Gamblers beware, there are some BetMGM impersonators out there.
The Google Play store just started allowing Android users to download sportsbook apps.
Unfortunately, things are already slipping through the cracks.
Several different apps in the store are claiming to be BetMGM, but are actually downloads for the MyBookie sportsbook app.
Google Play fumbles plan for betting apps
Google’s recent policy shift was supposed to safely allow Android users to download legal sportsbooks to their phones.
Instead, offshore companies like MyBookie are able join the party by creating shell apps that make them look like regulated sportsbooks.
Google even set up an application process specific for gambling apps hoping to join the Google Play store.
Somehow, MyBookie managed to slip through Google’s system.
BetMGM is already working on getting the impersonators removed.
However, until that happens, follow the few simple steps outlined below to ensure you are downloading a regulated Indiana online betting app.
MyBookie sportsbook not legal in US
MyBookie is not one of Indiana’s legal online sportsbooks.
In fact, the company isn’t a regulated operator anywhere in the US.
MyBookie is an offshore sportsbook that doesn’t abide by US gambling laws. It accepts American gamblers, but doesn’t contribute any tax dollars to the states or make any efforts to thwart problem gambling.
These fake MyBookie shell apps are hoping to bait gamblers who are trying to use BetMGM.
An illegal sportsbook impersonating a law-abiding US company is troubling. Right now, there are already several fake BetMGM apps on the Google Play store.
March Madness travelers beware
Since Indiana is hosting the entire March Madness tournament, there’s going to be all sorts of travelers heading here for the action.
Many of those basketball fans will be betting on March Madness games that they’re watching.
That’s especially true for travelers that are coming from states that don’t have legal sports betting. A good portion of those fans will be looking to give legal betting a shot while they’re in town.
That’s part of what makes MyBookie’s BetMGM impersonations so problematic.
Hoosiers have had access to the real BetMGM sportsbook app for over a year.
However, out-of-state gamblers probably aren’t as familiar with the brand.
That could lead some Android users down the wrong rabbit hole, since the fake BetMGM apps look fairly convincing in the Google Play store.
MyBookie’s imposter apps could contain malware or other harmful software, so be careful what you download!
Knowing the difference between a real sportsbook app and a fake one is a helpful skill for gamblers to keep handy.
How to spot fake betting apps in the Google Play store
MyBookie’s fake BetMGM apps are designed to take advantage of gamblers who aren’t paying close attention.
Thankfully, spotting a fake sportsbook app is a simple process.
The first thing worth checking is the app’s logo in the store. This is what the real BetMGM app looks like in Indiana:
Once you know what the legal betting app looks like, it’s easy to spot MyBookie’s imposters.
Take these Google Play Store search results for “BetMGM” as an example.
The fourth and sixth results on that list could fool the untrained eye.
Both are MyBookie’s fake shell apps, although they appear similar to the actual BetMGM brand. They even go as far as to add “NEW” and a blue check mark to try and trick gamblers into thinking they’ve found the right app.
Checking the logo is a great start, but there are also other ways to spot fake betting apps.
Take a look at the developer of a sportsbook app before you actually download it to your phone.
For example, the real BetMGM Sportsbook app lists MGM as its developer.
One of the MyBookie shell apps lists “Flashcom” as its developer, which is a key sign you have spotted a fake.
There might be other fake apps out there for offshore companies, so check this list of Indiana’s legal betting apps before you deposit money into a strange-looking sportsbook.
Whether you’re traveling to Indiana for March Madness or already living in the Hoosier State, these are good strategies for Android users to stay safe.
It is worth taking the extra precautions until Google removes these fake apps from its store.