As the ‘busy’ season for sportsbooks worldwide opens this weekend, we have some books that have had a rough time with payouts over the summer. It seems that every year reputable online sportsbooks that service U.S. customers run into some type of problem with their ability to move money back to the States. There are two usual suspects – Bovada and Sportsbook.com. These two very reputable places have a huge amount of customers and thus have to process a large amount of daily payouts. Both have had issues for the last several summers.
However, as we approach the football season, where a U.S. facing sportsbooks’ customer base will swell by over 50%, Bovada is righting the payout ship. For starters, over the summer Bovada reactively and proactively communicated to players in regards to the delays, kept the estimated timeframes up-to-date on the Bovada website, and compensated players where it was warranted and in circumstances of extreme delays. This is more than most books do when there is a payout delay problem. Keeping players well informed was the key and we will applaud Bovada for their efforts, which after an initial rush in complaints here at OSGA, was instrumental in keeping players up-to-date as to the whereabouts of their payouts.
Keep in mind we are talking about reputable sportsbooks where it is not the money that is an issue or a lack of funds available to be sent, but instead a volume or related problem with a particular money-processing company. Bovada told us that the main source of the issue over the summer was “a necessary restructuring due to processor changes.” It appears that their efforts worked as payout times that ran into weeks over the summer are now down and Bovada is currently processing player payouts within 8 business days.
Processor changes/nightmares are something that we hear over and over again from online gambling houses. Sportsbooks offshore are constantly losing processors (who either run with their funds or go out of business as a matter of course) and getting new ones. The best and most trusted processing companies are starting to charge much higher fees than the customer has come to expect and the best paying outfits with the most solid funding, are beginning to raise costs.
We have had several players contact us regarding new fees on bank wires at industry-giant, Bookmaker. Over the summer Bookmaker began to charge bank wire fees in the hundreds of dollars, based on the amount of the wire. We were told simply that the new fee structure is due to the rising costs of banking. Apparently, the costs involved for large wires and the security that is provided by Bookmaker has their processors charging huge fees. Unfortunately, this cost is passed onto the customer. Still Bookmaker is one of very few places that takes large bets, where you don’t have to worry, at all, about your funds. So, larger players will just have to bite the bullet, until the laws in the U.S. change.
We have also had a large number of complaints on the payouts at BetOnline and their recent acquisition, Sportsbetting. This is another case of a place having plenty of money, but being held captive with processing problems. BetOnline also had the double-whammy because many Sportsbetting customers had been lined up for payouts when the company was purchased. Then, as we mentioned above can happen, they lost their ability to do bank wires when one of their wire and check processors closed up shop. Unfortunately, money processing companies are getting harder to replace and certainly to trust in today’s post-UIGEA climate. Thus, players are left in limbo for their requests and for many, BetOnline/Sportsbetting cannot give them a timeline for when their payouts will arrive, until they increase their payout capacity.
Though this is a mess right now, we were told that they are working diligently to get additional processing and expect to have their ship righted within a few weeks. Unfortunately, this does not do much for players right now. We did receive reports of timely payouts via person-to-person transactions and we will continue to help players get their payouts expedited from BetOnline and Sportsbetting.
Players do have to keep in mind that delays can happen at any time, at any book. With the onslaught of football season, payouts may become even more strained, though we generally see an improvement during the football season. The bottom line with payouts from online sportsbooks in today’s market is to make sure you are with a reputable company. The top-rated sportsbooks are places that have the funds and the backing to withstand the constant bumps in the road that occur currently in the online gambling world.