What is 'Beard'?
In gambling, a 'beard' is the nickname given to a person who places a bet or a wager
on behalf of another player. The purpose of a beard is usually to conceal the true identity of the person who actually wants to place the bet
. A beard may be used if someone wishes to remain anonymous for innocent reasons but beards are generally used by people who are not legally allowed to bet themselves.
The term beard often has negative connotations and is linked to illegal betting practices. A good example of the illegal use of a beard or person betting on behalf of another can be seen in sports betting
. It is generally illegal for someone who participates in a professional sports league to bet in that same league. For example, a football coach, referee or football player cannot bet on any game of a league they are a member of. Therefore, if one such member used a beard in order to place a wager and avoid being recognised, this would be considered fraudulent.Beards can be friends, general associates or even paid to place bets at someone else's request. It recent years, the practice of hiring beards over the internet has become more common. In Las Vegas, a "Vegas Beard" is the name given to someone who places a bet on behalf of another person for a monetary fee.Although it is generally not illegal to place a bet or a wager on behalf of another person, it can lead to fraudulent charges – especially in circumstances such as the example of sports betting. Anyone who is considering using a beard to place a wager by proxy, or who has been asked or paid to act as a beard on behalf of another, should consider the legal consequences of their actions.