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Lack of Safe Payment Options: How online casino users fall victim to opportunistic scammers

derailedcapitalism's Photo
by derailedcapitalism
Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022 - 17:15

A Massive Game of Numbers 

After steadily growing for five straight years, between 2015 to 2019, from $254.3 billion US to $265.93 billion (a 4.57% increase), the initial shock of the pandemic took its toll on the US casino and gambling industry.  2020 saw a precipitous decline – of nearly 24% - in the industry’s revenue, down to $202.54 billion U.S. However, that decline was short lived. 2021 saw valuation grow to (an estimated) $230.86 billion. That’s a nearly 14% year-over-year increase.

 

 So, what impact does online casino gaming and gambling have on the broader economy? We can assess the sheer volume of the industry’s impact by looking at numbers from just one state – Michigan, where the industry contributed nearly $21 million in taxes in a single month (October 2021) alone!  And that trend isn’t an outlier either. The Nevada state government cleared nearly $5-million in sports betting tax revenue in November 2021 – just the second time in its history that the sum surpassed the $4-million mark. 

But, as with any environment with massive numbers like these, there are risks associated with the online gambling industry. And often, it’s the stakeholders at the lowest rung of the ladder – the bettors – who typically pay the price. 

Scammers Out in Full Force 

Some of the most daring online gambling scams happen without the betting audience noticing them – that’s why the “trust factor” is so important when dealing with online casinos. Here’s a sample of what to look out for: 

IDENTITY THEFT 

If you think your money is more valuable to casino scammers, think again! Many fraudsters are after your personal information, and the way to get it is to give you a false sense of security. They’ll set up fake gambling websites, that mimic legitimate sites. Upon registration, you’ll be asked to validate your identity, usually by providing copies of government-issued documents, such as driver’s licenses. That’s it – you’ve just been scammed!

 

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2020, the commission received 4.72 million reports of identity theft and related crimes. One estimate puts the total amount lost, due to identity-related scams, at over $56 billion in 2020. 

RANSOMWARE/SPYWARE 

Many online bettors and gamblers are eager to get into the action, and often throw caution to the wind. With gambling increasingly going mobile, many casinos have launched mobile apps to facilitate placing bets and cashing-in on winnings on the go. Nefarious actors are cashing-in themselves, with malware, phishing and malicious code embedded in their apps. According to some estimates, between 2019 and 2020, victims paid out roughly $350 million in ransomware-enabled attacks.  

STOLEN PAYMENT DETAILS 

Often, part of the process to verify your betting profile includes entering valid bank account details. A “verified” profile often opens many more features and benefits of the site to gamblers and bettors. However, scammers use those platforms to have members make small “verification payments”, and then use that data to siphon larger sums of money from your bank account. 

A related scam, to trick bettors and gambling enthusiasts into providing their payment details, is by offering fake bonus vouchers or false winning notifications. To redeem the voucher, or collect the windfall, the scammer asks casino members to provide their banking details. 

It Pays to Bet on Safe Payments 

Clearly, the safety of paying for your bets, and collecting your winnings, must be front and center for any bettor – be they “hardcore” betting veterans, or just fans of online casino betting. And choosing a safe casino payment option is a critical lynchpin for that safety. That’s why, when it comes to facilitating safe transfer and receipts of betting funds, more casino bettors have turned to Venmo as their payment network of choice. 

But, it’s not just the players and bettors who gravitate towards Venmo – it’s also online casinos that are making it a payment option of choice. And here’s why there’s a growing list of casinos accepting Venmo:  

  • Members’ banking or credit card details remain sheltered from the online casino, providing them significant safety and security knowing that scammers don’t have access to that data
  • Betters can instantly – within minutes, compared to other options that take days! - bankroll their sportsbook
  • Thanks to a liberal rolling weekly spending limit, of between $4,999 and $6,999 – the vast majority of bettors can place reasonable bets
  • It’s mobile-enabled, which means bettors can instantly place bets or access winnings on the go
  • Where applicable, players who previously might not have had access to Venmo, can now use Venmo player-to-player deposits, and sportsbook vouchers that make it possible for bettors to fund their bets
  • Uniquely, features such as the ability to sell your Venmo account balance using player transfers or vouchers, allows bettors same-day access to their payouts 

One of the biggest plus points, that makes Venmo the clear winner as a casino payment option, is its pedigree. The company is part of the reputable eBay and PayPal family of companies, which makes it the most trusted casino payment network out there today. 

The allure, for both online casinos and bettors alike, to use Venmo in droves, also comes from the fact that there’s no “Venmo betting app” that’s needed to get in on the action. If you have an updated web browser, you can easily set up your mobile device (or tablet or laptop) to place bets and collect winnings through Venmo.

 

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