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How to Keep Digital Bets Responsible and Secure

Published: May 8, 2023

Not so long ago, gambling was something people mostly did in a physical location. They went to a casino or racino, bought lottery tickets at the store, or sat down to play the slots. But the arrival of legal, widespread sports betting on smartphones and online changed all of that. Now the majority of sports betting happens digitally, and this transition to legal online gambling has led many to be concerned about data security and responsible play. 

As a part of opening an online betting account, a person might input their name, address, banking information, credit card numbers, or other identifying details. If those details are hacked or leaked as part of a data breach, personal information could be exposed or sold on the internet, potentially exposing players to identity theft. 

That’s why it’s so important to keep track of the data that is given to a betting company while setting up an account, and to be responsible, both with sports betting and data security. To ensure that personal data is secure and all digital sports betting play is responsible, try these tips:

  • Take a pause before playing to set limits: If you or someone you know chooses to bet on sports, make sure to call a quick time-out before playing. After a calming breather, take the time to set limits on the amount of money bet and the time spent betting, recognize that every bet is decided randomly and comes with a risk of losing your money, and ask if now is the time to stop betting. 
  • Play only with licensed operators: Ohio regulates online and in-person sportsbooks to ensure that all bets are offered fairly, and that operators follow responsible gambling and data protection guidelines. By placing bets only with a licensed Ohio sportsbook — not an offshore online casino or unlicensed bookie — people who choose to play can be confident that their data is being protected. 
  • Close any old accounts: In the months after sports betting was legalized in Ohio, many sportsbook operators offered incentives to lure new customers, which led people to create accounts with multiple sportsbooks. If you or someone you know has accounts that they don’t use, be sure to delete them to minimize the risk of a data breach. 
  • Don’t use the same password: Using the same password for all your accounts might seem like an easy way to remember it. But if that password is exposed online even once, that can lead to all of those accounts being exposed, including ones at betting sites that may contain cash, credit card numbers, or banking information.
  • Enable two-factor authentication: This added layer of security requires someone to input a code that is texted to their phone when logging into a betting account. In addition to making their data more secure, the moments while they wait for the code to show up can provide an opportunity to take a pause and make a plan for responsible play. 

Wondering if your sports betting could be putting you at risk for a problem with gambling? The Before You Bet quiz can help you gauge your risk level. It is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis, is completely confidential, and only takes two minutes to complete. 

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