ToBet Sportsbook confiscates winnings citing syndicate play
ToBet Sportsbook (SBR rating C) is unwilling to revisit their decision to confiscate the winnings of a player they allege was part of a betting syndicate. Unlike one player working with others to circumvent limits or one player having multiple accounts, which is a clear violation of standard terms, these "syndicate" players could simply be friends with legitimate accounts who share the same opinion and are innocent of any wrongdoing. In the past we have seen SBG Global claim that innocent players following a winning local radio tout were guilty of syndicate play. They were cheated out of winnings and were not guilty of any wrongdoing.
SBR initially reported the case in Tuesday's Industry News video report. ToBet seized €1,970 from the player, and has provided no proof of their accusations.
The player held an account with ToBet Sportsbook for one year. On September 17th, 2012, the player deposited €1,970 to wager on an in-play, Albanian soccer match between Laci and Kastrioti Kruje. He wagered on the favourite's handicap and over 2.5 goals, both of which were winners as the game ended -3.0.
Following the match completion, ToBet closed the player's account, citing the need for an investigation to be conducted on the player's two winning punts. Three weeks later, ToBet refunded only his deposit on the grounds that his bets were past-posted. SBR verified that this player made the same wagers with another well-known sportsbook, which settled the market normally.
SBR contacted ToBet regarding the claim, hoping to be shown the wagering ticket timestamps to confirm that the player's bets were past-posted. ToBet declined to provide the tickets, only linking the results of the match in question.
ToBet then claimed that the actual reason for their confiscation of the player's winnings was that he was part of a betting syndicate. A betting syndicate refers to a group of account holders conspiring to place the same wagers at a sportsbook, in most every case to exceed house limits.
SBR asked ToBet for any form of evidence to support the allegation that the player was part of a betting syndicate: ToBet could only offer that the players each played from the same country, in a similar region. No hard evidence was shared, despite SBR's attempts to review ToBet's file on the player.
ToBet management: "If six players come from one small region, placed exactly same bets in the same period of time and have no recent activity for us it is a clear syndicate and according to our rules we have the right to cancel all such bets: Please also note that these players have not received any bonus, they only made high deposits and went all-in placing bets on FK Laci - KS Kastrioti Kruje match. No other bets, no other activity, all of them used our service only to place bets on mentioned match."
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) of Malta eventually rubberstamped ToBet's designation of these players as being part of a syndicate, stating:
Excerpt of Malta LGA ruling: Tobet.com has supplied documented information to confirm your player account is linked by various factors to at least another 5 accounts, all accounts prior to 17th September had very little activity. All the mentioned accounts have been “activated” by a particular match with all bets being placed on the same outcomes, this is considered to be ‘syndicate’ betting and is a breach of the terms and conditions.
After two months of the dispute(s) being open, the Malta LGA either was unwilling or had no specific information to share to support the ToBet confiscations.
Second player comes forward
A second player filed a complaint with SBR this week claiming he also had funds confiscated as a result of wagering on this soccer match. The player managed to make a withdrawal of approximately €10,000 before having his account closed. The player stated that his Moneybookers account was blocked for three weeks as a result of ToBet claiming he was paid in error. ToBet seized the remaining €1,750 left in that player's account.
On April 18th, 2012, SBR reported that Betsson acquired the Nordic Gaming Group, including brands NordicBet, TrioBet, and ToBet.
ToBet's sportsbook rating has been downgraded to C. SBR continues to argue on the players' behalf.
Sportsbook Review.com dispute mediator Justin expands on the first case during his segment on the weekly SBR Industry news report.
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