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

Betting exchange-style sportsbook BetBug closes

02.09.2007
BetBug (SBR rating C+) is owned by Trident Gaming, which sold Gamebookers (SBR rating B-) to PartyGaming in August of last year. Despite innovative download-required software and a 2006 marketing campaign, BetBug was unable to capture targeted U.S. business and compete with exhange-style books, Mansion and Matchbook.

BetBug.com: While we continue to believe that BetBug’s true peer-to-peer software does abide by all major Federal gaming laws in the United States, the current legal environment seriously deters our chances of success. We hope to be able to reintroduce the software to the public at a later date.

BetWorks to launch new web platform

02.08.2007
BetWorks (SBR rating C+) to launch new web platform in 10 days. The Australian-based sportsbook has been off-line since October of 2003 when it settled all player accounts and ceased operating. Euraust, formerly the bookmaker’s parent company, has since sold Betworks to an Asian investment group. The site quietly came back online in 2006 planning to relaunch with a focus on soccer. Betworks is a small bookmaker that remains located and regulated in Australia.

Neteller Releases Statement Regarding U.S. client Funds

02.08.2007

Neteller confirms reports that funds in the process of being transferred to U.S.-based users have been "seized." The amount is believed it be no more than $55 million USD. Neteller states that is it is working with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York  in an effort to settle U.S. client accounts. Neteller Feb. 8 Press Release

SBR Posting forum maintenance notice

02.07.2007
SBR Posting Forum Maintenance Notice: The posting forum will be off-line Thursday morning, Feb 8 beginning at 6:00 am CST until approximately 8:00 am CST for server maintenance.

Worldbet receives two no-pay complaints

02.06.2007
Soccer-focused sportsbook, Worldbet (SBR rating D-) is the source of two no-pay complaints in past week. Other recent complaints include the confiscation of winnings and a lack of replies to customer service inquiries.
 
Player: I have a payout problem with Worldbet. On Jan-04 I made a withdrawal request of $7,000 via Bank transfer. I received auto-message asking for Bank details confirmation and I did it. My request was registered as “worldBet Payment Request (266)”. Till now this request is with status “not placed”. In last weeks I sent to Worldbet few emails asking to check what happened with my withdrawal request. I sent the e-mails to support and billing and via their internal message system too. I haven’t answer from this company. I’m worried about this situation and hope that you can help me.

Pointbet tries to con players into gambling their funds

02.05.2007
Pointbet (SBR rating D-) tells multiple players they will receive payment faster if they wager with balances; ignore order of request. No-pay reports continue to reach new highs.

Excerpt from Pointbet Chat:
Pointbet: we suggest you to keep play with us, so you will be in active member list
Player: I have been playing with you for 3 years.
Player: So I have been very active always.
Player: Will it matter for my w/d if I don’t wager until I receive the funds?
Pointbet: there is no matter with the withdraw sir, for sure you will get the fund too
Pointbet: but it will takes a longer time
Player: Could you please explain why that is so
Pointbet: because we make a priority
Pointbet: the active member withdraw will be process first
Player: Please check if I am on the active player list
Pointbet: i have checked that you are not in the active player sir
Pointbet: because you don;t play with us any

The importance of line shopping

02.03.2007

SBROdds.com shows the Super Bowl XLI line offered at 6.5 and 7. Currently BetCascade (SBR rating B) is hanging the best line on the Indianapolis Colts at -6.5 -105 while Bears backers are hoping to see oddsmakers move to 7.5 before game time. ThePIG (SBR rating A-) is currently giving the Chicago Bears the +7 at -110.

Expekt (SBR rating B-) earns 2nd upgrade in four months

02.02.2007

SBR has reevaluated Expekt after an increase in positive feedback in recent months, some of which suggesting the SBR rating was too low. Player inquiries to SBR have been addressed swiftly by the bookmaker’s Trading Director, Jon Thompson. Expekt users are invited to continue to submit feedback to SBR.

Player: I recently misplaced a wager on a soccer match with this bookmaker. I inadvertently played a three way handicap when i thought i was playing a true asian. I backed a team to win 1-0 and they lost 0-1. When my bet was not refunded as a push i contacted Expekt complaining of their error. Within 24hrs the manager called me personally to resolve this issue. Not only did he take the time to call but when he did he had already reviewed the screen shots for the bet concerned and when i tried to argue that it was their mistake he politely re-assured me that in fact i had taken the wrong type of wager.
The gentleman then offered to refund half my wager as a goodwill gesture as i think he could sense my sincerity in the matter concerned and that i truly believed i was placing an asian. To me this was something that has endeared this bookmaker to me and goes well beyond any kind of service i have ever encountered.

Neteller cuts off remaining withdrawal options for U.S. citizens.

02.01.2007

Six days after the Neteller debit card service was discontinued, U.S. users find they are unable to transfer to peers in other countries. Non-U.S. users currently have the ability to move funds normally. Neteller’s FAQ page was updated today.

Why can’t I perform Peer-to-Peer transfers anymore?
In order to ensure that US members do not use NETELLER with the intent to gamble online, NETELLER is no longer offering its Peer-to-Peer service in the US.

Although Neteller assures players that funds are safe and will be paid after an undisclosed period of time, large balance holders are aggressively pursuing the use of non-US bank accounts to withdraw funds.

BetOnUSA and sister books acquired by Jazette Enterprises Ltd.

01.31.2007
BetOnUSA (SBR rating D-) and sister books acquired by Jazette Enterprises Limited (D+ rated Sportsbook.com). Sportsbook management tells SBR the BetOnUSA Group (Empire Entertainment Ltd) was purchased last month. All customer service and accounting is now directed to the Sportsbook building in Costa Rica. The purchase brings Sportsbetting.com (SBR rating D-) back to the company and gives Jazette ownership of the World Gaming software code.
JEL states that it will look into no-pay claims against BetOnUSA, including the latest from a player waiting four months for $1,000.16. JEL sportsbooks also have their own no-pay complaints pending. During the migration of SportingbetUSA (SBR rating D+) last October to Jel-owned SuperBook (SBR rating D+) some accounts, balances and pending wagers were lost.

Question from the SBR mailbag

01.30.2007
SBR Mailbag:
Paul: I have been sollicited by MoneyBets.com but cannot find any information about them on your website. Did you ever hear about them? SBR’s opinion being indispensable for me before I invest money with any sportsbook. Thank you for your good work.

The MoneyBets website claims that the book is part of a licensed company in Belize but the servers, accounting and customer support is in Vancouver, Canada. MoneyBets is part of the slow-paying Futurebet Group and should be avoided. Thanks Paul.

SBR Scam alert on SportsbookAction24

01.29.2007

Scam Alert: Poland-based scammers launch new deposit-only "sportsbook" SportsbookAction24. Seven days after the group’s (labeled as Cypress in the SBR rating guide) previous scam site ExecutiveSportsbookdr went off-line, players have asked about SBA24. The book is online solely to accept Western Union deposits, likely sent to Poland. The website will disappear in a matter of months with the victims’ funds.

WagerWeb change

01.28.2007

Wagerweb (SBR rating B-) no longer accepting new registrations from U.S.-based players. Wagerweb will continue to service current U.S. clients.

5PercentJuice - rating coverage initiated at F.

01.27.2007

5PercentJuice - rating coverage initiated at F. This sportsbook is part of Interactive Gaming Systems, a turnkey partner known for hosting books that have disappeared with player funds. Also entering the rating guide and the SBR BlackList today is NFLBettingPick (SBR rating D-), a sportsbook from slow-pay operation Futurebet.

Bodog (SBR rating A+) to stop applying reload bonuses as of Monday

01.26.2007

For over four years Bodog was known as the only sportsbook to automatically credit a 10% or 20% bonus to every deposit. The sportsbook cites an increase in payment processing costs, after the most cost effective money transferring services left the US market, for prompting the change. Bodog states that all deposits and withdrawals will continue to be free.

Pointbet lowered to D-

01.25.2007
Pointbet drops to D-. Players from around the world are reporting failed promises to pay on a daily basis. Some report having made their payout request over two months ago. The sportsbook is now telling users they must continue to wait but have not committed to a date or provided an excuse for not paying. Pointbet blames a recent earthquake in the region for intermittent website downtime over the past two weeks.

Player: You can add my name to the lsit of people who are owedd money by point bet They owe me $7500 for a couple of weeks. There website has been down all week. Have they disappeared? Do you know if anyone else has been paid?

Neteller US' electronic funds transfers delayed

01.24.2007

The e-wallet is currently telling players they must wait 4 to 6 weeks for EFTs. Sportsbooks with Neteller merchant accounts have also been told they must wait a minimum of 4 weeks to redeem their funds in full. Neteller is encouraging U.S. residents who hold a Neteller debit card to withdraw the daily limit. Players report the payout method is currently functioning normally.

01.26.2007 Update: Third party debit card provider no longer servicing Neteller. Neteller’s website states: NETELLER is currently unable to transact with USD bank accounts, regardless of the location of the member. Neteller says it is working on the issue. Some account holders are attempting to transfer their funds from Neteller to non USD bank accounts or merchants.

Cascade (SBR rating B) to join Horizon/Atlas Group

01.23.2007
Cascade (SBR rating B) to join Horizon/Atlas Group; will change platforms from ASI to BLR tomorrow. The sportsbook and its wagering lines will remain independently managed. BetCascade will continue to offer a -105 lineset.

ExecutiveSportsbookdr (SBR rating F-) closes with player’s $27,900 balance.

01.22.2007

The book attracted depositors by working with touts who would build a relationship with the player and then recommend the deposit-only sportsbook. Bettors can expect an increase in scam attempts that utilize Western Union now that Neteller and Citadel are no longer servicing U.S. bettors. Thieves behind Executive Sportsbookdr are likely already preparing to rob bettors under a new sportsbook front.
 
Player: I have been scam by some con artist and their name are yosef levine.I didn’t now tell I looked on the web.They made me deposit 4,000 usd and made me send my money through western union and they receive it in poland.I wanted to email you guys so you can help me get my money back. I won about 27,900 usd dollars and I still haven’t receive it yet. They are say that is alot of money and that western union is having problems sending it.

LasPalmas offers bailout deal to Bet7Moons victims

01.21.2007
LasPalmas (SBR rating C) offering bailout deal to Bet7Moons (SBR rating F) victims. Players have the option to have their balances covered in full with a 20x roll-over (to make wagers totaling twenty times bailout amount) or match the bailout amount with a deposit for a 7x roll-over.

Ladbrokes acquires Sponsio Ltd.

01.21.2007

Ladbrokes (SBR rating A+) acquires Sponsio Ltd, the company used to service Ladbrokes’ Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland operation, for 36 million pounds (approximately $71 million USD). Ladbrokes intends to increase its presence in Scandinavia and eventually open betting shops across the region.

Bet7Moons site redirecting to LasPalmas

01.20.2007

Bet7Moons (SBR rating F) owner redirects website to LasPalmas (SBR rating C), where he has relocated his credit package. Robbed Bet7Moons post-up players are hopeful that LasPalmas will not service the stiff agent or will force him to take part in a payment plan to refund victims.

State of gambling industry in US

01.19.2007
Sportsbooks tested as payment processors decline service to U.S. gambling industry. Sportsbooks will see an immediate reduction in business now that "e-wallets" such as Neteller, myCitadel Wallet and ATMonline are no longer an option for US-focused gaming companies. Low rated sportsbooks relying on player deposits to operate, as well as dishonest bookmakers who believe it may be more profitable to keep player funds than to expand its business model, are the industry’s primary concern. During this high risk period players are advised to only use sportsbooks with a minimum SBR rating of A-. Players are also advised to expect delays in payout processing time from even the best bookmakers. Many operators are attempting to move money quickly to compensate for high demand on remaining withdrawal options.

Mansion no longer accepting new US business

01.19.2007
Mansion (SBR rating B-) no longer accepting deposits from players residing in the United States. Players currently holding a balance may continue to wager in the betting exchange.