We heard as soon as we returned in the New Year we heard that there was a bit of a 'bailout' being offered to select BetIslands customers. Emails, chats and phone calls began to pour in regarding an offer from EZ Street Sports. The offer being extended by the Costa Rica based book is similar to the one that we proposed when the BetIslands debacle exploded over 2 weeks ago.
Here is the nuts and bolts of the offer that will only be available until January 20th:
- It is by invitation only and will be conducted on an account by account basis.
- Up to 100% of the verifiable balance from BetIslands will credited to an EZ Street Sports account as cash not freeplay.
- Customer must make a deposit with EZ Street Sports for 50% of their verifiable BetIslands balance.
- Rollover will be calculated as BI balance+ Customer Deposit x 15 times= rollover.
- EZ Street Sports reserves the right to terminate this offer without notice, close the account(s) and return player deposit(s) if we find that any professional betting groups, players with multiple accounts or any kind of players conducting fraudulent activities associated with the bailout proposal.
Here are some of the most frequent questions and some answers regarding this offer.
Is EZ Street Sports safe?
EZ opened in 2010 and immediately got in hot water. Two managers who were formerly at the now-defunct nine.com were at the helm and did a better job of marketing than running their sportsbook. These two were let go relatively quickly and since early 2011 EZ has held their own in a tough economy amid rough times offshore. We have did not receive any complaints on EZ Street Sports in the 2012-2013 football season. They are not the caliber of a Bookmaker or a 5Dimes, but their recent track record is good.
Is EZ Street Sports affiliated with BetIslands?
EZ Street was started over a year before BetIslands. The now-infamous Jon who started BetIslands was running a small shop under BetPhoenix called WagerChief at the time. Jon originally bought the BetIslands URL from Jazz Sports and ran the book out of Jazz's offices from football 2011 until the Spring of 2012. There is wide speculation that there is co-ownership between these two books, but we don't see it.
Is this a Good Offer?
The only two things that we see as problematic with this offer are the 15X rollover and the fact that it is not being extended to every player. However, this may be the only offer out there for most players. And we would like to see someone save a couple of hundred of the estimated 600 players, rather than have all players get stiffed.
THE BIG ONE – Should I take this offer?
Let's be 100% clear – this offer is not for everyone, even if it is extended to you. There are two reasons this offer is not for everyone:
1) Players may not have the funds to deposit and should not use college tuition or rent money to send good money after bad. If the money in BetIslands was your bankroll for football season, do not dip into your pocket if you do not have the money. EZ Street has told us that they will break down the required deposit amount and still pro-rate your BetIslands balance. A player who was owed $500 could deposit $100 and get $200 of his BI balance into the new account.
2) The rollover makes it very difficult for large balance to ever be collected. We have been telling players with balances under $500-$600 to take this offer all week long. Nothing better is going to come along for them and it is more like a 200% bonus for smaller players. A player who had a $200 balance at BetIslands is required to send in $100 and has a rollover of $4,500 or ninety $50 wagers. However, larger players beware. This offer is most likely not for you. One player who called us had a balance of $2400. In his scenario he would have to send in $1200 and would have a rollover of $54,000. We did a little math and this player would be better off sending in $1200, and taking no bonus with no rollover. To cashout he would have to place 492 wagers at $110 to win $100! If he wins at a rate in excess of 55%, when he completes his rollover he will have an additional $2690, $490 more than what was in BetIslands. But if he wins at just over 51%, he loses the original deposit before cashing out . . . and . . . nearly 500 bets is a lot of wagering.
In speaking with EZ Street Sports this week we asked about the rollover stipulation. Our discussion felt more like they were offering a 200% bonus offer than a bailout program. This 'Bonus' allows them to justify the high rollover, which is actually not too out of line with many rollovers for the 100-110% bonus offers currently offered thorughout the industry. It also gives them cause to only offer it to the bulk of the BetIslands players, not all who are currently in limbo. In addition, they are checking each players previous wagering habits, putting players through the fraud and wise guy databases that are available and doing their own in-house audit of each player affected. In essence, EZ is doing something that Jon and BetIslands did not, risk management. EZ Street simply does not want some of the BetIslands players and though unfortunate, for the good of the many, it is the only way to ensure that the book can try to bail out as many players as possible and not put their own book in jeopardy.
We have also been asked about the last rule above. "What if these guys call me a wiseguy after I win and don't pay?" EZ Street has vetted each player and is confident that they will take care of any of the players who are given this offer. In addition, we can't see them go through all of this and then stiff a guy in the end.
Finally, we have heard over and over again, "Why doesn't one of the big books take over our accounts?". The simple fact is that many of the larger players at BetIslands also have accounts at every major sportsbook out there. If a guy is sharp enough to build his account to thirty of forty or even a hundred thousand dollars at BetIslands, he probably already plays at books such as BookMaker, 5Dimes and BetOnline and they simply will not give an existing player, who they already know is capable of winning big money, a ton of free money in his account. In addition, these books will not take a bunch of small accounts and then give good, existing players nothing.
So we are cautiously optimistic about the EZ Street bailout offer. It's not for everybody, but for most of the players, they will end up better than anyone did at Aces Gold, BETonSPORTS or BetED. So, should you take the offer? It is really up to each individual player and their view of wether this is a bailout program or a bonus offer.