BetRevolution is a relatively new player in the offshore sports betting scene, but one which is making news for all the wrong reasons. While the online sportsbook and casino has a professional image and impressive wagering menu, their management team may lack the experience to run a profitable sportsbook.
Though they seem to honor most of their payout requests in a timely manner, recent requests for withdrawals have met some resistance. Also, the book exhibits many of the typical scam sportsbook tactics we’ve seen employed by other dishonest operators. Including, the voiding of a bettor’s winning for dubious reasons along with little explanation from management and some fear the book is well on their way to financial ruin.
Cross Media Group
BetRevolution opened their doors in 2008 with the book services both Americans and international players. Little is known about their parent company, the Cross Media Group, other than that they operate out of Antigua. Their founders may have been connected to other online betting sites in the past, but we could not find any obvious connections.
Tons of Offers
We’ve used the phrase, “if it’s too good to be true it probably is” when describing sportsbook offers in the offshore industry and the saying rings true again with BetRevolution.
The sportsbook offers loads of deposit bonuses and promotions with a generous rollover and competitive odds. While these look impressive on paper, they all are a moot point if the book fails to pay their winners. Also, they are sometimes indicative of a book desperate for deposits and one that may be operating with razor thin margins or in financial peril.
In August 2010, SBR initiated their ratings coverage of BetRevolution at D+. Yes, the industry was skeptical even back then. Even if they were a seemingly a strong option – as SBR explains – players should always be weary when depositing into a new and seemingly up and coming sportsbook.
But, there were plenty of concerns about the book from the start. For instance, even though they were based out of Antigua – they held no gaming license by the Antiguan government. However, the book displayed the Antigua Gaming seal on their home page, and claimed they were licensed by the Directorate of Offshore Gaming.
Thanks to some detective work by a poster at Peeps Place Forum, the community was quickly alerted to this deception on the part of Bet Revolution. Bet Revolution then issued a response to the allegations:
“… we want to clearly state that we do not have an active gaming license with the Antiguan gaming commission. We recognize the value and confidence that such a statement brings to the gaming community…”
The statement went on to read that the book would do their best to become a licensed applicant in the future – something that never did. They did at least remove the seal from their page (how wonderful of them) but still currently operate without a license.
They were also connected to a ShowMeTheOdds.com knockoff site called ShowMeOdds.com. SBR inquired into their involvement in this sham site, which shared the same logo as ShowMeTheOdds.com and much of the same information.
BetRevolution’s management only responded to SBR’s queries regarding the site after SBR pointed out that the site was hosted from the same servers that hosted Bet Revolution. Still, they took no responsibility and only stated that they would “inquire within ownership” about the relation between two sites. Unsurprisingly, the book never did update SBR or the community on this inquiry.
With obvious questions about their ownership and business practices, many webmasters went on to promote BetRevolution anyway. The book started to receive more deposits from players, and things seemed to be going well for at least at least a while, but in late 2012 complaints started rolling in.
NFL Wager Voided
In late November 2012, SBR received a complaint in relation to a BetRevolution half-time wager on an NFL game. The player wagered on the New York Giants to win the first half and won the bet.
The player then received an email from management after the wager was decided. They informed him that his $650 bet was cancelled due to an error in the line. Sportsbooks do make mistakes, and it is common for a book to void bets made on obvious mistakes in the line. That precedent is universally accepted in the industry, provided that the line is noticeably off from the markets used by other bookmakers.
However, in this case it was not. The line was Giants -130, which was only a 20 cent difference from the consensus -110 line offered by other books. The bet was a PK, meaning there was no point spread between the Giants and their opponent. This makes the cancellation and claim by BetRevolution even less believable.
The bettor did not receive his $650 and the wager was graded no-action due to error. Though this was the first complaint SBR received in regards to BetRevolution, one wonders how many other bettors have had their wagers voided for other ridiculous reasons.
The action by BetRevolution in this dispute is extremely troubling. The bet clearly should have stood, but even more concerning is the fact that BetRevolution did not cave and just pay the player after receiving attention from SBR and other watchdog sites. We’re not talking thousands of dollars here, it was a $650 wager from a recreational player. This again made those within the industry wonder about the financial status of the book.
Syndicate Betting Scandal
After compromising their integrity for a mere $650 wager, BetRevolution made bigger headlines in April 2013, after again voided the winnings of two players. This time, it was not for several hundred dollars, but instead almost $27,000.
The players placed a series of bets over a few months which combined to be over 900 wagers. One player was paid $8,220 by BetRevolution, but he also had deposits of $5,209. The second player deposited $900 and has never received a payout.
BetRevolution used the fact that the players were Facebook friends to justify confiscating $26,908 in account balances due a betting syndicate rule. Of course, this was a ridiculous justification. These were recreational players who may have been friends in real life, who just happened to bet at the book.
All their wagers were under $500. What kind of betting syndicate is wagering under $500 per bet? As SBR points out, there no reasonable explanation for these actions by BetRevolution and since they accepted the bets – they simply must pay up.
BetRevolution offered little explanation other than the fact that the players were Facebook friends and issued a long statement to the EOG Forum Community. It acknowledged no wrong doing whatsoever and reiterated that management had to enforce the rules stated in BetRevolution’s terms and conditions.
Language in their terms and conditions is not a valid reason to confiscate these players’ funds especially with such poor circumstantial evidence. This was theft, clear and simple.
What Is Really Going on at BetRevolution?
A June 2013 article at the Off Shore Gaming Association may shed some light over the situation at the book.
OSGA states at the beginning of the article that they used to hold BetRevolution in high regard until several complaints started coming in over the past few years. They also commented on their fantastic customer support (which includes live chat) and their excellent betting interface, which has now apparently become less than spectacular due to a litany of complaints from bettors.
However, the OSGA article fails to mention some of the incidents we went over above, but goes on to say that the problems at BetRevolution (at least according to BetRevolution) are processor related.
As OSGA mentions in the article, all US-facing online sportsbooks, along with poker rooms and casinos have faced processor problems at one time or another. It is simply a cost of doing business in the United States. Some books are more equipped to handle these fluctuations in cash flow and some are not. The jury is still out of course, but BetRevolution appears to be a part of the group that may not be able to cut it in the online sportsbook world.
Let’s also not forget that BetRevolution was a target for many sharp players who bet big against slow line moves by the book. They are probably getting killed by sharp bettors firing away on some of their soft lines.
The OSGA is hopeful that the book will turn things around, but we are not as optimistic. The recent voiding of almost $27,000 in winnings looks like a sign that the book is in trouble and is looking for any reason to void the winnings of their top balance holders. Confiscating the balances of big winners (a small percentage of their clients) could take the book from posting a loss for the year to moderate profitably.
This, of course, is a problem for anyone who wins at BetRevolution or currently has a large balance. The book is essentially freerolling players, who have every opportunity to lose their wagers but do not have the assurance of getting paid.
Despite BetRevolution’s lucrative odds and bonus offers, we advise that players steer clear of the sportsbook. There are much safer options for bettors, even in the much maligned US online sports betting market.