Perhaps no other business requires as much trust of your customers as is the case with online bookmakers.
Only banks and other similar institutions which deal with client’s money and store it in their own accounts can claim the same need for trustworthiness as is the case with online bookmakers.
The question that whether your money is safe with an online bookmaker or not crosses a punter's mind every now and then.
Things are made even more complicated after you come across stories where even reputed online bookmakers refuse or delay winnings or payouts. So, in this article, we will examine this question and will try to present an unbiased picture.
We will first closely review the issues which affect the safety of your money with an online bookmaker and then we will suggest actions which you can and must take to protect your money lying with an online bookmaker.
Legal Issues And Jurisdictional Differences
Gambling regulations differ from country to country and things have become even more complicated with the rise of Internet and online casinos. Simply put the Internet simply does not recognize national borders.
Governments across the world have faced numerous difficulties when it comes to regulating online businesses as often a business may be registered in 1 country and provide services or goods to customers based in another country as is the case with most online casinos.
Along with the rise in popularity of online gambling and sports betting, there has also been a regulated increase in jurisdictions where almost anyone can get a gambling license for their newly established online casinos.
These jurisdictions have created legal frameworks which are quite lax at best and even outright outrageous from the point of view of customers, just to attract online gambling entrepreneurs who run most small to mid-sized online bookmakers.
Even in onshore jurisdictions such as UK or Australia, regulations differ starkly in terms of client’s money which lies with a bookmaker.
In the UK, online casinos and bookmakers are not regulated by the Financial Services Authority, which effectively means that they are not legally bound to follow client money regulations.
In Australia, online bookmakers are required by law to ring-fence their client’s money from their own and in almost all the cases, an online bookmaker can’t touch their client’s money.
This ensures that most account holders get their funds back in case a bookmaker goes bankrupt. Even more importantly, the threat of legal compliance forces bookmakers to be more vigilant in how they deal with their client’s money.
Australian practice of regulating how online bookmakers handle client money is an exception rather than a norm as most other jurisdictions and countries lack such fail-safe mechanisms.
Now, as we have covered legal side of things, let’s move on to other factors which affect the safety of your funds as several other factors must be considered before arriving at a conclusion.
Can You Trust A Bookmaker With Your Money?
Safety of your money also depends on the intention and practices of your bookmaker.
You can find thousands of stories where bookmakers use various tactics to avoid paying out huge winnings. Bookmakers sometimes go to extreme lengths to grab their clients’ money using shady practices.
Online bookmakers like any other business need to be profitable if they want to remain in business and as all punters are aware there is an inherent “house edge”.
House Edge with most games ensures that a gambling or betting institution will win in the long run by offering lower odds than the full theoretical odds of a game.
Professional bettors are aware of this and are ready to accept lower odds of winning for the opportunity to bet their money on their favourite sports.
Even without grabbing their clients’ money using various excuses, a well-run bookmaker will be profitable due to their inherent “house edge”. And every professional punter knows this too well.
The trouble arises, when in addition to this edge, online bookmakers use various tactics to deny clients their legitimate winnings and refuse to pay out.
One of the most common practices used is identity verification and anti-money laundering regulations which work as a smokescreen for shady business practices of many online bookmakers.
These bookmakers will make you go through multiple identity checks, ask for several types of documents, sometimes they even ask for certification from your bank manager or notary to ascertain the source of funds which you’ve initially deposited with them.
Thankfully, like anything else in life, there is always a solution and you can handle any bookmaker who refuses to pay out.
Identity Theft And Hacking
Identity threat and hacking are other notable threats to your money lying with an online bookmaker.
Both these are quite real and are becoming a serious threat to our finances in this era of digital banking.
If someone gets hold of your email accounts, then they can easily get access to your online betting account by using the forgot password method.
Hackers can do this easily using various hacking techniques, although in most cases it is possible to track them and use law enforcement channels for punishing them for this crime of theft.
Law enforcement departments nowadays have realized the threats posed by hackers to our finances and they are treated on par with other criminals.
Such a theft can lead to many years in jail if the person who has hacked your bookmaker account is tracked and arrested.
Although, to avoid hacking you must follow other good practices like not using the same password at all sites, and must carefully guard your computer and digital devices against unauthorized access in person or via a software which you may install unknowingly.
Truth is that there will always be some level of risk but this does not mean that you can't protect yourself.
You need the right betting procedures in place, here are some of them:
- Choosing the right bookmaker
- Choosing a bank account with a limited amount of money
- Using a complicated password
- Saving documents/communication with the bookmaker
How To Protect Your Money
If you’ve read until here, then it’s safe to assume that you’ve got a complete picture of the issues which may affect the safety of your money with an online bookmaker.
Despite the odds stacked against you, you can certainly take many actions to ensure that your money is in safe hands and there is no threat to it.
So, here are our tips for protecting your money:
Only Choose A Reputed Online Bookmaker
Perhaps this point is self-explanatory, as no one would like to give his money to an online bookmaker who has a less than flattering reputation.
One more thing which many new bettors fail to see is the huge bonuses given out by new casinos without any history behind them.
Welcome bonuses may sound good, but it’s well known that these are just used as a bait for attracting new clients and new online bookmakers are extremely generous when it comes to welcome bonuses and promotions as they need to attract as many clients as possible.
Never ever compromise the safety of your money by placing it with an unreliable bookmaker as lower welcome bonuses or fewer promotions are way better than losing your money or a part of it.
The solution here is to take the time to read through bookmaker reviews and assess your own betting preferences to find the bookmaker to meet your needs.
Withdraw Your Winnings Immediately To Your Bank Account Or Credit Card
Keep the funds in your online bookmaker account to as low as possible.
This is the only possible protection against a bookmaker denying you a payout and you must also immediately withdraw any winnings.
Although, sadly this will not work with all online bookmakers as they may anyway deny your request for withdrawal even if this is your first withdrawal or the 100th.
There is no point in keeping funds with your online bookmaker as we have normal bank accounts for that.
Only Deposit The Amount Which You Want To Bet
Use separate passwords.
This is also self-explanatory as you must have a unique password for your online bookmaker account which will make hacking it more difficult.
Protect Your Online Bookmaker Account Details
Never share your online bookmaker account details with anyone and always keep your login details private.
If someone claims to be from the bookmaking company where you hold an account and ask you for your login details, then you need to be aware that someone is trying to hack your account.
Immediately report this with your online bookmaker as they are never going to ask for your login details.
Above all, you need to be vigilant when it comes to the safety of your money with an online bookmaker and must follow the above-mentioned tips to ensure that your money is safe.
Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your money and no one is going to do this for you. So, be vigilant and ready for the heavy lifting required if you want to keep your money safe from the above-mentioned threats.
So, be vigilant and ready for the heavy lifting required if you want to keep your money safe from the above-mentioned threats.
Like anything else in life, there is no guarantee that your money will be safe with an online bookmaker.
However, there are several factors which may lead to a loss of money when you deposit with an online bookmaker and unfortunately, you cannot control all these factors and some such as the legal regulations, shady practices of bookmaking establishments are outside of your control.
But we’re 100% sure that by following the above instructions and tips you’ll be able to ensure that your money is safe with a trustworthy online bookmaker.