Sports Bettor Stiffed Out of $11K by Rogue Sportsbook

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A sports bettor from Missouri tells Gambling 911 that he is owed approximately $11,000 by an offshore sportsbook and the book won't pay him his winnings.

The sportsbook is called Bet Jaco and although its web address (www.betjaco.ag) indicates it is in the tiny Caribbean twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, it is actually located in the Costa Rican resort town of Jaco, on the Central American country's Pacific coast.

The Missouri man, who didn't want his name published, said he has been wagering on sports with Bet Jaco for a while and never had any problems before in collecting his winnings.

But, he said, when he recently tried to collect some $11,000 he earned betting on football and other sports, he met a stone wall.

"They have stopped responding to my emails and they no longer answer their phone," the bettor says. "This is a total reversal of how they have acted in the past, when they promptly returned emails and were always available by phone. When I wanted a payout, it was always quick and without any hassle. Now it's the hassle of my life."

Is Bet Jaco still in business?

Gambling 911 checked the sportsbook's website and as of Monday, October 14 it was still up, but there was no way to tell if people were still making wagers via the site--or if anyone was collecting winnings.

Gambling 911 repeatedly called the toll-free number listed on the Bet Jaco website, but the calls were never answered.

Gambling 911 then checked with "watchdog" websites that monitor the offshore sportsbook industry, and learned that the sports bettor from the "Show Me" state who is saying "Show me the money" is not the only bettor being bamboozled by the bogus betting site.

The Offshore Gaming Association (www.osga.com), which monitors the world's offshore and Internet sportsbooks and rates them as legit or scams, posted a report just last month about Bet Jaco.

That report reads: "Bet Jaco opened last year as a small sportsbook in Costa Rica. They started out OK, but ran into some slow-pay problems after last football season, as many smaller outfits did. We worked through some of their issues and several players were paid or put on a payment plan. Since the start of football season, we had contacted them several times regarding slow pay and now no one responds to our emails. Recently, players who are owed money are reporting that they can only make wagers, no responses to email, phone calls or inquries to customer service. Several players are now in a no-pay situation."

The OSGA report goes on to list several specific examples of sports bettors not just in the U.S. but also internationally who are owed money by Bet Jaco, and warns people not to do business with the rogue book.

Another sportsbook watchdog site, Sportsbook Review (www.sportsbookreview.com), also is raising red flags about Bet Jaco.

On the SBR posting forum, where sports bettor exchange information about the offshore sports betting industry, several posters relate negative experiences with the book that mirror the misery the Missouri man is experiencing: trouble getting payouts and ignored emails and phone calls.

One poster owed funds complained: "They are a scam."

Gambling 911 agrees, and obviously warns its readers to avoid like the plague Bet Jaco, which should be called Bet Fake-O, since it's a bogus outfit.

To avoid getting burned like the man from Missouri, use only established sportsbooks that have been around for a while and have a proven track record of fast payouts.

Any of the sportsbooks that advertise on Gambling 911 fit that bill.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Staff Writer


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