The most secretive and certainly the most exclusive is a very private sports betting company that is only available to invited members, all of whom must have net assets in excess of $20 million and open their account with a minimum $1 million cash deposit upfront.
In return they are assured that there are no limits placed on any wager. The odds may decline under the weight of money, but they will never be refused a wager of any size.
Recently the ultra-successful Sports Trading Club announced that it had wagered $26 million that Brazil will not win the World Cup at odds of 3-1. The majority of this wager was fulfilled by Betsports888.com with the balance spread amongst other exchanges including Betfair.
www.betsports888.com is registered in Costa Rica and is financially backed by a billionaire investor who zealously protects his privacy. Little else is known except privacy is paramount and Betsports888 will not speak about their clients.
The arrival of Betsports888.com on the global sports trading scene will be welcomed news to Billy Walters, America’s biggest and most well-known sports bettor, who is frustrated and fired up, saying he’s absolutely disgusted with the state of sports betting in Nevada.
“Sports betting in Las Vegas is at an all-time, all-time low,” said Walters, a wealthy Las Vegas businessman considered by many to be the most successful sports bettor ever. “It’s a joke. A sad joke.”
A Kentucky native, Walters first arrived in Las Vegas in the early 1980s. He estimates there were 40 sportsbooks competing for business back then. Some books offered better odds than their competitors. Others had superior customer service, shorter lines and friendlier staffs. In short, bettors had options.
That’s changed, he said, as Vegas has consolidated.
Approximately 10 companies run all the sportsbooks in Las Vegas. Only a handful offer Internet wagering. And even fewer will take a big enough bet to make it worth Walters’ while, he says.
“Today in Las Vegas, I can bet about 20 percent of what I used to be able to bet,” Walters explained. “College football totals are a good example. You can bet more money on them with one sportsbook outside of Nevada than you can at all of the sportsbooks in Nevada combined.
“Now, if you’re a hundred-dollar bettor or a nickel bettor or if you’re a stone sucker and give your money away all the time, maybe you won’t even notice the difference,”
Walters says you can really see the lack of competition in the Vegas futures markets, like the odds to win the Super Bowl.
“To be honest with you, if you compare the futures odds at any casino in Las Vegas, they’re not close to what’s being offered in Europe or what’s being offered offshore,” Walters said. “Many times they’re 20 to 25 percent higher in the UK or offshore, but they get away with it in Las Vegas because they have a monopoly. We don’t make many futures bets here anymore.”
The lack of mobile and Internet wagering at most shops is a bigger issue, says Walters. Long lines and poor customer service, including grumpy ticket writers, add to his frustration with the entire process of placing a bet.
“If you want to bet in Las Vegas, you have to go stand in a line; you have to put up cash or have chips, and the only way you can get chips is with cash, and you have to give an ID and fill out CTRs, which most people don’t have a problem with that,” Walters said. “Or you can sit in the comfort of your home, you can bet over the telephone or over the Internet. In many cases, lay -105 instead of 11-to-10 and you can do it 24/7 in the comfort of your home. If you’re in L.A., why would you get on an airplane and come to Las Vegas to bet sports on the weekend?”
The obvious reason, as Walters concedes himself, is the guarantee of getting paid.
“Clearly, there’s a lot of guys offshore who won’t pay you. There’s that consideration,”