BetED And Covers.com Sportsbook Scam
The demise of online sportsbook BetED and their relationship with sports betting and industry watchdog site, Covers.com is still an ongoing story. The scenario has several key actors, including the US government, but has one sad, but familiar theme. That is, of course, that players get the short end of the stick and end up not being paid. The saga at BetEd is another reminder of the shaky online betting climate that US-based bettors currently face and the industry “expert” sites that seem to screw them over rather than helping them to avoid dishonest operators.
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Blue Monday Indictments – BetED’s Shutdown
Our story and the catalyst for BetEd’s shutdown begins with the “Blue Monday” online gambling indictments of September 2011 by the US Department of Justice. Just a few months removed from the “Black Friday” indictments of April, which crippled the online poker industry overnight, the Feds were at it again. The indictments this time around weren’t quite as devastating, but still targeted around a dozen sites, payment processors, bank accounts and individuals. Many of these sites came out relatively unscathed, and operations didn’t miss a beat.
BetEd Cesed Operation Almost Inmediately – Players Left In The Dust
This wasn’t the case for BetED. They closed their doors almost immediately. Darren Wright and David Parchomochuk were the two men that the DoJ fingered for BetEd’s dealings, but more on them later. They also seized several bank accounts in Malta, Panama, Portugal and even North Carolina. BetED seems to take the indictments and seizures the hardest. Their operations ceased immediately and the company didn’t bother getting another website up after the domain seizure. They stiffed their Costa Rican employees and moved the hardware out of their office almost immediately. Management was unresponsive to any player emails or questions about their funds. Apparently, it was lights out for the staff and players were left in the dust in regards to their balances.
Covers.com And Its BetED Constant Promotion
BetEd wasn’t heavily promoted by many sites, but were a favorite sportsbook of Covers.com. Covers were at the time and still are a highly regarded site by many, in terms of industry dealings. They also offer live odds, betting stats, betting picks and a large forum. CalvinAyre’s Peter Amsel wrote an excellent article in June, 2011 detailing the connections between BetEd and Covers.com. Almost immediately after BetEd left their players high and dry, Covers were already selling the narrative that Feds cleaned out their bank accounts and they had nothing for the players or their former employees.
As quoted by CalvinAyre.com:
“Covers’ blogger FreedomAtStake – widely accepted to be a shared posting identity of site founders Paul Lavers and Joe MacDonald – stated for the record two days after Blue Monday that “There is no money left. The American government has it all.” Freedom doubled-down on this notion last week by stating: “The DoJ got all [betED’s] money. I’ve got no way to prove this, but I believe it.”
BetED Sketchy Owner & Income Sources
Citing sources from Costa Rica, the article casts serious doubt that BetED was taken to the cleaners by the Feds. According to the alias, “FreedomAtStake”, “they were making food money before it went down.” CalvinAyre.com’s sources suggest that the DoJ only got a few hundred thousand dollars, at the most. Ownership details on BetED are sketchy, but that’s often the case for most offshore sportsbooks that service grey or prohibited markets like the United States. Both Parchomchuk and Wright denied being owners of the defunct sportsbook. Gambling911.com published a report that sourced a former BetED employee who stated 95% of all of their business came from Covers.com. The article also mentions the possibility of a bailout for players, something that never did materialize.
Covers.com Alleged Direct Involvement
Covers.com was reportedly making 70% off those players. That’s certainly far above the commissions that a regular affiliate gets on their revenue share agreements with most other sportsbooks. If these allegations are true, and the evidence is compelling, the implications are massive. Particularly when you consider how Covers.com promoted BetED more than any other site online – these businesses may have been practically tied at the hip. BetEd wasn’t a shop that suffered from too many complaints either. For the most part, they had their stuff together in terms of payout speeds and support until their abrupt closure. A year later, after Wright pleads guilty to the US government, there were rumors that Paul Lavers instructed both Wright and Parchomchuk to pull the plug on the operation after the Blue Monday indictments.
Covers.com Acquisition By Tribune Media
It was reported in May, 2015 that Covers.com and their other companies SportsDirect Inc. and Infostrada Sports would be acquired by Tribune Media for a whopping 54 million The Tribune, a media giant in Chicago, owns WGN and dozens of other stations. As Peter Amsel once again stated in his piece at CalvinAyre.com, the right thing to do now is for Lavers and Macdonald to compensate the players who lost their balances during the BetED closure. Costa Rican employees of the former shop are also still owed their severance pay.
No Talk About Repaying Players
At this point, it doesn’t even matter if the Covers.com’s founders were the guys truly calling the shots behind the scenes. They are responsible for driving massive amounts of players to BetED while stating that they “regularly were in contact with upper management.” Since the infusion of cash into the Covers.com brand, there has been no talk of repaying players or offering severance to the laid-off Costa Rican employees. Players are all but out of luck in terms of getting paid.
In Conclusion – BetED And Covers.com Sportsbook Scam
The offshore betting climate presented to US players is still lucrative, but has plenty of issues that players need to consider. The constant threat of a DoJ lawsuit or seizure is real, but that’s not what sunk BetED’s players. It was a corrupt affiliate. Covers.com made millions off players who frequented BetED over the years, but likely threw them out like yesterday’s trash when they thought they could get away with it. Even if the founders of Covers.com had nothing to do with the inner dealings at BetED, they still made the colossal mistake of promoting a sportsbook as their #1 rated book that disappeared into the night at the first sign of trouble. It’s not too late to make things right, let’s hope Covers and former employees at BetEd try to pay players their rightful balances.
There’s no denying that the only way to know this types of actions is to read about it. Sadly no one talks openly about it and new players may fall to the marketing attempts on several other scamming sites. We believe our job is also to inform players of such pending financial danger, for this reason if you are still looking for information about sportsbook scams visit our main review page about scam sportsbooks sites, where you’ll find the similarities between the sites and the tactics they all seem to use.