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Online Bookmaker Scam: BetUS

In this article, we go over just some of the scams and tactics used by BetUS’s management over the years. There have been so many problems and complaints regarding this sportsbook that we could write three separate articles on their poor business practices and deception.

Update (September 2020)

We are pleased to report that BetUS has undergone a total relaunch since we reported the issues outlined on this page.

The old team has been kicked to the curb, with new management and new investors in place to breathe new life into the brand. BetUS may have been established in 1994, but it’s most certainly a new beginning for the online sportsbook. Everyone involved is determined to build a new reputation. We aren’t quite sold on the bold claim of BetUS being “America’s Favorite Sportsbook”, but we are excited about the revised platform.

Read our BetUS review to discover why we now consider this sportsbook a premier destination for US bettors.

Notorious History

BetUS has a notorious history in the offshore industry and has taken players for hundreds of thousands of dollars at minimum since their inception in 1994. The book has a terrible reputation with US-based online sports bettors and has been one of the major offshore targets for their vitriol in the last decade plus.

From reneging on bonus offers, changing terms and conditions on the fly and confiscating winnings from players with little explanation – this book is truly shameless.

Enticing Bonus and Website

We almost feel like a broken record when writing about these scam sportsbook articles, because we keep warning players about the same things over and again.

Like we’ve said about other scam sportsbooks in the past, appearances can be deceiving. BetUS has one of the nicest looking websites which offers a sleek and professional look [1]. Their betting engine is excellent, and they have a large array of betting options, including live betting and mobile wagering.

On top of all that, they offer a litany of different deposit bonuses based on the amount players wish to deposit. The bonuses could go as high as $5,000 depending on how much a player makes with his first deposit.

But, BetUS does not stop there. They offer frequent reloads and VIP membership rewards program, as well.

Wow, it sure sounds like we’re shilling out BetUS to sports bettors, but that could not be further from the truth. BetUS touts to their players that they have the “the biggest bonuses in the business” which may be true, at least on paper.

However, players that win will realize they will have a hard time collecting their money from BetUS. All these bonus amounts and promotions do not cost the book anything unless they actually have to pay. Something that BetUS seems to pride itself in not doing.

Even a Scam in The Heyday

Many online betting sites that were once industry leaders in the early to mid 2000s are now closed, and some have run off with player funds. Don’t get us wrong, there are still many active in the industry, but the UIGEA and the US DOJ’s crackdown on online sports betting seriously hurt the business.

Before the UIGEA passage in 2006, the online gambling world was growing at an exponential rate and online sportsbooks had been taking in hundreds of millions of bets each year. Oddsmakers who played it safe and understood the industry had a much better chance of being successful back then compared to today.

That’s not to say that there were not still excellent options for US players now, but they were much better 10 years ago.

Even back then, circa 2004, BetUS was known as a scam sportsbook with a poor reputation. SBR first began reporting on BetUS in 2002 and had complaints of the book slow playing players. Even in this time of quick and simple payment processing for US players, (Neteller, other e-wallets) BetUS was regularly weeks or months late with withdrawal requests to players.

This news article on The RX details a situation where a player had $25,000 in funds in limbo with BetUS and had to settle for a deal for 2/3rds of his balance out of fear of losing the whole thing[2]. It also goes into the history behind BetUS and the two brothers that were once a part of NASA Sports but now both ran separate sportsbooks. One went on to run BetUS and the other BetOnSports.

The article did not have much nice to say in regards to the two Rizzo brothers, Joey and Tommy.

An anonymous sportsbook owner stated: “In this business, your word is your bond, if you say you are going to do something, you do it. THESE guys did not honor their word with me. After that, I wanted nothing more to do with them. The last thing I wanted was to have someone accidentally affiliate myself or my company with them.”

Players were forced to forfeit some of their winnings due to supposed non-recreational play and winning too much from bonuses or free plays – even though there were no restrictions on how much they could win via their bonus. Management also accused players of syndicate play or non-leisure play, another charge that came with almost no evidence.

Bettors were forced to negotiate for their fairly won balance with BetUS – because if they did not – they risked getting stiffed for the amount, even their original deposits. Players settled for substantially fewer amounts than they were entitled to receive. One player reportedly settled for $40,000 despite being owed a small six figure sum.

Scam Copycat Site

BetUS once owned and operated a domain at “bestsportsbookreview.com” which was designed to be a Sportsbook Review knockoff site. The site, not so shockingly, heavily promoted BetUS and picked them as their top recommended bookmaker.

The site was run directly from the sportsbook themselves and had a fake affiliate or advertiser as a cover up to their true intentions. This is a disgusting way to do business and without a doubt misled thousands of players into depositing at BetUS.

More Problems and One Dastardly Scam

In the next several years, forums and watchdog sites were full of complaints from players who had funds suck at BetUS or felt the wrath of management. This included altering bets after the wagers had been settled, voiding bonuses and winnings from bonuses and much more.

However, there was one tactic pulled by BetUS that might be the worst display of behavior we’ve ever seen from a rogue online sportsbook.

This story broke via SBR, and there was a lengthy discussion at Covers Forum in regards to BetUS’ scam [3][4]. A handicapper named John Morrison, the man behind the “John Morrison Chase Betting System” was working with BetUS.com to scam players. We assume the two had a lucrative affiliate type deal where Morrison received a large percentage of the players’ losses to BetUS.

Referring players to an online sportsbook for a percentage of the profits is perfectly respectable and how many webmasters make their living today. But, if that was all John Morrison and BetUS we would not be talking about them.

Things took a turn for the worse when players discovered that BetUS was offering alternate lines to John Morrison referred clients. For instance, if Morrison’s service pick was New York +7, BetUS would offer a line of +5 or +5.5 to those were referred by Morrison.

SBR verified that the alternate lines were only on picks that were released by Morrison’s service and always hurt the players that followed and paid for the picks. Because of BetUS’s line movement in relation to this play, bettors were being charged an effective price of -140 for their wagers as they were at least 1.5 points off the market price.

This despicable scam is a massive breach of players’ trust and highway robbery for a criminal tout in John Morrison and criminal sportsbook, BetUS.

The Future for BetUS?

BetUS is still receiving loads of complaints from players from lack of payment to bait n’ switch bonus scams and everything in between. Thankfully, for players, complaints are becoming less and less common as BetUS has absolutely spoiled any shred of dignity they had in the offshore industry.

Avoid BetUS at all costs.


[1] www.betus.com.pa – BetUS Homepage

[2] BetUS and John Morrison scam exposed – Covers Forum

[3] Sports Betting & Handicapper Scam: SBR investigates – SBR Newswire

[4] BetUS and John Morrison scam exposed – Covers Forum

Frequently Asked Questions

Is BetUS safe?

No and there are much better sportsbooks to use in the US. There are many examples of BetUS scamming their customers and we recommend visiting one of our top US sportsbooks.

What is an alternative to BetUS?

We strongly recommend using proven betting providers with good reputation. At SBO.net our team prepared a list of the best sportsbooks for US users based on factors like licensing, reputation and bonus offers.

Are US sportsbooks legal?

US sportsbooks are legal, but they are only permitted to take bets in certain states e.g Nevada. Many states across the US are currently reviewing their gambling laws so it’s becoming more common to bet legally.

What should I know before I start betting online?

Despite most sportsbooks being trustworthy, there are some that are an exception to the rule. We recommend you do a small background check before you start betting. The key things to look out for include licensing, reputation and customer service. These are all thing our team consider before recommending sites.