Post Football Payouts Anger Customers of Off Shore Sportsbooks

We have found that many players are making payout requests for only their first or second time this year. They do not understand the difficulty that sportsbooks outside of the U.S. have in getting money back to players in the States.

The post season complaint rush is one that makes the Super Bowl a mixed bag of emotions here for us at OSGA. The end of the season and all of the work that football brings to us is finally coming to an end. But unfortunately, not before we get dozens of complaints and players’ anger rises with terse customer service agents at offshore sportsbooks and long waits for payouts to arrive.

We have found that many players are making payout requests for only their first or second time this year. They do not understand the difficulty that sportsbooks outside of the U.S. have in getting money back to players in the States. And as one book told us, “Superbowl always increases the processes volume for the entire industry, causing delays.” And that is the unfortunate truth. Players who have not gotten a payout in some time are outraged that their payments may take up to two weeks. This may be longer than they are used to, but for this time of year it is within what we consider ‘normal’ time frames for a payout via check or wire. However, industry giant, who has processed tens of thousands of payouts, is telling players is may take a month or longer to get a payout. In spite of everything, we have heard shorter time frames from most Sportsbook customers.

But, the volume of checks going out has caused a problem at and a few other places. Sportsbook had a batch of bad checks go out and one customer who was outraged contacted us. He had requested a check mid-January. The check arrived in about 7 days (not bad) and he deposited it. Six days later, he got the word from his bank that the checks was no good. After sending in the required documentation he was told that his new check would take 4-6 weeks!

We contacted Sportsbook almost immediately for this OSGA member. They acknowledged that bad check run and noted that several affected players checks had already gone out. After our email, the player who had been told 4-6 weeks, was told that his check would be going out in 24-48 hours. We expect that he will be paid by the end of the month.

YouWager had an issue related directly to volume too. They have actually adjusted their payout times because of the end of the season rush. Normally one of the fastest paying outfits out there, YouWager is now telling customers 3-5 business days, which is still faster than most online sportsbooks. One customer asked for a payout via check recently and was told about the payout time-frame change. However, at day 5 he still did not have his payout and really needed the dough for the upcoming long holiday weekend. After contacting YouWager we found that his check and several others were stuck at the processor and thus his check would not be arriving until mid-week next week. Through our involvement and were able ensure that his funds did go out today. YouWager is known for fast payouts and felt bad for this player. They gave a large Free Play to compensate the player for his inconvenience.

Though we have been able to help some players, the angst and rage that players are showing does not seem to fit the situation. It may be because players feel like when a problem arises, they are getting the run around. And many times, these feelings are 100% accurate. It is because these offshore outfits all have to use third-party processing company to write checks, handle wires and issue money transfers. More often that you would expect, the clerk on the other end of the line has about as much idea where a check is as the customer does. Nonetheless, the rage from some players is in the category of ‘makes-me-embarrassed-to-be-an-American’. Terrorizing clerks, threatening retaliation, demanding things that are unreasonable and insinuating a charge back may occur do nothing to help the cause in getting a payout. In fact, in most cases, it works in the opposite fashion.

One player who threatened a charge back at OddsMaker had his account closed, deposit refunded and winnings confiscated. For the threat of a chargeback! Outrageous, maybe, but the amount of fraud personnel at most books is also outrageous. “Due to the issues we face with processors due to high charge backs. We had no choice but to immediately refund his deposit,” we were told by OddsMaker. “We have to take every threat seriously.”

We feel that every incident should be taken on a case-by-case basis and perhaps this player was just venting and Oddsmaker stepped out-of-bounds here. After all, he thought he was not going to get his funds. But, online gaming companies also are doing what they feel is necessary to protect them. Once this player was refunded his original deposit, there was not much we could do to convince OddsMaker to reverse their decision. Sadly, the menacing threat and aggressive tone of this player, coupled with the fear and heavy-handed approach at OddsMaker, cost him $1900.

OddsMaker is currently leading the pack in number of complaints registered. So far, three different players have contacted us with the same complaint . Their accounts at OddsMaker have been frozen and they are not being paid their winnings. OddsMaker is claiming they are “professional gamblers”. This means that according to their rules, they have the right to close the “professional’s” account and seize their funds. We are still working with OddsMaker regarding the confiscation of player funds, but see little light at the end of the tunnel for these players. We will report more on this story in the coming days and weeks and hope that a resolution can be achieved.

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  • Rod Barker
    February 20, 2011, 8:26 am

    The sportsbooks (as a whole) should anticipate this huge surge in requests (based on solid history). As a result, they should incentivize players who are willing to wait pre-dtermined amounts of time to request their payouts. As an example, anyone who waits 7-10 days (after Super Bowl Sunday) to request a payout is given a certain amount of free play dollars, or is given a FREE add’l 5% over there payout request amount. Or, any other number of things they may want to offer up. Perhaps even a choice of two or three different things, leaving it up to the player’s discretion at to the type of incentive each prefers. Those willing to wait 11-20 days to request a payout, receive a slighter larger incentive option list to choose from. And, on and on. I think you get the idea. It would be a great way to spread out the demand for funds, thereby making it far easier to meet the payout expectation timeframes that their customers are most likely looking for out of all of the books.

  • Gary
    February 21, 2011, 12:26 pm

    Oddsmaker is a DEPOSIT ONLY online gaming company. Whoever has an account there should clear out all funds. If you start to win there they will inactivate your account and keep all of your money. STAY AWAY FROM ODDSMAKER.COM

  • OSGAJim
    February 24, 2011, 11:02 am

    Great idea! I think it may have been tried a few years back. What might work is if a player waits 7-10 days to request, he gets an additional 5% free play when he comes back next football season! We’ll run it by a few operators . . . Thanx for the suggestion.

  • Rod Barker
    February 27, 2011, 8:44 am

    Thanks, Jim. Yet another approach might be for each book to acknowledge the huge demand in post Super Bowl payouts in advance of the game, and advise their customers as to a payout “schedule” immediately following the game. In other words, players with the last names A-H get paid out within the first 6-7 days, I-P in 12-14 days, and Q-Z in 18-21 days. They might even choose to incentivize, each in their own ways, players that fall in either of the latter two categories. I think the goal should be to payout to the player base on a timely basis. If they “pre-manage” the demand they already know in advance (based on experience) they won’t be able to handle according to SOP, address it early and up-front. By electing to do so, and assuming that they can actually execute to what they announce, far fewer players would be disappointed, if any. Lots of ways to skin the cat, just takes some creative ideas, and thinking outside the box, in order to handle things efficiently and effectively.

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