If you enjoy placing bets on your favourite sports, either as a way to make money, or to just add a little more excitement to the games, then there are a number of ways you can do this. You may go to the event itself and bet at stalls dotted around the arena, stadium or track you’re at. It’s possible you can’t attend but have a local bookmaker, or use an online sportsbook in order to place bets. But one of the most modern ways to bet is using mobile apps.

They have the advantage of being able to bet no matter where you are as long as you have a good signal, and enough data to access the internet. Meaning you can bet from the stands at the event, in a local bar where you’re meeting with friends to watch an event, or at home in the comfort of your armchair. But how do you know if an app for sports betting is secure or not? What should you be looking out for to make sure you’re not going to be the victim of a scam?

Well, we’ve put together a few tips for you, that will hopefully help you identify which sports apps are safe to use. And which apps you should avoid like the plague.

Only available on official app stores

One of the biggest ways to tell if an app is safe and secure right away is to see where it is available. If you can only download it from some dodgy website as a .apk file and have to install it on your phone manually by allowing apps from unknown sources, it’s probably a good decision to avoid it. Whereas the best sports betting apps will all appear on legitimate marketplaces such as the App Store on iOS devices, or the Google Play store on android devices.

The reason you only want to download apps from these kind of app stores, is because to get on there, they go through rigorous testing. They’re scanned for viruses, they are tested by professionals to look for security flaws, amongst many other safety measures. If they’re deemed not to be up to scratch, then they will not be allowed in the store. If they meet required safety standards and quality checks, then they will be made available for download.

This way, although there will be some apps that slip through the net, you’ll be able to feel more safe knowing these apps have gone through relevant processes for safety. Meaning you can use them without the worry that the app is some kind of virus that is going to steal all your personal data and your money. Although, it’s still a good idea to remain alert, and report any issues you do experience in case the app was compromised.

Check for licences

If you’re using an app, it is likely that the app will also have a website or physical locations you can also bet at. Wherever you are able to find them, there will be information if they’re a legitimate online betting company, to show they are regulated and have licences. These licences can be issued from a number of different places, but they basically confirm that the company you are using meets certain standards.

The standards, no matter what gambling licences are held, all tend to cover the same characteristics. They aim to ensure that any services are fair, and are entirely based on luck and chance, and ensure that anyone who bets is safe and protected. This means that games are not allowed to be ‘rigged’ in the favour of the operator, and that should there be any indications of financial abuse, the operator will have policies in place to identify and put a stop to it. Potentially going as far as reporting issues to authorities to safeguard its customers.

As such, for meeting these standards, these companies will publish their licence information, including a licence number. If you then call up the relevant authorities, you will be able to pass their number to confirm information and make sure they are legitimate.

 

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They’ll offer secure payment methods

Another key indicator of an app you can trust is the payment methods available. If they’re licenced to take card payments by the likes of Visa, or offer PayPal payments, you’ll have to enter personal details to make payments. If that is the case, these payments should be done through official and secure portals. These can sometimes be identified with little padlock symbols, similar to what you see on a website.

This identifies it as using a secure https domain with SSL encryption to make these transactions, rather than a bog standard http domain address. The difference between the two is that https is more secure, and offers greater protection. But these aren’t always shown on apps, instead they may have other symbols in place to show they are secure, or send you through to confirmation pages where you will have to confirm special passwords you have with your bank, only supplying certain characters.

If you aren’t asked to confirm additional details for security, then we’d suggest avoiding using that app as you can’t confirm it is secure. You may not be able to place a bet on the football in this scenario, but you also won’t potentially be giving a scammer all your money. And I know which option I’d rather take.

And there you have it, a number of ways that can help you identify which apps are safe to use when placing sports bets. There are many other indicators out there too, these are just some of the main ones to keep an eye out for. So we always recommend doing your own research before agreeing to enter in personal details and payment information, because if you willingly hand it over, it is harder to get it back. At least if you haven’t handed anything over at all, you’ll still have your money, even if you missed out on placing your bet.