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Skybook is Like the Pakistan of Online Sports Betting

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/14/2010

Anybody who has followed the online sports betting company Skybook.com over the years knows about this organization's colorful history.  The best analogy we at Gambling911.com can make is to that of Pakistan.  Skybook is centrally run but at times dysfunctional, a result of years worth of heavy reliance on the credit side and use of agents, some of whom have maintained substantial interest in the company.

Like Pakistan, Skybook operates on the brink of instability.  This has led to complaints in of slow pay in recent months, one of which has since been resolved.

The company began operations in Venezuela during the late 1990's as part of the Margarita Island band of sportsbooks which once included the behemoth Sportsbook.com (now based in Costa Rica).  Skybook was a credit operation run by a group of partners who would eventually disband.  It was sold for over a million dollars (and some would argue "a million dollars too much") to the Rio Group of offshore sportsbooks in 2000.  Under the Rio International banner, Skybook enjoyed several years of stability (though still heavily relying on credit).  One of its original founders went on to stiff countless numbers of sports bettors through a new entity he started the following year.

Skybook would later be purchased by the same folks who run TheRx.com, an online sports betting portal and picks site.

One customer had this to say to Gambling911.com:

"I knew this book was in deep. A few years ago I did a book transfer in for 15k and then won 22k leaving a balance of 37k. When I asked to transfer the money to another book they told me they could only do $2500 a week. In other words, Sky will take in as much money in as possible but delay the payout and hope you lose some back. Terrible book-- I can't believe it has taken this long to expose them."

The company still relies on credit and some individuals with ties to Skybook.com are known gambling degenerates, thus exposing the group to series financial disarray at times. 

Still, a few of the key employees have remained over the years.

Their reputation remains marred and the other operators we speak to in Costa Rica have few good things to say about Skybook these days.

Nonetheless, they've managed to hang in there for more than 10 years.  That has to account for something we suppose.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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