Betting Scams Rising in Louisiana Ahead of March Madness
America's two-week fixation with basketball brackets has begun as the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are set to tip off on Thursday. Okay, if you count the play in games, you could say the tournament is already underway. But besides being responsible for hundreds of thousands of "I'm sick and can't come into work calls" the tournament is also one of the sports betting world's biggest events.
The American Gaming Association speculates that 17% of American adults or about 45 million people will place at least one wager on this year's basketball tournaments. The AGA also speculates that this will translate into almost $3.1 billion dollars in legal wagers placed on the tournament's games.
Here's a quick sports wagering trivia question for you, How long has legal sports wagering been available in Louisiana? No, it's actually been only since January 28th of 2022. So, while technically you could have bet on March Madness last year I think most "players" in the state will make their first tournament wagers with this year's brackets.
Naturally, when there is a pool of $3.1 billion dollars floating around, the bad guys want to take their turn at getting some of that money too. The Better Business Bureau is advising Louisiana gamblers to be vigilant in any wagers they make on this year's basketball brackets. The BBB has received several reports of fraudulent websites that are really good at taking your money and not good at all when it comes to paying you back.
The Better Business Bureau suggests you do your research and only use wagering sites or apps that have been approved for business in the state. You can see a list of those states that offer sports wagering here.
Other red flags to be on the lookout for are offers and enticements that seem too good to be true. They usually are not. The BBB suggests you avoid any site that attempts to lure you via a pop-up ad, an email blast, or even a spam text message. They also suggest you actually read the terms and conditions, aka the fine print, before you commit any money to the site.
Another big red flag is any site that guarantees winners. Nobody can legitimately guarantee a winner on any sports wager unless they are doing something they shouldn't be doing. Now it's perfectly legit if they want to tout their record but it's up to you to see if what they are saying is true or a unique bend in the truth.
Just to be clear, even legitimate betting sites can and do freeze winnings if they suspect something is amiss. That usually happens when players exhibit irregular playing patterns or appear to have an unfair advantage in their betting history.
However, legitimate sites will return your phone calls and emails. Those that are not so legit will offer excuses blaming technical problems or just give you the run around until they stop answering your calls and emails. If you choose to make a wager on the upcoming basketball tournament or any sporting event please only spend what you can afford to lose.
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