Western Union Crackdown is Affecting Online Gambling Payments

Posted by on 02 Oct 2014 | Tagged as: OffShore Insiders

We have heard from several players during the first few weeks of football season regarding problems with sending money to online sportsbooks using Western Union. The problems mainly revolve around money being sent to a correct name and location with the correct MCTN but the funds are blocked and in some cases have been held by Western Union.

One member who is a long time player online called in frantically with a problem that had never happened to him in 10+ years of playing offshore. His Western Union deposit had been blocked and the name he was given was being investigated for fraud. This player was able to have his funds immediately returned. However, another long time player had the same issue and his funds were held ‘pending Western Union’ investigation. One player was even being told that he had to fill out three different forms to even apply to get his money refunded after Western Union deemed the name he was sending to had been “involved with fraudulent transactions”, which I am pretty sure is the standard code words that the home office has instructed field reps to use when a name is identified as receiving money for an offshore gambling house. In addition, it feels like Western Union is going a bit above and beyond what they are required to do while erring on the side of caution, thus pretty much blocking anything that has a hint of gambling and blacklisting the corresponding parties.

We are not a lawyers and there is no specific reference to confiscated funds on the Western Union website, but from what we have been able to find out, Western Union cannot legally keep players’ money. From what we understand they certainly don’t work too hard to refund it, but at some point they have to. In searching the OSGA database, every person who has had funds held by Western Union has eventually been paid back by the company.

As the industry’s leading online gambling watchdog group, we occasionally get these types of issues here and do our best to offer advice. But the fact that we had the exact same complaint from nearly a dozen players prompted us to dig a little deeper with the sources that we have offshore.

We found that Western Union is eyeing transactions to ‘developing nations’ in excess of a couple of hundred dollars. Our sources confirmed that Western Union has been the focus of a crack down this year, apparently due to a directive from the head office. It seems that Costa Rica and Nicaragua are two countries that are especially affected. One operator told us that the local Western Union offices have had auditors suddenly stop in and check transactions and associated names that have multiple transactions. Another operator told us that local Western Union outlets are “under constant WU Corp oversight audit” right now.

This is not too shocking, as part of the terms and condition on the Western Union website include ” . . . your use of Services does not violate any law, including, without limit, laws relating to money laundering, illegal gambling activities, support for terrorist activities or fraud”. And of course, in the U.S. the sending of money by a financial institution, such as Western Union, is in violation of the 2006 UIGEA law.

The bad news is that in the first few weeks of football is when the processors and the systems that are in place get especially stressed. We have heard that some of the sportsbooks that rely heavily on Western Union have lost up from 50 to 60% of their capacity and their processors are under constant audits. But as the season winds along, it should get easier for players to send money and harder for auditors identify receivers simply due to volume.

So what does this mean for the consumer that chooses to play and send money offshore?

It does not mean that players need to abandon Western Union. But it does mean that players should only send money in their name, should send the money as quickly as possible once the recipient name is received and should keep transactions in lower dollar amounts (less than $700). If players still choose to send money person-to-person, as an alternative, they can use MoneyGram. Several of the outlets that have run into multiple problems with Western Union are urging players to do just that. Again the problem here is unfortunately the options to US customers “aren’t very broad”, as we were told.

If more information becomes available, we will update this story. Anyone who has been affected by this Western Union crackdown is urged to comment on this story below.

Internet Maintenance in Costa Rica may Affect Online Sportsbooks

Posted by on 27 Sep 2014 | Tagged as: OffShore Insiders

Internet services could experience some interruptions throughout the country of Costa Rica beginning today at 9PM PST and lasting until 5AM PST on Sunday. There is going to be some scheduled maintenance on one of the main submarine cables (Maya 1) that provide Internet access to the country as well as Mexico, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia.

Due to this scheduled maintenance players may experience a brief interruption in service this weekend. The problems may arise on both Internet and phone lines, as many offshore sportsbooks located in Costa Rica use voice-over-IP (VOIP) which uses the Internet to connect calls.

We have had reports from several sportsbooks and many of the operations located in Costa Rica have notices on their websites of the potential outage.

We urge players to place wagers as early as possible to avoid any issues.

Week 4 Contest Preview

Posted by on 26 Sep 2014 | Tagged as: Promotions

Three weeks of football have come and gone the OSGA contests are getting winners paid! This year we are again featuring two Free Contests and now two exclusively for OSGA Members.

The OSGA Progressive Pick ‘Em saw 6 players tie with 12 wins in the NFL. We ended up with several players tied in this Free football contest due to a glitch in the software. Elite-rated BetOnline stepped up to the plate and hs offered each of the three contestants that picked the MNF game correctly the winning prize.
It goes a long way for a contest sponsor to TRIPLE the prize, but BetOnline was happy to make it esier for players to win!

Free football contests from OSGA

The College Football Pick ‘Em was a ‘bad beat’ for two players last week that went 9-1. Go4Dough managed to go 8-2 but collected 51 points, just one more than anjac and 3 more than unigalax5, both of whom did not do well with their confidence point picks. Go4Dough is eligible for $250 in betting money from Elite-rated SportsBettingOnline.

Last night the OSGA Thursday Night Football Squares was available on gameday. Members filled out squares and sat down to watch an NFC East showdown. We again saw Sethman taking a prize – his 2nd payday in a row! However, a new halftime winner terrence cashed for a $25 VISA Gift card.

Finally, the BEAT THE BOOK contest is in full swing. This is a great new offering just for OSGA Members that is actually a virtual sportsbook. The contest pays out monthly with a huge free play at Elite-rated GTBets and handicapping picks from Tony George. Players started the season with $2000 “virtual dollars”. Longtime OSGA member and contest player, Dawk20, is still kicking the Book’s virtual behind and really pounded them last weekend. Dawk currently has his account up to nearly 11K!! In all just 4 members are beating the Book right now and it looks like Dawk20 is going to cash the BIG Free Play from GTBets after this weekend’s action.

Become a Member today to get in on these great free Members contests and all that OSGA Membership has to offer! This week’s contest are ALL up and ready for picks! Good Luck this weekend!!

OSGA Contest Roundup Heading into Week3

Posted by on 19 Sep 2014 | Tagged as: Promotions

After two weeks of NFL football the OSGA contests are beginning to take shape. This year we are again featuring two Free Contests and now two exclusively for OSGA Members.

The OSGA Progressive Pick ‘Em was bit tougher last week than in Week 1 with a couple of huge, unpredictable upsets in the NFL. tajinxs was the winner of Week 2 of this Free football contest. His 12 wins was impressive considering losses by the Saints, Seahawks, Lions and 49ers! tajinxs edged out mck1117 and hntr28 by one win to claim the $100 Free Bet from Elite-rated BetOnline.

Free football contests from OSGA Back by popular demand, the College Football Pick ‘Em was bit tougher week 2 as well. Samo still managed to go 9-1 and collect 48 points, just one more than both Forever74 and 8550937, who did well with their confidence point picks. Samo is eligible for $250 in betting money from Elite-rated SportsBettingOnline.

Last night the OSGA Thursday Night Football Squares was available for the 3rd week. And thank god there was something worthwhile going on for members, as the Falcons destruction of the Buccaneers was tough to watch after about 20 minutes. We again saw different winners with Sethman taking the halftime score and H8H8rs collecting the final score prize of a $50 VISA gift card.

Finally, the BEAT THE BOOK contest is in full swing. This is a great new offering just for OSGA Members that is actually a virtual sportsbook. The contest pays out monthly with a huge free play at Elite-rated GTBets and handicapping picks from Tony George. Players started the season with $2000 “virtual dollars”. Longtime OSGA member and contest player, Dawk20, is still kicking the Book’s virtual behind and currently has his account up to well over 5K. In all 7 members are beating the Book right now.

Become a Member today to get in on these great free Members contests and all that OSGA Membership has to offer! This week’s contest are ALL up and ready for picks! Good Luck this weekend!!

OSGA Contest Roundup Week 1

Posted by on 10 Sep 2014 | Tagged as: Promotions

The first week of NFL football is history and the initial week of this year’s OSGA contests are in the books. This year we are featuring two Free Contests and two exclusively for OSGA Members.

The OSGA Progressive Pick ‘Em is again the featured  Free NFL contest on the website with over 100 participants and thousands in cash and prizes up for grabs. Week 1 was won by ‘SBRUNIES’ who tied ‘anjac’ with 12 wins. But SBRUNIES was closer to the final total of the early Monday Night Football game and the he cashed the $100 Free Play from Elite-rated BetOnline. Since no players got a perfect card, the Progressive pool grows another hundred bucks and this week will be $200 Cash for anyone who gets all the listed games correct.

The College Football Pick ‘Em is back by popular demand and Week 1 saw a perfect card from ‘cosmicwheelz’ who went 10-0 garnishing 55 points! It’s a shame that he did not get the prefect card in the NFL contest, but ‘cosmicwheelz’ did cash for a $250 Free Play from Elite-rated SportsBettingOnline.

It’s not too late to enter these great contests, head to Contest Central today to get on board and start winning . . . for FREE.

The contests each week start on Thursday night with the Thursday Night Football Members-Only Squares Contest. This traditional squares contest gives prizes for the first half and the full game score and gives each player the ability to choose up to 5 squares. The first half went without a winner as the game-card was not completely filled but Mike191 cashed on the final game score of 6(36) and 6(16) and there is a $50 VISA gift card on the way to his member address.

And finally the BEAT THE BOOK contest is in full swing. This is a great new offering just for OSGA Members that is actually a virtual sportsbook. The contest pays out monthly with a huge free play at Elite-rated GTBets and handicapping picks from Tony George. Players started last week with $2000 “virtual dollars” and have to make at least 3 bets of at least $100. So far OSGA Members have been beating the book! Through yesterday’s wagering Dawk20 had lit up the book to the tune of almost 7K and 5 other players are currently ahead with their bets.

Become a Member today to get in on these great free Members contests and all that OSGA Membership has to offer! This week’s contest are ALL up and ready for picks!

Free Football Contests are back at OSGA

Posted by on 29 Aug 2014 | Tagged as: Promotions

We have been running contests for our visitors for over a decade and we keep getting requests for more, especially from our Members. WELL WE HEARD YOU and in 2014 we are offering more free football contests than ever, with our biggest prize pool in three years. Participants in last year’s contests can simply Login at Contest Central using their same username and password from last year, then go to Join a Contest! ALL OSGA Contests are ALWAYS Free.

Free football contestThough the college football season has just begun, the 2nd year of the OSGA College Football Pick ‘em will begin next week. The contest was a huge success last year and is back by popular demand! Each week players chose 10 out of 15 hand-picked college football games. Players chose ten games Against the Spread and assign ‘confidence points’ to their selections. This contest challenges players to not just pick winners, but to grab the most points possible by assigning the highest point values to your favorite games. Elite-rated contest sponsor SportsBettingOnline will be giving away weekly free play betting money and $1000 cash is up for grabs at the end of the regular college football season. Click Here to sign-up for the 2014 OSGA College Football Pick ‘Em.

The fan favorite, the OSGA Progressive Pick ‘em is ready to go! This Free Pro Football Contest is in its 5th year and our sponsor, Elite-rated BetOnline is back to provide weekly free play betting prizes. In this contest players pick all the games on the board straight-up with no point spread with the goal of picking all the games correctly.  The progressive prize of $100 in cash builds each week and only pays out when a player sweeps the entire board. Last year two players picked all 14 games on the board correctly in week 8 and split the $800 cash prize.  Click Here to sign-up for the 2014 OSGA Pro Football Progressive Pick ‘Em.

Last year we provided a contest for OSGA Members Only for the first time. Each week members participated in a simple, old fashioned, squares contest based on the early Monday Night Football game. This year, we are getting the contest going early for Members and are again offering the simple squares, but it will be for the Thursday Night NFL game. The contest is setup with a $25 VISA gift card going to the halftime score winner and a $50 one sent to the player who has the square that corresponds to the final score. OSGA Members get to pick 5 squares for the Thursday night contest and there are never contest fees for our Members. Become a Member today and get on  board before the next Thursday night NFL game.

To reward OSGA Members for their support and to give players MORE, we have a NEW contest exclusively for members! Our first ever BEAT THE BOOK contest will start next week. Members will each start with a bankroll of 2000 virtual dollars. Players must make least 3 picks each week with a minimum play of $100. There is no limit to the amount of picks that can be made per week, but the max bet is $500. At the end of each calendar month, the player with the most ‘points’ or ‘virtual dollars’ will be eligible to receive a Free Play Prize from Elite-rated GTBets. In addition, the players who bust out that month are eligible for a BAD BEAT PRIZE: a free month of handicapping selections from Tony George, currently featured on Yahoo Sports and OSGA. Support OSGA today to get in on exclusive contests that pay real money!

Enter the Contests , the 2014 OSGA Pro Football Progressive Pick ‘Em AND the OSGA College Football Pick ‘Em today AND become a member to get in on the Thursday Night Squares and try to BEAT THE BOOK. We’re happy to bring these annual FREE football contests to every fan of OSGA and wish everyone who enters, the best of luck!

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