- The Guardian purport to know the site’s name, as well as the services it offers and the prices it charges
- Leading bookmaker Geoff Banks thinks matched betting websites take the value out of real betting and are harmful for ‘genuine punters’
On Monday, Geoff Banks – who, for the past 20 years, has been a leading figure at the forefront of bookmaking – reported his complaint to the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission concerning a “matched betting” website.
According to The Guardian, this website took over his own with budding bettors aiming to “exploit a promotion to make guaranteed profits.”
What is matched betting?
“Matched betting” enables people to secure profits by balancing either free bets or those offered at inflated odds, against regular bets such as those offered by Betfair Casino.
But this “bonus culture” – which entails websites offering promotional bets upon player sign-up – has been subject to heavy fire in recent months, with Banks as a key critic.
Banks has said that he would like incentives such as these to be banned, but that he himself sometimes exploits them in the race for new customers. “I don’t approve of free bets or bonus offers,” he said, but “to open any new accounts these days you have to offer these inducements.”
Customers flock to Banks’s website
But Banks and his company ran into trouble when a matched sports betting website sent hundreds of customers his way in an unprecedented flood of interest. He said: “[We] received over 400 applications for an account, when on a good day, we might expect 10 or 20.”
Banks went on to say that after having checked Google Analytics to see where this traffic was coming from, he noticed that all applications had come from the same matched betting site, which, The Guardian notes, charges £115 for exclusive matched betting and offer information.
Using things such as Skrill, Ffrees, and prepaid credit cards, bettors are taking advantage of freebies offered by bookmakers by opening up several accounts on behalf of their “friends and family.” But these methods have very low verification requirements, and customers are able to easily take advantage of promotions.
According to The Guardian, Banks noted that these people are “deliberately falsifying registrations to get multiple accounts and gain as much as possible.”
And punters are taking to Facebook in their elaborate moneymaking hoax. There are reports of customers posting that their friends have “gone rogue” to get into their accounts and claim their rewards, as well as one person who claimed that “their friend” had got married and changed their name as the reason for having more than one account.
Rightly so, Banks was highly concerned by the activity of the matched betting site, and he passed on its information to the UKGC. They are sure to investigate whether or not the website and its users are acting lawfully.
Behind the scenes
Catching them in the act, one of Banks’s customer service advisors spotted that a user of the matched betting website had accidentally posted an Excel spread sheet in a live chat in which he was participating.
This document listed all of the person’s 50 live Internet betting accounts, as well as their gender and date of birth, which most can remember and will find easy to replicate in a bid to take their rewards.
“The very act of offering bonus bets should be stamped out by the Gambling Commission. But a second point is that for genuine punters out there, these people cause enormous damage,” said Banks, on Monday.
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