On February 22nd, 2012, SBR reported that Oddsmaker (SBR rating F) confiscated $45,000 from a winning bettor. The player wagered with Oddsmaker for approximately three years, having been a net loser (-$5,000) prior to the start of 2012. After going on the run of his life, Oddsmaker confiscated his winnings alleging that he was a professional gambler.
SBR reported the Oddsmaker player's problems began after he made an $8,000 payout request. The player became nervous that he would not be paid by Oddsmaker.com after reading about confiscations the sportsbook made in the past. Oddsmaker stalled the player's payout request, but ultimately paid $4,000 via cheque.
The player decided the prudent choice was to attempt to middle his way out of the sportsbook He would place wagers on one side with Oddsmaker, and bet the opposite side at sportsbooks located in Las Vegas. The player dipped into his savings to accomplish this, hoping desperately to lose the funds in his Oddsmaker account but win in person. The player told SBR that one weekend he placed six different $2,000 wagers; he carefully handicapped each game and confidently wagered the sides he actually predicted would win in Las Vegas. All six wagers lost, and Paul was in the hole for $12,000; meanwhile, his Oddmsaker balance continued to grow, ultimately reaching the $45,000 mark.
On February 20th, the player reported receiving a call from Oddsmaker head of fraud Tony Massina. Massina told the player that he was guilty of being a professional gambler and for making a statement to player support that referenced legal action in regards to the payment stalling. The player was unable to reason with the Oddsmaker manager. His account was closed and he was told he would not receive his funds. Tony Massina initially declined comment to SBR via telephone, but provided a written statement acknowledging that the player would not receive his winnings:
Oddsmaker Tony Massina: "I was going to ignore this but I will respond one time and one time only because I am a straight shooter. Customer lied. Customer responded to an email survey from us saying he was considering contacting lawyers to get his withdrawals faster. Nobody in the industry needs that. On top of the customer admitting to owning his own website and to being a professional bettor (he admitted to both), camels back was broken when he threatened to contact lawyers. Decision was not mine but I am aware of the case. Customer had $2000 refunded to him and got a check for $4000 as well. Have a good day."
SBR advised the player privately after the Oddsmaker decision. For three months, the case fell cold. Finally a breakthrough occurred; the player's persistence and committment to receiving a small slice of justice for himself paid off. Oddsmaker paid the player a five-figure amount to close his dispute. SBR agreed to the player not to publish specific details of the payment arrangement.
Oddsmaker player reports payment: "Dear Lou, I wanted you to know that Oddsmaker did pay me a settlement that we agreed upon thanks to your efforts with the SBR and from the help I received from the OSGA. I will always be grateful for what you guys did to help out a total stranger. I am forever in debt to you guys so if I can ever do something back for you in return, please let me know!"
How Oddsmaker.com operates
Oddsmaker's standard operating procedure is to lure bettors in with cash bonuses, aggressive ground mail marketing and freeplay trial accounts. If players win, Oddsmaker finds a reason not to pay; the sportsbook has confiscated winnings for a multitude of reasons over the years, most recently for players "being professionals". Any customer determined to not be profitable for the house is promptly shown the door, has their deposit refunded, and their winnings are erased from the website. Oddsmaker runs its marketing office in Canada.
SBR has reported on over $248,432 in Oddsmaker sportsbook confiscations. Oddsmaker has been unwilling to revisit the cases, citing their various rules outlawing winner players. In light of this settlement, SBR is attempting again to reopen the cases with the F-rated sportsbook.
Players in need of sportsbook assistance are asked to write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, players may submit a sportsbook complaint form, or dial 1-830-255-4677 during normal business hours to speak with a disputes analyst.