There was a sudden surge of punters at Geoff Banks‘ website during the last few days but the prominent bookie isn’t happy about it.
Apparently, the website traffic was caused by promotion-seeking punters scouring gambling websites to make guaranteed profits. The Guardian reported that Banks filed a complaint against a “matched betting” website that is causing this unusual traffic to his own website.
Banks, who has more than two decades of experience in bookmaking, is a staunch critic of “matched betting,” which he described as a “bonus culture” in modern gambling. He took his complaint to the UK Gambling Commission, pressing the state regulator to ban the incentives.
“I don’t approve of free bets or bonus offers. From a gambling perspective I think it’s an unfair inducement to gamble,” Banks said. “But to open any new accounts these days you have to offer these inducements.
But the irony of the story was, Banks himself had been operating such schemes in order to lure new players. He claimed that he was left with no option but to join the “matched betting” culture in order to stay afloat in the business.
The bookie even pointed out that the scheme becomes unfair when the punters “deliberately falsifying registrations to get multiple accounts and gain as much as possible.”
“There is nothing illegal or wrong in people taking advantage of bookmakers if they are silly enough to make free bet offers. One person can take up as many offers as they like and bookmakers should not expect loyalty or anything else,” Banks said, according to the news report. “But what is happening here is people are opening multiple accounts with the same bookmaker using what they call ‘friends’ or ‘family’ accounts, and setting up bank accounts on behalf of them, with things like Ffrees, Skrill and pre-paid Mastercards, which have much lower verification requirements.”