With legal online sports betting so new in New York State and the excitement of the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 13, the state attorney general is cautioning residents to be careful when placing their bets and aware of deceptive companies.

While there are several legitimate online betting companies now operating in the state, Letitia James cautions unscrupulous sites can mislead players with promises of risk-free bets and welcome offers that can come with costly strings attached.

Photo: New York State Attorney General's Office
Photo: New York State Attorney General's Office

Online sports betting platforms allow consumers to place bets through mobile apps or through websites for a variety of sporting events and many take side bets on everything from the coin toss to the weather on game day.

The product can add to the fun of watching a game but, as with any gambling pass-time, should be approached with caution.

James says “before placing a bet, do your research into the platform” and “don’t let scammers game your gamble."

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Gamblers should look into what other users are saying by reading consumer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trust Pilot.

James advises consumers read the fine print on bonuses and promotions. Just know that some promotions promising risk-free bets may mean a credit toward future gaming instead of getting your money back on a losing bet. And be aware of unexpected restrictions accessing your account.

Finally, the Attorney General reminds New Yorkers that the ease of online betting can make some people forget they are playing with real money and they can suffer devastating financial losses if gambling gets out of control. The New York 24-hour Problem Gambling Helpline is 1-877-846-7368 or TEXT-HOPENY. That’s 467369.

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