the text. The address should also read “https” instead of “http”. Any online book without this secure encryption should be avoided as it is hackable and puts your personal information at risk.
It must use software from legitimate companies
Sportsbooks offer a bevy of gaming options including casinos, virtual games, and racebooks. No matter what it offers, it’s best to check which companies these books have license to make their games for them.
Companies like Microgaming and Playtech are two of the most reliable gamemakers and can be trusted. But there are new gamemakers and software companies that it’s not realistic to limit your choices to just a handful.
You’ll have to verify the companies that provide the games and software for the sportsbooks. Find out what their backgrounds are, how transparent they are as a company, and if they’ve worked with other known and reputable entities.
It has a valid gaming license with a reputable authority
Every legitimate sportsbook online will have a valid gaming license. These are proof that the sportsbook is a valid registered entity somewhere in the world. You can usually find this information either on the top or bottom section of the book usually in the “About Us” section.
Among some of the most reputable authorities include the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada.
Both the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority are two of the strictest commissions and have zero tolerance towards scheming or cheating of any kind. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has also been a top regulatory body within Canada.
Sportsbooks that are regulated by these authorities will be honest and are considered top-of-the-line.
It has seals of approval
To compliment a valid license from a reputable gaming commission, the top sportsbooks have seals of approval. Think of these as official signs that a site has passed quality checks from different inspection or quality agencies.
Among some certifications you may see come from companies like eCOGRA, an internationally recognized testing agency based in the UK or Verisign, a security certification company from the US. Sometimes you’ll also see certifications or logos from the regulatory body from which the casino operates like the Jersey Gambling Commission or a Curacao eGaming License.
If a sports betting site does not have any kind of seal of approval or a logo or certification from a reputable or recognized institution, you should best look for other sites that have these.
Other criteria to use to verify the security of an online sportsbook
Outside of these criteria, there are other ways you can tell if a sportsbook is safe. A quick Google news search about the betting site should also show if this brand has been affiliated with any controversial practices in recent years.
You can also read website reviews of different sportsbooks. Be sure to read as many reviews and find any common observations they have made. If multiple sites revere a sportsbook for having the best sports betting app, it might just have one of the best mobile apps.
The customer service and transparency of the sports betting site is also a quick way to determine if this is a legitimate site or not. Top sportsbooks tend to have friendly and knowledgeable customer service that isn’t pushy. They should also be more than willing to answer hard questions concerning the site’s practices.
Last but certainly not least, check to see if you can find a betting site’s payout percentages. This is a statistic that determines how much you can expect to make on average when wagering. Reputable sites will usually provide this information.
These are just some basic precautions to take when scanning the security of a sportsbook. With sports betting sites becoming increasingly popular, investment in security should also increase as the industry looks to continue legitimizing itself.