Sportsbook.com adds rule saying card counters will have winnings confiscated

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UPDATE: Sportsbook.com has reversed its decision and agreed to pay the player in full.

Sportsbook.com US (SBR rating D-) has confiscated $35,000 from a winning casino player. The funds seizure took place on March 14th, 2012. Four days later, Sportsbook.com updated its rules page to add a provision on card counting.

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On 9/3/2012, a player deposited $300 and received a $60 bonus. He started rolling over his bonus playing Live Dealer Blackjack. The player tells SBR that his strategy was to alternate between $25 to $75 per hand. After playing much of the night, his balance ballooned up to $8,000. Keen to make a withdrawal, the player reviewed the Sportsbook.com (ag) website and noted its rules required a player to provide valid identification documents as well as a utility bill before payment. The player—already having copies of the scans available—immediately emailed the necessary items to Sportsbook.com's accounting department. On 12/3/2012, he received a confirmation that his documents were verified.

Sportsbook.com to player: Thank you for contacting us. Also thanks for submitting all of the requested documentation. I am pleased to inform you that you're now eligible to receive payments via our check method.

The player placed two withdrawal requests for $5,000, and continued to wager in the Live Dealer Blackjack game. After another 48 hours of play, his good fortune kept on and his balance shot up to $30,000. He made two additional withdrawal requests for on the morning of March 14th, 2012. He received an email confirmation that the payout request was being processed, and that it would take six to eight weeks to receive his cheques.

Later that afternoon, the player logged on to find his account disabled. He called customer service and was told that a manager reviewed his account and determined he was "counting cards". The player denied this allegation.

He filed his SBR complaint on March 14th, 2012. Initially, Sportsbook.com management confirmed upon reviewing the claim that their conclusion was that this player was counting cards; something their rules forbid. Sportsbook.com then shared a sample of the hands with SBR. On March 23rd, 2012, during a review of all available facts, SBR decided to check Google cache to confirm that the card counting rule was in fact in place at the time.

 Snapshot of cached Sportsbook.com Live dealer casino rules (FULL PAGE VIEW)

This is Google's cache of http://www.sportsbook.ag/info/houserules.php. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Mar 18, 2012 14:07:49 GMT.
 

On March 23rd, 2012, however, there is an entirely new provision regarding card counting; what the player in this report was accused of breaking rules by doing.

Current snapshot of Sportsbook.com Live dealer casino rules (FULL PAGE VIEW)

 
SBR will update this report.

 

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