Our sportsbook scam articles aren’t intentionally skewed towards US-facing sportsbooks. It’s just more likely that bookmakers will run into issues when they service US clients. This is partly due to a shaky legal framework, and there are few repercussions from violations against players. Of course, not all US sportsbooks operate this way. The majority have immense integrity and will handle payouts to players within a timely manner.
Still, sportsbooks that extend their services to US players are usually much less safe than their regulated global counterparts. That, though, isn’t necessarily always the case, and Olympian Group is a perfect example of a book that doesn’t accept US-based bettors, yet still engages in some shocking practices, including manipulation, and the freezing of payouts.
It’s a shame that any player gets duped by these con-artists, simply because there are so many excellent alternatives available in the international betting market. But Olympian’s offenses have been legion, despite their short history.
There isn’t a ton of information available on the Olympian Group. Apparently, they used to have a website at OlympianGroup.com, but that is no longer up. I learned from an SBR Newswire report that their CEO was a man by the name of Peter Karroll.
After some more digging, I found out that Karroll was not just the CEO, but also the founder of the Olympian Group. The most current information about the company can be found on this CalvinAyre.com press release from January 2013. The write-up about the group makes it sound fairly impressive. The Olympian Group appears once to have been a turnkey operation, although we doubt they still offer this service, or any others.
According to some of the players, and industry watchdog sites like SBR, Olympian appear to be sole owners of their current crop of brands – these names include Geobet (Geobet.com), Bulldog777 (Bulldog777.com), and GR88 (GR88.com).
Issues From The Start
SBR indexed Geobet into their rating system in mid-2013. The domain was registered for Geobet.com on January 1st, 2013, so the sportsbook hadn’t even been in operation for six months before starting to experience significant issues.
According to the SBR Newswire linked above, all three sportsbooks (apart from the Olympian Group) were to be closed due to security breaches. Karroll assured players of the safety of their funds, and stated that “only a handful of accounts were affected.”
Their reasoning for temporarily closing the sportsbook makes sense, but the breach of security is something that as to be a worry to players. Also, withdrawal requests were frozen until the sportsbook had reopened – in this case, that took over a month.
During this timeframe, players had no access to their accounts. They couldn’t view either their wager history or their account balance, but the casino still remained open across several sites. However, once the sportsbook reopened, bettors had other reasons to be worried.
Immediately after the reopening, there was a report of a player being stiffed on a bonus rollover. This was thought to be an isolated incident at the time, but within several months, many bettors recorded similar problems.
SBR was peppered with complaints from players at Geobet, GR88, and Bulldog777. These were in relation to their winnings being confiscated for accepting bonus offers. Their actions are detailed in a March, 2014 news bulletin.
Essentially, they were targeting existing customers on their mailing list, and offering them bonus offers at one of their other branded sportsbooks. A customer at, say, Geobet, would get an email about a bonus offer available at GR88 or Bulldog777. The customer would then activate the bonus, and deposit. No problem, right? Well, not exactly.
As it turns out, the Olympian Group was “freerolling” players with these apparently innocent offers. Buried deep in the terms and conditions was a stipulation that players could have their bonus restricted if they played at another sportsbook in the Olympian Group network. Some players claim that they checked the original terms and that these highly questionable rules were applied retroactively after the fact.
Regardless, the whole situation stinks to high heaven. Players who took them up on their bonus offer had zero chance of getting paid in the event of winning. On the other hand, they still had every opportunity to lose their money.
Some players do abuse bonuses, but that was not the case here. In fact, the Olympian Group was ripping off their own customer base, punishing players who had already handed over their hard earned money. This is absolutely disgusting behavior by management.
Though Olympian mulled over SBR’s points regarding their predatory bonus system, but they ultimately decided to confiscate all profits aside from the original deposit. Most of these players had low four figure balances. The full amount taken is not known. A larger number of players may have not filed claims with SBR.
Olympian Sportsbooks Still in Operation
Despite being blacklisted by several sites, all three sportsbooks are still in operation. The sites have plenty of advertising money – most of it stolen from bettors like you and me – and are extremely active at pursuing potential players.
It is obvious that bettors should steer clear of the Olympian Sportsbook group, and should also be wary of their poker room and casino platform. It’s not smart to trust your money to a company that engages in dubious business practices like these. Cashouts are still being paid in a timely matter, but are slower than they should be for an international sportsbook.
The company may be in lousy shape. Their corporate website is no longer up, and it still seems suspicious that they spent a whole month offline after their security breach. The company is likely running on fumes. Their decision to seize funds and close accounts, even after being called out publicly, is a serious indictment on their business.
The public relations hit they took must have caused more damage to the sportsbook than any monetary losses. It worries me that they needed the money to help stay afloat. Avoid Olympian Sportsbooks and all related properties.