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

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.28.2005
Both BetRoyal (SBR rating D) players who filed slow-pay complaints (reported 8/23/05) have received their pending withdrawals. SBR to monitor payout process for remaining funds.

Warning:

08.27.2005
Problem sportsbook, BetGateway (SBR rating F+) to gamble with player funds once again. Gateway entered the 2004 NFL playoffs admittedly broke and unable to pay their clients for months. Management told players that an employee had stolen their money and told SBR that the fate of player funds depended on the book’s success during the last few NFL games. Fortunately, the end of the NFL season was profitable for the house and Gateway players reported receiving payments. New SBR readers have since inquired about this sportsbook and their generous offers after receiving promotional email. Players can expect this sportsbook’s luck to eventually run out. Gateway’s high risk model consists of offering -105 pricing and large bonuses.
Note: Gateway has been upgraded from F- to F+ to reflect payment on delinquent accounts.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.26.2005
SportsbookUSA (SBR rating D-) and sister sportsbook, InterChamps (SBR rating D-), send payment to three players who have recently filed Slow-pay complaints. Although all players who have reported their issue to SBR have been paid in full, this is likely attributed to Futurebet’s policy to pay what they refer to as the "squeakiest wheels" get paid first. Players who are requesting payments of $1,000 or more without assistance are waiting at least one month and even then must receive installments.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.25.2005
SportingbetUSA (SBR rating C) deducts $500 in winnings from customer account. The sportsbook claims the player bet a "bad line" (wrong odds that are the result of a line manager’s mistake) on Tiger Woods to win the British Open, which took place a month earlier. SportingbetUSA has not made an effort to show the player how the line on Tiger Woods was an "obvious error" and has not followed their own rule which is stated below. SBR will continue to speak on the player’s behalf and expects management to rectify or justify these actions.

"Every effort will be made to ensure that all information available on the Internet site is accurate. However, if an error is made in the prices or conditions published on-line, we reserve the right to correct any mistakes and to settle any bets already laid at the correct price."

Cascade becomes

08.24.2005

latest sportsbook to benefit from summer evaluations - upgraded from B to B+. Cascade has also entered SBR’s short list of best Reduced Juice Sportsbooks after recently announcing a move into the low vig market. BetCascade will offer -105 pricing on sides and totals for mainstream sporting events.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.23.2005
Royal Sports (SBR rating D) player waiting 18 days for bank wire payment. BetRoyal tells SBR that the payout was processed today but will not appear in the player’s account for another week. 

A 2nd player also voices his frustration while waiting two weeks for a $10,000 bank check. 
"I am a long time high dollar handicapper and I am having a nightmare experience with betroyal.com better known as Royal sports. I am up about 40k and I have been trying to get paid for weeks now. Every neteller withdraw I have asked for is delayed and takes several phone calls to get it through. I also requested a 10,000 check payment but I am at 2 weeks and doubtful it will be any time soon."

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.22.2005
Heritage Sports (SBR rating B+) removes clause allowing for 5% Neteller withdrawal charges. Management tells SBR that the clause was a preemptive measure meant to deter bonus abusers and that there has not been an instance were a player incurred this fee. Players can now feel confident that Neteller withdrawals are processed 7 days a week at no charge. This adjustment along with an influx of positive feedback has earned Heritage an upgrade to B+.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.22.2005
Pointbet (SBR rating D+) frozen-account complaint (reported 8/14/2005) resolved. Pointbet attributes the problem to difficulties with AOL email and has provided a record of emails sent to the player. Bettors continue to complain about the changes the book is employing, saying that communicating with customer service has become very difficult. Pointbet’s live chat is not functioning and Pointbet’s homepage is now a login page that only offers an email address. American sports bettors no longer appear to be a priority for Pointbet. Players with questions are being told to call back at 11 pm for customer service. A clerk told SBR that Pointbet is updating its system and that players looking to sign up should return in one month. It is unclear if Asian players are also experiencing a lower level of service.

Two notable Upgrades: Rio Group and Sportbet

08.22.2005
The Rio Group including flagship Skybook breaks into the ’A’ group for the first time.

Sportbet is again rewarded for their continued improvement with an upgrade to B-. Sportbet has now had 4 straight upgrades in the past 18 months. SBR recognizes the effort of the Sportbet management and staff.

Sportsbook Review used as a source by the Wall Street Journal about WagerFree (SBR rating F-):

08.21.2005

August 19, 2005
  
E-COMMERCE/MEDIA

Wagering Site Takes a Gamble
On Operating From the U.S.

By DAVID KESMODEL
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
August 19, 2005

Complaints about WagerFree.com began surfacing on the Internet last
year. SportsbookReview, a Web site that rates Internet sports books and
purports to warn bettors about sites that don’t properly pay winnings,
has collected reports from bettors who say they weren’t paid by the
site.

Ed Hunt, an occasional sports bettor in Texas, said he was drawn to
WagerFree.com because of its pledges of "juice-free" wagering. At a
traditional sports book, a person wanting to bet $100 on the outcome of,
say, a football game would also have to put up juice, also known as
vigorish, of 10%. So, if the bettor lost, he would lose $110. If he won,
he would get back his $110, and win $100.

Mr. Hunt said he is owed $1,000 by WagerFree.com. About $600 is for
winnings on the site, he said, and $400 is from a deposit he made to his
account. Mr. Hunt, who bet on football, baseball and other sports, said
he requested the $1,000 from Mr. Bradford last November. He said he
eventually received a check, in late February or early March of this
year, and it was dated for April. A handwritten note sent with the check
said, "Your checks have been post-dated for April 6. We are under
reorganization. Thanks for your patience." But when he went to a bank to
cash it, he was told WagerFree.com had stopped payment. He has tried to
get Mr. Bradford to send him a new check, but said Mr. Bradford no
longer responds to his calls.

Two other WagerFree.com customers contacted by the Online Journal also
said they were owed money by the site.

In an initial interview about WagerFree.com, Mr. Bradford said all
bettors had been paid the money they were owed. Later, after he was
asked to comment on specific

Intertops(SBR rating B-) raising betting limits and encouraging professional action?

08.21.2005


SBR has learned that this low-limit sportsbook will soon join the DonBest premium line service as well as the G&J Live service and raise betting limits. An Intertops spokesman also reported that I’Tops will offer opinionated lines. If these reports prove true this will be a significant change in the way this sportsbook conducts business.  

On September 1st SBR will include in every SBR sportsbook review which sportsbooks advertise on websites where known thieves and scambooks also advertise.

08.20.2005
For too long the sportsbook industry leaders have looked the other way while their advertisers have supported outright player thieves and scambooks. New players will soon be able to decide for themselves if they wish to patronize sportsbooks that advertise and lend their good name to websites that support dangerous player thieves, con men, extortionists and slow/no pay sportsbooks.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.19.2005
Wagering department of defunct Changeabet (SBR rating F-) opens new sportsbook BetonStars (not rated). BetonStars is a sister book of ScoreonSports (SBR rating D-) which had previously introduced itself to players as part of the Changeabet family of sportsbooks.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.18.2005

BetUs (SBR rating D-) unwilling to clear $25,000 debt to player. The sportsbook agreed to discuss two claims from players who were cheated out of their funds. These discussions resulted in one player receiving a five figure balance (reported on 6/30/05) and created hope for a 2nd player, whose dispute dates back three years. BetUs’ argument was that this case was mediated by The Shrink, formerly of  TheRX, and that the player had agreed to the result of mediation. The player described a hostage situation where he was forced to agree to a deal in order to receive what was almost 2/3rds of his balance. SBR has contacted The Shrink who stated “ [I] thought that I got the max for player that I could” and went on to say that the player deserved the remainder of his funds. SBR has reviewed this case in detail and agrees that BetUS clearly owes the player the remainder of the account balance, totaling $25,000.

Sportsbook and People making news:

08.15.2005
VIPSports aquires the domain VIP.com. SBR has learned that VIP will announce a name change to VIP and new player interface software in the next few days.

Pinnacle Scotty (who no longer works directly for Pinnacle) - has another son! Congratulations and we are happy to report that mother and child are doing fine. Little Terry has checked in at 8 lbs and there are already unconfirmed reports that the Chicago Bears have traded their 2nd round draft pick for the rights to Terry who they think will be their future middle linebacker.

SBR John - Finishes his golf practice round in Costa Rica and breaks camp for Las Vegas ahead of the 3rd annual Rx bash golf tournament where he is the defending champion. SBR John comments: "It was easier last year when I was the only one who showed up in the rain. My 12 year old boy lost interest on the last couple of holes and I gave him a pair of 10’s and won by a single stroke. It was a pretty exciting finish. It’s gonna be tougher this year with a field of 15 players, but I’m ready".

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.14.2005
SBR receives multiple complaints from Pointbet (SBR rating D+) customers. The majority of these complaints are regarding a lack of email responses and website down-time. One player reports being locked out of his account, which holds a four figure balance, for what has now been three weeks.

"My account has been frozen for more than two weeks.  I have sent numerous e-mails to care@pointbet.com.  My e-mails have been completely ignored.  The message I receive is as follows: "Your account is being frozen. Please contact care@Pointbet.com" Please turn my account back on and explain why this has happened."

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.13.2005
Player receives $3,000 of $3,500 from Quicksilver (SBR rating  D-) after waiting over three weeks. Players should avoid this sportsbook, as they are clearly experiencing financial problems. QuickSilver was unable to offer a reason for the slow-pay, or to inform the player if he can expect the remainder of his funds in a more expeditious manner.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

08.13.2005
QuicksilverSports (SBR rating D-) yet to process $2200 Neteller withdrawal requested on 7/18/05.
"I requested a withdrawl of $2200 ( neteller ) on 7-18 via email. They never acknowledged the email or processed the request. I called a few days after that and have called constantly since. I have been promised either a Neteller withdrawl or a check on a number of occasions, as of yet, nothing but stories. I changed the requested amount to 3500 as concerns grew. The odd thing is when I do talk with Bob, he seems sincere, but never follows thru. In times past, they had processed a couple of withdrawls without incident. I have been pursuing this for almost a month non-stop and would appreciate any help you might offer."

QuickSilver has informed the player that a partial payment has been sent by regular mail. SBR to monitor payout progress.

SBR Bill Dozer reports

08.12.2005
BetOnline (SBR rating D+) using stiff bookmaker Robbie Mcphail and old Apex Sportsbook customer list to solicit new players. Multiple players have complained that Robbie is again dialing for deposits; this time, on behalf of the relatively unknown BetOnline.com. The operation is about one year old and is starting its first marketing campaign. Players should be weary of a sportsbook that chooses to use an individual with a soiled reputation to launch its brand.