As residents of North Carolina continue to wait for legal online sports betting, there can be a common trap that many face, even if just mistakenly.
The allure of illegal offshore sportsbooks can be attractive to many who enjoy sports betting and lack the knowledge that North Carolina online sports betting is illegal.
While it might seem like a good alternative to some, the allure of offshore sportsbooks carries some serious risks; enough to make it a bad bet all around.
Many bettors don’t understand what they’re using
In 2020, the American Gaming Association surveyed 3,421 bettors over age 21.
Of those respondents, 52% said they had participated in the illegal sports betting market, but there was a lot of confusion about which of these sites were illegal. Eighty-four percent of those bettors were “surprised” to learn they were using illegal websites, and 74% found it important to only use legal sportsbooks.
Even in states where mobile sports wagering is legal, some still use illegal sportsbooks without fully understanding what platforms they use to place bets. In the same American Gaming Association survey, 48% of those illegal bettors said they would change their behavior upon learning that sites were not regulated.
That confusion is why we are here. The deception is intentional from the offshore market, so how can bettors avoid these pitfalls? The first step is learning the signs of an illegal offshore sports betting website.
Signs that an online sportsbook is illegal
The most important skill to learn to keep yourself safe from wagering on an offshore sportsbook is to identify what these sites look like and how to discern the difference between them and legal sports wagering platforms.
The first and most obvious method of knowing if these sites are illegal is to know whether mobile sports betting is available in your state. In North Carolina, online sports betting is still illegal, so any sites that allow bettors to place wagers are trying to trick you.
Secondly, in legal states, the best way to learn without a shadow of a doubt that a sportsbook is legal is to research which online sports wagering companies are approved to operate. Each state’s regulators keep a list of the legal companies approved to take bets.
The third identifier that a site could be an illegal sports betting platform is the web address. If the website ends in “.ag,” there is a good chance it is an illegal offshore sports betting provider.
Lastly, always pay attention to any purposefully vague wording or credit a bettor is allowed to accumulate. These sites often do not disclose that they are offshore sports betting providers, and they dance around that fact using misleading and vague wording.
If any used betting sites offer to open a line of credit for you to bet with, that is illegal and a clear indicator of an offshore sports betting company.
Always be cautious when betting to keep yourself and your money safe. A quick double-check is always worth the effort.