WILLEMSTAD - The Foundation for the Protection of the Interest of Victims Online Gambling has filed a complaint against Cyberluck on Curaçao. According to the foundation, Cyberluck is partly responsible for the fraud committed by online casino 1xBet that operates under its master license. The foundation has also filed a complaint with the Gaming Control Board in Curaçao.
In many countries there is a regulator that issues licenses, but in Curaçao it is different. In Curaçao, there are some master licensees that provide sub-licenses to online casinos. The most famous of these, Cyberluck, operates under the name Curaçao e-Gaming (CEG) and has given its seal to hundreds of casinos. One of the most famous casinos in the world, 1xBet, has such a license in Curaçao via Cyberluck.
The Foundation for the Protection of Victims of Online Gambling (SBGOK) collects and investigates claims from persons who have been disadvantaged by online casinos with a Curaçao license. They have received numerous claims about 1xBet, says SBGOK director Nardy Cramm.
1xBet, Cyberluck, and the Israeli gambler
The foundation uses an Israeli gambler who claims to have been defrauded of $255,000 by 1xBet as a spearhead in its report.
This Israeli businessman deposited money at 1xBet several times and lost it all, until it hit the jackpot once. The Israeli won $255,000 and wanted to cash it out on May 6 of this year. After the cash out request, the man was asked to identify himself. When he sent a photo of his passport, he was asked to describe his relationship with another account holder. The other account, according to the Israeli, was a friend of his with whom he often gambled together and who had just recommended him to 1xBet.
1xBet did not accept that explanation and the man's account was promptly closed. The man got his deposits back, but the $255,000 won was confiscated.
The man then brought the matter to the attention of Cyberluck, the company that had issued the license to 1xBet. At the end of June, Cyberluck considered the complaint and issued a ruling on August 1. Cyberluck decreed that the case had been adequately handled by 1xBet and therefore ruled against the man.
Cyberluck's procedure can be compromised, says Cramm. For example, there was no rebuttal.
The man from Israel then joined SBGOK, which represents the interests of more players who claim to have been disadvantaged by online casinos based in Curaçao. SBGOK requested the data of 1xBet's parent company 1xCorp from the local Chamber of Commerce but then it turned out that it was no longer located in Curaçao since June 1.
The company's new address is unknown, the former management has resigned, and the Chamber of Commerce registration ended on 1 June. Despite this, 1xBet has received a new license from Cyberluck, says SBGOK. The new permit runs until September of this year.
SBGOK files a complaint against Cyberluck
Because 1xBet itself no longer seems to be located in Curaçao and SBGOK suspects the licensor of cooperating in fraudulent acts, SBGOK has now filed a complaint against Cyberluck.
According to SBGOK, the company is not only partly responsible for the fraud by 1xBet. The foundation claims that Cyberluck also actively cooperates in flouting the rules against money laundering by 1xBet. In addition – according to SBGOK – Cyberluck is cooperating in targeting players in jurisdictions where online gambling is explicitly prohibited by 1xBet. In addition, SBGOK takes action against what it considers to be misleading and unsound complaint procedures of Cyberluck.
In addition to reporting to the Public Prosecution Service on Curaçao, SBGOK has also filed a complaint with the Gaming Control Board on the island.
Fines imposed on 1xBet in the Netherlands
1xBet's parent company 1xCorp N.V. was fined €200,000 by the Dutch Gaming Authority (Ksa) in 2019.
In addition to 1xBet, the originally Russian company also operates under names such as 1xBit, 1xStavka, BookmakerPub, 22Bet, MelBet, BetWinner, and AsproBet. According to SBGOK, 1xBet's parent company 1xCorp processes one million bets a day. The company that makes those payments for the online casinos of 1xCorp, Cyprus-based Exinvest, was also fined €200,000 by the Gaming Authority in 2019.
In January of this year, the Ksa announced that it was proceeding with compulsory recovery of the €400,000 fine because the companies refused to pay.
SBGOK informed the Dutch Gaming Authority of their complaint against 1xBet, because of the equal interests in their view.
Last month, SBGOK also made a name for itself when it went to court. The representative started an article 15 procedure at the Court of Curaçao in order to force the Public Prosecution Service on the island to prosecute e-gaming licensees. SBGOK declares that the issuance of sublicenses is illegal and therefore sublicenses are not legally regulated. On August 23, the Public Prosecution Service must present the case to the Court.
Curaçao has been reforming the system for online casinos for some time now, partly due to pressure from the Netherlands. At the beginning of this month, the Social-Economic Council of Curaçao issued a damning verdict on the proposed reform, which puts the whole issue in jeopardy again.
1xBet not reachable in the Netherlands
1xBet is not directly accessible in the Netherlands. The website gives an error message when trying to access it from the Netherlands. It is possible to visit the website with a VPN. Until February of this year, the 1xBet app was available. Creating a new account was not possible, but existing Dutch customers could log in via the app.
In July, F.C. Barcelona (then with Messi) signed a 5-year deal with 1xBet
The online casino 1xBet has concluded various sponsorship contracts. For example, it was a partner of the Italian Serie A for a while and it attracted former international Andrea Pirlo as its ambassador. It is also a sponsor of e-gaming league ESL, of the African Football Association CAF, and of the Nigerian football league NPFL.
The most important achievement in 1XBet's sponsorship portfolio is undoubtedly F.C. Barcelona. At the end of July, the online casino and the football club signed an agreement for five seasons.