Is Online Betting A Scam?

Last Updated: December 13, 2021

Online betting is by no means simply a scam… however there are areas of genuine concern for punters in terms of how fairly they are treated by some bookmakers.

The most common concerns are as follows, we’ll deal and explain each further down the page to help you avoid any problems…

  • Fairness of free bets with their restrictions and limitations.
  • Limiting of profitable punters.
  • Identity checks and verification.
  • Rouge bookmakers/operators.
  • Withholding of payments following winning bets.

How To Avoid Betting Scams

  • Only use bookmakers with a UK license.
  • Make sure your bookie employs SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption for cyber security.
  • Read offer T&C’s before you sign up.
  • Check bookies reputation by reading our betting reviews.

Safest Betting Sites – Our Top 3

Bet £10 get £30 free bets
New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. Registration required.
Bet £10 get £40
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10  on any football market at minimum 1/1 odds. No cash out. Get £40 in Free Bets on selected events. Free Bets expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | Please gamble responsibly
Bet £10 get £40 bonus
18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply

Punters’ Major Concerns Addressed

As we mentioned at the outset, there are a handful of areas of genuine concern which quite rightly worry some current and potential punters. Fortunately, however, the above security measures implemented by bookmakers and the ways in which you yourself can act to make your online betting safer help to combat those issues. To offer you even great peace of mind, though, let’s deal with those aforementioned major concerns individually.

Free Bets: Are They A Scam?

Free BetsFirstly, it is true that free bet offers from online bookmakers can be subject to restrictions or limitations in terms of what the bets can be used for and the maximum winnings they can generate. These limitations, however, are not generally too restrictive when it comes to the most popular bookmakers and they are all always set out in detail within the offer’s terms and conditions.

In order to avoid being surprised by the specifics of any promotion, then, all you need do is read those terms and conditions before signing up.

Limited Accounts: Is It Fair?

Account LimitedThe practice of bookmakers limiting or closing profitable accounts is unquestionably a troublesome one, which has been hitting the headlines more regularly of late. In spite of that, however, it does still remain a relatively uncommon occurrence for a major bookmaker to limit an account unless that account has made significant long term profits.

What’s more, whilst it can be frustrating for a profitable punter to have their account limited, it does not constitute a scam on the part of the bookies. This is the case as they have a legal right to refuse the business of any individual they wish at any time they choose.

ID Checks: Why?

ID ChecksIdentity checks and ID verification of customers by bookmakers should certainly not worry any punters who are looking for legal and above board gambling.

These types of checks are generally only undertaken when the provider has cause to doubt a punter’s age or identity and want to ensure that neither underage gambling nor money laundering is taking place. As long as the customer hasn’t done anything they shouldn’t have, therefore, these checks should cause them no concern.

Rogue Sites: Do They Exist?

BlacklistIt is an unfortunate fact that there are unscrupulous and rogue operators present in any and all areas of business, and online betting is no exception. What is fortunate about rogue online betting sites, however, is that they can generally be easily identified and avoided. Such sites, after all, won’t be able to demonstrate all of the above security measures we have described and can often be outed as a scam by a simple Google search.

Withholding Payments: Does It Happen?

Withholding PaymentsIf a bookmaker does withhold payments that a punter is due following a winning bet or bets, it is unquestionably something which the customer has a right to be angry about.

Generally speaking, however, such withholding of payments would only ever be undertaken by a reputable bookmaker if they have genuine cause to believe that something untoward, unusual or illegal has taken place.

In those circumstances, the bookmakers are within their rights to withhold payments but only unscrupulous providers would do so in any other situation. Sticking to well-known and well-established bookmakers, therefore, is the best way to avoid any such upset.