What is illegal sports betting?
Illegal sports betting, or illegal gambling, refers to placing bets with illegal sports betting operations. Depending on where you are located, laws on betting will be different. Something that is illegal in one country/state may be legal in another so it’s important to know the laws before participating in sports betting. In the US, the online sports betting industry is huge but many betting sites are still operating unlawfully. Participating in an illegal betting operation could have serious consequences, including funding of organized crime, and the possibility of extortion and violence.
Placing sports bets online is already risky enough, doing so on illegal sites is much worse. While legal consequences are not particularly likely depending on where you are located, losing money and having personal information sold is not impossible.
Illegal sports betting platforms are commonly run by organized crime groups and the profit they make is often used to fund their other illegal activities, such as human trafficking, drugs, weapons, terrorism, tax evasion, and money laundering. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, also investigate illegal gambling platforms with the intention to dismantle them, which means that the one you use may be taken down before you can withdraw your funds.
Finally, illegal betting operations have different rules and wagers have no security. Those who place bets on illegal gambling sites are at risk of being targetted for extortion and may suffer violence from debt collectors.
Why illegal sports betting could be dangerous
- Bad digital security.
Because legal betting sites are strictly regulated, they usually have much more sophisticated security and are less likely to succumb to a cyber attack. Illegal betting platforms, on the other hand, often have mediocre at best security. Furthermore, because they would suffer no legal consequences, illegal betting sites have little interest in keeping your data safe. On the contrary, those sites are notorious for selling user data to third-parties. From your full name and email to your social security number or credit card information, everything could be sold to unknown parties.
- No legal protection.
If you are scammed by an illegal betting site, you have no legal protection and there is no chance you will get your money back. Again, because legal betting sites are strictly regulated, chances of you being scammed are very low. And if that were to happen, the law would be on your side. However, if you placed a bet on an illegal site, there’s not much you can do besides warning others not to make the same mistake you did.
- Unsecure funds.
Because of their mediocre security, illegal betting sites are more likely to be targeted in a cyberattack. The attacks are also more likely to succeed. Thus, even if the site is not planning on selling your information to unknown third-parties, your money is not secure. If the betting platform is attacked and a malicious party is able to get into your account, they may be able to withdraw your funds. And because the site is illegal, there is nowhere you could turn to to get your money back.
- Hidden terms and conditions.
Illegal betting sites often have hidden terms and conditions that many people do not notice until it’s too late. This is especially the case if the site seems to have particularly good terms at first sight.
Depending on the country/state, how law enforcement deals with illegal bettors is different. However, it’s still is illegal so if you fear repercussions from breaking the law, stay away from illegal betting. While the chances are slim, it’s still possible that you would get into legal trouble if caught making bets on illegal sites.