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Are Betting Sites Safe?

betting site safety

One of the most regularly asked questions when it comes to players looking for a bookmaker to use is whether they are reliable or not. It is an important thing to consider when there is money on the line. 

Bettors are on these sites placing wagers 365 days a year so it is crucial that you are using a reliable bookmaker. Staying safe when online is hugely important so it is vital that you know that the bookmaker you are using can be trusted.

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The role of the UKGC

Every bookmaker that offers prices and lays bets in the United Kingdom needs to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. They oversee the entire industry from arcades to bingo halls and even The National Lottery. Each one has to stick to the rules that are set out by the UKGC.

There is a code of practice that all bookmakers have to abide by if they wish to keep their licenses. The UKGC are not afraid to remove licenses from casinos and bookmakers who they do not believe to be playing fair. There is a link on the UKGC’s website where you can check the license details of any odds provider that you want and where you can find lots more information about the UKGC and how they regulate the gambling landscape.

Other licensing authorities

Away from the UKGC, you will also find bookmakers registered by the Malta Gaming Authority, the Curacao Egaming Commission, the Gibraltar Gambling Commission and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. Bookmakers who operate in South Africa are licenced by the local Provincial Licensing Authority, such as Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board, depending on which of the nine provinces they are based. In Nigeria, bookmakers are licensed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Lagos State Lotteries Board. Bookmakers in India get checked by the India Regulatory Authority with each of the 29 states having their own local authority. Each one has its own rules and regulations which are worth knowing if you are living in that area.

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Which bookmakers are licensed by UKGC?

Every bookmaker that we have on our site is legit and fully licensed in the countries where they practice. Always choose a site that is UKGC licensed if you are in England as they are reliable or those who are licensed by the other commissions mentioned above if you live elsewhere. It is essential to use these bookmakers listed below when you are sports betting if you are a player in the UK:

  • Bet365
  • Ladbrokes
  • Coral
  • Betfred
  • Unibet
  • Grosvenor
  • Boylesports
  • Lottoland
  • Parimatch
  • Quinnbet
  • Netbet
  • Stake
  • VBet
  • William Hill
  • Bwin
  • Betfair
  • SportingBet

There are a lot of different sites that are available to you which are all reliable and secure. To make things better, they offer welcome bonuses to new customers and you can sign up for an account with as many of them as you like. You can get your hands on a lot of different promotions through our reviews where we have full instructions on what to do to start on the journey in search of winnings. 

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How do bookmakers keep your funds secure?

When entering your debit card details online, sometimes it can feel a little worrying but bookmakers are always improving the security of their sites so that you are safe when it comes to funding your account. When you use a bank card, there is no real risk as all bookmakers have SSL technology which helps to encrypt any transfer of funds and they use the latest in firewall technology to restrict unauthorised traffic. Both are there to provide players with the safest site possible to bet on.

If you are wanting to use a more modern method like e-wallets then most bookmakers offer this solution so you can pay by the likes of PayPal, Neteller or even by Paysafecard which are all secure ways of depositing money into an account.

Not all methods are available at all bookmakers so use our reviews to find those who offer the deposit method that you want before you sign up to avoid any unpleasant surprises. You can then be sure that you can fund your account with the method that you want.

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Do bookmakers always pay your winnings?

Most people who place a bet do so because they are dreaming of that big payday when a 20-fold accumulator lands on the football. When a site is registered by the UKGC, they have to pay out all winning bets that are made through the site as part of their license. 

All bets that you place are in your account history so that it is all recorded. Winnings are paid out almost instantly so that you can place further bets or withdraw the money from your account. If you need help then the next section on disputes is ideal. 

There are cases that you will find online that have seen bookmakers not pay out but these almost always have extenuating circumstances. Quite often this is because of what is known as a palpable error where the price that is on the bookmaker's website has been put up wrong. People will try and take advantage but it is obvious that Manchester City to beat Newport in the FA Cup should be 1/10 not 10/1 so if you see a wrong price like this, don’t expect to be paid as it is a clear palpable error and all bookmakers have rules covering these.

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Where can I get help with a dispute?

While the UKGC are there to regulate the industry, they are not there to investigate issues. They do provide advice on what to do if you have an issue with a bookmaker which is worth knowing in case you do ever have an issue.

  • Read the bookmaker's terms and conditions to know where you stand.
  • Speak directly to the bookmaker and follow their in-house complaints procedure.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence.
  • Bookmakers have eight weeks to respond to complaints.
  • If unsatisfied, escalate your complaint to an alternative dispute resolution provider (ADR)
  • They have 90 days to look at your complaint.
  • You can appeal or take the bookmaker to small claims court if you are still not satisfied.

To make a complaint about a bookmaker you can contact the UKGC on 0121 230 6666 or fill in the form that they have on their site, They will get back to you within 20 working days. They also offer an anonymous line that you can call, 0121 230 6655, if you are worried that any bookmaker is involved in any suspicious activity.

What risks come with playing at an unregulated bookmaker?

For those who still want to play with an unregulated bookmaker, you are taking a serious risk. Things might go fine for a while but if there is any issue like not being paid out on a winning bet, your account getting hacked or even something more serious, there is no legal recourse that you can take as they are not regulated to place a bet with. We would always advise you to use a bookmaker that we have on this website as they are all regulated by the UKGC which makes them reliable and safe for you to play at. 

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