Scam Sportsbook: Betway
Betway is an online bookmaker that was established in late 2006. Since their inception, they have been using all kinds of tactics to cheat players out of their winnings. Despite their long history of stealing of deposits, voiding of bets and bonuses, the LGA refuses to even suspend their license. These infractions were enough for Betway, and their parent company, the Carmen Media Group, to justify itself a D- rating by Sportsbook Review and a spot on the SBR Black List.
Update – Betway Has Changed Beyond Recognition
Betway has made huge changes in the past two years to become established as a prominent UK online bookmaker. The number of complaints has dropped significantly and customer service has improved considerably. We have uploaded a complete Betway review in the same format as other sites are reviewed to give you a complete guide to what is, essentially, a completely different sportsbook to the one described below.
We are keeping the below piece for reference so users can be armed with as much information as possible, but in our experience over the last two years, Betway has changed beyond recognition and can now be considered a legitimate and reliable online betting site.
Betway Cancelled Wager… 18 Hours After the Event Was Completed?
Soon after setting up shop, Betway quickly got into trouble when they cancelled a winning wager 18 hours after the event took place. The series of emails between Betway and the customer who disputed their decision shows the lack of class and integrity from upper management.
According to Betway management, the bettor’s wager was still “pending” and due to a “technical error” it took 18 extra hours to be refunded. Of course, according to management all wagers are pending, and need to be looked at manually by ‘traders’ before they can be confirmed.
Betway’s management says, ‘not to worry’, and tells the player his wager was not accepted within a few minutes of him placing it. The player received no communication from management on this decision, which did not allow him the opportunity to place a wager at some other online bookmaker on the event.
This is a perfect example of a dishonest and crooked online bookmaker taking advantage of players, and making the rules up as they go along.
Betway’s management went over the previous case and decided to credit the bet to the player, and gave him a bonus for his trouble. They explained that software issues had lead to the problem, and it was not the player’s responsibility. This was a healthy sign for Betway’s customer base and the player affected, but would it last?
Free-Play Bonus? Only If You Lose!
Betway soon started offering free plays to depositing players. Once again, they were up to their old tricks. They confiscated the winnings of free-play bonuses for a number of bettors. Their reason? The bettors illegally bet using the “money method”, which they claim is a systematic process used to abuse free bet bonus offers at dozens of online bookies.
Yet, if you look over Betway’s terms and conditions regarding bonuses, there are no restrictions regarding betting in relations to bonuses. There was certainly nothing that restricted players from betting to earn a bonus faster, or any restrictions on any type of ‘methods’. Reports also began surfacing of Betway slow playing multiple players, and confiscating deposits without reason or evidence of any wrong doing.
The company had probably not employed appropriate risk management, and the book’s funds were low. Betway was taking on professional and recreational bettors, and was likely losing to the professionals.
Moving forward, Betway gets even more creative with the ways they try to steal winnings from their players.
More Scam Tactics
In late 2009, Betway began seizing accounts for ridiculous reasons. By hiding outlandish conditions in the small print, the company outlawed arbitrage betting, hedge betting and other low risk bets. Of course, players had not read the small print and were not aware of this rule. When it came time for Betway to pay out, users who requested a payout would have their account reviewed by management.
Of course, according to management the players had violated this rule, and immediately had their winnings confiscated. In most cases, Betway still never provided the appropriate evidence to substantiate this claim. They just took the winnings and moved on.
The book had simply put this rule into effect so it would be able to seize winnings from profitable bettors, and collect on the deposits of losing bettors. It was all just a way to take back any deposit bonuses or profits from winning players.
Betway then began to claim players had multiple accounts and began confiscating winnings. Once again, several players had lost their balances, and/or winnings just based on accounts being “linked” at least according to Betway. Again, little evidence was presented to the player, or to third party watchdog sites such as SBR.
Throughout, 2010 Betway confiscated the funds in many accounts for dubious reasons and provided no evidence of these infractions. In some cases, Betway seized accounts of €1,000 or more, without giving the accused player a chance to even communicate with management! They simply took the funds in the account, and ceased all communication.
Though Betway has stated that it will revisit previous cases in which it suspected players of fraud, it has yet to act on these promises. A post in the SBR Forum in August of 2010 warns prospective bettors of Betway’s tactics.  Again, management confiscated the winnings of the bettor and did not provide him with any evidence to substantiate the claims that were used to accuse him of fraud.
Over the past few years, Betway fortunately has gotten a poorer reputation among online sports bettors. The word, for the most part, has gotten out about their unscrupulous business practices. Still, bettors are still being taken advantage of by the bookmaker, which is still active as of July 2012.
Actively still thinking of new ways to cheat bettors, Betway’s management enacted a rule that was only written in the small print of their bonus offers. In a ridiculous precedent, Betway did not allow players to wager more than 30% in a single wager, of the value of their bonus to their accounts.
So, if a player got a €100 deposit bonus, he could not wager more than €30 in a single wager, or he would be violating the bonus offer! Bettors of course were unaware of this and, constantly broke these ridiculous bonus rollover requirements. Betway has currently seized over €3,500 from players using this absurd bonus restriction.
If you have deposited at Betway and had your funds seized it would be best to contact the Lottery and Gaming Authority of Malta, and challenge the gaming body to look at Betway’s operations and track record of deception. They have continually accepted deposits from bettors, given those bettors a deposit bonus and then voided their winnings without evidence of any wrong doing.
The sportsbook will do anything it can to not pay winners. International players have so many excellent choices when it comes to betting sports online that there is certainly no reason to give your money to the scum at Betway. Avoid these guys like the plague.