The SBR mailbag is growing with letters from VIP Sportsbook, Nine.com and BetGameDay players. The sportsbook family went off-line on August 1st, 2011, and has yet to pay all players.
On July 15th, Sportsbook Review reported that the VIP Sportsbook group was preparing to shut its doors. In that report, SBR relayed the message hung on the VIP websites directing players to request their balances prior to August 1st. Many players never saw the message, however, and currently thirty players report not being paid $31,153. The amount seems relatively small considering that the family of sportsbooks has been online more than a decade, and was once considered an industry titan. While the exact amount of outstanding funds is unknown, SBR has received at least one report per day in the last two weeks of unpaid funds. Seasonal sports bettors were left blindsided by the move, many only logging into their accounts near the start of the football year. Players state that no email notices were sent advising them to request their funds, and that follow-up emails to the VIP support line have went unanswered.
SBR is attempting to make contact with "Jay", a former operations manager with VIP Sportsbook who claimed on August 16th that players would receive their final payment shortly. Jay also addressed the emergence of GtBets.com—a website hosted on VIP Sportsbook's server, which shares the same layout, customer service numbers—by acknowledging that former employees are behind the venture. On August 15th, SBR reported that GTbets.com was sending marketing emails to former VIP players containing their VIP log-in information. While GTbets.com has not provided official comment on any connection to the now off-line VIP Sportsbook group, the operation is also headquartered in Curacao.
SBR is hopeful that the disconnect between the VIP Group and its former players is attributable to technical challenges following the sites closure and the termination of support mailboxes. SBR will update this report as any of the reported thirty players confirm receiving their funds, or as more non-payment reports surface.