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Betfair Accused of Robbing Hundreds of People Through “Happy Hour” Promo

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Dec/01/2010
Betfair

The largest betting exchange in Europe, Betfair, has been accused of “robbing” players during a recent online casino “Happy Hour” promotion.

The allegations against Betfair were lodged by a representative of the website SBR Forum and via YouTube.

The November 13 promo promised to reward players a 50 percent bonus by transferring money to their casino.  A 10 time rollover (betting the amount transferred a minimum of 10 times) was required before the bonus could be claimed. 

“If you play Casino Hold ‘Em, which has about a 2 percent edge, you would expect to lose 20 percent of your transfer and still be up 30 percent on your bonus,” the SBR spokesperson explained.  “Not surprisingly, a lot of players used this ‘player-friendly’ promotion.”

The spokesperson goes on to claim that once Betfair realized it had made a mistake by offering such a generous promotion, they began locking player accounts.  Emails from players also revealed that Betfair was planning on recovering some funds lost during the promotion.  Those attempting to withdraw funds, as well as the bonus money, learned that payment solutions company Moneybookers had reversed some of the transfers.

“Betfair needs to honor the promotion but instead of honoring it, they secretly changed the terms of the promotion,” the SBR spokesperson stated.

A “before and after” terms screenshot is displayed at the 2:30 mark of the video.

Among the changes:  Betfair increased the rollover amount and the games that could be played as part of the promotion.

The spokesperson pointed out that such a move could not be considered “bait and switch”, but rather “outright fraud”. 

One player commented on YouTube:

“I have withdrawn all my money from Betfair while I await their response. Betfair are arrogant, incompetent and greedy. They seem to think their quasi-monopoly in the sports exchange is unassailable. It is not.”

In late October, Betfair listed on the London Stock Exchange as one of the biggest IPO’s of the year with company’s shares rising almost 20pc the very first day of trading.

The 10-year-old company is valued at £1.6billion, while co-founders Edward Wray and Andrew Black stand to make £18.9m and £16.6m, respectively, from the flotation.

The Betfair online casino operates out of the online gambling jurisdiction of Malta.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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