How to Bet Online Safely in the US
Generally speaking, betting over the internet is a safe activity. That said, you still need to take a number of precautions in order to ensure a safe online gambling experience. In the end, you are responsible for your own safety when it comes to risking your money online.
Obviously, online betting is inherently risky, considering there is a very real chance you wind up losing money. That’s not the point, though. While you may lose money as a result of some unwise or unlucky betting decisions, you never want to be risking your hard-earned cash on a risky website. Unfortunately, there are some unsavory sites out there that will try and cheat bettors. You also want to be sure that your online betting experience in the US is a legal one.
Ensuring and maintaining your safety should be your top concern when it comes to gambling online, whether you’re playing online casino games in California, placing sports bets in New York or gambling anywhere else in the United States. What are some steps you can take in order to make sure you’re safe?
Read the Fine Print
It may sound boring, but taking the time to read the fine print is a must when it comes to finding the right online gambling site. Sites are required to get the proper licensing if they want to operate legally, so identifying a site’s credentials is a smart first step to making sure you’ve found yourself a legit operator.
These licenses can typically be found at the bottom of a homepage or under a site’s “About Us” section. If a site’s credentials aren’t easy to find or isn’t obviously displayed, however, you should probably take your business elsewhere. There are enough legitimate sites that play by the laws and acquire the necessary licensing to where you don’t need to be messing with potentially sketchy operators.
Nobody likes reading the terms and conditions, but there’s a reason they’re there. Reading the necessary fine print when it comes to the variety of bonuses offered by sites is also a smart idea.
Read Online Reviews
One way to easily separate the good sites from the bad ones when you bet online in the US is to hit up your favorite search engine and simply look up which sites are the best betting sites on the web. There are plenty of reviews and gambling site rankings scattered across the web. If you see a site listed on several different lists, you’ve probably found one of the safer and more reputable options in the industry.
Betting online comes with more risk than doing so at a traditional land-based casino. Dealing with people directly at a real casino is different than going through an online betting site, where the only method of contact might be email or a live chat session. So, reading up on a site’s background while also getting a feel for what other users at a certain site have experienced is a good way to familiarize yourself with a site you may not have used before.
Make Sure It’s A Legal Bet
This should go without saying, but you need to find out whether it’s legal to bet online where you live. A very commonly-asked question regarding the legality of online gambling in the United States is whether it’s safe to do so without fear of getting in trouble with the law.
You certainly want to be confident that any and all sensitive information you’re putting out there is secure, and that it won’t be at risk of being shared with unknown third parties.
When it comes to understanding the laws, there is no shortage of reading material out there that can help you figure out whether it’s legal to bet online where you live. As it stands, there is no federal law in place that makes it illegal for Americans to place bets over the internet. There is very little precedent in the US when it comes to people being prosecuted for doing so, especially when it comes to playing casino games and poker. Accepting bets is illegal, however, so any operator physically located in the US is running afoul of the law. This is why most reputable online operators do so outside of the United States.
As it stands, the four states that have legalized online betting in all forms are:
- New Jersey
There are also 26 other states have legalized online betting with regards to horse racing. However, more states are expected to explicitly legalize certain forms of betting in the months and years to come.
Certain sites also have specific age requirements. A lot of online betting sites require users to be at least 18 years of age, while some others have an age requirement of 21.
Always Start With A Small Bet
This tip has less to do with personal information security than it does with your financial well-being. If you are starting out at a gambling site for the first time, going all-in right away is, frankly, a terrible strategy. Learning the rules and how to properly allocate your funds is a basic tenet of any form of gambling, and betting online is certainly no exception. Be smart about how much money you risk at a given time, and only risk amounts you’re fine with potentially losing.
If you’re betting on sports, for example, don’t try to make up for a lost bet by placing an ill-advised second bet, especially if you haven’t done the requisite research. Continuing to double down on lost bets is a fast and dangerous way to play, and it’s a good way to demolish your bankroll in short order.
Starting with small-stake bets is a smart way to get your feet wet. You can start to increase the amount you wager after you get a better idea of how the process works.
Online gambling in the US is a safe and fun way to pass some time. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll also win yourself a little extra money along the way. In order to make sure it’s as worthwhile an experience as it can be, though, taking the proper safety measures is a must. Not every provider out there has your best interests in mind, so finding a secure US gambling site with a solid reputation in the industry is the most important step you can take. There are plenty of viable options out there, and, as long as you’re careful, betting online in the United States can certainly prove to be a fruitful endeavor.