We believe strongly in a regulated, safe and fair environment for gamblers. At CheekyPunter.com we pride ourselves on our independent and impartial reviews. Reviews are our own personal opinion and we do not accept financial compensation to influence the ratings included. We do however earn money from traffic referred to betting operatiors.

Is Online Betting A Scam?

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 reputation by reading our betting reviews.

Safest Betting Sites – Our Top 3

New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account & bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
New Customers Only. Deposit via credit/debit card and bet £5 @ odds 2.0+ within 7 days of registering; Cashed out bets excluded. Get 2x £10 free bets, valid for set types @ odds 2.0+ & a £20 casino bonus, wagered 40x to withdraw; Bonuses expire in 7 days; Geographic restrictions apply; T&C's Apply | 18+ | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. 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?

IDIdentity 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.

Author: David Lenton

David Lenton
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter