A WSEX Sportsbook (SBR rating F) player who lost $7,000 when the online sportsbook closed filed a complaint with SBR this morning. The player had a pending withdrawal for $1,900 since 2009. Player: "I called a million times, they kept telling me that they didn't have a processor to send the payment. Account then was inaccessible from time to time, periods lasting over a month. one of the last times I saw it I still had a pending withdrawal but the account balance was near zero. I phoned and they hung up on me and 2 weeks later the site was down. Crooks." This player is one of more than 250 users who filed sportsbook complaints with SBR against WSEX. The following is a timeline of the sportsbook's payout issues which led up to their eventual closure on April 19, 2013 and subsequent suicide of one of the company co-founders.
2009 - 2010: WSEX debt crosses $250,000 mark
The once well established business was lowered from A- to B+ in April of 2009 when the first signs of payout problems surfaced. Six months later, in October of 2009, WSEX was downgraded to C after the average payout time-frame increased from four to six weeks. At the time, seven players had complaints on file for $30,000. Fast forwarding to March of 2010, WSEX players were owed $43,000. A good deal of controversy was created when management admitted that payout size determined priority in the payouts queue. As news continued to break on the slow service and financial problems, more players decided to request their funds and consequently the delinquent amount reported to SBR quadrupled to $184,104. Three players reported receiving $9,000 in June of 2010, although this came as a virtual drop in the bucket as the debt approached a quarter million dollars. One month later, a $2,000 payment was confirmed as received by an SBR reader while five new complaints rolled in and the debt rose to $260,534. During this time the online sportsbooks' wagering department got froggy; a player reported that WSEX refused to honor a winning $20,000 "Who will sign Lebron?" NBA prop after his trade to the Miami Heat. It seems to players that the sportsbook may have regained its footing when approximately half of their debt was paid with 36 players confirming receiving $124,617 in withdrawals during week four of the NFL season. Unfortunately as the football season winded down, WSEX closed the year owing close to $200,000.
2011 - 2012: WSEX debt rises
The first week of the new year in 2011 saw Matchbook's new ownership announce their official separation from World Sports Exchange. WSEX previously had an ownership stake in Matchbook since their 2005 launch. Despite WSEX's stake in the betting website, Matchbook paid their customers on time and were unaffected by WSEX's issues. Near the end of Q1 2011, WSEX players were owed $438,860. By Christmas 2011, a total of 110 players reported being owed $653,000. On January 24, 2012, WSEX outraged players by releasing a statement shifting blame of their financial predicament onto gaming laws in the US. The statement seemed to be the first sign of a white flag and WSEX continued to dishonestly advertise a payout time-frame of 7 business days on their website. By mid 2012, WSEX owed $825,744. A sportsbook scam alert was issued in October of 2010 when WSEX mailed players deposit bonus offers for the upcoming NBA season despite being blacklisted and unable to pay. This was also covered in a sportsbook news video with newswoman Natalie and then co-host "Justin7".
2013 - Closure: WSEX closes while owing over $1 million
By March of 2013, WSEX owed more than $1 million to players. The occasional small payout reports designed to keep valued customers activated completely stopped. On April 9, 2013, Sportsbook Review reported that WSEX was no longer updating its website with betting odds and their phone system was overloaded with an average wait time of 125 minutes. Within a week WSEX officially closed, and to add insult to injury, WSEX "sinisterly" apologized for their downfall. SBR receives inquiries from WSEX victims weekly. Players often wonder if the book's ownership, which was vocal against rogue operations during more than a 10 year period, will eventually make a statement and reveal what lead to players ultimately being stiffed.