BetOnSports Sportsbook Scam
The debacle at BetOnSports is one of the most notorious and earliest online sportsbook scams online. In many ways, it was a preview of things to come for the online gambling industry in the United States. Sadly, like most of the scam sportsbooks we cover here at SBS, it didn’t have a happy ending for players.
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Early Pioneers? – BetOnSports One Of the First Sportsbooks
BetOnSports has a long history in offshore betting markets. One could make the case that the Costa Rican sports betting startup were innovators in a new industry that would soon take the world by storm. The company initially began accepting wagers via telephone in 1996, before transitioning in online betting markets in 2000. They were one of the earliest sportsbooks online and the vast majority of their players can from the United States. Their substantial marketing campaign towards US players is likely a reason for their eventual downfall that was in part caused by the US Department of Justice. BetOnSports had many sportsbook skins and operated many brands. Some of these sites were EasyBets, Millennium Sportsbook, V-Wager, and BettorsTrust. Today, these brands and any others they were operating are now offline. However, the staff at BetOnSports has surfaced at other sites, something we will touch on later.
Rise To Prominence
BetOnSports slowly became one of the larger gambling sites servicing US betting markets. In addition to their online sportsbook, they had a full-service Las Vegas-style casino and poker room. Nearly all of their clients came from the United States.
BetOnSports went public in mid-2006 on the London Stock Exchange. The company was reportedly doing quite well, raking in over $20 million in profits in the previous year. The online sportsbook and gambling giant tried going public many times before doing so successfully this time around. However, their days being publicly traded were short lived.
CEO Indictment – Carruthers Charged With Racketeering
Only weeks after going public, BetOnSports ran into major trouble. Their current CEO, David Carruthers was indicted. He was arrested by US authorities while changing plans in the United States. Carruthers was charged with racketeering. He pleaded guilty three years later and received a $75,000 fine and 33 months in prison.
One has to wonder what Carruthers was thinking when he decided to travel to the United States. The government’s anti-online gambling stance wasn’t quite out in full force yet, but he certainly knew the risks involved. There’s was little reason for him to step foot in the US. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) would be past several months later by Congress.
Closure – BetOnSports Closed Doors In 2006
Less than a month after going public, BetOnSports closed their doors in August 2006. There were several reasons given for their closure. Most notably, there were several unresolved legal cases against much of BetOnSports’ management. They also had trouble with payment processors and got large amounts of operating funds frozen.
Player Funds – BetCris Bailed Out A Fraction Of The Total Amounts
BetOnSports’ financial status after their closure was in shambles. Players’ bankrolls were lost for the most part and there seemed like there was little hope of being repaid. Sports betting giant, Betcris stepped in, to bail out the non-US players of the company, which came with rollover requirements on balances. US citizens were not so lucky. Ultimately, they did receive some of their balances back but it was a mere fraction of the total amount. Furthermore, it took four years for the liquidation process to work itself out. In July 2011, those that applied for reimbursement got to keep a paltry 4.63% of their final balances. There was much left after the legal costs and liquidation that took place to pay off debtors in the US government.
Owner’s Jail Term – Several Other Employees Faced Legal Issues
In addition to CEO David Carruthers, many other employees and officers were charged with crimes and faced legal issues at BetOnSports. The founder of BetOnSports was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of racketeering and corruption in November 2009. He also forfeited $43.65 million to the US government. It’s unfortunate that some of that money didn’t go to the players. As we described above, they got a raw deal after seemingly everyone else in involved got paid or collected their fines.
Writing On The Wall Before Closure – Past Scams
BetOnSports and its other brands had been extremely popular before they shut down, but despite advertising their sportsbook on New York City buses – these guys had quite the poor reputation. Many members of management were accused of fraud and embezzlement, and the company was likely never quite as financially sound as was painted to outsiders. They even tried scamming some of the players they owed balances to with elaborate schemes. OSGA reported in 2007 that former employees tried to scam players into wiring money for a Toyota Corolla. That, get this, would be shipped from Costa Rica!
BetOnSports Resurfaces? – Past BetOnSports Employees
BetOnSports has been closed since 2006, but some of their staff members have recently shown up operating a new online sportsbook, MyBookie.ag. When they first opened, MyBookie.ag actually decided to advertise that they had former staff members from BetOnSports working there! As if that was a way to drive in customers. Tell prospective players that you’re employing some of the people responsible for losing millions of thousands of players. The fact that they promoted that as a positive is a real head-scratcher. We currently have a review up for MyBookie.ag which advises players to avoid them. SBR upgraded them to C- rating on June, 18th 2015 after they resolved a payout complaint. We are still not convinced of their operation.
Conclusion – BetOnSports Sportsbook Scam
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.