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

LazerWager folds with player funds; parent company scams continue

09.27.2008

Lazerwager (SBR rating F) again cites frozen funds of third party processors as reason for finally calling it quits. The book used the processor excuse again despite only transferring two partial withdrawals to players since last year's Super Bowl. LazerWager blamed a credit card processor that froze post-up funds in February. LazerWager admitted that it made the mistake of relying on one processor to collect all monies and that without player deposits it did not have the needed funds to pay winners. The sportsbook lied to players saying that it would be transferring money from other business ventures. During the stalling and false promises of 2008, the sportsbook marketed aggressively to get new deposits from unsuspecting bettors. The Lazerwager staff told SBR prior to payout issues that the book is owned by GPS Global SA, also known as Evolution Sports Data Processing (evodp.com). The sportsbook shares the same server with many other betting sites.

SCAM ALERT: The image below was taken from Lazerager sister sportsbook, PrimeTimeSports website today. The F rated sportsbook pretends to be rated A+

BetMania (SBR rating D) move to BetPhoenix sports book platform complete.

09.27.2008

BetMania (SBR rating D) move to BetPhoenix platform complete. Despite BetMania completing a migration to BetPhoenix's custom IQL software-based platform and server, Phoenix has not yet completed a deal to acquire BetMania and does not back player balances. Phoenix management tells SBR that BetPhoenix is currently a service provider for Betmania and players will learn if BetMania is under the Phoenix unbrella by October 2nd.

AllSportsMarket (SBR rating D-) homepage online again

09.25.2008
AllSportsMarket (SBR rating D-) homepage online again; accounts remain inacessible. The exchange-style sports betting website has been offline since early September. Two players report being owed funds since late 2007. ASM gives users who try to log in the following message:
 
AllSportsMarket.com: A temporary suspension of trading activity is required while we restore account data. We anticipate to return service shortly, so please check back soon. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
September 25 - 10:10am -The AllSportsMarket Management Team

BettingStar24 (SBR rating D) tells users it is now owned and operated by Touchbet Ltd.and that players may request payouts.

09.24.2008
BettingStar24 (SBR rating D) tells users it is now owned and operated by Touchbet Ltd. and that players may request payouts. Touchbet Ltd operates live in-game betting site BetOnLive.com, also based in Malta

"BettingStar24.com is now under the management and control of high end betting exchange supplier Touchbet Ltd. Touchbet have taken over as of the 23rd of September and will be running the site from their operations in Malta".

Scam Alert: Palacebet.com (SBR rating F-) back online.

09.21.2008

Scam Alert: Palacebet.com (SBR rating F-) back online. The sportsbook website was taken down by the host provider after repeated scam reports. Although the sportsbook no longer offers online banking, players should beware of solicitation for Western Union deposits for too-good-to-be-true offers.

The Scam: Fake professional handicappers refer players to palacebet. The player signs up at the site and sends his deposit to Palacebet. His balance is instantly controlled by the pro handicappers, who are referred to by the book's customer service as "the player's Sports Advisors." The bettor is then promised a line of credit so he can bet larger sums on the "advisors' syndicate picks." He is told he must cover a $4,000 transaction cost for a bank wire from the touts to his account (which never occurs since the book simply adjusts the available balance in the software) and is promised it will be reimbursed to him upon cashing out. If the player is lucky enough to survive the "syndicate picks" that are designed to eat away his bankroll, he is asked to deposit another $4,000 in transaction fees before he can have access to his funds including the money he deposited. A player who complained to SBR was told he had to pay $4,000 maintain access to his account after winning $20,000.

BettingStar24 (SBR rating D) reopens; players advised to withdraw funds

09.20.2008

The sportsbook posted vague messages on its website earlier this week about transferring player accounts and informing users that customer support would not be offered during this time. No time line for a resolution was offered. BettingStar24's website displays a new message stating that negotiations allowed the sportsbook to reopen. It is not uncommon for Malta-licensed sportsbooks to struggle with internal business issues before eventually closing for good. PlayBanks and BetChance each showed signs of stumbling including intermittent payouts, temporarily removing account access, and/or announcing new ownership before eventually closing for good. Players are advised to test BS24's withdrawal process and avoid the book while it handles internal issues.

BettingStar24 closes down sportsbook and all communication

09.18.2008
BettingStar24 closes down sportsbook and communication with players
BettingStar24:
Dear customers! May we kindly advise you that Bettingstar24.com is transferring its business. We are conducting intensive negotiations with a leading online gaming company to take over your total account balance. We hope for your understanding that this process can take a while. Our support team is no longer reachable per telephone or email but you will be informed about the progress of the negotiations regarding the security of your deposits and winnings via our homepage. We are sorry for all inconvenience caused. Best regards bettingstar24.com

BettingStar24 is the second Malta-based sportsbook to close this month. Waubet (not rated) also closed after claiming to be dealing with server problems. It is unknown if and when Waubet users will be paid. Including former customers of BetChance (SBR rating F), players from three Malta operations are waiting to hear the fate of their funds.

Do you use your math skills to take advantage of the house? Take the Sports Betting Math Quiz!

09.18.2008

Do you use your math skills to take advantage of the house? Take the Sports Betting Math Quiz
Players are invited to test their football betting knowledge with 20 questions like this one:
Which of these would a Poisson distribution be best suited for predicting??

    Home runs hit by a player in a season.
    Number of throws before a dice thrower "craps out".
    Mortality rates of persons bit by a King Cobra.
    Total hits in the first inning of a baseball game.

Upon completion of the Sports Betting Math Quiz the user receives the correct answers and the reasons behind them. This test has been written by Professional Gambler and SBR contributing writer Elihu Feustel

Players can also take the Football Betting IQ Test. Many readers have struggled to score above 50%.

Waubet (not rated) closes after over a week of stalling users

09.15.2008

Waubet (not rated) closes after week of stalling users
WauGaming.com: Dear Wauw user, For a while we’ve known that we’d need more invested capital into our company in order to reach Break Even on our current activities. Unfortunately we haven’t succeeded in raising the necessary investor capital, and thus we’ve decided to close down our business. The total amount due to our customers, meaning also your balance/funds if relevant, are to a large extend secured via the demand by the Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) for separation of company funds and customer/user funds. Some of these funds are kept as reserves at 3rd parties for up to 9 months though and thus we’re not able to pay everybody’s full balance straight away. We’ll cooperate fully with the LGA in order to try and find a solution securing that everybody will have their funds paid as soon as possible. We’ll give further information on the homepage and by email when relevant. We’re very sorry for the inconveniences brought on you by this, but hope you’ll understand that we’re doing everything possible in order to try and satisfy all involved parties in this difficult situation. Kind regards, Wauw Gaming

The sportsbook has been posting messages about server problems and needing "spare parts" for over a week. A player waiting for funds requested prior to the website coming off-line observed characteristics often associated with high-risk bookmaking: "I have never had any problems with them

SpyCasino (SBR rating F) sportsbook closes with player funds

09.14.2008
SpyCasino (SBR rating F) closes with player funds
Futurebet's SpyCasino was accepting deposits until as recently as late August and has owed players since late 2006. During the last year the sportsbook served as a deposit-only scam site for Futurebet. The domain name has expired and players are no longer able to see their account balances. SpyCasino was the second Futurebet-operated site to close with player funds in two weeks. USDbet (SBR rating F), which primarily marketed to sports forum posters, also went off-line with a debt to players. Futurebet now claims to be IGaming Software and unaffiliated with the Futurebet brand. Oddsmaker (SBR rating D-) and BetOnUSA (SBR rating D-) are the main sources of revenue for the group.

ABCsportsbook (SBR rating D-) account holders moved under Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-).

09.13.2008
ABCsportsbook (SBR rating D-) account holders moved under Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-); ABC Sportsbook closes.  ABC was already operated by the Costa Rica-based Sportsbook.com Group and used the same World Gaming software. Bonus and wagering disputes have been common in past Sportsbook.com Group account transfers. Players with feedback are welcome to email SBR

ABCsportsbook is not to be confused with ABCislands (SBR rating B) of the DPT Sports Group.

Unibet enters SBR Rating Guide at B+

09.12.2008
Unibet enters the SBR Rating Guide at B+. Unibet focuses on the European market. Unibet Group plc acquired MrBookmaker in 2005 for GBP 22.25 million cash and shares in an effort to expand in France and Belgium. The Malta-based gaming company receives mostly positive feedback with some complaints about payout delays due to account verification and audits upon withdrawal request. Some players report a two week wait during the process.

LasPalmas (SBR rating B-) owed player reports receiving moneygram payment

09.12.2008
LasPalmas (SBR rating B-) owed player reports receiving moneygram payment with an additional payment scheduled for monday.  The low limit method was offered as a short term option to bank wire. The sportsbook states that it is funding its bank wire processor so it will be able to service these large winners. Players requesting smaller sums report receiving payment in normal timeframes.

LasPalmas players waiting for $40,000

09.10.2008
Two LasPalmas (SBR rating B-) players report waiting for a total amount of $40,000 originally requested in June and July. The book was unable to offer a reason for delays to these large winners. A third player, who has been using the sportsbook for three years, is waiting for $5,000. He was told that he cannot withdraw his funds for two weeks without paying processing fees and forfeiting a $500 reload bonus. The sportsbook cites a  30 day hold bonus rule that clearly applies only to "new players," as the reason for these conditions.

AllSportsMarket (SBR rating D) website off-line; player complains of 8 month no-pay

09.09.2008

AllSportsMarket (SBR rating D) website off-line; player complains of 8 month no-pay
The betting exchange has seen little activity since one of its owners, also a minority owner of the failed BetEmpire (SBR rating F), was arrested in Italy on unrelated charges. SBR rules scans show the ASM website was last online September 4th.
Player logs withdrawal request responses:
12/10/2007 11:44:00 AM Customer Support Wrote: Dear Mr. ****, We are currently delayed with the payment queue so your withdrawal is not scheduled to go out yet. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. I will notify you personally when your payment is issued. Kindest regards, Christina ASM Client Support -Accounting
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2/27/2008 4:35:00 PM Customer Support Wrote: Your withdrawal is scheduled to go out in one of the upcoming batches. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a date as I am only informed by the accountants as each one is issued. I will see if I can get more detailed information for you. Christina
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3/19/2008 5:27:00 PM Customer Support Wrote: I do not have an update for you. I will contact you when I do. Christina
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5/13/2008 9:42:00 AM Customer Support Wrote: I'm sorry, but there is really nothing more for me to say. I understand your frustration and you are in your right, but there is nothing more I can do about this. You will be contacted when your payment is issued. Christina
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8/3/2008 12:07:00 AM Customer Support Wrote: Hi ******. Your withdrawal is still in the queue. I will inform you when it is issued. Christina

09.08.2008
MySBRforum profiles now hosting photo albums. MySBR handicappers can easily add a single photo or organize pictures in albums to share with others in  your network. Set up your own handicapper profile page here.

Sportingbet (SBR rating C-) fails to honor "free bet" promotions

09.07.2008
Sportingbet (SBR rating C-) fails to honor "free bet" promotions to four players. The sportsbook told one player that his action was not deemed "recreational" which makes him ineligible for the reimbursement. Despite the offer to all players, bettors should be aware that the book will decide after the player invests in the promotion if it will credit as advertised.
Player: Took advantage of email offering 50gbp refund on losing soccer bet (advertised on website), bet placed and settled as losing on 17 Aug.
SB fail to pay refund, live chat say refund will not be paid but give no reason
Player 2: I signed up to Sportingbet on 23rd July 2008 and on doing so was given details of their current introductory offer - the so-called 'Free bet challenge'.
I began on their 'Free bet challenge' introductory offer which offers 10 free bets, one for each winning bet you place and a £50 bonus free bet if you win all of your first 10 bets.
I took them up on this offer in good faith and placed 10 bets on the first day after I'd signed up to the offer. During this day I had two winning bets. In accordance with the T&C for the offer, I contacted them to request these free bets. I received no response to them to confirm the free bets had been credited to my account. I continued on the next day to place a further 13 bets, five of which were winners. Again I contacted them to request the free bets.

SBR Forum Posters' poll: Top 5 Sportsbooks in August

09.06.2008

During the month of August posters were asked to list their Top 3 Sportsbooks. Five points were awarded for the first choice, four points for second place and three points for third. Only voters with 25 or more posts were counted in the final tally. Congratulations to the Top 5 point earners including 5Dimes (SBR rating A) which entered the top 5 for the first time with 125 total points. This was SBR's first poster's poll of 2008 (2007 results).

1. Matchbook - 195 total points
2. BetJamaica - 182 total points
3. TheGreek - 160 total points
4. Pinnacle Sports - 130 total points
5. 5Dimes - 125 total points

See how posters voted

Heroes Casino enters the SBR rating guide at C.

09.05.2008
HeroesCasino enters the SBR rating guide at C. Heroes is owned by one of the former owners of OasisCasino (SBR rating C+). OasisCasino was sold to WWTS (SBR rating C+) for $9.8 million in July of 2006 before Bodog (SBR rating C) acquired WWTS in October of that same year. Like Oasis, Heroes is located in Willemstad Curacao. Unlike Oasis, Heroes is booking on a -105 reduced juice lineset. Ownership also tells SBR that Heroes management has not worked under Oasis and will not confiscate earned, or partially earned, bonuses as Oasis management did on two occasions in 2005. SBR will monitor the new book and its policies. As with all new sportsbooks, players planning to play are advised to proceed with caution and are asked to send all feedback to SBR.