Legends Sportsbook Scam
Legends sportsbook is a cautionary tale for bettors and operators in the US-facing sportsbook industry. As we mentioned in several places on this site, sportsbooks that accept US players will always be at risk of seizure or prosecution from the US Department of Justice.
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There’s High Risk For US Based Betting Sites
For those that are profitable sports bettors, the risk is worth the reward, in our opinion. However, that doesn’t mean things can’t go majorly awry. In the case of Legends, a well-respected operator in the US industry, things went very wrong. Sportsbooks have taken measures to ensure the safety of their players’ funds (even more so after situations like Legends), but the story is one to keep in mind for how serious outside forces are in offshore betting markets.
Legends Sportbook Was Once An Elite Choice
Legends were once known as a pillar of the offshore betting industry. They had elite ratings at just about every major sportsbook watchdog site with credibility, including Sportsbook Review. Their customer service was top-notch and they produced payouts faster than most other industry sites. While they had smaller limits for new depositors, they were far from a recreational bookmaker and took on moderately sized action.
They had such a large client base that they were an invitation-only sportsbook for several years leading up to their demise. As other sportsbooks went bust, left the market or got taken down by the Federal government, Legends stood tall. Their success even spawned imitators and knock-offs. LegendSportsbook.com, an RDG Corp. brand still operates as of 2016 and was created to piggyback off of Legend’s excellent reputation. Betlegends.eu was the domain address of the true sportsbook.
2013 Indictment – Legends Sportsbook Crack Down
The sportsbook was indicted on April 10th, 2013, Legends, along with ownership and dozens of agents were indicted by the US Department of Justice out of a Federal Court, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The sportsbook, based mostly out of Panama was alleged to have profited more than $1 billion dollars from offshore betting since 2003. The DoJ’s indictment had fines looking to recoup those revenues, plus some. The charges included money laundering and many UIGEA violations. Prison sentences were serious as well. Many defendants faced decades in prison.
The Greek And His Involvement With Legends Sportbook
According to SportsBettingSites.org, the indictment netted one of the industry’s unsung heroes, Spiros Athanas. Known as “The Greek”, Athanas was the founder of Olympic Sports, (TheGreek.com) which left the market several years earlier. Athanas turned himself in two days after being indicted and posted a $1 million dollar bond and was released. It was thought that he was out of the offshore game for good after he moved back to the United States in 2011. However, that may not be the case. The Greek was one of the best options for sports bettors in the US market before it left due to legal issues like the one surrounding Legends. Spiros was one of the best guys in the industry. He bailed out many failed sportsbooks and saved players bankrolls.
The Alleged Kingpin Of Legends Sportbook
Bartice Alan King, also known as “Luke” or “Cool” is believed to have been the kingpin of the operation. King has been out of the United States since 2011, when he apparently became aware of the pending indictment. King’s wife was arrested in Texas and he returned home. He was subsequently arrested and posted a $1 million bond as well and was released to his Southern Texas home, along with his wife.
Smell A Rat? – The Anonymus Sources Of The Case
An article at BookmakersReview.com, sheds further light on this case. The DoJ’s case had several “anonymous” sources that brought in key information against both Athanas and King. It’s unclear who these people were, but most likely close associates who were based out of their Panama operation.
Trial Date? – The Case Seems To Have Vanished
Many sources have pointed to an upcoming trial date in February 2015, but there has been no date scheduled date as of mid-February on that same year. There are some rumors that much of the case was tossed out and a curiously small amount of news has come out since the original indictments. It almost seems like the case against Athanas, King, and the other dozen or so defendants have vanished completely. However, let’s not forget the US government made off like bandits (as they usually do) in this case if it doesn’t go to trial. They seized over $1 billion dollars in assets, including bank accounts, homes, cars, etc. from the defendants in this case.
Account Balances – The Real Tragedy Are Always The Players
As we turn our attention away from the court case or lack thereof, the issue of Legend’s player account balances turns to the forefront. Even after the indictment, things seem to be business as usual, but about a week later, Legends suddenly closed their doors. They told players to expect that their balances would be transferred to an A-rated sportsbook and that the situation was under control. Apparently, their A-rated promise went out the window as they made a deal with WagerWeb. The balances also came with a ridiculous rollover, which explained once again by SportsBettingSites.org.
Legends Handed Over The Debt To WagerWeb – Significant Reduced Payouts
All balances were to have a 10x rollover, which equates to a 50% advantage due to theoretical hold. In laymen’s terms, this meant that players would lose nearly half their starting balance. WagerWeb ended up giving players’ a reduced rollover and settling at 5x the amount of starting balances, but this still amounted to a 25% advantage. WagerWeb has a tumultuous history in regards to deceptive bonus terms and paying high account balances, but in recent years, they have cleaned up their act in a big way. The account transfer with attached rollover isn’t an ideal situation for players, but it’s much better than losing the funds completely, which is something players have dealt with multiple times when sportsbooks go bust.
Legends: Victims of the US DOJ or Criminals Themselves?
Ultimately, Legends Sportsbook is at fault, due to the fact that they guaranteed to pay their players and fell through on that promise. The cause of that failure is irrelevant, even if it’s due to a federal government bust. They still owed players their balances but ran from their responsibilities. The situation as a whole should give bettors in the United States a look at the true reality of offshore bookmaking. Even if you play at a top-rated sportsbook, your balances are not 100% safe. We don’t advocate not playing at online bookmakers, but cashing out frequently is recommended if you begin to pile up profits.
WagerWeb Seems To Have Recovered But Still Not The Best
As SportsBettingSites.org speculates in their article on WagerWeb’s demise, there is no way to know if Legends bought out WagerWeb or they simply took over the balances in a deal. Noted offshore betting forum, PeepsPlace.com has a thread where many speculate that is the case. The claim may have more validity in 2016. Since the balances have been transferred over, WagerWeb has gotten few negative reviews and is processing payments faster than they have before. They’re still not the best in terms of odds and bonuses, but they’re certainly a realistic option if you’ve cleared bonuses at most other offshore sites.
In Conclusion – Legends 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.