Online Gambling News: SBR Industry Report

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SBR analyst Natalie Rydström covers the latest in the online gambling news mailbox. Natalie discusses the recent Legends (SBR rating A+) domain change, the Sportsbook.com card-counting dispute, and other recent online sportsbook news items.

 

 

 

Video Transcript:

Hi, this is Natalie Rydström with a summary of recent top stories from the SportsBookReview newswire!

Legends Sportsbook, rated A+ by SBR, is the latest in a line of high-profile top-rated sportbooks to change their domain name to .EU. Legends made the switch this week to their new domain betlegends.eu. This switch is a pre-emptive response to a possible outright seizure of their .com domain by the US government, which is something the US government has claimed authority to do to gaming domains and others that it sees as in violation of US law. Many online sportsbooks and igaming sites now sport a .eu, .ag. or .cz domain, which are out of the reach of the US government, for now. Legends management tells SBR that nothing will change in player accounts and that the switch is merely a business decision.

Moving over to my neck of the woods. Chancellor Osborne announced his plan last Wednesday to introduce a point of consumption tax for remote online gambling operators. As it stands, a whopping 90 percent of online gambling is operated outside of the UK and the remaining UK online shops are under pressure to operate elsewhere to cut costs. The chancellor feels this is both unfair and not a sensible way to support jobs in Britain. The legislation is expected to restore the balance between offshore and on-shore operators, whilst adding additional revenue to the treasury. How the point of consumption tax will actually be enforced remains to be seen if it does in fact become law , which is proposed to happen some time in 2013.

Last week, I was privileged to interview California's State Senator, Roderick Wright on the hot topic of legalized intrastate online gambling in the US. California is currently one of the states taking the lead on this issue. In the senators words, quote "to take a sports analogy we're going to be the tailback following New Jersey through the hole." Unfortunately for New Jersey, plans for legalizing intra state online gaming took a step back, as there are amendments that are to be made to the bill. Senator Raymond Lesniak of New Jersey, one of the sponsors of the bill, is still hopeful that the bill will be passed and signed by both houses by mid may! I will be closely monitoring this situation.

In one of the week's more shocking cases, Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-) was caught redhanded adding a rule to their casino terms after the fact to justify a winnings confiscation. SBR produced evidence of the sneaky inclusion in its newswire.

Sportsbook.com zeroed out a player's account which held approximately $35,000 in profit and stated only his deposit would be refunded. The player's alleged violation was "card counting" playing Live Dealer. Card counting is a strategy used by advantage Blackjack players to attempt to predict their edge on the next hand. In Las Vegas for example, a cardcounter may find that his action is unwelcome at certain casinos, although the gaming industry standard is to pay the player in full before giving the boot. After discussion with SBR, Sportsbook.com decided to do the right thing and reinstate the player's account.

And finally, it seems that patience pays! An Enterbet player, who filed a complaint with SBR on December 2011 has, after 3 long years, been paid! The player detailed in his claim against EnterBet, rated D- by SBR, that he had been owed $2,000 for approximately two years. The player had written off his chances at ever being paid from the notorious slow-pay outfit, which caters mostly to casino players these days. SBR contacted EnterBet on the player's behalf in December, but the case fell cold. On Monday, March 19th, 2012, an EnterBet manager contacted SBR stating that the claim had been settled. The player allegedly received an agreed upon amount, as records of his old balance were allegedly lost.
 

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