Are Online Sports Betting Sites Safe?
Whenever someone gets interested in sports betting for the first time, they usually have only two questions. First and foremost, they want to know if sports betting is actually legal in the United States. Once they find out that yes, it is, their next question is almost always some variation of this: Are online sports betting sites safe? The answer, of course, is exactly the same: Yes!
Online sports betting sites are safe and then some. In fact, they’re some of the safest storefronts on the entire Internet. Because of how much money they handle, how many countries’ laws they have to navigate, and how many of their high roller customers insist upon complete and total anonymity, these sportsbooks employ only the best, most state-of-the-art encryption technologies and financial protections available to retailers. You can always count on sites like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes to protect your data and honor your payouts promptly.
When you sign up at Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, 5Dimes, or any other reputable company, you’ll need to provide the legal online sports betting sites with some minimal personal information. If you’ve ever joined any mainstream online service, nothing here will be new to you. You’ll be asked to share your first and last name, a valid email address, your physical street address, your phone number, and your birthday. You’ll also be asked to create a password, fill in a security question, and – whenever you’re ready – to include any necessary financial transfer credentials (like credit cards or bank routing numbers, depending on the payment type you choose).
Will Online Sports Betting Sites Sell My Personal Information?
No. If you use safe online sports betting sites like those listed above, you can be sure that any and all personal information you share with them during the account creation process is 100 percent confidential. They will not sell your data to any third parties, nor will they harvest or process your associated betting habits or preferences. The sites don’t even serve ads, because, frankly, they’re not all that interested in sharing your business.
While there has never been a high profile hack at any of the top online sports betting sites, there is always a chance that any Internet-based service can be hacked. No matter how comprehensively Bovada or 5Dimes encrypts their accounts, no matter how complex the algorithms are at BetOnline or SportsBetting, there may one day be a team of hackers that cracks the code. Your Amazon accounts, eBay accounts, bank accounts, insurance accounts, and more all run the same risks. So yes, online sportsbook sites can be hacked. It just hasn’t happened yet.
How Can I Protect My Sports Betting Account From Hackers?
There’s really only one thing you can do to make sure your favorite online sports betting sites are safe, and that’s to make your account an unattractive bet for hackers. To do this, just keep a minimal amount of money loaded up in your digital wallet. This way, even if your cash gets compromised, you won’t lose all of your winnings or investments.
Make sure to take your payouts early and often, keeping only what you need to place current, planned bets and meet various bonus requirements. Also consider using a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, which is fundamentally more secure and traceable. That said, not even Bitcoin is immune from being compromised. While it uses blockchain technology (the most secure transaction encryption protocol known), it is important to remember that the Mt. Gox heist still happened. Whatever you do, the main thing is to keep your money moving around. You never want to let it sit in one place for too long.
Safe online sports betting sites allow their users to fill up their accounts via various means. The quickest way to get your cash into a usable form for your favorite sportsbook is simply to use a credit or debit card. If you use Bitcoin, the process can take up to a day or two but is usually much faster. Other methods like wire transfers and money orders have longer transaction times, and if you pay by personal check, make sure you give it a week or two to get all the way across the ocean and be processed through a foreign bank.
No matter which legal sportsbook deposit method you choose, you should understand that you assume all the risk if something goes wrong. You might be able to get Visa or Mastercard to at least partially reimburse you if a fraudster intercepts your payment, but it’d be a tough sell. The same goes for all the other methods. Bitcoin in particular requires special attention, as there is zero possible recourse if someone absconds with your digits.
The Safest Way To Withdraw Payouts From Online Sportsbooks
The fastest and safest payout method for online sportsbooks is Bitcoin. While you can make deposits with credit or debit cards, withdrawals are a different story, and they typically take a long time to complete. Additionally, they all come with fees on each transaction, because things like wire transfers and courier checks take time and manpower to see through to the end. Bitcoin payouts usually only take a few hours to post, and the cryptocurrency has the added benefit of being doubly protected by virtue of its blockchain foundation.
This is the one place I really can’t help you. Incidentally, it’s by far the most unsafe part of this entire process. Honestly, who would have thought that betting on sports would be the riskiest part about betting on sports?
If you want to give yourself the best chances to win, you already know what to do. Do your homework, bet with your head and not your heart, and don’t ever wager more than you can afford to lose. Start slow and steady, build up a stash as you learn, and always remember to have a good time. If you do all this and still don’t make any money, just relax. There are worse things to have than an expensive hobby.