Matchbook – license revocation, player credits and high stakes game
On February 17, 2020, the British Gambling Commission (UKGC) suspended the license for the bookmaker and casino Matchbook. The brand continues to operate under the Alderney license. Our blog understood what was behind this decision.
The world of high stakes and VIP players is not public. Big money and serious gambling figures respect silence. But sometimes, something nevertheless becomes available to the general public.
The story that led to the suspension of the license began supposedly on September 2, 2014. On this day, Paul McGuinness of Xanadu and Andrew Pantling, director of Triplebet, known on the Internet as the site of the bookmaker and casino Matchbook, flew to Lima, the capital of the South American state Peru, to meet at one of the local Atlantic City casinos with one of those with whom they will have problems in the future, namely Juan Omar Machi Aguad. Juan Aguad was not just relaxing in the casino, he was his master, and as often happens in the gambling world, he himself was an avid player.
Here it is necessary to put some emphasis on the actors. Matchbook – a product widely known in the narrow circles of professional gamblers. Although he offers to play in a casino, his fights for sports bring him fame first of all. Matchbook is on the menu of many well-known betting brokers, along with giants such as Pinnacle and IBCBet.
Mr. Aguad also did not mind getting into Matchbook and wanted to start with a $ 500,000 deposit for American football bets as part of the NFL American Championship.
Matchbook is one of those sites that is geared towards major professional players. And by itself, such players need a special service. They can’t register with everyone in general and send a selfie with a passport to the caliper in their hands. And the desire to shine documents from such people, frankly, does not arise often. The rules are true in this regard are strict and inexorable, the verification process is the same for everyone. But the rule is then that, like the law, they are common to the masses. For players, however, they are serious, and therefore defaulted to respected people, you can and should go to the meeting, look at questions more broadly and not be bookworms. Again, not every payment system will simply digest $ 500,000 deposits.
The same is true for geography. If you are a player from a country prohibited for admission, your registration will not be understood. But if you are a real VIP, then why all this geo-formalism? There would be a desire to play at VIP rates, but there is a solution.
In a word – such people have a separate entrance. In the case of Matchbook, this is a separate site 3et.com, a formally independent bookmaker with its own license, in practice – an intermediary broker, from a subsidiary of Eurasia Sports, the Matchbook VIP mirror is different. The conditions on the site are not specified, but unofficially through 3et.com in the Matchbook usually send players who want to play at least a minimum beta of $ 100 and with a minimum initial deposit of $ 10,000.
“In fact, the service offered by 3et.com provides a brokerage product with bets via Skype or over the phone, allowing large players to make large bets.
In general, intermediaries such as 3et.com are not particularly advertised, and players on Facebook ads do not access such sites. There are special agents for this – companies looking for major players around the world. Or, to be more precise, those who seek out such players. Since it is not always possible to go to the player directly. It is often not clear at all whether the player in front of you or the sub-agent is placing a deposit and bets of another player or sub-agent. And who is the last link in the chain – Colombian criminal authority, Asian gambling syndicate or DimOK. What actually does not bother everyone, the main thing is the rates and the ability to pay them.
Xanadu Consultancy is one such agency looking for serious players for Euroasia Sports and their Matchbook VIP mirror site 3et.com. Formally, Xanadu is a company on the Isle of Man, which includes Cork’s CEO Mark Brosnan, as well as former Ryanair CEO and former RTÉ chief financial officer Conor Hayes.
The competition for VIP high rollers is big, so 3et.com, under the guarantee of an agent of Xanadu Consultancy, was ready to give a serious player Aguad a loan to his account at 3et.com / Matchbook of $ 1,000,000. Each gambling site has its own methods for assessing credit risks of this kind. An important asset is the reputation in the gambling world. Player Aguad took a loan of $ 1,000,000. The skid did not happen, on the first day I lost everything at the NFL matches. Let’s go meet, give another $ 500,000 on credit. No luck again. Debt rose to $ 1,500,000.
Aguad asked the site’s management to postpone the repayment of the debt, to give an opportunity to make a real deposit and unwind from it. Allowed. Aguad talked to one of his friends, quickly made a parallel game account in someone’s name, threw $ 500,000, gave Aguad access. It was necessary to make only 3x, and the debt as it had happened. I tried it. Did not work out. All $ 500,000 gone. Two weeks later, Aguad asked to increase the loan by another $ 375,000. The loan was increased, the money was lost within one day.
After that, Aguad went into the shadows, and at the same time Jose Roberto de Romana Letts appeared on the stage, a man who offered his services to Xanadu Consultancy as a sub-agent for searching for players in the same Peru. It is not clear whether Aguad played through it, but at the same time, sub-agent Jose Roberto brought several more players. Xanadu Consultancy has all given them a loan to play Matchnook through 3et.com for a total of $ 10,000,000. Jose Roberto personally guaranteed the solvency of the players by writing a check for $ 10,000,000 for Xanadu Consultancy.
They began to play, mainly making sports bets. A sporting event is not a slot, you can’t twist RTP quickly. But gambling fortune is insidious. Lost all $ 10,000,000 fast. A sub-agent’s check, Jose Roberto, was presented to the bank for collection. After the set time, the bank did not transfer the money, but then returned the sub-agent’s check. As uncovered and unsecured. Intentionally issuing an unsecured check is a serious crime. It may be possible to accidentally make a mistake on the fact of whether you have $ 10,000,000 in your current account or not. Only no one will believe it. The air smelled of fraud. Player Aguad, sub-agent José Roberto and the players who played through him, disappeared into Latin American sunset.
South American hot guys lost $ 875,000 real. And they owed on paper just over $ 12,000,000. But turn fortune a little differently, and everything could have turned out differently. A huge plus for the players, a huge minus for the casino bookmaker and agent. In fact, the players were given a no deposit $ 12,000,000 without any wager requirements. But to succeed did not work.
3et.net, Matchbook and Xanadu Consultancy did not lose real money thanks to fate. But lost earnings of $ 12,000,000 agree the same insulting. How gambling debts are collected on the Internet is a dark and little-studied question. But we thought that a court decision would not hurt. The $ 12,000,000 writ of execution on Xanadu Consultancy’s balance sheet is still more plus than minus.
Filed in a London court. The defendants – player Aguad, sub-agent Jose Roberto and other South American gambling brethren did not predictably arrive at the court. Which is understandable. Why should decent Latin American dons answer all sorts of stupid questions about unsecured checks. The court won a decision of $ 12,000,000 in favor of Xanadu Consultancy. What they did next to him is unknown. The whole story quietly rested peacefully in the judge’s decision on the court’s website. The layman, even the British one, just doesn’t particularly climb court sites, and doesn’t read boring judicial decisions on 32 pages.
While this whole story was happening – UKGC – The British Gaming Commission has been actively fighting to eradicate from gambling everything that makes gambling gambling.
The operators were forced to verify the players before the deposit, find out the origin of the money, banned many different bonuses and play free games without registration. The goal was declared good – to make gambling free from ludomania and dirty money. From the point of common sense, the slogan sounded something like “Let us give the green light to legal prostitution, but without adultery.” It sounds beautiful, even noble. But the practical implementation of the idea is poorly believed.
Actually, none of the knowledgeable people in the whole proclaimed UKGC nonsense did not believe and does not believe. But UKGC leadership depends on the ruling party. And the ruling party depends on the election. Therefore, UKGC is forced to do what a simple layman likes. And a simple layman likes when casinos and bookmakers are fined, taxed and taken away licenses.
UKGC did not invent a bicycle, and it has been systematically crushing operators in recent years. At the same time, even more global-radical ideas were invented on the agenda. Obligate affiliates working on RevenueShare to buy licenses, leave the possibility of deposits from debit cards, but prohibit from credit, reduce the amount of maxbet online to 2 British pounds.
Sensible people again started talking about the fact that all these measures only spur the migration of players from the British jurisdiction to the black markets of any crypto casino with RTG software and will contribute to the emergence of various scripts for UK players. But the UKGC, like any normal state body, the main thing is not the result, but its visibility.
The visibility of UKGC’s successes was impressive. It seems that everything is under control and the monitor. Matchbook’s activities, to put it mildly, did not quite fit into this new UKGC reality, but who will delve into the archives of the British courts, albeit openly.
But here we are. Our blog cannot claim to be 3et.com / Matchbook competitors, but some evil spies have unearthed this entire judicial history and leaked it to the press. The first article was written with pleasure by one of the Irish newspapers. Within 24 hours, the UKGC from an authority where everything is under control turned into an authority under its nose, in which operators with a British license simultaneously juggle other licenses, like rabbit magicians, accept credit from some suspicious citizens, on suspicious amounts and in suspicious ways. And obviously with violation of any AML procedures (AML – Anti Money Laundering – measures against money laundering).
Dullness and suspicion pulled from this whole story. And organizational and personnel findings, to guide UKGC. In the bureaucratic world, it does not matter whether you are the chairman of the British UKGC or the head of the administration of a county town in the CIS. If on a straight line for the first person in the Russian Federation they phoned with complaints that they have not been able to build a bridge over the ditch for 20 years, the bridge will be built in 24 hours. If a story before the story of anyone who didn’t interest anyone gets on the pages of the press, the UKGC will respond instantly. Reacted, suspended the Matchbook license.
Thanks for attention. I will be glad to any comments.