BetIslands Scam

The BetIslands scandal is a perfect scenario of how money brings out the worst in people. It shows their true colors, and how much integrity and self-worth they may or may not have.

Unfortunately, a lot of bettors were impacted by this scam. By the times things were said and done, more than $1.5 million was owed to players. Most of them were posters on a sports betting forum called Sportsbook Review (SBR).

Weird, huh?! Does that sound like a coincidence to you?

That sounds like an inside job to me. Like one of the oldest, largest and self-proclaimed industry ‘watchdogs’ sold their members out for a few bucks.

But maybe I just have my tinfoil hat on? I’ll leave that for you to judge.

About The BetIslands Company

BetIsland was owned by Jon Kreta. Based on the information I gathered he’s a young, 20-something year old, kid.

Rumor has it that he’s also ‘Nick’ at EzStreetSports and has a hand in 7RedSports, too. At the very least all of these companies were connected, using the same servers, building (overhead), management and staff. [1]

In terms of major players, you can also include the key guys at SBR, including John, Bill Dozer and Justin. Not only did they pimp BetIslands out, they also covered up any connections between BetIslands and it’s lowly rated sister companies, EzStreet and 7Red.

What Went Wrong?

I would venture to say that BetIslands was just one large scam. They started off with an average rating – a C-, back in March 2011. In less than a year they were rated a B. Then for a year things appeared to be ok. And then all of a sudden they had no money, were insolvent and went from a B to C, then to an F. Players were collectively out $1.5 million.

So their ‘scam’ was keeping/spending players’ money, and not keeping any of it on hand to honor withdrawals. Then they closed overnight with no explanation, or money to pay players back.

This scam was a group effort. Each player or group leveraged their trust to encourage players to sign up to BetIslands. Lets look at each group – I think you’ll see what I mean.

1. Jon K. had a (relatively) good reputation from when he worked with WagerChief. He apparently quit (on good terms) soon before BetIslands started to pick up steam. Between that, the promos and shills pimping out BetIsland, that attracted many new players.

2. All parties, including SBR, BetIslands and 7RedSports denied any connection between BetIslands, 7RedSports and EzStreetSports. The latter two sportsbooks had poor ratings (D), so it was said that they weren’t connected, in order to make players feel better about BetIslands. However, it was later found out that these parties were/are connected. BetIslands later released a statement saying that they bought out 7RedSports. Yeah, riigght…

3. Sportsbook Review (SBR). I would say that SBR single-handedly made BetIslands what it is. They’re a trusted, self claimed ‘watchdog’ of the sports betting industry. They boosted BetIslands rating from a C- to a B in less than a years time, which is the minimum grade they recommend for (playing at) a sportsbook. They also stated that they verified that BetIslands had backers, and that they had nothing to do with 7RedSports. Interestingly enough, the ratings fell almost overnight. Almost the same time that it was found out that BetIslands was insolvent. [2]

I think it’s obvious that SBR and BetIslands was in bed together. In fact, a database was shared by Ask the Bookie that showed that 80% of the player base at BetIslands was from SBR. Kreta was also quoted to saying that SBR knew 6 weeks in advance that BetIslands was done, but (Bill Dozer, SBR founder) encouraged him to continue taking deposits anyway. [3]

Dozer than decided to pour salt into the open wounds of SBR posters by posting this response to a post related to BetIslands.

Dark Horse, IMO time to man up take responsibility for the fact that you didn’t play at the safest sportsbook available to you. A lot of players made a lot of money with BI. Even those with the biggest balances were well into the plus column. When SBR told posters they weren’t rated higher because they were new, many of the same posters who are the loudest now, advocated that they were better than our opinion.

There is only a small few making most of these posts. Most of the victims understand that they are adults who make their own decisions. They understand that a display ad does not make SBRforum their personal insurance company. They understand that all the folks who work on this site feel very badly for them. [4]

So despite being the outfit that drove most of the business, without a really good reason why, and being a contributor to a $1.5 million dollar scandal, SBR didn’t even consider apologizing. Just that players ought to take more responsibility for their actions.

So what can you learn from this? Well, assuming that most of the players at BetIslands came from SBR, I would say that you should be weary when a self claimed watchdog quickly boosts a book’s rating. You should also consider their history, and whether they’ve done the same thing in the past aka BetCascade.

More than that, though, I wouldn’t just take recommendations from one review portal. Do your due diligence, ask your peers and perform some research on the company you’re considering signing up to. Then, and only then, should you whip out your credit card to place a bet. Can SBR be trusted as a review portal? Well Sports Betting Online say, yes.. and no [5]. They have a tainted reputation on many separate occasions and have been accused of taking lump payments to boost less than safe books in the past.

Are BetIslands Still In Business Today?

BetIslands Sportsbook Scam

No. BetIslands went out of business in 2012. 7RedSports and EzStreetSports still appear to be taking customers, though.

Sources

[1]Connection to other shady books – Discussion how BetIslands is connected to EzStreetSports and 7RedSports.
[2]The rise and the fall – You can see how quickly BetIslands rose through the ranks, then fell on it’s face overnight.
[3]Sleeping with the enemy? Ask The Bookie discuss how SBR was in bed with BetIslands, including the database list they came across that shows their affiliate account.
[4]It’s the players fault! – Bill Dozer’s unapologetic response.
[5]Who can you trust? – Sportsbettingonline.net ask who you can trust in the future in relation to review portals.