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News on scam sports betting operations, events and business deals within the offshore sports gambling industry.

09.16.2011


A Sportsbook.com player tells SBR that he requested a $24,000 payout ten weeks ago. The withdrawal was cancelled due to alleged "processing issues" at the time. The player was told that he would be given a priority withdrawal on his subsequent request (which was made on August 17th, 2011). The player tells SBR that his funds have yet to be received, and that an email was sent to him offering a $1,000 bonus if he were to agree to cancel the payout request.

This is the third report of a Sportsbook.com (ag) player being deliberately slow-paid and having a bonus-carrot dangled in front of them to terminate their withdrawal request.

On September 12th, SBR reported that a Sportsbook.com player has been unable to withdraw $250 from his account since July 8th. The payout was cancelled due to alleged processing issues, and despite being promised to be given a high priority following that botched withdrawal, the only action the player was a Sportsbook.com email offering him a  cash bonus for not taking his funds out.

On September 14th, another Sportsbook.com player report having his payout stalled in exchange for accepting a bonus. The player wrote to SBR that a $4,000 payment was cancelled on July 19th, 2011 due to alleged processor problems. Like the other two reports, the player was told that his next withdrawal request would be assigned a higher priority in light of the hiccup. The player resubmitted a $5,000 withdrawal request on August 19th. Sportsbook.com has yet to render payment to the player.

Sportsbook.com management has yet to  provide comment to SBR on any of the three complaints.

09.15.2011


JazzSports (SBR rating D) users report being owed $206,255. On August 4th, 2011, SportsbookReview reported that the slow-pay sportsbook told players that payments would be made during the beginning of the football season. To date, none of the players have confirmed payment. One of the players who is owed more than $100,000 posted today on SBRforum indicating that he has not received payment from JazzSports in over six months. The player also pointed out that he has been limited to $250 maximum wagers and placed on a 30-second delay at the sportsbook.

JazzSports, which also operates LooseLines,ABC Islands and JazzBet has been lowered from a sportsbook rating of D+ to D. SBR will update this report as players confirm payment or as more information becomes available.

09.14.2011


A Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-) player tells SBR that a $4,000 payment was cancelled on August 19th, 2011 due to processor problems. The player was told to submit another payout request and that it would be given priority due to the first botched withdrawal. The player resubmitted a payout request for $5,000 on August 19th. As of September 14th, 2011, Sportsbook.com (ag) has not rendered payment to the player.

The player is the second to report receiving an email from the dodgy, blacklisted sportsbook offering him a 20% bonus up to $1,000 for canceling his withdrawal. On September 12th, SBR reported that Sportsbook.com offered a bonus to a player for cancelling his withdrawal request.

Sportsbook.com has developed an unfavorable reputation for its treatment of winning players, and is most notorious for confiscating over $100,000 from players that wagered correlated parlays years ago. Sportsbook.com's maintains a rating of D- in the SBR Sportsbook ratings guide. | Sportsbook.com bonus email

09.13.2011


On September 7th, SBR reported that a BetPhoenix player's account was frozen. The player held a balance of $7,226 with the sportsbook. The winnings were derived from correlated parlay play; BetPhoenix (SBR rating C) was accepting IF Bet wagers for Major League Baseball that gave the player an overwhelming edge against the house. Correlated parlays typically involve a number of high expectation combinations, sometimes including obvious errors like the ability to bet the same team for the first half and game. While the player was unwilling to disclose his complete balance history, he did concede having withdrawn more than what was lost placing the correlated wagers; most recently depositing $326 and withdrawing $850.

BetPhoenix confirmed that the player's balance account was frozen and then negatively adjusted to account for the play. The mistake and the inability to identify the error are believed to be attributed to a large reduction in staff for budget reasons. The BetPhoenix lines staff is said to be smaller than its been in years.

09.12.2011


A Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-) player tells SportsbookReview that he has been attempting to withdraw $250 from his account since July 8th, 2011. The payout request was cancelled after six weeks due to alleged issues with Sportsbook.com's (ag) third party payment processor. The player tells SBR that he was told that his next request would be higher prioritzed in light of the withdrawal hiccup. His next withdrawal was made on August 25th, 2011. The player tells SBR that not only has payment not yet been rendered, the player forwarded an email from Sportsbook.com offering him a cash bonus if he would cancel his pending withdrawal. SBR is following up on this payment dispute. | Sportsbook.com's email to player

BetOnline experiencing ISP outage

09.11.2011


UPDATE: The BetOnline website is back online and fully operational.

BetOnline (SBR rating B+) users report experiencing downtime. BetOnline management tells SBR that their Panamanian internet provider is experiencing temporary issues. Players are still able to enter wagers over the phone whilst the internet hiccup is sorted.

09.10.2011

Oddsmaker Sportsbook (SBR rating F) has confiscated $203,432 from players that were considered "professional" sports bettors. The players had not committed an offense other than being labeled as non-recreational players, according to the scam sportsbook. Oddsmaker players are at the mercy of the scam bookmaker, who spends upwards of six figures annually on marketing campaigns, snail-mail pamphlets and betting brochures. Oddsmaker promotes the image of a financially sound sportsbook able to take on all comers, however the sportsbook ignores industry standard, ethics and reason in dealing with their clients.

BetFred sportsbook site unavailable

09.09.2011


Edit: The Betfred site has come back online.

The BetFred (SBR rating B-) website is currently down. BetFred is an England based sportsbook that is headquartered in Warrington. The sportsbook has no known mirror or back-up site available and has been unreachable via telephone. SportsbookReview will update this report as more information on the betting site becomes available.

09.09.2011

SBRtv's Peter Loshak interviews renowned online gambling, and online sportsbook legal expert Nelson Rose. Part one of this three part video series can be found in the SBR archives.  In part two, professor Rose addresses the potential impact of various online poker legalization bills, as well as the banking climate.

09.08.2011


WSEX (SBR rating D-) players are hopeful that the start of the football season will alow the slow-pay sportsbook to get back in the black. WSEX once held a rating of A+ at SportsbookReview in June of 2006. WSEX lost its status as an A-rated sportsbook in April of 2009, and continued to slide through the sportsbook ratings guide until it eventually found itself on the sportsbook blacklist in March of 2011.
 
WSEX has been the subject of several payment complaint newswires throughout 2010 and 2011. The formerly high-ranked sportsbook was considered one of the industry's most financially sound sportsbooks, even having a hand in the formulation of popular betting exchange Matchbook (SBR rating B). Matchbook officially severred all business ties with WSEX after coming under new ownership, distancing itself from the failing operation.

Sixty-eight WSEX players report $488,233 in delinquent withdrawals. The outstanding requests date back to October of 2009. The last surge of WSEX payouts was recorded during the beginning of the 2010 football season, when WSEX paid $124,617 to players. | Forum discussion: WSEX disputes

09.07.2011


A BetPhoenix (SBR rating C) player reports that his account has been frozen. The player holds a $7,226 balance with the sportsbook. The player was placing MLB correlated parlays. SBR is investigating this sportsbook complaint and gathering facts such as the deposit history, wagering history, and most importantly what type of correlated parlay this was. A correlated parlay could involve a number of high expectation combinations, such as an obvious sportsbook error like offering the ability to bet on the same team in the first half and for the game per event. The sportsbook allowing extremely low-risk bets over the long term creates mediation challenges, especially when offered over an extended period of time. The BetPhoenix player reports that after logging into his account on September 5th, he was prompted by a message which reportedly stated that he would not be given any action until it was determined "how much you robbed from us".

The sportsbook's mistake and the inability to identify the error early on is likely attributed to the BetPhoenix staffing cuts for budget reasons. The sportsbook lines staff is said to be at its lowest in years and to be stretched with added responsibilties.

09.05.2011


GTBets.com (SBR rating C) tells SBR that they will honor VIP Sportsbook players funds. GTBets.com is a new sportsbook that surfaced when VIP Sportsbook, BetGameday and Nine.com went off-line on August 1st, 2011. GTBets acquired the VIP Sportsbook software, hardware and retained key management. GTBets first came to light when they began spamming marketing offers to former VIP players, which included those account-holders usernames at VIP.

On July 15th, SBR reported that VIP Sportsbook was preparing to cease operations. VIP, BetGameday and Nine.com advised bettors via their homepages to request balances prior to August 1st, 2011. However, more than thirty players failed to see the warning on time and reported not being paid their final balances - worth more than $45,000. SBR continued to report that seasonal sports bettors missed the messages, reporting not being called or emailed with a heads up as to the closure of the Curacao based sportsbook family. A VIP manager claimed on August 16th that players in the attached SBR list would receive payment, but that there was no support or accounting team able to service future player claims.

SBR first spoke with GTBets.com Thursday September 1st. Originally GTBets.com was prepared to offer VIP players a deal that if they made their final payout requests prior to October 1st, 2011, they would receive credits to their GTBets accounts and would be fully able to make withdrawals without playing requirements. After speaking with SBR further, GTBets took the restrictions off the good faith gesture so that all players able to confirm their final VIP balances would be able to be credited. | Read GTbets.com statement

09.03.2011


VIP Sportsbook players are owed $45,995. Thirty-nine players report that they were not paid their funds prior to VIP Sportsbook going offline on August 1st, 2011. The Curacao based operator claims to not have the manpower nor the ability to process additional payouts. The sportsbook company claimed in discussions with SportsbookReview that players were given sufficient notice to access their accounts to initiate their payment requests. Many seasonal sports bettors are logging in for the first time for the upcoming football season, and did not noitce the July notice on the VIP Sports, BetGameday, or Nine.com websites. SBR will update this report.

09.02.2011


NorthBet.com (SBR rating C-) is an invite-only sportsbook located in San Jose, Costa Rica. SBR confirmed that a number of former BetUS (SBR rating D+) managers are behind the operation. Earlier this year, NorthBet paid $15,000 to a player that allegedly forged a cash-transfer receipt by increasing the amount one zero. NorthBet communicated with SportsbookReview throughout the dispute. The decision to pay the player vice refunding the actual deposit was made to avoid any unwanted press while the sportsbook was in its infancy, and due to the player legitimately increasing the balance credited via his casino play. NorthBet claims to be a stand-alone company that operates a niche business model, with plans to expand its offerings to include fantasy football for customers, as well as a dedicated mobile platform aimed at the latest smart phone browsers. NorthBet's marketing team operates out of Montreal, Canada. NorthBet only accepts US based registrations.

NorthBet players with feedback are asked to write to help@sportsbookreview.com. As with all new online sportsbooks, players are advised to exercise caution. Many sportsbooks run -EV promotions to drum up business and get players to bet on their NFL Picks at the start of football season, and could potentially flat-line without adequate risk management precautions.

 

09.01.2011


A BetGrizzly (unrated) player has filed a sportsbook complaint. The player tells SBR that he deposited to BetGrizzly after being lured in by their attractive bonuses, and because he had prior dealings with "Chuck" (formerly of WagerWeb). The player tells SBR that BetGrizzly gives out 25% in freeplays per day, and that by his estimation he has received nearly $2,000 in freeplays in his short time with the online sportsbook. After having success with his wagers, the player tells Sportsbook Review that his balance was increased to $4,000. He has been trying to withdraw funds for the last week via a cash transfer service, and has to date not received payment, despite BetGrizzly advertising same-day payouts through those methods.

Players are advised to use extreme discretion in choosing which online sportsbook to send their funds to. Unrated sportsbooks just starting out have a high failure rate in this industry. Many of these sportsbooks will promise 100% bonuses or other daily incentives to entice players to play with them over more established sportsbooks. | BetGrizzly sportsbook news

08.31.2011


VIP Sportsbook players report being owed $42,345.

On July 15th, SBR reported that VIP Sportsbook and sister sites BetGameday and Nine.com would be closing their doors on August 1st, 2011. A message was placed atop each sportsbook homepage prompting bettors to request their funds by that time. Numerous seasonal sports bettors that did not log-in to see the notice report not receiving any email or phonecall alerts from VIP Sportsbook to withdraw their balances.

On August 16th, "Jay" (a former VIP Sportsbook operations manager) told SBR that the players who filed sportsbook complaints would be paid. However, no mention was made of the sports bettors that have not yet contacted SportsbookReview, or who have not logged into their accounts to recognize the closure. On August 31st, SBR spoke with the VIP manager over telephone and it was stated that while players in the attached list would receive payment, no further payouts would be made. The manager claimed that the VIP Sportsbook office had closed and that there was no dedicated support team or contacts to field player inquiries, it was also stated that the primary reason for shutting the operation down was the difficulty of working with payment processors.

SBR will update this report.

08.30.2011


In the days following SportsAlive's collapse, reports indicate that bettors are expected to be out hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Australian sportsbook was unrated by SportsbookReview, but held a gaming license with the Australian Capital Territory Government. The license required a security bond of $250,000, though that amount is not believed to be near enough to honor player balances. A HeraldSun report indicates that one bettor alone is apparently owed $110,000. The private company's unexpected closure has been the subject of discussion  at SBRforum, in industry topic SportsAlive ceases operations.

Some readers point out that customer funds were supposed to be held in escrow, removed from their day-to-day operations under ACT regulations, however it remains to be seen whether the company was in full compliance of this requirement.  A liquidator was appointed to the SportsAlive case on Thursday, August 25th, 2011.

In addition to punters, investors in SportsAlive are believed to be out up to $5 million. The Australian state-run betting agency TOTE Tasmania reportedly held a 25% stake in the betting company. TheMercury reports that a number of private investors were affected, including investor Peter Sidwell who is expected to lose in the neighborhood of $500,000. SportsAlive reportedly turned a profit o

08.29.2011


SBRtv's Peter Loshak interviews one of the world's most renowned experts on international gambling law, Professor I. Nelson Rose. In part one of the three part video series, Professor Rose starts off with his general thoughts on the state of online sports betting in the US, and gets a bit into the legalities and mechanics of web domain seizures. Professor Rose also addresses sportsbooks like BetJamaica deciding to closedown. | Discuss this video

08.29.2011

Sportsbook Review (SBR) has launched a new online sportsbook email response test. The seasonal test is conducted prior to the start of each sports year. The test included five football betting related questions and was sent to ten unsuspecting sportsbooks. SBR rates each sportsbook on the test, monitoring the speed of each response, how thorough each sportsbook representative is, and whether or not all questions are answered. View the sportsbook email test results for August 29th, 2011.

08.28.2011


SBRforum's "Beat The Prick" football handicapping contest is back! Contestants will square off each week in an attempt to defeat "The Prick", the unkempt forum mascot known for his signature southern charm and pithy one-liners. "The Prick" makes four football picks at the start of each week, taking those picks off the board while forum contestants choose from that weekend's NFL and NCAAF slate of sides and totals. Those who outscore "The Prick" with a positive units record receive a weighted share of 50,000 SBR points per week. Standings are kept each week and at the conclusion of the contest the top eight finishers receive part of a whopping $10,000 prize. Contestants are mathematically eligible to claim the grand prize if they join the football handicapping contest prior to week four. The cash is paid to the winners with no strings attached after the 15th NFL week.

Another free, big prize handicapping contest is also registering for months one and two of the football year. The free SBRforum football contest is a picks pool that all users with valid SBRforum accounts are eligible to play, the unique contest offers prizes like a 55'' LG TV for first place (valued at more than $1,500), stereo equipment, laptops and more. All users must do is register for the free football contest here.

08.26.2011


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.