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“BetED.com Folded Like a Cheap Suit”: BetOnLine.com Bailout Suitor

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jun/08/2011
BetED.com

Bodog founder Calvin Ayre’s website on Wednesday night drew comparisons between BetED.com and the Bookmaker Group operations, which were indicted over two weeks ago. 

It would be pretty easy to separate the Peyton Mannings from the Ryan Leafs. Most of the indicted companies quickly migrated to fresh domains and were back serving their players with minimal disruption. And then there was betED, which folded like a cheap suit within 48 hours of Blue Monday, closing up its Costa Rican office in the dead of night without paying its local employees their rightful severance (a very serious offense in the eyes of local authorities).

Nine of the ten sites seized that fateful day belonged to the Bookmaker Group and most were up and running using a .ag (Antigua) extension or another variation of the .com extension within hours.  The Bookmaker site itself was already utilizing its new domain before the .com site even came down. 

The tenth site seized was BetED.com and affected players have been flocking to the Gambling911.com website for the latest information as to where their money has gone.  BetED.com claims that the US authorities have it though the Assistant US Attorney out of Baltimore, Richard Kay, who oversaw the sting operation, seemed to be claiming otherwise.  We would tend to believe Kay since it seems improbable that BetED.com would have kept all its eggs in one basket. 

Mr. Ayre’s site backs this concept. 

BetED moneys seized on Blue Monday were insufficient to cause betED’s total collapse, unless their owners chose to make it appear so. So was betED actually murdered by the DoJ, or was betED’s death a suicide?

Ayre’s site noted that Covers.com for some time ranked BetED.com the number one online sportsbook.  This suggests that much of BetED.com’s marketing budget was spent on Covers and, those in the know know Covers charges a pretty penny.  It’s also worth the price, we are told.

But now Covers is being held accountable for what has transpired and the site is trying to broker some type of deal that Gambling911.com has been monitoring closely.

The CalvinAyre.com side also brings up an interesting conspiracy theory.

But there’s a darker side to the role of self-appointed watchdog, namely, the temptation to misuse that position for personal gain. Operators often find themselves being badmouthed on these watchdog sites for no other reason than for having declined to advertise or declining to renew existing ad contracts. Forum ‘beards’ can be unleashed to create fictional nightmarish encounters that paint operators with a scarlet brush, in the hope that (a) the operators will reconsider their non-advertising stance to end the abuse, and (b) other operators will take notice and seek to avoid such a fate for themselves.

Just as these sites can tear a book down, they can also prop them up. betED wasn’t even on most sports bettors’ radar until Covers began promoting the site. The heavy push Covers provided betED (and betED’s comparative lack of presence on other such sites) means that most of betED’s customers are essentially Covers’ customers. Not for nothing does the precise relationship between Covers and betED remain a popular source of speculation.

Full disclosure:  Gambling911.com as well as a number of recreational sports betting portals and forums also accepted betED.com ads.  The site had advertised with G911 for a number of years, buying up only a small amount of inventory. 

The CalvinAyre.com website notes that Covers propping up BetED.com helped draw attention to an otherwise marginal online sportsbook site. 

Gambling911.com can confirm that at the start of the US federal investigation in 2009 BetED.com was indeed ranked number one on the Covers.com website ahead of none other than – drum roll please – Logans.com, a site that really doesn’t advertise anywhere these days. 

To be fair, Gambling911.com can confirm that the interest in the Bookmaker Group targeted – not any of its more high profile sports betting or online poker sites – but rather the company’s FunTimeBingo brand.  DoylesRoom.com, TruePoker.com and other Bookmaker entities were taken down only because they were listed as part of the application associated with FunTimeBingo. 

Ayre’s site dug its claws deeper into the Covers.com site:

To be clear, while we’re not fans of the business ethics of Covers’ owners/management or their (generally) conflicted and (often) duplicitous business model, we sincerely hope they can somehow assist in finding a solution that restores players’ balances, and, in the process, restore a little faith in this industry. We have enough outsiders with unclear agendas looking to paint the online gambling industry as a bunch of crooks without actual crooks like betED’s owners (whoever they may be) behaving like scheming villains straight out of Central Casting.

Make no mistake about it, Calvin Ayre remains right in the thick of things when it comes to hearing the latest industry buzz.  His site on Wednesday night revealed that BetOnLine.com was the company offering to bail out players of BetED.com without any type of rollover requirement.

The BetED.com player base is a lucrative one to be certain and Ayre questioned why “Covers.com turned down the deal from BetOnLine that was on the table”.

Ayre, like many of his reputable colleagues, has expressed dismay over how the online gambling industry is being portrayed over the past two months following two massive crackdowns, the most serious of which occurred with the takedown of three major online poker rooms on April 15. 

In closing, the CalvinAyre.com website advised it would have more information forthcoming. 

Writer Peter Amsel closed by renaming the BetED.com site BetFLED.  We have a better choice, unfortunately:  BetDEAD. 

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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