The Scam at 21kBet
21Kbet is European betting site that has not even been around one full year and is already having payout issues. As with many scam sites, information can be sparse on the organizations running these rogue online bookmakers.
In less than one a year, the rogue book has already amassed tens of thousands of dollars in slow pays. Proving that, even in the highly regulated European bookmaker market, there are still some bad apples.
In fact within six months of opening their doors to online gamblers, 21Kbet had already encountered problems honoring withdrawal requests. Since their inception, they have been moving further and further towards scam book status.
A Clouded History
21Kbet’s website is probably one of the worst designed interfaces for an online bookmaker, it’s got a terrible color scheme and looks very tacky. The site looks nearly a decade old and I’m shocked bettors would even consider using this bookmaker. 21KBet’s site is in both English and Spanish, so perhaps they are appealing to a wider multi-national audience.
The “About Us” page on their website leaves a lot to be desired. 21kbet says they’ve been in business since 1998, yet they don’t mention their parent company.
A quick domain search shows a Jun 2011 creation and the site ownership’s ship registered in Spain.
However, Casino City, cites them as using their own proprietary software and being based in Malta. Also, it cites their ownership as being 21Kbet International S.L. In spite of that, 21Kbet International is not mentioned anywhere on 21Kbet’s website, not even once. The shockingly low amount of information available is pretty disturbing.
It turns out 21kBet used to state on it’s website that it was regulated by the LGA (Lotteries and Gaming Authority) of Malta. The LGA denied this claim and posted an announcement on their website disputing the claims of 21Kbet. 21Kbet has since removed the seal and licensing information from their website. They are currently operating without a license.
First Signs of Trouble
In late December 2011, Sportsbook Review began receiving payout complaints regarding 21KBet. Bettors had submitted Moneybooker withdrawals and had not received them within the 12-day timeframe given by 21KBet. Sportsbook Review contacted 21kBet and Moneybookers to try and rectify the situation.
21kBet blamed Moneybookers for their withdrawal problems but after investigation, it was clear the issues were in house. Moneybookers did not have them registered as a gaming merchant and launched an investigation. Moneybookers soon reported that they were not a licensed merchant.
As you can see from the link above, their slow pays had already swelled to over $10,000 within their first 6 months. It was confirmed by Moneybookers that someone at 21Kbet was receiving the deposits, despite the claims of the bookmaker.
One customer ran up their account and grew their $300 into $2000. After they asked to withdraw their money, 21Kbet then told them that they never received their original deposit from Moneybookers.
Even players, who had deposited via other methods, were being labeled as fraudulent bettors if they happened to win money. The book, in one case, claimed because bettors were from the same town and they bet on the same game, the bets were not valid. With little proof, 21Kbet voided the winnings and confiscated funds.
In early 2012, the debt owed by 21Kbet continued to grow. Though there were reports of some payments being made, these were sporadic and for small amounts.
21Kbet was most likely trying to make it seem like they were somewhat legitimate and tried to pay a few players. This was most likely all in an attempt to get more deposits to defraud newer players.
The Gambling Times called them a scam site in January 2012 and detailed their experiences. After depositing, winning some money, sending the proper information to withdraw, they still did not receive any funds.
On February 5th, Sportsbook Review reported that 21Kbet was slow playing at least 28 customers. The players filling complaints were owed over $28,000. It was clear things were not being resolved but yet were headed in the wrong direction.
21kBets.com is still operating and players are still not being paid, as of 2/20/12, 21Kbet players are owed $32,000. They have ceased communication with Sportsbook Review and are not doing anything to get players their rightful funds.
21Kbet is still offering players a lucrative 100% deposit bonus. Unfortunately, this is still attracting uninformed bettors to deposit into 21KBet.
Of course, even if bettors won money and met the bonus requirements, they would most likely never see their winnings.
It is unclear if 21Kbet was a complete scam from the beginning or was an online bookmaker that just simply didn’t know what they were doing.
They faked their license and have little information available about their parent company. Their poor website design is suspect and so is their larger than normal deposit bonus offer. The sad reality is that 21KBet might not even be a legitimate sports betting site but instead a pack of extortionists.
With an abundance of great online bookies out there, especially for players worldwide, bettors clearly need to stay away from 21KBet.