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

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.27.2005
BetonUSA (SBR rating D-) confiscates players’ balances claiming they past-posted bets when using the live ’in-game’ wagering feature. SBR received complaints from three players who report that their winnings were confiscated. BetonUSA tells the players that their software did not adjust for the NFL television broadcast delay and therefore the bets are invalid. BetonUSA has deleted over $20,000 in "Live Wagering" winnings. SBR to discuss player complaints with management.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.26.2005

Linesmaker (SBR rating C-) voids player’s winning wagers after deciding they no longer wish to service players from Poland. The bettor’s account has been closed and his deposit was returned, but before this new policy he had made two wagers resulting in winnings of $354. SBR has confirmed that this player was allowed to sign up as a resident of Poland and that there are not any restrictions listed on the site. SBR expects these winnings to be paid in full and will follow up on this issue.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.24.2005
Iwagersports no longer backed by First Fidelity (SBR rating B). Due to this change SBR has downgraded Iwagersports from C+ to D. Iwagersports and sister site Ricasports (SBR rating D) will remain under review as they relaunch their operation with proprietary sportsbook and poker software in the coming weeks.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.23.2005
Player files slow-pay complaint against Europlay (SBR rating C). The bettor claims he has already sent in copy of his photo I.D. on two occiasions and has been promised his $2365 each week over the last month. SBR to inquire on player’s behalf.
Update 1/25/05 Europlay pays player in full. Offers no explanation for the delay.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.22.2005
Sportsbook.com (SBR rating C) and sister sites under Sportingbet management not honoring bonuses. In the past few weeks SBR has received an influx of complaints from players who feel cheated claiming they were victims of dishonest marketing. Players filed complaints ranging from not receiving promised bonuses after numerous email requests as well as bonuses being unjustly confiscated upon cashout. SBT management states that these players did not meet their wagering requirements. However, they were assured by clerks, verbally and by email, that these requirements were met and the bonus would not be lost. SBT sportsbook owners have admitted that there is a software glitch responsible for showing wrong information regarding the progress of the player’s bonus roll-over.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.20.2005
WorldWager (SBR rating F-) stiffing another player $23,000 claiming he violated "line movement rules". This book is notorious for citing outrageous rules, like the one below, as reason not to pay long-time players.
"If the lines posted by Worldwager.com are off by more than 1.5 points on any point spread sport or posted incorrectly (reversed), management is entitled to delete any wagers placed on the wrong lines. In any money line sport, if the lines are off by more than 20 cents, management is entitled to delete any wagers placed on the wrong lines."
WorldWager is essentially claiming the right to call any line a "wrong line". The book will offer unique lines with no intention of paying players if they win because the line was "off".

Some newer sportsbooks upgraded after end of the year reviews.

01.18.2005

Mansion now holds a respectable C+ SBR rating and is by far the most interesting new sportsbook of the class of 2004. We continue to remain somewhat cautious on Mansion despite the high level of financing from a millionaire cigarette tycoon from Asia and a capable management staff. Mansion has taken aim at the two toughest competitors in the industry in Pinnacle (SBR rating A+) and BetFair (SBR rating A+). History is not on the side of books that take on those two goliaths, however Mansion could be the exception.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.17.2005
BetGateway (SBR rating F) prepared to stiff their 50 active players. The sportsbook claims they are currently unable to process payout requests because their customer service manager has stolen their bankroll. BetGateway employees are not currently collecting a paycheck and the rent payment is past due. Gateway tells SBR that "the investors will make a decision on what to do" based on how the book performs in the next two weeks. Payments will not be processed before then, if at all.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.16.2005
BetCasinoSports (SBR rating F) failing to keep up with payment plans on delinquent accounts. Players should avoid this sportsbook at all costs. BCS is hoping for a cash infusion from new investors. They are not likely to survive this football season without it.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.14.2005
Linewiz (SBR rating D) General Manager agrees with SBR that voiding AFC future wager was a mistake. They have decided to honor this bet.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.14.2005
Linewiz (SBR rating D) cancels player’s pending future wager and closes his account due to his ability to beat their sportsbook. This pending wager on the AFC to win the Super Bowl has gained substantial value. Voiding a pending future wager should not be an option and is no more acceptable than the house canceling a straight wager after the event has begun. SBR expects any sportsbook that chooses to part ways with legitimate players to honor all wagers that are considered to be in progress. SBR to discuss this issue with Linewiz management.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.12.2005
Parlaybook (SBR rating C-), part of the Grand Central Sports Group, slow-paying multiple players over one month. Management tells SBR that the problem is isolated to those who have requested payment by check. GCS has been in need of a new payment processor since PayManager closed over one month ago. SBR recommends that players choose Neteller or Western Union for transfers until this issue is resolved and all players have received payment. Parlaybook states that past-due checks are currently being sent from their new processor.

01.12.2005

Players continue to get bit by F rated sportsbooks. Bettor reports Worldbet (SBR rating F) no-pay.

Merger talks dominate the industry. Several A and A+ books involved.

01.10.2005
SBR has been directly notified by several major sportsbooks that they have signed confidentiality agreements and/or retained agents for private talks. SBR has been bearish on mergers and generally skeptical of previous possible combinations. However, for better or worse, it appears that 2005 will be the year that a major phase of consolidation will begin.

BetRoyal (SBR rating D) exits the credit business.

01.10.2005
Operating under BetMidas.com, Royal Sports attempt at the credit side of the business is finally over. BetMidas and BetCharter were both unprofitable and highly problematic involving scam artists and stiff agents. The move is a positive one which will allow Royal to focus on their core post-up business.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.08.2005
WorldWager (SBR rating F) refusing to pay bettor $14,400 claiming that he violated the ‘wiseguy’ rule. After losing over $16,000 with WorldWager since 2002, the player accumulated a balance of $16,900 in his account. His last payout was for $2,500 in October 04. He has been pleading with management for the remainder of his funds since.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.06.2005
OklahomaSportsBetting (SBR rating F+) and sister sportsbook SportsbettingLines (SBR rating F+) continue to use stall tactics when players request substantial withdrawals via FedEx. The latest slow-pay complaint comes from a Sportsbettinglines customer who has been waiting for a $3,000 check since late October. SBL has refused to offer a tracking number, yet has concluded that the check was stolen before it reached the player. The player has waited over two months for Sportsbettinglines to finish its “bank investigation” so that the funds can again be credited to his playing account.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.04.2005
Sportsinteraction (SBR rating D+) pays player who was slow-paid for three weeks (reported on 12/30/04). SIA blames the delay on an accounting oversight. SBR has recently upgraded SIA from D to D+ after new members of management showed a commitment to addressing player disputes. Some player frustrations are likely due to the fact that management resides in Ireland while the customer service center is located in Canada. Players are often frustrated communicating with clerks who give contradicting and wrong information. Players would notice an improved level of service if clerks interacted seamlessly with management. SIA states that they will soon be improving the way departments communicate.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.03.2005
More slow-pay complaints come from 2wagersports (SBR rating F) customers. Website and phone lines are currently down.
Update 1/5/05: Latest Slow-Pay Complaint
"My current balance with this sportsbook is $8929.92.  My account number is XXXXX. Their phone and web site has been down since 12/31/2004. The phone numbers are 800-701-2397 and customer service 800-924-3716.  Can you help me with this situation. Marty is the co-owner.  he also works out of MKsports.com - phone number 1-800-887-5360.  his email address is kmarketing-7@hotmail.com.  Any information as to when their site will be back up etc. is greatly appreciated.  I signed up with this sportsbook before I knew SBR existed. I have read several negative complaints about this book.  thanks in advance for your help in this situation."

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

01.03.2005

Sportsbooks encouraging players to assist in Tsunami Disaster Relief. Some Sportsbooks like BetJamaica (SBR rating A+) have a link for The American Red Cross website on their homepage. VIPsports (SBR rating A+) and Gameday (SBR rating A) allows players to make donations directly from their playing accounts. This allows players who have scored a big win to give something to those who have lost almost everything.

SBR Bill Dozer reports:

12.31.2004
Internet1x2 (SBR rating F) earns the most payout complaints in 2004. For most of the year, Internet1x2 was competing with ESB (SBR rating F-) for the title of the largest active scam-sportsbook. In November SBR upgraded 1x2 to F in order to reflect the possibility of payment. Many players were paid in full while others received small payments. 1x2 is now back to their old ways as new no-pay complaints emerge with players reporting broken promises of payment. SBR will continue to warn players of these books in 2005.

Happy New Year and safe wagering from the SBR staff!! What's new in 2005?

12.31.2004

SBR will open an anti-scam investigative office in Costa Rica in February. A major SBR initiative in 2005 will be helping problem players by working with Gamblers Anonymous. SBR will lead a drive to have the GA logo and a link to the GA website prominently displayed on every SBR A rated sportsbook.

Dire warnings of many sportsbooks failing in 2004 prove false.

12.31.2004
The last major warning by SBR was in late 2003 just before the collapse of 3 Costa Rican sportsbooks. In 2004 industry insiders took their cue from poor performances by sportsbooks and translated that into impending doom. It was certainly a great year for the players and many books have been badly weakened. However, the industry as a whole has a reduced cost structure thanks in a large part to the US government strangling out mass advertising. The biggest operational cost savings for the sportsbooks was the continued mass migration from phone to the internet for placing bets.