In August 2010, four former BetUS and BetOnline employees launched Northbet.com, the cornerstone of which was the BetUS VIP databases. These somehow ended up in the box of stuff former BetUS sales manager David Craig was carrying as he exited the BetUS offices for the last time. Pretty soon, players at both BetUS and BetOnline complained they were digitally drowning in unsolicited Northbet promos.
Midway through last month, Northbet’s terror alert level went from ‘elevated’ to ‘OMG’. Reports of slow-pay/no-pay tactics began circulating in betting forums. The drone grew loud enough that industry tabloid Gambling911 published an article titled Northbet Going South? Sources See Red Flags. G911 has since removed all trace of the article from their site, but a Google cache post-mortem uncovered the article’s text:
There is a book called NorthBet.com which is calling up people from BetUS.com and BetOnline.com player lists and aggressively emailing the lists as well. The owners of this book are going by the names David Craig, Shandor Hawkes, David Bell and Tulga Kalayci. This group of thieves got jobs with both companies, stole their source code for their websites and their player databases and set up shop. The group took with them several VIP account managers once BetUS.com left the US Market and these managers went to work with the new group because they’re paying agents 25% on losses. The book is starting to slow pay players that they stole from BetUS.com and BetOnline.com and players are urged to stop playing with NorthBet.com. The site has offices in Costa Rica and Montreal.
Ironically, Northbet’s apparent financial woes may stem from its reliance on heavy betting retail customers poached from BetUS and BetOnline. This NFL season was not kind to sportsbooks. With the popular favorites routinely covering the spread and the underdogs unable to keep things within the points, even a piss-poor prognosticator could turn a profit. It’s an unenviable position for a sportsbook, even more so for an online bookmaker with an already shaky financial foundation – and a Verisign-issued .com domain vulnerable to seizure at any moment by the US Department of Justice.
This is a great industry full of great people, but even Ivory Soap only claimed to be 99.44% pure. People like Craig and his cronies should never have bit the hand that fed them, but what’s done is done. What’s important now is that they don’t go any further down this road. The online sports betting world doesn’t need another Covers/BetED fiasco. Pay the damn players.