Paradise Bet Ltd. and Bet1128 Scam Sportsbook www.bet1128.com
This scam sportsbook has quite a long history dating all the way back to 2006, when Bet1128 was established. Their parent company at the time, Paradise Bet Ltd. established the room as an online sportsbook and casino. Today, the site offers online live betting, virtual sports and lotto.
Since the beginning, Paradise has not been honest with customers. Throughout, their tenuous history, operators have held players’ funds hostage making up their own rules as they go along. The usual scam book tactics are again at play here, but as things unraveled it emerged that the book was part of a much larger operation.
Paradise Wagers Cancelled After Results
Early into their history, Sportsbook Review issued numerous reports that just a year after opening Bet1128 was cancelling wagers, and thus voiding winnings days after wagers were graded as wins.
The book claimed in one case that their odds program was not working, and it was a problem with their internal software systems. Bet1128 claimed the odds given were enough for the bet to be void, as they were not market value. The odds given were, in fact, within market value for the current event. On top of that, the bet was cancelled a day later! Bet1128 tried to justify their policy by using their rules. According to management, they could alter wagers after the result if their odds during transcription, typing or printed odds were incorrect.
This rule is not uncommon, it is in place so that online sportsbooks can protect themselves if they publish a clearly erroneous line. Even top rated online bookmakers will invalidate a bet if the betting line they offer is an obvious mistake. The problem here was that, Paradise Bet was only adjusting losing bets after the events had finished. Again, the wagers placed at the time, were market value bets.
Actual Advertised Policy?
Bet1128’s advertised policy was actually to regrade wagers after the match has started to reflect market price. Yes, even a day later, and even when the difference in the market odds, and odds bet by the player in question were only 20 points apart.
Oh, and they do not always regrade the odds, as we see in the above case, the company just voided the stake completely. It is pure theft, and a common tactic among scam sportsbooks.
Paradise and Bet1128 advertised slightly different markets than other bookmakers, and attracted players to the underdog, after the match they voided these wagers, citing a difference in the betting market, and a faulty line given to certain players. All of this coming from management a day after the contest has ended.
More Trouble Ahead
Bet1128 did finally decide to credit some of these players who were affected by their cancellations. However, they left many empty-handed and continued with their shady bookmaking practices. In late August, a group of bettors won over €1,500 betting on Olympic boxing parlay bets. After the balances had been paid and bets finalized, Bet1128 abruptly closed the accounts of the players claiming they were a “betting syndicate.” They offered no explanation for their claim and did not claim the players wagered over the maximum stake per bet, bet at the same time, or were operating from the same IP addresses.
One of the players lost over €37,000 Euros to this seizure. When the players demanded a report the company insisted they could determine the link, and that the players had admitted to knowing each other. Yet, no evidence was provided to the players. The players smartly went to third party sportsbook dispute mediator IBAS. Though IBAS is there to protect the integrity of both sports bettor and sportsbook, they seem to sometimes make some exceedingly questionable decisions. However, in this case they made the right one. Bet1128 and Paradise were ordered to pay the €150,000 to the bettors. After the ruling, a larger bettor asked for his €34,000 balance, but management only agreed to pay him €5,000 per week.
The company was not only dishonest, and heavy handed towards their customers, but they were also likely broke. Slow paying players was their latest technique to add to their repertoire of ways to not pay winning bettors. There are many other reports of Paradise Bet suspending player accounts without reason, and seizing player funds.
New Ownership and an Italian Mafia Bust?
In October of 2010, Bet1128.com was acquired by Centurion Ltd. The company apparently acquired the domain and began licensing the book from their headquarters in Malta.
Though, the sale for the website and interface went through, CenturionBet refused to cover balances that Paradise Bet owed. The agreement left former players in the dark in regards to their balances and was on the heels of a Mafia investigation spanning several years.
It turns out the Italian mafia was using Paradise Bet as a front to launder money. The activity centered on a Parisi gang in southern Italy. The police seized over $200 million worth of Mafia assets, including homes, cars, and horses. The police arrested 74 people in total, many coming from the Italian City of Bari, the location of Paradise Bet’s offices.
Since the sale to CenturionBet, they have deleted many former Bet1128’s accounts and forced their balances to zero. Players are owed at least tens of thousands, but the exact number is not known. In spite of this, Bet1128.com continues to operate, has a sleek professional look, and the new owners seem to be paying newly acquired players. Even with better signs, there is no way anyone would suggest playing there. There are so many other sportsbooks offering better bonuses, options, and most importantly a superior management team that pays players when they win!
Paradise Bet and Bet1128 ran their operations like a gang of criminals and thus their discovery as a mafia laundering front didn’t come as an overwhelming surprise! Steer clear of these companies and their operating books; there are dozens of better options.