The Scam at SBG Global

SBG has been in business since 1998. I tend to use the term “business” loosely, since this book is essentially nothing more than a scam operation, unless you happen to be one of the unlucky suckers who loses more to them than you end up trying to cash out.

SBG Global Sports Book is a classic example of the old adage “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” In this case, it most certainly is too good to be true, and all players should be aware of this shady operation. SBG uses many different scams, tricks, lies, and outright fraud to siphon customer funds, all while trying to keep the appearance of a legitimate book that is happy to pay out on time. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we are about to see below.
SBG Basics

SBG seems like a legitimate book when you first log on to the site. Sure, the site looks a bit amateurish, but so do some other, more reputable ones, and you’re there to bet and make money, not stare at the visuals, right?

But if you’ve created an account, and deposited money, you are already at high risk for getting paid back. Many players around the web report SBG slow rolling them as far as getting the paperwork needed to verify identities. If you aren’t verified, you can’t withdraw. That is one issue that often pops up. There are many others, of course. SBG Global currently “boats” a D- rating from SBR Review, a leader in online sportsbook reviews and complaints. This is just barely above the level of a complete and utter theft ring, and places them squarely on the SBR Black List, which is basically a giant banner saying “do not deposit money here under any circumstances!!”

SBG uses several questionable tactics to steal players’ trust and money. Here are just some that we found online.

Not Paying out on High Account Balances

SBG Global (SBGGlobal.com) has been in business for over 15 years, and claims to offer the “best initial and reload bonuses in the industry.”[1] There is only one problem with that claim, however. Of course, on paper it looks good to have a huge deposit bonus, or a generous reload bonus, but what good is that bonus if it will never be paid out? That is exactly the type of scam SBG Global seems to be running with many of its customers.

Part of an online post (post 8 in the thread) back in 2008 really tells the story: [2]

“SBG has (or used to have) 3-team 6-pt teasers at +200. This one promotion would bankrupt a book if pros played it. No pros play at SBG, because you simply won’t get paid after beating them out of 50k”

This comes from a well known poster over at SBR, Justin7. And he is exactly right. These lines are way too good to be true, similar to a casino offering a 2/1 payout on all blackjacks. Over time, the casino would go completely broke since the player actually would gain the edge over the house in the long run. However, edge doesn’t matter if the casino plans on not paying. This is the way SBG Global conducts business. Lure suckers in, pump up their accounts with high odds and tempting bonuses, then when a payout request comes in for four figures or more, simply stall, delay, and finally not pay. The book even goes as far as to claim players use “handicapping services” and thus sees this as a reason to void winnings or payouts. Quite simply, this is not illegal, and nowhere even in the site’s own T&C does it outlaw using someone else’s picks to win money. It is not cheating to tail a winning capper, unless of course you are playing at SBG Global. But wait, there’s more!

Cancelling Wagers After They Have Started, aka Freerolling

Does the name Jenson Button ring a bell? It might if you have wagered at SBG Global in the past. Back in 2009, several players bet on F1 – namely on Button to win the F1 World Championship at the odds of 70:1. Button went on to win the first two races, which caused SBG to somehow offer its players a deal: either we cancel your wagers, or we reinstate them at new odds of 10:1.[3]

This was an absurd request (demand, actually) but not unheard of with SBG Global. There was no foul play by any of the players involved in making their bets, no insider or public information used, and the odds were offered at other highly reputable books at around the same price. It is known throughout the sportsbook industry that if a line is offered in an obvious error, the bet would be canceled. So if a team is -17.5 points and a book mistakenly offers them at +17.5 instead, that bet would surely be canceled, regardless of whether the event has started or not, as soon as the book caught on. Even after a bet like that was paid, it may be canceled, since the line was clearly wrong. But in this case, the line was accurate, and there was no reason at all to cancel or modify the bet. In a legitimate case of a wrong line, such as the -17.5 example above, the player is simply refunded and then if the game has started, no new action can be placed (outside of live markets which are completely different and would have different odds based on current game conditions). In SBG’s case they offered to keep the bets, but at a steep discount in odds. This is amateur behavior and should never occur. If a mistake occurs, you cancel the wager, period. You cannot lower or change the odds if you are a reputable business.

Making matters worse, SBG essentially “freerolled” its players in this case, since not a word would have been said if Button had failed to win races. Quite simply, SBG was only going to offer a refund, or a lowered odds bet, if Button was in contention to win. It’s very likely that if another driver was ahead, SBG would have canceled or modified those wagers as well. The only way no foul play would have existed, would have been if the book did not have a lot of action on the winner, or the winner was someone with short odds such as maybe 5 or 7:1, in which case SBG would have used most of the money from losing long shot bettors to pay the winners. This sort of foul play is completely uncalled for and unacceptable, and this was not just one player, but several, making the same complaint.

Using Different Skins To Lure Players In

One more tactic (out of many, covering them all would require a novel) that SBG Global uses to lure players in is to set up different “skins” or sites that all operate under the same parent company, but provide a slightly different look and/or feel.

A few of these skins are called PlayersTime, BetRoyal, and Big Juicy Odds.

Big Juicy Odds is noteworthy because this book offered to “bail out” victims of fraud and theft over at SBG Global and BetRoyal. This worked for a little while, as players were offered the option to not deposit, but only roll over their “owed” amounts 20x before a withdrawal would be processed. However, this did not last for long, and eventually Big Juicy Odds (BJO) went under as well, crushed by high risks and very little regard for player’s funds.

There is even a report from back in 2008 that borders on the absurd.[4] In this complaint, a player claims $500,000 of owed winnings that are not going to be honored! That’s right, 500k! Here are some details of what happened: A player, or group of players, was offered very nice odds in order to provide liquidity to BetRoyal. Basically, if the book got loaded up on one side of action, they would offer a select group of players the chance to take on some of the action on the other side to help balance the books, with the bonus of very tempting odds.

So if a line was listed at -110/-110, and BetRoyal had excessive action on side A, they would offer side B at a price of maybe -103 or +100, instead of the -110 advertised on their site and offered to most customers. This “sweetheart” offering brought in tons of action, and caused one player to amass $500,000 in winnings. When he tried to cash out, the management claimed he was not allowed to cash out winnings per their agreement, only deposits. The thought being that the player betting at above market odds was also betting the other side on other sites (possibly an exchange such as Matchbook) and would simply cash out his winnings from other sites. But this makes absolutely no sense, since the player could do just as well by not depositing a dime to BetRoyal! As I asked before, what good are juicy odds if you will never actually get paid on them?

This leads us to an important, and final, thought.

Beware of Online Reviews and Do Your Research!

Now this may sound a bit strange coming from an online review site, but it is completely true. You need to do additional research. We encourage it, and provide links below in the footnotes to do more reading. Also use Google to your advantage and search the web for customer complaints before depositing to a sportsbook.

The reason I point this out, is that there is an online review that paints a decent picture of SBG Global. According to this review [5], the book gets high grades in every area except live betting, which gets a rating of 1. Most likely, the reason for this is that SBG is too busy scamming customers to actually provide a decent service such as live betting. One can only imagine the hijinks SBG would employ in live betting. A player would bet a team, watch them score a goal, and have his bet immediately canceled or lowered to the “new odds” most likely.

But there are two curious parts of this review that I would like to point out. One, the review lists as a “Con” the fact that SBG has a rather high minimum bet amount of $10. The reason for this is unknown, but most likely it is because this book simply wants to get as much action as possible and doesn’t have time to deal with players betting less than $10. After all, why not steal amounts of $10 and up instead? That should be a red flag for anyone who studies sports betting. Most books have a minimum wager of $1, which shows a commitment to players big and small. This book has no such ethics.

The second issue is that this review brings up SBG’s apparently good customer service, and claims the site has a “Never Busy Signal” policy. This makes the book seem good, but after reading the scams outlined above, this is actually a negative. SBG is of course focused on customer service, but all this customer service is focused on is trying to draw more and more money into the scam! If you want to withdraw a large amount of money, you’re probably out of luck, no matter how many calls you make. Sure, you won’t have to wait on hold, unless you actually want your money! Another factor is that after a while, scam books like SBG tend to lose business, and thus less support will be needed.

The bottom line is of course to do your own research, as we state throughout the site.

References:

[1] Claim of the best initial deposit and reload bonus in the industry – Link to SBG Global’s Main Page.
[2] SBG’s tactics used to lure in players with higher than normal odds – Link to Sportsbook Review Forum post.
[3] SBG’s unethical cancellation of F1 Racing wagers – Link to Sportsbook Review Forum post.
[4] Player files $500,000 complaint against BetRoyal – Link to Sportsbook Review Forum post.
[5] Advantage Sports Betting’s review of SBG Global – Some Sportsbook review sites are not trustworthy. Do your own research.

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