Online gambling is big business. It’s probably enjoying an even greater deal of popularity now than ever before; as global Coronavirus restrictions are preventing many bettors from making their way down to their local bookie. But is it safe? It’s easy to feel comforted by the rules and regulations at licensed venues – for the most part, you know that the only risk you’re taking is the odds, and that’s exactly what you’re signing up for.
But there’s a lot of danger out there on the internet – dodgy sites by the thousand, the threat of losing your winnings to hackers, server outages, or interrupted connections. It’s also harder to manage your limits when everything is just a simple click away – just look at my frankly obscene Deliveroo order history for proof.
Luckily, the industry is catching up. In the UK for example, companies are under constant pressure from licensing bodies to use technology to improve not only the security of placing bets but the overall experience, including the provision of tools and features to set limits and discourage problem gambling. Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious ways technology is making betting safer for everybody.
ENFORCING YOUR LIMITS
It’s never been easier to control your spending than it is now. Many sites offer a range of tools players can use to limit their spending – cool down periods and deposit limits for just a couple of examples. These practices are becoming standard practice across the board, and you can look out for these options as a sign that a bookie is operating within customer-friendly guidelines. They shouldn’t be your only port of call, but they’re definitely a positive sign. It’s stupidly easy to spend money online, so it’s only right that they give you options to stay within your budget.
Know Your Customer is also a very big part of keeping betting safe. This is basically the bookies’ way of making sure players are who they say they are, which decreases the chance of fraud, identifies customers who may have gambling issues, and keeps everything legitimate.
BLOCKCHAIN AND BITCOIN
Cryptocurrency was once seen as entwined with the “dark” web, and it has a mixed reputation these days after a hefty amount of inflation and uses for certain… “unsavory” purchases. Nonetheless, technology is becoming a real force for positive change in gambling. It enables a degree of transparency that has not been a part of online gambling thus far, allowing all transactions to be recorded securely, which makes sure the games live up to the odds they’re offering.
Bitcoin is also making life much easier for online bookies and bettors alike. It allows players to bet funds without sharing sensitive information like billing addresses or credit card details online. Payouts can be authorized much faster without traditional capital being involved too. It’s easy enough to get started and offers a lot of peace of mind once you’ve got your head around it.
Cybersecurity is a huge deal these days. As fast as technology advances, people find more ways to take advantage of it. Many betting sites are using advanced encryption to keep your data safe from the ever-looming threat of malware and hackers.
SSL – or secure sockets layer – encryption is one of these tools. It basically ensures that any data sent back and forth between you and the website is encrypted on its journey, as opposed to going in plain text for anyone to see (it would probably horrify you to see the amount of personal data that has been stored online in plain text.) Obviously this is very reassuring when it comes to any aspect of personal data, but even more so when there are large sums of money involved!
Two-factor authentication is a fantastic way to boost your online security, and many sites offer it within your account settings. It’s simple – whenever there’s a login to your account from a new location or device, a temporary code will be generated and sent to a trusted email address or mobile number. This code will need to be entered before you gain access to your account. A small inconvenience to you, a massive kick in the nuts for any would-be hackers.
Hopefully, this information has put your mind at ease. Online betting can be seen as much riskier, and it certainly has some unique problems. As you can see, there are many ways bookies and players alike can stay safe – so stay informed, and good luck!