Matchbook update: US-based players confirm payment

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Matchbook (SBR rating B-) update. Six US-based players have confirmed receiving payment since the popular betting exchange announced its exit from the US more.

SBR initially reported that Matchbook was set to announce exit from the US Market on February 27th.

The popular betting exchange announced its official separation from WSEX Sportsbook (SBR rating D-), and provided US-based sports bettors instructions on how to request their balances.

At the time of the announcement, Matchbook informed their US-based players that they had 31 days to initiate the withdrawal process. Matchbook told the players that commission credits accumulated in the last 90 days would be paid as cash adjustments to those players balances.

Matchbook told players that balances would be settled via refund onto each player's credit card with larger balances being settled by bank wire, this decision sparked player outrage in SBRforum topic, Matchbook leaving the US.

Six players have confirmed receiving payment to their credit cards. Players have not yet confirmed receiving payment via bank wire, such players would have held balances greater than $10,000.



SBRforum poster 'sdtrader: I just received payemnt to my CC today.

SBRforum poster 'pokernight1992': I also received payment today to my DC which is tied to my bank account. Of course they charged $35 for the privilege.

SBRforum poster 'FrancisVegas':
Mine hit my CC overnight. Glad that ordeal is over. Looking for a reduced juice option that accepts and pays US customers easily! Getting money into 5 dimes has been difficult with money line wallet. Bet phoenix has a few more funding options. Who are you guys going with for reduced juice?.......Read more Matchbook payout updates

On March 3rd, 2011, SBR published a report on Matchbook's sale and statement to US players. The statement covered the official sale along with the exchange's confirmation that the connection to slow-pay sportsbook WSEX has officially been severred.





The Matchbook betting exchange would like to confirm that it has undergone a change of ownership, pending certain formalities. Upon title transfer, at midnight February 27th, Matchbook betting exchange will no longer be facilitating the placement of wagers in jurisdictions where Matchbook operations are seen to be non-compliant.

As a result, Matchbook will order the immediate suspension of all gaming business with all accounts registered from a US address, and players who hold such accounts, will no longer be permitted to use the betting exchange. These account holders will be contacted with precise instructions and given 31 days by which they must make a one-time withdrawal of all balances held on the Matchbook betting exchange. In addition, we would like to affirm that the new Matchbook management and ownership is in no way affiliated with WSEX or any previous ownership.

SBRforum's video department provided comprehensive coverage of Matchbook's US exit, as well as a online interview with Matchbook's new management. You can check out the video and Matchbook interview below.




SBR: What's the basic deal with what just happened with Matchbook? Who bought it and why? What problems was it having before the sale and why was it having them?

Matchbook: Matchbook has been purchased because of the strength of the Matchbook brand and the potential of Matchbook to be rolled out to other sports, throughout the world. It has been purchased by a private UK investment group with both the capital and expertise to significantly expand its operations and product offerings, and intends to do so in a professional and legally compliant manner. Matchbook itself had no operating problems whatsoever prior to our purchase but its potential could not be properly realized while partially operating in a jurisdiction where its operations were of questionable legality and where payments and marketing were complicated and expensive.

Players should rest assured that all US based player account balances will be promptly and fully returned to affected players. In addition, all non-US player balances will be ring fenced in an account which will kept separate from Matchbook’s operating accounts. This will assure that all player funds will always be kept safe.

SBR: People are wondering why someone would buy Matchbook and then get rid of what was assumed to be the essential majority of its customers (the US base). There have been a lot of analogies made on about this. To quote just two: "Wouldn't these new owners be better off just starting a website from scratch? Isn't this like buying McDonald's and turning it into a store for vegetarians?” and "It's kind of like buying Hooters and cutting off beer and wings." Can you address this?

MB: It is an “assumption” that the essential majority of Matchbook customers were US based, whereas in fact this is not the case. We believe that our investment in the site will draw a number of new customers, and the increased transparency and financial stability of Matchbook and its rock solid back end infrastructures will only assist this process. If you look at the site today there is still plenty of volume available. The fact that former US customers are extremely upset that Matchbook cannot now facilitate their wagers illustrates how well the Matchbook brand is respected and how much people like and enjoy using our site. Setting up a new site would have carried none of this goodwill. The new owners are taking a long-term view with this investment and are sure that these affected customers will be able to return to the site at some point in the future once the applicable legislation changes. In short, the new owners consider the existing Matchbook name is of great value, and part of this value is the extremely robust operating software platform that Matchbook’s customers have grown to trust and rely upon.

SBR: Some people with US accounts that will be closed are concerned about their funds on deposit. Will everyone get paid?

MB: Yes. The financial position of Matchbook is stronger now than before. There would be absolutely no point buying a valuable brand and then not paying the customers, which would immediately destroy the brand value.

SBR: Some people are not happy with the payout options for the accounts being closed. Many want book-to-book transfers, why is that not an option? Some aren't comfortable with being required to send sensitive CC information in an unsecure email. Some with large balances don't want one huge wire hitting their bank accounts, and would prefer several smaller wires, or checks. Why are none of those options available?

MB: The new Matchbook management has provided as many payment methods as possible while taking appropriate and necessary account of expert counsel on the issue. The payment methods provided by Matchbook to US customers are specifically chosen due to the very high likelihood that player balances will get to the affected customers without interference.

If Matchbook users are uncomfortable emailing their CC information it can be called into Matchbook’s toll free number. 1-877-586-9477.


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