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Sportsbook.com: $2500 confiscated and a long history of theft from players

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sportsbook.com: $2500 confiscated and a long history of theft from players

Sportsbook.com is the parent operation of a large group of sportsbooks under the apparent management of "Jassy Sports Events Limited" according to the about us page.

Sportsbook.com is located in the Caribbean territory of Antigua and Barbuda, and licensed by the Directorate of Offshore Gaming - see their licensee information page.

Confusingly enough, the company name is here given as "Gaming Ventures Limited", and not "Jassy Sports".

I was contacted by a player who had a problem with this sportsbook - I'll call him "James":

A few years ago I had told them to close my account due to gambling addiction. This weekend, I decided to go in and play on their website. I opened a new account since my old one had been closed. I deposited $1000 and won $2500 for a total of $3500.

The next day they informed me that they were closing my account due to the previous account being requested closed for gambling addiction.

Instead of giving me the $3500 that was my account balance, they informed me that they were keeping the winnings of $2500 and only refunding the $1000 I deposited.

Is it just me or is this totally unethical and stealing from me?

Apparently, Sportsbook.com also invoked their multi-account clause:

They said they are keeping my winnings due to the Multiple Accounts Stipulation in their Agreement. The only thing is that I did not have multiple accounts. They closed my previous account per my request. It had been 2 years ago and I did not even remember it.

Also, if you read the Multiple Accounts Stip below, you will see that it is not even designed for how they are using it against me. It states that it is used to close accounts that are trying to use Multiple Accounts to get around wagering limits. That is not even close to what I was doing.

Indeed, the house rules disallow multi-accounts, but specifically for the purposes of circumventing wager limits:


Members are not permitted to open multiple accounts (either within Sportsbook.com itself or affiliated websites) in order to circumvent the limits imposed by our wagering system. Performing such an action may trigger an audit of the member's accounts. If multiple accounts have been used then all bets may be voided, accounts may be inactivated and winnings may be forfeited.

This player clearly did not open a second account for any nefarious purposes, and his previous account was closed anyway.

The sportsbook also cited their "social responsibility" clause as another reason for reclaiming the $2500 winnings, given his previously claimed addiction problems:


We are concerned about problem gambling. We will immediately inactivate any wagering account belonging to a member for whom gambling has become a problem and that account will remain permanently closed. Furthermore, any new accounts opened by that member will be inactivated.

Unfortunately, Sportsbook.com failed to get socially responsible and deactivate James's account until he had managed to win a decent sum of money and request a cashout.

Their social responsibility did not begin with his $1000 deposit, which surely should have immediately sounded the alarm bells within the system.

In fact, I suspect that if the player had lost, their social conscience would not have extended so far as to reinstate and refund his deposit, or manifest itself in any shape or form.

I decided to have a word with them and see if they might reconsider returning his winnings - he had, after all, been allowed to deposit and play, and as such Sportsbook.com might be prepared to acknowledge a little fault on their side and make a goodwill gesture.

I received the following reply:

Dear James,

Thank you for contacting us.

As per management decision account CID XXXXXXXXX will remain closed and $1000 of initial deposits will be credited back to credit card.

We apologize for any inconvenient this decision may have caused.

We are always here to help you. Please feel free to reply to this email if you have any additional questions in relation to this or any other matter.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cooper

My name is not James - that is the player. Did they think the player was impersonating me, in an attempt to bolster his claim?

Or had they not looked at my email at all?

I wrote back, clarifying that I was writing on the player's behalf.

Next reply (they got my name right at least):

Dear HPG editor,

Thank you for contacting us.

Thank you very much for your feedback! It really is appreciated here.

We are always here to help you. Please feel free to reply to this email if you have any additional questions in relation to this or any other matter.

Kind regards,

Kathy Andrews

"Thank you for your feedback"??

I wasn't giving feedback, I was asking a question. Did they not bother to read this email either? This was a copy-and-paste, standard, canned response.

Sportsbook.com reps appear to sign off all their emails with "Please feel free to reply to this email if you have any additional questions".

Considering that they do not appear to bother to read emails, I'm at a loss to imagine why anyone would bother with them at all.

It may not come as a complete surprise to learn that Sportsbook.com is an operation not entirely without a history of problems. In fact, they go some way back and extend across several, if not all, of the entire stable of clones.

Oh, yes. Before going on, did I mention how many clones there are of this sportsbook?

Fully fifty-three. Five and three.

I have never seen so many clones of one operation before. See the Sportsbookreview ratings guide. These Sportsbook.com clones are almost all rated in the "D" category, the second lowest rating.

A look at the Sportsbook.com results page at SBR reveals an unhappy history of problems:

4/30/2009 07:34 PM

Iwager (SBR rating D-) cancels player's wagers; blocks account history

The player made winning in-game NBA wagers. Iwager canceled winnings of $3941, claiming the wagers were not for live in-game wagers, but were all past-posted bets that were offered accidentally while the game was taking place.

Iwager closed the player's account, and refused to allow the player or SBR to view the wagering ticket which would reveal whether the bet was a past-posted play or a valid in-game bet. Iwager is a licensee of the sportsbook.com family, Jazette Enterprises Ltd.

3/24/2009 10:25 PM

Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-) backtracks on plans to repay balance confiscation victims.

SBR provided sportsbook.com with account information for players, who were cheated over the past two years, in hopes that new management would follow through with plans to pay users back for stolen funds.

Although some managers at sportsbook.com want to see this debt cleared, sportsbook.com tells SBR that board discussions have stalled and there are currently no plans to pay owed customers.

SBR estimates sportsbook.com and sportsbooks that the group service stole over $500,000.

2/26/2009 10:49 PM

Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-) players report over 40 bounced checks in 2009. Other players report a five month wait for funds.

1/30/2009 11:09 PM

Numerous Sportingbet (SBR rating D+) complaints received.

SBR has received 12 Sportingbet complaints from players showing that the sportsbook will not honor earned bonuses. Recipients of this promotion were targeted directly by Sportingbet. Sportingbet has told some of these players that they do not fit the profile of the player the book wants and will not receive their deposit incentive.

Sportingbet-owned gaming site, Superbahis (SBR rating D+), has refused to honor its cashback poker program to a player owed 250 Euros.

A Sportingbet horse bettor is owed a £100 horse wagering refund due to horse-falling promotion. Sportingbet has refused to credit the bonus citing "unusual betting patterns."

Sportingbet players have also complained that the book has refused to grade soccer matches, citing an investigation of the outcome. SBR has confirmed that investigations by league governing bodies do not exist. Sportingbet rules support the players' claims that these wagers should have been graded months ago. Sportingbet is encouraging these bettors to allow the winning wagers to be graded as no-action so refunds can be applied. Sportingbet will not estimate when the wagers may be graded.

The former owner of sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-) is no longer responding to SBR's inquries on behalf of players.

There appears to be a very persistent scam that the Sportsbook group uses - offering free bets and deposit bonuses at each site for all customers, but without declaring the site in question's connection with the rest of the group. Then, if the player wins, or ends up winning more than the book considers acceptable, the site points out the affiliation with the other Sportsbook clones and uses this "multi-bonus" excuse to confiscate funds.

Sound at all familiar?

This was a technique used by the Crystal Palace group, which I documented in my Crystal Palace deposit trick article. It was also cause for the Be wary of Jazette Enterprises books thread at Casinomeister, in which the player documents the exact same problem:

Just want to let perspective sports bettors know about a group of sportsbooks that are all operated by a company called Jazette Enterprises Limited. Their best known brand is probably Sportsbook(dot)com.

This company has long used a shady tactic to take free shots at players. All of their individual books offer first deposit bonuses. They do not mention it in the rules of their websites, but bettors are not permitted to take the bonus at more than one of their member sportsbooks.

They also don't tell you this when you sign on at the second book, unless you win. Then when you attempt to cash out they will notify you that you are a bonus abuser and they will take back your winnings and bonus, refund your deposit and close your account.

Note that if you lose you don't get a refund - that is what I mean when I say they take a free shot at players. If you win they don't pay you (at the second book) and if you lose, you lose.

The Bookmakers' Review ratings guide assigns a "1" rating to the Sportsbook group. This they define as:

Very poor. Assigned to bookmakers which have failed to fulfill their obligations and/or promises in multiple occasions. You do not want to play with bookmakers rated 1.

Good advice.

Stay well clear of the Sportsbook.com, and all the myriad variations thereof.

2 Previous Comments

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger stephen claveria, at 4:39 am  

Hey guys You probably dont know me, I just found out that you are interested in sports too. and I just want to share this great sports info w/you.

seems like you have many questions and comments for Sportsbook. Might as well ask it to the team of Sportsbook themselves. I'm proud to announce the launch of Sportsbook.com's facebook fan page!

Here is the link to the fan page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sportsbook/112057138819590 . You can now fire up those questions and comments and they will answer you real time.

Or if you are a Sportsbook fan like me, pls check it out and like it!! Sportsbook.com is the largest sports betting site around. I'm an avid fan of them! Sportsbook often have apps you can win $1,000 on. Enjoy!

By Blogger stephen claveria, at 4:40 am  

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