BetAid guide to online betting sites.
Betting on sports is a pastime us Brits have been partaking in for centuries, with the first bet said to have been placed in China back in 2300BC. The game, which saw ‘bettors’ predict the drawing of wood was a rudimentary game of chance, seeing locals predict the outcome of digs. Forming our appetite for games of luck, as time matured, so did the world of betting, with a betting industry forming off of the back of that.
Fast forward a good few thousand years and you can now bet on pretty much anything you like. From high-profile football matches in the Premier League to dog races and small-time hockey matches taking place across the pond, our access to sports betting is now limitless and ever-changing.
This is all thanks to the internet, with new online betting sites launching on what seems like a daily basis.
While this type of choice is great, this has only enhanced the risks consumers face, being exposed to enticing deals far too often. This has arguably fed gambling addiction rates increasing year on year, with the UK on the brink of a gambling addiction epidemic.
Below we getting under the surface of betting sites, explaining what they are, how they work and the risks associated with registering with them.
Accumulator bets are extremely popular as they potentially offer huge rewards for very little outlay. However, there is a reason that the rewards are substantial; the bet almost never lands! Worse still, your accumulator bet does come in, giving you a sense of “what if”?
Picture this, you've staked £2 on a six-fold accumulator which returned £100. Often, bettors get into the mindset that if next time they stake £10 then a winning accumulator bet will return £500. Then before you know it a £2 six-fold bet once a week becomes an £10 eight-fold bet two or three times a week.
The biggest problem with in-play betting is that you’re reacting and betting with little or no time to assess the risk. With in-play odds changing by the second, bettors do not have the luxury of studying their potential bet. Put simply, a live, in-play bet is often placed without any thought.
An in-play bet could also give punters the opportunity to chase a losing bet. For example, if you place a pre-match bet on a football match and that bet loses very early on, you could be tempted to place one or several further bets on the same match in order to recoup your initial losses.
For sports fans, the occasional flutter on a Saturday afternoon has become as much a part of their weekend as a pint or two whilst watching their sport of choice. Visiting the bookies en route to the pub offers gamblers an element of control, allowing them to actively limit the time and money spent in the betting shop. However, with punters now able to place bets from their mobile phones, that control has been taken away. Online gamblers can now place multiple bets from their mobile device with very little thought put into what they’re spending their money on. Online betting also fails to offer any protection for bettors making ill-judged bets after one too many beers. If you place a bet online, on your betting account from your device whilst intoxicated then as far as the bookies are concerned that is tough luck!
Many of the UK’s biggest gambling brands allow you to bet on a variety of sports across the world at almost any time, day or night. However, as if that isn’t enough, most have now introduced virtual sports to their online platforms. Punters can now place bets on anything from a virtual horse race to a virtual football match. The alarming thing with virtual bets is the frequency that the events take place. There is often just a matter of minutes between each virtual event and if there are multiple virtual sports events available, you could literally place a new bet every minute.
Virtual sports bets are based on pure luck. There is no skill involved in selecting the outcome of a fictional race or match and with virtual sports using fixed-odds technology, the games are designed in such a way that means the house will always win.
Strangely, striking lucky on a free bet could be the worst thing to happen to a bettor. Often free bets come with strict wagering requirements meaning you’re unlikely to ever see your winnings hit your bank account. If you are fortunate enough to withdraw any funds from a free bet or bonus you would’ve now experienced just how fast and easy it can be to place a winning bet and turn a profit. Now you have that winning feeling, you place further bets using your own money, possibly staking larger amounts of money, after all, you now know just how to beat the bookies! This time you lose. One out of two isn’t bad so you place another bet but this time your stake has to be high enough to cover your previous losses. You lose again. Now you’re hooked, you’re on a losing streak, running at a loss, frustrated and desperate to win your money back. Just like that, a free bet has transformed itself into a problem, a vicious circle that can only be resolved by cutting your losses.
When you make a deposit into an online betting account, the funds will be deducted from your bank account immediately. However, any winnings can take up to three to five working days to once again hit your bank account. Whilst this can be frustrating, this is more an issue with the banking industry rather than your chosen betting site. Where delayed withdrawals become an issue with your online betting site is through the fact that many bookmakers will give you the opportunity to reverse that withdrawal, often for up to 24 hours.
Whilst for most this is not a problem, there are many gamblers that cannot resist the temptation to reverse the withdrawal request and continue gambling. Being able to quit whilst ahead is a trait that many problem gamblers do not possess therefore if they have managed to successfully withdraw any amount of money from their online betting account, giving them the option to change their mind and continue betting is a dangerous feature that is all too readily available.