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Do Online Gamblers Really Have to Pay?

Dec 1 2008 - 11:35pm

In today's world of Internet gambling there is more uncertainty than ever.  Can U.S. Citizens legally gamble online?  Can banks really stop gambling transactions?  Does anyone really know what the term "internet gambling" in the UIGEA even means?  The answer is NO. 

With the recent poker scandals, DOJ Arrests, and Payment Processing woes, the entire industry seems like it's laying low while it prays for new legislation to be passed.

While all this is going on, some players are starting to raise an important question.   DO WE REALLY HAVE TO PAY?

VISA and MASTERCARD offer customer the ability to dispute ANY transactions with their bank.  Also ACH  (e-Checks) can also be disputed with your bank per the NACHA rules.  Basically, anyone can chargeback transactions for any of the following reasons.

1.       I do not recognize this charge

2.       I was double billed

3.       Did not receive service or merchandise

4.       Service was not as described

5.       I cancelled a subscription

Many gamblers are using this tactic with online gambling sites.  They "claim" they get cheated by a super user or suspicious player; they call their bank and charge it back.   

One gambler reported to Gambling911 that he charged back over $20,000 of transactions done at a poker site, and it was as easy as calling his bank and disputing the charge.  "The whole process from first phone call to getting the credits was about 14 business days."  He explained.  "This was over a year ago, and I have heard nothing from the poker site, or anyone regarding this matter"  He went on to further explain that he didn't have to tell them what it was for, just that he did not authorize the charge.  Of course the gaming site blocked him and he can no longer access his account.

Since gaming sites use independent payment processors, the transactions do not look like gambling. They might show up as anything from a pre-paid phone card to online jewelry.

One industry expert, who chose to remain anonymous, claimed "Look with all the uncertainty in this industry, when a player charges back, the sites have their hands tied because there is not much they can do.  These gambling sites are making so much money that the small percentage of customers who chargeback, doesn't really affect their bottom line.  It's like any business who has an allowance for bad-debt"

Some players on a popular message board are starting to catch on as well.  They make the claim that "If I deposit and win, then I cash out.  If I deposit and lose, I charge it back" These customers are much more hostile, and basically try to take advantage of gambling sites.  Luckily, many sites like those endorsed by share information, which can prevent these hostile players from even making a deposit, but many do get through and create debt.

One gambling site found an interesting way of combating their debtors. has posted a list of all customers and their pictures on their "stiff list"

So do we really have to pay for online gambling?  This is just another question to add to the list at the top of this article.  No one knows!

This is just another reason why the U.S. Government should step in to regulate - and perhaps even tax  - the multi-billion dollar online gambling industry.

Kevin Lawrence, 




Why is anyone getting upset about this article? It promotes "fraud." Give me a break, the only people expressing disgust are operators of gambling sites and their counterparts (employees, affiliates etc...) Online gambling is illegal in the US. If site operators want to break the law, then they are running a very high risk of getting charged back. To me online gambling sites are disgusting. They take your money within seconds, but you want to cash out? Oh wait thats a fee, and maybe in a few months you'll get a check if your lucky. And they have the upper hand on all the bets! You better not chargeback, they might ban you! OH NO!!!! Chargeback away, these books are leeches praying on degenerate gamblers and they deserve nothing else by taking advantage of people. Run up your account, then charge it all back. There is nothing they can do to you, do not be scared off by false threats.
I deposited 200 with my debit card and my statement shows full tilf poker, I decide to chargeback but i told the bank I did deposit that but wanted to be chargeback because I am not sastify with it. I told her is an online gambling site, will I get in trouble?? what else should I do?
"How to steal someones identity" by Sparky Collins lol
Who is this Kevin guy? Reads like someone who manages one of these companies.
You don't often see a newspaper article detailing how to break into a home, or to commit some other petty crime. However, G911 seems to think this type of thing is newsworthy in the context of online gambling. The spirit of the article is summed up in one sentence: "So do we really have to pay for online gambling? This is just another question to add to the list at the top of this article. No one knows!" I'm left stunned by the ignorance of this sentence, particularly coming from an online magazine publisher. This article empowers scammers to scam further, and encourages degenerates to become scammers. Who wins? Nobody. Scammers hurt the industry, they hurt good books, and hurt good players. Why this piece was published is beyond me. It says very little about the actual law, and merely spouts an opinion about whether a player is legally obliged to pay their debts. It is a childish, irresponsible and morally ignorant piece of trash. G911 has low standards, but this is way beyond.
I'd be more worried about those clowns who process credit cards for internet gambling in Utah then I would this chargebacks article.
chargeback is stealing from other people, because it hurt the players as much as the operators. i really dont understand how this writer has the nerve to write such an article. most of the operators biggest headaches are from people who chargeback. it simply a cheat and hurting other people.
That is hilariuos. Let me guess, do you work for BetUS? Perhaps it on us. Which book are you from?
I make my living betting on sports. And there's no question that low-level scammers hurt my living. However, if books play it safe, it's hard to do this. They play it safe if they're GETTING SCAMMED TOO MUCH. This is a game of honor. Scamming, however you slice it, is STEALING, whether through a legal loophole or otherwise. If you scam, you're no better than a shoplifter. And you'll probably never place a wager online again. Books, casinos, and poker sites all share scammer lists these days.
Go take your anxiety medicine! it's saying that this is another flaw of the unregulated environment. hahah funny that you are this fired up about it. You must owe money to alot of sites...
Was this Kevin Lawrence cat I've never seen authored here brought in as reinforcements for Tom Somach to browbeat the industry and poker players? Boy do you guys no how to stir things up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This one ranks right up there with last week's gambling is evil and somach's all aussies love a criminal whose not a criminal piece. The danger here is these articles are intermingled with decent news stories like the Kentucky domain trial coverage and even the 60 Minutes story analysises were good. I read this sight twice a day and most of the time its a train wreck and yea I keep coming back like some depraved junkie.
yah, it would be nice if this guy didn't write like a 5 year old who missed his ritalin dose. holy crap, what a f****** train wreck this writer is. if someone made a decent industry-related website, i'd be there in a second. this is the only one i know of. anyone have any alternatives?
i think its great advice,,, take a shot, if loose, charge back what a great idea,,,,,, probably evens the odds a bit...
One chargeback fine but a trend these days could result in credit lines being reduced or cards cut off. Credit card companies are looking for every excuse in the book to weed out bad customers. My friend works at American Express and depending on the card they are cutting half their customers spending at a certain point even though there's no set limits on Amex. He said one of the big red flags the card companies like Amex are looking for are persistent chargebacks. I loved this article like so many that appear on this website. Loyal reader for two plus years now. Keep up the great work guys.
Don't be such a first class c**t. Why on earth would you encourage players to deliberately defraud online operators in this way? What a twat - it is precisely this sort of behaviour that puts genuine players funds at risk when processing accounts get closed down. F**k off back to your hole you moron!
Good job! Hurt your advertising clients! Gambling911, use some common sense
Couldn't agree more. Going into details on how to initiate chargebacks etc is counterproductive for both, the gaming operators as well as for players, who will have serious problems in their online gaming experience afterwards.. Educating consumers on their chargeback "rights" for the sole purpose to cut their losses is advising them how to commit fraud against online businesses. What comes next, a detailed article on how organized crime is using identity theft (your stolen name, picture ID, SSN, address, credit cards etc) to hit poker rooms? In a nice way, so every Al Capone in spe gets hooked up?
G911 posts the news, and this seems like a pretty news worthy story. Plus I'm sure G911 get paid regardless!
Dude, did you even read the article? I saw no news. I saw instructions on how to commit fraud. You wanna mess with an online bookie? Not much smarter than messing with an offline bookie. Law or no law, it's not a smart idea. I think the consensus is clear -- G911 sux hog balls. Someone give me a decent alternative, and I'll switch ASAFP.
wow, we must have a marketing student on our hands here.
My cousin did that on a poker site and now he's unable to play at most poker sites. They just closed his account and told him to beat it. Go ahead and chargeback...if you don't mind being banned for life from most sites I guess.