Posted on: February 11, 2022, 04:59h.
Last updated on: February 11, 2022, 02:05h.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James issued a consumer alert to residents Thursday afternoon. Just days before Super Bowl LVIII, she warned residents to watch out for so-called “scammers” in online sports betting.
The announcement comes a month after the first licensed apps went online. Currently, seven of the nine approved operators are active in New York.
In the alert, she said New Yorkers have been flooded with ads for state-approved sports betting apps that make deceptive claims about risk-free bets and bonuses available to users. For example, she cited an unnamed sports betting app that advertised a $1,000 enrollment bonus. However, in order to earn that amount, the player would need to make $25,000 in wagers during the eligibility period.
That description matches what DraftKings is offering New York bettors through Feb. 27. To qualify for the $1,000 deposit bonus, a new user must first deposit $5,000 to be eligible for the maximum bonus amount – equal to 20 percent of the deposit. From there, the user receives $1 in bonus funds for every $25 wagered within their first 90 days after the initial deposit.
She also cited sports betting operator policies regarding “risk-free” bets that pay out in site credits if the initial bet loses.
James Urges Residents to Research Apps
In her alert, James called on people using the Super Bowl for their first time using a legal sports betting app to exercise caution.
Don’t let scammers game your gamble,” she said. “Before placing a bet, do your research into the platform, read the fine print of the offer, and follow our other tips to avoid any red flags and keep the odds in your favor. Online sports betting companies that fumble their advertising to mislead New Yorkers can expect to hear from my office.”
James also warned residents that sportsbooks might penalize or restrict users based on their betting behavior. She said that at least one operator prohibits users from hedging, such as placing competing bets on the same game. Some bettors use that strategy to ensure a return on their wagers.
In addition, she also said users have posted complaints about accounts being frozen as they become successful.
Sports betting operators can restrict how much a person can wager on a game or opportunity.
New York Sports Betting Breaks Records
Mobile sports betting in New York has gotten off to a record-breaking start.
In its first three weeks of activity, the state-approved sports betting operators have generated a betting handle of $1.62 billion. That is a record for a US state for any one month. New Jersey previously held the high-water mark, posting a $1.3 billion handle last October.
The operators – BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet – reported gross gaming revenues of $113 million for January. The state taxes those proceeds at 51 percent.
The next report is due on Friday and will include the first week of activity from WynnBET.
Two other operators – Resorts World Bet and BallyBET – have also been approved but await final clearance from the New York State Gaming Commission before they launch.