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World Sports Exchange’s Jay Cohen is not a crook, he’s a social gaming pioneer

TAGs: Jay Cohen, social gaming, sports betting, world sports exchange, wsex

jay-cohen-wsexThere’s a thread over at online sports betting forum SBR titled ‘WSEX Slow Payout Updates’ that contains a whopping 2,315 posts. None of these posts were written by World Sports Exchange honcho Jay Cohen; understandable, perhaps, yet nonetheless highly ironic, given that Cohen was a gambling forum mainstay back before the WSEX website replaced its ‘request withdrawal’ button with an animated GIF of a fat man laughing. While Cohen now prefers to make public appearances about as often as Bigfoot, Jay used to love nothing better than hanging out in online gambling forums, slagging off his competitors as crooks and warning gamblers not to trust anyone else but WSEX with their money.

Yes, far better to put your trust in a man whose judgment was so skewed he willingly returned to the United States to fight charges that he’d contravened the Wire Act by offering online sports betting to American citizens. Cohen’s co-indicted WSEX cohorts didn’t share his belief in his own infallibility/invincibility, wisely choosing to remain in Antigua while Gen. Jay Custer rode off to his own personal Little Big Horn. Cohen’s release from prison in 2004 came with the condition that he was to have no further involvement in the online gambling business. Despite this, Cohen’s love of the spotlight led him to admit to CNBC in 2009 that he was once again up to his old tricks. At the time, we speculated that this would have serious repercussions for Cohen, but we believe Jay may have devised a couple ingenious ways to avoid enduring further indignities in a federal prison shower stall.

In the SBR forum discussing WSEX’s reluctance to part with its customers’ money, there’s a post dating from September of this year, in which one lucky bettor reported receiving a payout from WSEX in the ‘upper 3 figures’ a mere 19 months after requesting the withdrawal. While it technically doesn’t meet the criteria, we believe this represents the initial experiments of a pilot program in which WSEX puts sufficient space between the date in which a bet is made and the date by which payment on that bet is issued, in the hope that the Statute of Limitations will expire, rendering all such transactions immune from prosecution.

However, a more likely scenario comes from an SBR post made just last month, in which a WSEX bettor reported finally receiving a check for $1,200, only for the rubbery remit to bounce higher than the portly Cohen’s blood pressure. But we believe this was by design, not accident. Or didn’t you realize that Cohen pioneered the modern concept of social gaming, in which real money is required to get into the game, but real-money withdrawals are not permitted? All hail Jay Cohen, social gaming visionary. Frankly, we think Jay’s owed a cut of Zynga’s revenues (such as they are), or indeed of all social gaming revenues, which might even cover the million or so dollars WSEX customers are collectively owed. That said, even if that windfall check were to arrive at WSEX HQ, we wouldn’t bet the Farmville on Jay Conman’s willingness to use it to line anyone’s pocket but his own.

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