Most sports fans have found that betting on their favourite teams or players makes them enjoy the games even more. Take EPL fans as an…
New bookmakers are being launched on a regular basis in the UK. Despite the seemingly imminent changes to the online betting industry, the sector is still growing at a rapid rate.
Operators are therefore trying to capture a slice of the pie by launching fresh betting sites all the time, with many of them also offering online casino games like slots, poker, bingo and blackjack.
But what can those who are considering joining a new bookmaker do to make sure it is safe?
In the UK, all online gambling sites require a licence from the Gambling Commission. This body is responsible for regulating the sector, so those without a UKGC licence are not legal.
Details of an online gambling site’s licences are usually displayed at the bottom of all pages. As an example, Bet365 publishes its licence details from the Gambling Commission along with the information about the company’s registered address and other ownership details.
In the event of a new online bookmaker not publishing licensing information, this is a red flag. Failing to clearly indicate how a site is licensed and regulated might suggest it is unsafe. Sites might have a licence from an alternative body such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). This is not dodgy per se, but customers should remember UK sites require a Gambling Commission licence in order to legally operate in this country. MGA or Curacao licences do not cut it.
The Gambling Commission also published information on which gambling sites have been fined for breaking industry rules. Having a look at this section can be a good idea when researching.
New online bookmakers might not yet have been checked out by industry experts, but they are usually quick off the mark when it comes to assessing how they perform compared to rivals.
Areas that will be checked by these experts include the banking methods that can be used to make a deposit, as well as how long it takes for a site to pay out when withdrawing winnings. Reviews of new online betting sites which can be found on sites like BettingLounge.co.uk, will also highlight whether or not they are safe to use. This assessment is carried out by checking the licensing information from the Gambling Commission.
It is not just the views of industry experts that can be checked when reading reviews either. New betting site apps, for example, will have reviews from real readers on the App Store or Google Play. Various other online sites also carry reviews of online bookmakers from their customers.
These reviews highlight any issues such as being paid out when trying to withdraw winnings, or not being able to upload documents as part of a bookmaker’s know your customer checks.
When placing bets online, players need to make sure that their information such as debit card details are not going to fall into the wrong hands.
As online betting sites are often the target of hackers due to the amount of financial information they hold, this is particularly important for a crucial department for new bookmakers to manage.
SSL encryption is seen as the gold standard when it comes to online security. Any new betting site that does not have state of the art SSL encryption in place might not be safe to use online.
Before signing up for an account with a new bookmaker, it can be a good idea to test out the customer service to see how friendly, professional and responsive they are.
Not all new online bookmakers are able to provide support around the clock, but 24/7 help is preferred. This means players would be able to get support at any time of the day or night.
Customer service options at betting sites these days typically start with a live chat. This is often the fastest way to resolve an issue or ask a question of a site’s customer support department.
Along with live chat, email and telephone support are among the options often offered. It can be a good idea to fire off an email to a new online bookmaker to see how long it takes to respond.
Using the site’s customer service department before joining can also help people to make sure that the contact details, such as the email address that is published, is actually legit and in use.
One of the best ways to check out a new bookmaker is to research the site’s owner. Many operators these days run a variety of online betting sites, such as sportsbooks and casinos.
Companies that run a stable of betting sites might be more trustworthy. It is perhaps easier to have trust in them if they have experience of operating a range of new online bookmakers.
However, this is not always necessarily a good thing. If a company is constantly rolling out new online betting sites that seem to be very similar to their sister sites, this could be a red flag. After all, it would be fair to ask what would be the point of having multiple bookmakers under the same operating company if they all appear to offer a similar experience to their customers.
Some new online bookmakers are already run via what is known as a white-label site. This means that they are built on the same type of website, often with just a new colour scheme.
Lastly, one way to check if new bookmakers are safe is to assess their bonuses. It is sometimes the case that extremely high betting bonuses that look unrealistic are offered.
As an example, a very high deposit bonus might be up for grabs. Looking at the small print of the terms and conditions may uncover the fact that high wagering requirements must be met.
High betting bonuses can seem attractive when offered by new bookmakers. However, it is often the case that if they look too good to be true, they likely are.