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Evan Van Luven
Written By: Evan Van Luven

I run the Sportsbook at Rivalry. Former professional poker player, DFS player, and all-around gaming and gambling enthusiast.

Jul 27, 2019

As a newcomer in the world of esports betting, it can feel difficult to keep up with all the potential questions. Unfortunately, there are many shady actors who would very much like to take advantage of this – and you – by using dodgy tactics to skew the odds in their favor. Don’t worry, we’re here to help: here are some of the worst practices that you should be aware of as you decide which betting site to trust with your hard-earned money.

Not having a license – This is an easy one. A betting license is what holds the operator accountable to pay out their customers. If they don’t have one, it means that they don’t actually have a legal obligation to pay you out when you win – and if they don’t go through the trouble of acquiring one, you should be wary of their business intentions. Sites with licenses will post a photo or link to their licensing body in the footer of their page, it’s usually pretty easy to find. For instance, we are regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.

Dodgy “bonus” offers – Lots of betting sites use all kinds of marketing tactics to acquire new customers. Read the fine print of the welcome offer or deposit bonus and make sure you understand the rules of the bonus you’re signing up for. They are often not as enticing as they seem. $50 on top of your deposit seems nice on the surface no matter what, but if it requires placing $1000 in bets, then it isn’t really a freebie, is it now? We’ll delve deep into the maths behind this in a future installment of Bettor Beware.

Underpaying – This is when you aren’t getting the full payment you’re entitled to on a winning bet. This most commonly occurs on combo bets (also known as parlays or accumulators): the way to calculate the proper odds on these is by multiplying the odds of all the bets on the ticket. Well, some sites will take this number and reduce it a few points, figuring no one will notice. They’re just cheating you out of money at this point. 

Live bet delays – This is another shady tactic used by a lot of less-than-reputable sites. It’s fairly normal practice for a live bet to have a short processing time before it is accepted. However, what some sites deliberately hold your bet for 15-20 seconds then check whether the odds have moved. If they moved in your favor, they reject the ticket – and of course, if they went the other way, then they have no problem accepting it.

Make sure you are not being taken advantage of! Always check your bet slip, read the fine print and test live betting options with small wagers before fully diving in for that big one. GLHF!

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