Bet365 Looking at Legal Action After Holding Back Player Payout

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 30 June 2016 3:15 pm

An aggrieved UK punter says Bet365 is dragging its feet on a  £54,000 ($ 72,700 USD) payout to her account and now she’s considering legal action against the operators.

Back on April 16, the, as-yet-unnamed player opened a Bet365 account with a deposit of £30,000 ($ 40,000 USD). The very next day she lost £23,000 ($ 31,000 USD) of that while wagering on horse racing.

According to the player, Bet365 contacted her the next day by e-mail, informing her that her maximum bet had been increased. She took the company up on its offer and quickly amassed around £43,000 ($ 57,000 USD) in winnings.

While celebrating her good fortune, the up-and-down punter received another e-mail from the company, informing her that her new maximum bet size was a miserly £1 ($ 1.35 USD).

Upon hearing this news, the punter moved to close her account and was met with an explosion of red tape and foot dragging.

Rather than make the payout immediately, Bet365 officials have implemented complicated “fund verification” procedures in order to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

The punter maintains that Bet365 had no problem with the source of her money (which appears to be valid) when she was winning and thinks it’s fishy that they’ve only found issues now that she’s decided to cash out.

According to a report in the Irish Times, the punter is now considering taking Bet365 to court to get her money back.

Cases like this are becoming increasingly common in the UK where cash-strapped bookmakers (thanks, VAT) are being squeezed between government regulations and rapidly shrinking profits.

Bet365 has yet to publicly comment on the case.

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Intertops Halts Bitcoin Deposits

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 28 June 2016 3:19 pm

Intertops, an Antigua-based online bookmaker with a storied past, has stopped accepting Bitcoin deposits. It’s a move that’s both shrouded in mystery and not particularly popular with the operator’s Bitcoin using customers.

As of this writing, Intertops has yet to make a formal announcement as to why they’ve stopped accepting Bitcoin. The company did make a brief statement through an intermediary on a SportsBookReview forum thread saying:

Intertops is hopeful that bitcoin payouts will be restored by August but can’t offer an ETA as of this time. It’s frustrating for players and is a lot like a book being able to take in funds through Skrill but not payout the same way. What we generally ask is that players who deposited a certain way while a payout method was still available be offered a comparable method at the same cost for those who aren’t keen on waiting for BTC.

Though Intertop’s response offered practical advice, it wasn’t quite satisfactory for Bitcoin-using Intertops customers who piled on the representative with complaints.

An SBR poster going by rangerz2478 summed up a common complaint saying:

Unfortunately, a check or wire is not a ‘comparable’ method to bitcoin. And unfortunately are my only options.

Other posters took the opportunity to express displeasure with Intertops’ Bitcoin policies, which include strict monthly withdrawal and deposit limits that aren’t applied to players using traditional currency.

The entire situation illustrates the challenges the international gaming industry faces when it comes to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Besides implementing additional security to accept and protect them, they’re also faced with coming up with alternative payment sources when Bitcion isn’t available.

Intertops says it’s working with its Bitcoin customers on alternative deposit/withdrawal options.

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DraftKings Makes Big UK Move Acquiring TransferKings

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 26 June 2016 3:14 pm

Fantasy sports giant DraftKings recently acquired a UK daily fantasy sports site called TransferKings. The acquisition is a big move for DraftKings and could give them a major advantage as they move into the UK gaming market.

Though terms of the deal were not announced, both companies were eager to explain what the sale meant to them.

In an interview with iGamingBusiness.com, DraftKings chief international officer Jeffrey Haas said:

As the leader in daily fantasy sports in the UK today, we are thrilled to welcome TransferKings’ players to the big time. “We want to expand our audience in the United Kingdom, and this is an effective way to reach an even larger group of passionate fantasy football fans.

TransferKings welcomed the news with a statement on its website that read:

TransferKings has recently had its player database acquired by, and will now be directing all of its players to, DraftKings. We have proudly built a loyal following but are delighted to offer an even wider range of games with bigger prizes on the DraftKings platform, the global leader in daily fantasy sports.

The deal itself is a definite winner for both companies.

With the acquisition, DraftKings is able to establish a significant foothold in a market that’s already very comfortable with DFS-style sports betting.

For TransferKings, the deal offers its players a chance to play in real-money tournament instead of the fun money tournaments they’re currently being offered.

The big challenge for DraftKings, however, is how to position itself as a legitimate operator in the UK, while simultaneously insisting that its identical American offerings are not gambling.

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Reactions Vary as Las Vegas Lands NHL Team

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 24 June 2016 3:14 pm

Las Vegas has finally landed its own professional sports team and reactions to the big event are range between, “Yeeehaaa!,” and, “Hey, what about me?”.

And though it might seem insignificant today, Las Vegas’ new NHL franchise could be a tipping point in America’s endless discussion over regulated sports betting.

Late last week, the NHL announced that its latest expansion franchise would be awarded to Las Vegas. That broke with a decades old, and completely unwritten, rule that the presence of legal sports betting in Sin City would somehow make its pro sports team more prone to game-fixing.

While Las Vegas residents are ecstatic about the prospect of a home town sports franchise, residents of the cities that were bypassed in favor of them weren’t quite so happy.

In Quebec, which was in consideration and hasn’t had a team since the Nordiques left in the 1990′s MP Brian Maase was particularly incensed by the snub saying that the NHL was, “…moving into the lion’s den of sports betting across the globe.”

He also mentioned that the NHL, “turned their backs, thumbed their nose and stuck out a finger at legislators here in Canada, because they’re doing this in Vegas and perpetuating their own profits at the expense of Canadian hockey,” according to a report on CalvinAyre.com.

NHL players, on the other hand, were pretty excited on hearing the news that Vegas would be on their 2017 schedule, despite the 24/7 distractions if offers. Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, however, isn’t too worried:

There’s distractions anywhere you go. Guys are professionals and I don’t think it’s going to be any different or be pulling guys any harder in any other city.

Finally there’s the question about a Vegas-based professional sports team means to the national debate over regulated sports betting.

It’s just possible that, maybe, if an NHL team can somehow manage to operate successfully in Sin City – despite the presence of regulated sports betting – government regulators will be more open to idea of legalizing sports betting everywhere.

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Canadian Sports Betting Bill Faces Grim Prospects

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 22 June 2016 3:15 pm

Canadian lawmakers are looking at a bill that would legalize single game sports betting and, so far, they don’t seem to like what they’re seeing very much.

If approved, C-221 would allow individual provinces to offer single game sports betting to their residents. Under current Canadian law, only multi-game parlay wagers are legal in the country.

Brian Masse, the bill’s sponsor, says that Canadians are already wagering on illegal offshore sites and that legalization would generate badly needed revenue for government agencies. In a statement to Parliament he summed up his arguments as follows:

Most important, it would take away $ 14 billion of money to organized crime and unregulated offshore betting taking place right now in a market that induces our youth. The money it supplies to organized crime can be rerouted to public infrastructure, health care, education, gaming addiction, and a number of different priorities that Canadians want.

The bill’s opponents, however, suggest that single game wagering would open up opportunities for game-fixing.

Sean Casey, Liberal MP for Charlottetown and the parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice and attorney general said legal gambling would also be a burden on the poor:

…statistics indicate that the cohort of Canadians in the lower income bracket who gamble are the most vulnerable for experiencing problem gambling issues. Opposing this bill means protecting our most vulnerable citizens.

Casey’s Liberals seem to have the upper hand in this particular argument. Support for the bill fizzled after a second reading earlier this week and while the bill will likely die in committee.

Undaunted, Masse says he’ll introduce the bill again next year.

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New York OK’s Daily Fantasy Sports

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 20 June 2016 3:14 pm

New York lawmakers approved a measure legalizing daily fantasy sports in the Empire State, late last week.

The bill, which easily passed the State Assembly but took a lot longer for Senate approval, throws a lifeline to DFS operators who were operating in the state before November 15, 2015.

Under the terms of the new law, those operators are eligible to apply for temporary permits allowing them operate in the state. The operative word in that statement, however, is temporary. According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, there’s now word on exactly how long those permits will be valid.

Also included in the bill are a number of measure designed to protect consumers including a label for more experienced players (i.e. sharks) and standard warning for compulsive gamblers.

For its troubles, New York State will charge a 15% tax on daily fantasy sports revenue.

It’s a major step forward for the beleaguered industry, but their legal troubles related to last fall’s insider trading scandal haven’t gone away entirely. The New York Attorney General’s office is continuing its pursuit of a fraud lawsuit that could still mean big trouble for DraftKings and FanDuel.

Regardless, not every New York lawmaker was happy with the deal, which also deems DFS to be a “game of skill.” One Assemblyman in particular, named Andy Goodell had this to say about daily fantasy sports in New York:

In my mind, it’s clearly gambling. It’s sports gambling.

Goodell is the cousin of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and longtime sports wagering hater, Roger Goodell.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law in the near future.

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888.ru Launches Russia’s Second Online Sportsbook

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 18 June 2016 3:24 pm

Russia’s regulated online sports betting market doubled in size this week with the launch of 888.ru. The company, which is based in Russia and has no relation to 888 Holdings, is now the second operator to take a chance on a market that features some very challenging circumstances.

888.ru is backed by Russian lottery operator Stoloto and is running the Betconstruct platform, according to CalvinAyre.com.

Stoloto’s sports betting product is Russia’s second regulated online bookmaker and joins Liga Stavok in the newly expanded market.

The company hasn’t explained why it chose a name that’s so incredibly similar to the well-known UK operator, but a couple explanations seem logical.  In many countries, particularly those with large Asian populations, having the same number appear three times is considered a sign of good luck.

Of course it’s also possible that the company is taking advantage of Russia’s casual adherence to intellectual property laws to piggyback on 888 Holdings’ international reputation. This kind of thing isn’t entirely unheard of in the gaming industry.

Regardless of what the story is behind its name, 888.ru is diving into one of the most challenging regulatory environments in the world. The Russian government has been overhauling its gambling laws over the past couple of years and the rules they’ve crafted aren’t exactly operator-friendly.

Operators who violate Russian gambling regulations  face massive that aren’t just based on, but are equivalent to, several years of the violator’s personal income.

On the players’ side, perspective punters have to jump through a challenging registration process that includes a personal identification verification via Skype.

Russia’s third regulated bookmaker is slated to launch later this summer.

 

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Regulators Hit BetFred with £800,000 Fine

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 16 June 2016 3:20 pm

The UK Gambling Commission is hitting UK operator BetFred with an £800,000 ($ 1.1 million USD) fine for violating anti-money laundering regulations. While BetFred has acknowledged its role in the case, this version of money laundering is probably not the kind you’re thinking about.

BetFred, according to a report in The Yorkshire Evening News, took a tremendous amount of action from an accountant named Mathew Stevens from Rothwell, Leeds. This wouldn’t have been a problem save for the fact that Stevens was embezzling his roll from employers to the tune of £850,000 ($ 1.3 million USD).

Stevens’ compulsive gambling and larceny propelled him to VIP Status with BetFred which, in the eyes of the Gambling Commission, should have raised red flags with the operator.

That omission, the Commission charged, violated BetFred’s responsibilities as outlined by UK anti-money laundering laws. In a statement to the press, Richard Watson, programme director at the Gambling Commission, said:

We identified a number of weaknesses in the anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls used by Betfred. The penalty package of over £800,000 reflects these failures.

BetFred, it should be noted, was not the only operator hit with a fine from the Commission recently. Watson went on to point out that his office has been very busy lately:

The commission has now concluded a wide range of cases over the last 10 months leading to around £3.75million in penalty packages. The outcomes and findings in these cases provide a clear signal to operators of the need to learn the lessons from these for social responsibility and money laundering controls, or risk facing tougher sanctions.

For its part, BetFred maintains that it was under the impression that Stevens was a professional gambler and had no reason to believe he was a thief.

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DraftKings and FanDuel Comtemplate Daily Fantasy Sports Mega-Merger

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 14 June 2016 3:20 pm

FanDuel and DraftKings, the two biggest names in daily fantasy sports, are discussing the possibility of a merger. If it came to pass, and that’s a mighty big if, the deal would radically change the face of the daily fantasy sports market both in the US and abroad.

The deal, which has been reported on by multiple mainstream news outlets including ESPN.com and Bloomberg, would be music to the ears of the venture capitalists that have been supporting the companies. According to Bloomberg, those investors have been clamoring for such a deal for quite some time.

On its face, a daily fantasy sports mega merger makes a lot of sense. After all, the two companies spend a tremendous amount of money on advertising and new customer acquisition. Joining forces would cut those costs dramatically, leaving more money for investor profits.

Merging forces would also cut the two giants’ legal bills in half as they battle to remain legal in most US markets.

While the deal might reduce legal costs, it wouldn’t make the daily fantasy sports industry’s legal woes go away and it might even add a few new ones.

For example, there’s no indication that Commerce Department regulators would be keen on approving a merger between two companies whose combined market share comprises 95% of the US-facing daily fantasy sports market.

At the end of the day, merger talks between the two daily fantasy sports giants may be nothing more than a desperate act of survival. After all, both companies have seen their valuations cut in half since last fall’s data leak scandal.

 

 

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Russia Turning Up the Heat on Illegal Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 12 June 2016 3:25 pm

Russia has long been a place where illegal gambling isn’t looked on particularly kindly by government officials. Fines for illegal operators range from extreme to sky-high and, if a new bill under consideration by the State Duma passes, they’ll go even higher.

According to a recent announcement by The Russian Legal Information Agency, as reported on by CalvinAyre.com, is considering a measure that would hit illegal gambling operators in wallet, with a sledge hammer.

The terms of the new bill state that violators should be punished with a penalty of 500,000 Rubles ($ 7,600 USD) or the equivalent of the offender’s salary and/or personal income for up to three years(!). But that’s just the start.

Anyone caught violating the proposed gambling bill would also be subject to up to 240 hours of community and either a two-year prison sentence or as much as four years of probationary supervision.

Russian authorities are also keen to crack down on crooked landlords who repeatedly lease their properties to illegal gambling operations (which is apparently a big enough problem that legislators felt compelled to address it specifically). These folks would be penalized up to 1,000,000 Rubles ($ 15,000); five years worth of personal income; as well as up to four years in prison.

The Russian Government has been cracking down hard on illegal gambling since 2009, but has been turning up the heat in recent months. That new interest in illegal gambling is likely part of a larger effort to find alternative revenue sources to replace income they’ve lost thanks to a worldwide oil glut.

 

 

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