Betting Companies Breaking The Law? – If you are interested in learning about the double standards of the Betting industry and how the law is applied, this blog is for you!
BETTING COMPANIES BREAKING THE LAW?
You must have read about the man who received 5 years of Jail time for using third-party betting accounts. If you haven’t, we did a Youtube video explaining what happened.
Incidentally, since then another Bet365 account holder was given a 22-month suspended jail sentence the same. With legal precedence established, we expect more convictions to follow!
This blog is not about the rights & wrongs of using third-party betting accounts. Our focus will be on how Betting operators benefit from the black market. We share examples and explain the perversity of how the legal system protects corporations for tax dollars.
SUCCESS OF BETTING COMPANIES
Many Betting and Gaming operators have become Unicorn companies. In this instance, a Unicorn is a start-up that reached a valuation of $1 billion without being listed on the stock market.
The most obvious example for a UK audience is Bet365, which is still controlled by the Coates family. By the way, Unibet, Paddy Power Betfair PLC, 888bet, and Bwin all started as private companies before making the transition to being listed!
BETTING COMPANIES BREAKING THE LAW?
FOR THE RECORD
All of the aforementioned companies conducted business in countries where betting isn’t allowed. In fact, the authorities chased them for years, but they still persisted in illegal activity!
As a matter of fact, Bet 365 derived massive profits from Asia. Unibet was the biggest culprit in Scandinavia, while Bwin had a massive market share in Germanic and Southern Europe. At one stage, 888bet would take bets from anyone with the exception of their native Israel!
Think back in time, most bookmakers were established without a legal basis. The founders of William Hill, Victor Chandler & Joe Coral are all on record as starting black market operations. However, while they operated in the UK, Coates, and Co took black market betting International!
Did you know? Following the death of the Queen, the owner of Bet 365 (Denise Coates) became UK’s richest female. According to Forbes, the 55-year-olds net worth is said to be around $6.8 Billion. In 2012, Coates was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to the community and business.
While the founders of 888bet (Avi Shaked & Aaron Shaked), Bwin (Norbert Teufelberger) & Unibet (Anders Ström) can’t brag about such wealth, they too became billionaires!
BET365 IS MASSIVE IN CHINA
Anyone caught reaping profits from betting in China is liable to 3 years in Prison. This applies to both individuals and companies, and many have been arrested for doing such.
As a private company, BET365 are under no obligation to disclose intimate details of their operation. Nevertheless, it is thought that over 50% of their £2.85bn revenue comes from countries in which it is illegal to operate. Indeed, a very large portion of those profits come from residents of China and other Asian countries.
In 2019, taken from the accounts of Bet365, a small sentence read. A geographical analysis of turnover has not been given, as in the opinion of the directors, such disclosure would be severely prejudicial to the interests of the group.” Though, a Bet365 spokesman said, you know we take bets from grey markets!!
To avoid detection and keep betting platforms open, Bet365 uses rotating websites. While the authorities in those countries try and block the operation, it doesn’t seem to work!
FOOTBALL CLUB OWNERSHIP
Another concern we have with Bet365 & others is they own a football club. Surely there is a conflict of interest, in that the public is not privy to the same information!
Let me elaborate, on the stock market insider trading is illegal! In short, anyone caught cheating would face many years in jail. With this in mind, why are Bet365 and others allowed to own Football clubs?
We are not insinuating Bet365 would do the same, but the fact is the betting public could be disadvantaged. After all, the bookmaker has first-hand team news, and they could be picking the starting XI.
On that note, we are concerned about the integrity of a number of Football clubs. For example, Tony Bloom is the owner of both Brighton & Royal Union. His business, Star Lizard is a professional betting data service.
Furthermore, part of their offer is integrity services, and in their own words – Together, we can protect the integrity of sport. We help sports and enforcement agencies to identify, investigate and prosecute suspected match-fixing.
Mathew Benham of Triplebet & Smartodds does the same. From the website, they are dealing with Cutting edge software and Statistical Modelling Services.
Consequently, the Oxford graduate is also the owner of Midtjylland & Brentford. His people/company are fully immersed in the buying/selling of players and picking the team!
With all due respect, being in control of the process is a massive advantage. Why wouldn’t a professional gambling organization take advantage of betting in Asia, isn’t that an integrity issue?
What we do know is that it is illegal for racehorse owners to ‘’lay’’ their own runners in a race! In football, betting on the opposing team amounts to the same.
UNIBET & OTHERS MASSIVE FINES
We won’t just pick on Bet365 because many other Betting companies have morality issues. As an example, consider the fines of Unibet:
Over the past 6-months, the company faced Illegal advertising fines in both Australia & Ontario. Meanwhile, in the UK, they have been fined 7.1 million for breaking social responsibility and AML laws.
In the Netherlands, they were fined 450K for taking bets from residents without a license. In Norway, at the time of writing Unibet is being fined NKr.1.2M a day for accepting bets from Norwegian residents. To cut a long story short, it would be quicker to go through the countries which have not fined this low-life company!
As for 888, at the end of last year, they were fined £9.4m by the UKGC. The regulator said 888 was not properly identifying customers who were at risk of harm because it did not carry out financial checks until they had deposited £40,000. The irony of it all is if you win £500 this company will be quick to limit and ban your account!
There was a time when Norbert Teufelberger was facing bribery charges in his native Austria. The Bwin founder was also arrested in France, and faced charges in Belgium!
The betting industry likes to portray itself as whiter than white, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. You may have noticed, journals such as the Racing Post often use the words grey market when UK-licensed bookmakers are guilty of taking bets from residents of other countries. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, the color grey becomes black!
Russia and Italy used to have the mafia, now they are called business people. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, modern-day operators are no different!
Contributing big taxes equals protectionism from the matrix/government. When Limited companies commit skulduggery, the fine goes into the States coffers. However, for those not willing to pay into the authoritarian state, expect 5 years in Prison!
When taking advantage of betting companies, make sure you are legally covered. If you can get a favorable lawyer’s opinion, that’s one option! If it means paying taxes on profit, take that route. A Limited company and proper structure protect Betting companies, and it can do the same for Pro gamblers.
When betting companies can find ways of circumventing the law, it works both ways. In my experience, it’s better to have all angles covered before you start. Call it a firewall, or a protection mechanism!
If you are interested in our (paid)consultancy service – get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org