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Old 02-21-2007, 01:56 PM
Rogthedodger Rogthedodger is offline
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Default Risk Versus Reward in the New Offshore Gambling Climate...By Jay Graziani

The recent shakeup of the offshore industry has left many bettors wondering where and for how long their offshore funds might be safe. The money transfer complications brought on by the exit of NETeller and other processors from the U.S. market have given slow-pay and no-pay books yet another excuse for delay or even outright theft of player funds. A diminished (and increasingly skeptical) customer base is slowing the flow of funds offshore and this, combined with increased competition among the remaining sportsbooks, is sure to exert pressure on the weaker members of the offshore industry.

With the traditionally slow season of summer right around the corner, it would not be surprising to see a number of offshore operators close shop before next football season arrives to replenish their pocketbooks. Furthermore, the threat of U.S. legal action and uncertainty about how it will affect the industry as a whole means that everyone is at risk for having funds frozen in limbo or lost permanently if any significant legal events were to transpire rapidly.

A major (and often underappreciated) facet of the offshore game over the past few years was the ability to rapidly and reliably transfer funds stored in processors like NETeller to offshore sportsbooks and vice versa. This afforded the sharp player plenty of opportunities to move quickly in and out of books to take advantage of bonus offers and favorable lines. Now that moving funds has become more of a hassle than a convenience, careful allocation of deposits among sportsbook is crucial.

Clearly the risk-reward characteristics of offshore gambling have changed dramatically in the past few months. While players are always at the risk of being "stiffed" in this mostly unregulated industry, there are a number of precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk of losing your offshore funds.

Most importantly, players should keep significant balances only in the most reliable and established offshore sportsbooks. Any of the numerous sportsbook rating sites are a good place to start. For instance, MajorWager.com's Sportsbook Reviews section has more than 300 user-submitted ratings on over 100 sportsbooks. Restricting yourself to books rated 3.5 (out of 5) or higher with at least 10 reviews gives you a quick "top 10" list (actually "top 11") of offshore operators that still cater to U.S. players. These ratings can be compared to lists available on other offshore-focused websites to give you a general idea of where a sportsbook stands on the risk spectrum.

Currently, sportsbooks that seem to be consensus choices for safety include The Greek, WSEX, and BetCRIS, along with their associated books (BetJamaica with The Greek and Matchbook with WSEX). Bodog, Carib, Cascade, 5Dimes and the VIP group are also commonly mentioned, although picky players may find issues with some or all of these books.

Before depositing at any sportsbook, players should investigate two issues. First, search a gambling forum like MajorWager.com to check for recent complaints or payment issues. While all anonymous internet postings should be taken with a grain of salt, most major issues will be publicly exposed on the forums to some degree. Recent or repeated disputes or payment delays provide a good warning sign before depositing. Second, make sure to contact a customer service representative from the sportsbook about currently available withdrawal methods. With the recent money transfer chaos, withdrawal methods are limited and vary between sportsbooks, and the sportsbook web pages often lag behind the rapid changes that are occurring. You should be asking three questions before depositing:

(1) What withdrawal methods are available? Some sportsbooks are only offering checks or book-to-book transfers, others might be limited to Western Union or Moneygram. Make sure there is a method available that suits your needs so you can be assured of being able to receive your payout when the time comes. (2) Are their any withdrawal minimums or maximums? Smaller players should be aware of minimums that may cause problems in withdrawing by their method of choice. For instance, some sportsbooks might have minimums of $2000 for book-to-book transfers, eliminating that option for smaller recreational players. Higher-limit players may be inconvenienced by being forced to make multiple withdrawal requests to obtain their entire balance. (3) Are there any withdrawal fees? For example, some sportsbooks may make the player cover Federal Express fees if they want their check to arrive faster than the 3-4 weeks for standard mail. Fees can really cut into smaller players' returns and should be considered when evaluating profit potential at a given sportsbook.

Also make sure to be wary of books that seem desperate for customers. This is often a first sign of financial trouble. Increased, persistent cold-calling or spam and excessively generous bonus offers may be early indications of a book on its last legs; in conjunction with withdrawal delays, these are definite signs to stay away.

Once you have established which books are acceptable to deposit, be sure to only send funds that will not be needed immediately. With sportsbooks sometimes taking weeks to process withdrawals, you unfortunately cannot be assured of having your deposit (along with any winnings) returned promptly. Be prepared to have your money tied up longer than expected. You also may wish to avoid bonus offers with large rollover requirements. As the environment seems to sometimes change dramatically by the day, you may want the option to close out an account quickly if conditions warrant.

Astute bettors will plan ahead to get the most bang for their buck. If, like many players, you have decreased the total amount of offshore funds, make sure to choose sportsbooks that can cater to all of your needs in order to eliminate the hassle of unnecessary transfers. If depositing for the upcoming March Madness season, you may want to consider books that will also be playable for baseball or other sports. If you wager on props, halftimes, or small-market sports, make sure you have enough "outs" to cover all your normal wagering activities.

Finally, the current environment requires increased diligence on the part of all participants. Keep abreast of current news by reading forums like MajorWager.com regularly. Maintain balances for all of your accounts at levels that are appropriate for your risk threshold to avoid taking a big hit if disaster strikes. And, most importantly, keep a cautious attitude and avoid anything that seems "too good to be true". Remember that sportsbooks are largely unregulated and can (and have) walked away with players' funds in hand. A cautious attitude, and some simple safeguards, as described here can keep that from happening to you.

02-21-07
Jay Graziani
MajorWager.com
graziani@majorwager.com

http://www.majorwager.com/frontline-431.html
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:21 PM
stevo stevo is offline
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If you know what you are doing fine. If you have been on the scene a short time read this TWICE or THREE times.


I feel lucky I wasnt intrdroduced to offshore by a friend. I started from scratch on the net just like this paragraph written by Jay:

Before depositing at any sportsbook, players should investigate two issues. First, search a gambling forum like MajorWager.com to check for recent complaints or payment issues. While all anonymous internet postings should be taken with a grain of salt, most major issues will be publicly exposed on the forums to some degree. Recent or repeated disputes or payment delays provide a good warning sign before depositing. Second, make sure to contact a customer service representative from the sportsbook about currently available withdrawal methods. With the recent money transfer chaos, withdrawal methods are limited and vary between sportsbooks, and the sportsbook web pages often lag behind the rapid changes that are occurring. You should be asking three questions before depositing:




Following those instruction I got no paid by one book in 5 years which was Bos. I took more from them than they got from me so I wasnt a net loss there.

Following the rest of the instructions Jay lays out should suit people well.
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:30 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Very sound advice DG.

Do you think we'll see some places just go seasonal, where they only operate from August through the NCAA championship game or something? Or football-only spots just to attract squares desperate for action next August? Hard to imagine what it's all going to look like about six months from now...
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:00 PM
Uncle B Uncle B is offline
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fantastic write-up.. great job dude.
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:55 PM
Rogthedodger Rogthedodger is offline
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This article was very timely for me personally Jay!

I got whacked with a $50 book/book transfer payout by WSEX yesterday, ouch. I never even considered there would be a fee at all, almost every book out there does in-out book/book transfers for FREE. I am a huge fan of WSEX, but this fee is egregious at best. I hope they read this and reevaluate this fee. I would think they would be encouraging customers to use payout methods such as these, not discouraging them with a massive fee that is MUCH larger than their actual costs.....
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:02 PM
Highwayman Highwayman is offline
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Where is the VALUE in the offshore gaming industry for Americans?

In short: There isn’t any.

When one considers the rise in costs and instability of offshore money processing services, combined with non-competitive propositional pricing by unregulated bookmakers who continue to unethically bend their own rules unchecked in their favor, coupled with the extreme risks associated with potential legal issues as well as continued solvency absent of a lucrative American market, in addition to the risk of not being rewarded/paid for winning, throw in some arrests, confiscations and a boat full of BOS & Neteller frozen assets, halted equity trading and their adverse impact on market liquidity…you’d have to be an American IDIOT to invest in offshore gaming at this time…especially since gambling from your computer is legal in Nevada and available illicitly throughout America in various forms utilizing channels of credit.




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Old 02-22-2007, 05:07 PM
Rogthedodger Rogthedodger is offline
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We read your opinion each time you posted it Highwayman. And your opinion dosen't make all Americans playing offshore "idiots" no matter how many times you post it. Using personal attacks doesn't bolster your argument, it hurts it.
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:15 PM
Crony Crony is offline
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Rogthedodger,

You think WSEX $50 for a book to book tranfer is bad?
I got charged $30 by CRIS for transferring to another account AT CRIS.

Reminds of a little of the ATM's at Vegas that surely have the worlds highest fee's. You would think CRIS would want a customer whose account is empty to have some bullets to fire...
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:19 PM
drunkguy drunkguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwayman View Post
Where is the VALUE in the offshore gaming industry for Americans?

In short: There isn’t any.


if you think that, you're playing at the wrong books
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:20 PM
Rogthedodger Rogthedodger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crony View Post
Rogthedodger,

You think WSEX $50 for a book to book tranfer is bad?
I got charged $30 by CRIS for transferring to another account AT CRIS.

Reminds of a little of the ATM's at Vegas that surely have the worlds highest fee's. You would think CRIS would want a customer whose account is empty to have some bullets to fire...
OUCH----that is outrageous!
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:22 PM
Highwayman Highwayman is offline
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Thanks for reading dodger...nothing personal...no attacks...only prudent opinions from an investment perspective...free to rebut, you failed to capture the opportunity here to convince your position accordingly...instead, you claimed to be attacked...not everyone here is an idiot nor a shill like yourself.

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Old 02-22-2007, 05:54 PM
Rogthedodger Rogthedodger is offline
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I don't need to rebut a thing, I couldn't care less about your position and wouldn't even consider engaging you on the merits of your argument. I "claimed" to be attacked? You stated simply that any American that posts up offshore is an idiot. I and many other Americans here do just that, ergo we're idiots by your statement. That's not a "claim", that's fact.

And who am I a shill for?

Oh, nevermind......I'm not interested in that argument either. Thanks for calling me an idiot for a second time though, that was just as classy as the first time you did it.
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:06 PM
SwampHog SwampHog is offline
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I'll tell you this much, Austin and Graziani have been writing great articles over the last couple months. I'm not sure how you rate content per word posted, but this site's winning that race whenever one of those two are involved. If either of you are feeling underappreciated, don't.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:52 AM
Uncle B Uncle B is offline
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i guess i am an "idiot" then, because i see plenty of 'value' in offshore wagering.




imo, only an 'idiot' would frequent an online forum that revolves around a topic he despises.


what else do you detest so much?

how about chicks with dicks?


does that not appeal to you? and if so, do you post regularly at chicks with dicks forums, letting everyone know how much you dislike tranny's?


i can't stand gay porn... i can't imagine i'd waste my time registering at a gay porn forum, just so i could let everyone know that i thought it was unappealing though.


but, hey..thats just me....the idiot.
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