3 tips to avoid deceptive online betting companies ahead of the Super Bowl

New York Attorney General Letitia James is warning of deceptive online betting companies leading up to the Super Bowl.
It's the first major sports event that New Yorkers can bet online for since the legalization of sports gambling in the state last month.
“I urge all New Yorkers watching the Super Bowl and betting online for the first time to be careful — don’t let scammers game your gamble,” James said in a statement. “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.”
The attorney general offered prospective betters these three tips:

Learn what other users are saying about the platform

Read the consumer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trust Pilot. The BBB complaints are often detailed and include responses from the platforms.
Avoid reviews from sites that may be connected to the sports betting industry.

Read the fine print on bonuses and other promotion

Platforms sometimes require users to gamble their own money before accessing the bonus they advertised. One platform advertises enrollment bonuses up to $1,000, but to actually receive that much, users have to play through $25,000.
Be aware that not all bets count toward accessing promotions. One platform excludes bets “placed at tournaments … or at play money areas” from counting toward some promotions, and other platforms have even more conditions.
Risk-free bets may not be what they seem. Some platforms are offering “risk-free bets” of $1,000 or more (depending on how much a user deposits). But if a user loses their bets, they don’t get their money back — instead, it becomes a credit that can only be used to gamble on the platform.
Online gamblers might be penalized for behaving strategically. Many users sign up for gambling platforms because they want to take advantage of a good deal — the advertised bonus — without spending too much money. It’s a common way to shop, and most regular businesses accept the behavior (like a local bakery that leaves out free samples). But at least one gambling platform treats “exploiting bonuses” as an offense. It has a long list of activities it considers suspicious, and if you engage in them, it may prevent users from cashing out account funds and/or withhold any winnings derived from the gambler's use of the bonus.”

Beware of unexpected restrictions on accessing your account

Platforms reserve the right to restrict a user’s activity without warning — not just for suspicion of illegal conduct, but also for seeming to have an “unfair advantage” or “irregular playing patterns.” Platforms exercise this right. Users have posted complaints online about their accounts being frozen when they’re doing well or when they’re trying to withdraw winnings.
One example is “hedging strategies.” Online gamblers might see them recommended by someone online. The strategies involve placing bets on opposite sides of the same game. At least one platform treats hedging as a violation of its policies, and it will block users from withdrawing their funds as a penalty.
Users report battling red tape or simply being ignored when they want to withdraw funds from their account — even if the funds are just their original deposit, with no winnings or bonuses involved.
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James also provided the following resources for anyone who feels gambling is a problem for yourself or someone you know:
24-Hour Problem Gambling Helpline -  1-877-846-7369, TEXT: HOPENY (467369)