Getwin

Getwin was a sportsbook that pulled some of the smarter scams I’ve seen. Fortunately for players they shutdown their operation in August, 2012, leaving this message on their website:

Getwin.com has stopped the online operations and apologizes to all players for the inconvenience caused. As regards balances of players, please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail.

This article will explain why players are so fortunate to have this scam book taken offline.

Background Info

Not much is known about Getwin. The most I was able to find out about their company is that they were based out of Malta. I also know that Getwin was never a solid sportsbook. They started off with a D+ rating, were upgraded to a C- in December, 2011, and just as quickly downgraded to a D+ in March, 2012. They just had too many complaints about slow payments and delays for review portals to ignore.

A Smarter Kind of Scam

I have to say, the scams that Getwin pulled off was relatively smart. What I mean by that, is that Getwin scammed players in such a way that made it hard to argue with them. They used technicalities to take players’ money. The technicalities came in the form of their terms and conditions. What Getwin would do is keep the player’s money from them, state that they were a professional bettor or part of an organized gambling scheme, and just ship their deposit back. Closing their account would soon follow.

There are several examples of this.[1]

April 2011 – 8 players had their funds confiscated for supposedly being apart of a betting syndicate. A syndicate would be a group of players that work together to beat the books and force them to move the lines. At this point Getwin’s theft exceeded $8,000. They failed to prove that these players were working together, let alone that they shared computers, IP addresses, etc.

January 2012 – Complaints about payments were made. Nearly $1,700 is owed to players.

February 2012 – More complaints about slow (or no) payments. At this point nearly $16,000 is owed to players. At least 6 reports were received by the leading watchdog sites.

March 2012 – More complaints. Players are stating that Getwin is not returning emails.

As of April 2012 Getwin reportedly sent out $5,856 in payments. However, that meant that there was still $10,000 owed. At this point they had a D+ rating in most raters guides.

One example where this scheme didn’t work out in Getwin’s favor was in March 2011. They blocked 16 different accounts on the suspicion of organized betting. Getwin defended themselves, stating that they were only following their terms and conditions.

However, this information was relayed to the Lotteries and Gaming Authority. They investigated and told Getwin to lift the blockage on 11 accounts. It took 6 months and a lot of pressure from SBR, LGA and the community for the bans/frozen accounts to be undone. [2]

Now, I know what you’re thinking – what about those remaining 5 accounts? Getwin was right in confiscating them, assuming that it was eventually proved they were cheaters. Sure. But think about it this way.

Getwin confiscated 16 accounts. Only 5 were (possibly) cheaters. That means 70% of the accounts they initially blocked were legitimate accounts. If not for the LGA, that would’ve been a lot of money that Getwin confiscated that was not rightfully theirs. And that is only one instance of many where they took funds and closed accounts. Do you see where I’m going with this? Just using the math above, and how trigger happy they appeared to be in closing accounts, 7 out of 10 accounts that they closed they were wrong in doing so (on average). And I would bet that they never gave that money back, or investigated further to see if they were right.

Is that the type of sportsbook you want to play at?

Is it Legal?

As I said above, Getwin used technicalities to steal players’ funds. Instead of giving players the benefit of the doubt – that it is possible to win once in a while without being a sharp – they just took the funds and closed accounts. They leveraged their terms and conditions to steal. Nothing particular fancy about that.

And they were (likely and legally) right in doing so, in terms of the wording used in their T&Cs. However, if a company is going to be so anal about their terms and scan them every time they’re supposed to pay a player, eventually no one will want to do business with them. What I would take away from this is that sportsbooks that repeatedly go back to their terms in an attempt to avoid paying you your money don’t deserve your business any longer. It’s too much of a headache.

Shut Up Shop

Getwin closed in August, 2012. It doesn’t sound like they paid the balances back (in full) either.

Sources

[1] The Getwin Scam – SBR

[2] LGA Rules in Favor of 11/16 Players – SBR News