The beginning of a new football season brings plenty of opportunities to win cash. What it also brings is an assortment of scamming sportsbooks that have no ability to pay players. Players are targeted with glossy pamphlets, coasters, cigars, even bottles of fine brandy; what a player must do is his or her homework. Not everyone sending a care package to your doorstep has the
The purpose of this list is to educate bettors on sportsbooks to avoid. We would like to ask players who have been scammed by a sportsbook before to write to us. You may not necessarily recover your cash, but you may help someone else from losing theirs.
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#5 Sportsbook to avoid: ABC Islands
ABC Islands (SBR rating D) is part of the DPT Sports Group. Last fall, SBR reported that the group owed approximately $206,255 in winnings to players. The family of sportsbooks openly admitted that no payouts would be released until the football season. Players have reported being on payment plans. Sportsbooks that are unable to pay clients in full often release partial payouts to players. Some users end up losing their balances while waiting for the extended processing times. The sportsbook makes no mention of this in their promotional emails seeking to bring in new business from unsuspecting players, nor does it honestly list a valid payment window on its cashier. Players are advised to avoid sportsbooks that have a history of being unable to pay on time and in full.
#4 Sportsbook to avoid: BetRoyal
BetRoyal Sportsbook (SBR rating D-) is part of the SportsbookReview blacklist. In one of the most notorious instances of player theft to date, BetRoyal confiscated $500,000 from a group of professionals. In 2004, the players were invited by BetRoyal management to trade prices and betting odds at BetRoyal against other industry sportsbooks. The manager who made the arrangement eventually left to work at BetUS Sportsbook (SBR rating D+).
During the course of SBR's investigation, BetRoyal claimed that its agreement centered on the account holder agreeing to never take out winnings — only deposits. BetRoyal claimed the players would use a hedging strategy that would guarantee they lost funds held at BetRoyal and won elsewhere. At no point during the investigation was BetRoyal able to substantiate its claims, and the account holder vehemently denied having agreed to never take out winnings. He pointed out how illogical such an agreement would be. It was believed that BetRoyal erased the balance in order to remove $500,000 in liabilities prior to selling to SBG Global (SBR rating D-).
#3 Sportsbook to avoid: GlobalWagering.ws
GlobalWagering.ws (SBR rating D-) was the subject of an SBR scam alert on August 11th, 2012. The unknown sportsbook came online on July 5th of this year, immediately working forums and sending high bonus offers to players via email. The sportsbook's manager is a former low level sales clerk that stole customer lists while working at prior companies. GlobalWagering has a staff of just five employees and rents an office in Nicaragua.
GlobalWagering refused to get into specifics when asked about the source of its investor backing, only stating that the company had "deep pockets". GW has raised several red flags since coming online just two months prior to the start of a new football campaign. SBR urges users in the strongest possible terms to avoid sketchy, unheard of bookmakers that come on the grid at a profitable time of the year. Many fly-by night scam operations have come and went in the same manner, leaving players without their funds.
#2 Sportsbook to avoid: WSEX
WSEX Sportsbook (SBR rating F) was once a well regarded organization. The sportsbook was on any bettor's short list of places to play, unlike some of the other sportsbooks mentioned in this article. WSEX' fall from prominence and its numerous downgrades sent shockwaves through the industry.
According to SBR reports, the WSEX debt has skyrocketed to $845,316. Players are owed as early as fall of 2009, with many unsuspecting players realizing each day the sportsbook is unable to pay.
WSEX has recently ramped its promotional emails, making no mention of its financial woes. The sportsbook is, like the other companies mentioned, seeking to capitalize on the upcoming football season and hoping to bring in new depositors that it cannot afford to pay. WSEX outright refuses to discuss player complaints with SBR.
#1 Sportsbook to avoid: Oddsmaker
Oddsmaker Sportsbook (SBR rating F) takes deception to a new level. From the outside, Oddsmaker operates a very clean, professional looking website. Oddsmaker has better than average customer service, and invests heavily in off-line marketing campaigns. Oddsmaker targets not only player lists associated with gambling, but routinely mails betting pamphlets to players in adjacent buildings and neighborhoods to those that maintain accounts.
SBR has reported on over $250,000 in Oddsmaker confiscations. Oddsmaker has a rule forbidding "non-recreational players", and uses this rule to justify forfeiting player balances, returning only their deposits. Oddsmaker considers any player who is a net-winner as a professional.
In addition to its random shakedowns of players with large balances, the sportsbook has developed a reputation for deactivating accounts of players who successfully complete free promo offers.
One Oddsmaker player burned in this manner wrote the following: "I was given $100 bonus from a flier I received in the mail that did
not mention any stipulations, however I later found them out. I was refused payout because I
supposedly made an illegal parlay which apparently was not part of of
the deal, why then was I allowed to make this bet and never warned that
this bet was illegal until I tried to make a cashout?"
Using the SBR ratings guide
Sportsbook Review.com lists a sportsbooks rating guide as well as reviews. SBR hopes that players will use the resources offered, as well as the sportsbook & industry message-board to avoid becoming the next online sportsbook victim.
In addition to being a sportsbook information portral, SBR offers a free sportsbook dispute service and has helped sports bettors and casino gamblers recover millions of dollars since its inception in 1999.
Follow SportsbookReview.com on twitter. SBR has been the leading online sportsbook industry watchdog since 1999. Players in need of assistance may write to firstname.lastname@example.org.