NJ officials warn: Watch out for illegal sports betting sites
Just in time for the start of football season, New Jersey officials are urging residents to steer clear of illegal sites when wagering on sports.
Even in New Jersey's legal market, which has been around since 2018, illegal operators exist and are taking money from New Jersey bettors. But consumers are dealing with little protection when using these offshore outlets, compared to the security that must be in place on licensed sports wagering platforms in the Garden State, officials say.
"The problems with illegal sportsbooks are numerous," said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. "They lack oversight to ensure customers are actually paid what they won as well as security protocols to safeguard sensitive personal and financial information, like Social Security numbers and bank data."
Signs you may be interacting with an illegal sports-betting site:
⚫ It accepts deposits or makes payments in Bitcoin/cryptocurrency
⚫ There are charging fees for processing deposits or withdrawals
⚫ The advertising bonuses and promotions seem too good to be true
⚫ It's operating without a ".com" or using a domain from outside the U.S.
"If you value that dollar, it's probably wise to spend a few minutes researching where you're going to be betting," said David Danzis, lead writer for PlayNJ.com. "(Illegal) sites look and feel very similar to our regulated sportsbooks."
Danzis said New Jersey does not permit betting on political contests, nor does it allow wagers on New Jersey college teams or colleges games within the state's borders. So any state that permits those types of wagers is not regulated here.
You can also look for the New Jersey DGE seal on legitimate betting sites and apps.
According to PlayNJ, there are 14 online sportsbooks up and running in New Jersey. There are also a few "sports betting exchanges" that allow bettors to trade bets like stocks.
Check here for New Jersey's list of authorized fantasy sports operators.