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Sep 05

BetDNA – Sportbook Lines Changing After Bet

Posted by THEPOGG in Blog.

A recent complaint submitted by one of our US readers against BetDNA sportbook has highlighted some very worrying issue. The complaining player claims, and has provided evidence to support, betting lines being changed AFTER the bets have been confirmed by the operator.

Evidence

The below screenshots/photos of the screen show the player’s account activity firstly at the point where the bet was places and secondly when the bet was concluded. In each of the 3 instances we can see that the polarity of the handicap has changed.

A Basic Explanation of Handicapped Bets

For those of you that are not familiar with sports betting I am going to provide a quick explanation of the type of bet the player is using above. This player has placed a series of handicapped bet. This type of bet is generally offered in situations where there are two possible outcomes (either Team A wins or Team B wins, the overall score will be above X or below X etc.) and pays even money (minus the house vig). In most sporting events there is a favourite and an underdog. To make the equally attractive for both outcomes the sportsbook provide a handicap that benefits bets on the underdog and makes winning with the favourite more difficult. I will give an example of how this works below:

Team A and Team B have a big soccer match tonight. Team A is the big favourite so Bookie X offers the following handicapped bets for each team to win:

Team A (-2)

Team B (+2)

What the above means is that Team A would need to win by at least 3 goals for the punter to win this bet. Vice versa, as long as Team B win or lose by less than 3 goals the punter would win a bet on Team B. A result of Team A winning by exactly 2 goals would be a push with the bet being returned to the punter.

What is important about this case?

When a player places a bet in a sports book they are buy the odds on offer at that time. The odds on offer will fluctuate constantly as the time of the event approaches, but the player receives the odds that were offered at the time that they placed their bet. In each of the 3 above examples the handicap that was logged at the time the player placed their bet has changed in the latter screenshot. The bet ID shows us that these are the same bet, but the handicap has been changed.

There is no good reason for a sportsbook to do that. If the sportsbook has made an error with a line they have terms allowing them to cancel the bet, but there is nothing that allows for a line to be changed wile a bet remains in place. For obvious reason this could never be allowed as you could place what you felt was a favourable bet only for the sportsbook to change the handicap and make it impossible for you to win after you placed your bet.

What is important about this case?

When a player places a bet in a sports book they are buy the odds on offer at that time. The odds on offer will fluctuate constantly as the time of the event approaches, but the player receives the odds that were offered at the time that they placed their bet. In each of the 3 above examples the handicap that was logged at the time the player placed their bet has changed in the latter screenshot. The bet ID shows us that these are the same bet, but the handicap has been changed.

There is no good reason for a sportsbook to do that. If the sportsbook has made an error with a line they have terms allowing them to cancel the bet, but there is nothing that allows for a line to be changed wile a bet remains in place. For obvious reason this could never be allowed as you could place what you felt was a favourable bet only for the sportsbook to change the handicap and make it impossible for you to win after you placed your bet.

Could this be a mistake?

The simple answer is yes. This could be nothing more than a technical display issue that has no impact on the actual bets place. However it could also be a malicious system put in place by the operator specifically to increase their likelihood of a profitable result. Several factors that need to be considered when forming an opinion in one direction or the other.

Firstly, all of the bets in question are small. Small enough that manually changing the lines does not seem worthwhile financially to the operator. That would suggest that there is little incentive here for the operator to target this player specifically and as such if this is intentional it is automated.

Secondly, in each of the instances documented above the outcome of the event was such that even had the lines not changes the player still would not have won. In effect the changes made no difference to the player’s overall result. This does not necessarily remove the incentive from the operator. Assuming that this was done intentionally there are two ways that an operator could change lines to improve their own results: a) change the line after the bet is concluded to turn a winning bet into a losing bet or b) change a line after the bet is placed but before the event has concluded to give the player a lower chance of a winning result. Obviously as the changes to the lines do not make any difference to the results of the bets we can rule out a), but that still leaves b) which cannot be ruled out at this point.

Thirdly we have to look at the nature of the changes. If this was a random bug we would naturally expect some of the changes to benefit the operator and some to benefit the player. Below is a summary of the 3 bets:

36489 – Line changed from +1.5 to -1.5. This change significantly disadvantaged the player.

36430 – Line changed from +2 to -2. This change significantly disadvantaged the player.

36462 – Line changed from +4 to -4. This change significantly disadvantaged the player.

In each of the three bets the change made reverses the handicap and in each case results in a significant disadvantage for the player. At no point would this change have negatively impacted the operator.

Fourthly it should be taken into account that despite being repeatedly asked for an explanation by both the player and ThePOGG BetDNA have refused to offer any response to this issue.

Finally we have to consider the history and reputation of this group…..

The History of BetDNA and the CasinoAffiliateNow group

While we do not know the exact origins, structure and ownership of the properties in this group, there are certain things we can say with certainty.

Firstly this group were originally associated with the Amigotechs software platform [1].

Casino games developed by Amigotechs have been repeatedly found to return mathematically non-random/unfair results [2] [3] [4]. The repeated occurrence and similarity of these issues indicates that this is unlikely to be random bugs or errors and more likely to be the intended function of the game. There appears to have been some disagreement between Amigotechs and the CasinoAffiliateNow and they have subsequently moved away from the Amigotechs platform, however their association with a platform that is reasonably suspected of programming games that deceive players as to their chances of success is very notable.

After leaving Amigotechs the CasinoAffiliateNow group claim to have changed ownership.

In September 2015 we assisted a player with a complaint against Pamper casino [5], another operator in the CasinoAffiliateNow group. As this group accept US players we found it exceptionally suspicious that they were offering both Playtech and Microgaming games. Both companies do not cater to any operator that accepts unlicensed US traffic. We contacted both software providers. Microgaming confirmed that the games were genuine but that this operator should not have had access to them. Microgaming games being offered were immediately terminated. Playtech confirmed that the games being offered at Pamper casino were counterfeit, non-genuine, untested rip-offs of Playtech games. Again these games were removed from the Pamper casino site. This issue resulted in the CasinoAffiliateNow group being Blacklisted.

Where an operator offer counterfeit games there are only two possible explanations:

1) The operator knows that the games are non-genuine, is happy to deceive and rip-off their players and is comfortable working with the criminal groups that put these counterfeit games together.

or

2) The operator does not know that the games are non-genuine and as such has failed to undertake the necessary due diligence before selecting a software provider to go into business with or confirm the legitimacy of the games they are offering.

Either of these options is absolutely unacceptable.

In July 2016 the CasinoAffiliateNow group were caught again offering counterfeit games, this time ripped of Net Entertainment games [6].

At the time of publication of this article this group are again offering Playtech, Novomatic and Net Entertainment games. These games have again been confirmed as non-genuine [7] [8].

Given that CasinoAffiliateNow operators have now been caught on three separate occasions running different counterfeit games it seems reasonable to conclude that the operator were aware of the non-genuine nature of the games they were offering.

Conclusion

When all of this is considered together this paints a very negative picture. This is a group that:

– Previously ran on highly suspect software.

– Have been caught on two separate occasions running fake games (confirmed by the genuine software providers) and continue to offer software that is likely counterfeit.

– Show an issue that is consistent throughout the examples that we have seen that favours the sportsbook to the detriment of the player.

– Is non-responsive to attempts to communicate with them about the issue.

We leave readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the truth of what has gone on here, but we are once again warning all players not to engage with this group due to their highly questionable history and the repeated questionable activity that has been observed in their operation.

You can find a list of the properties operated by this group below:

  • betdna.com
  • casinogirl.eu
  • moneystorm.com
  • onlinecasino.ac
  • pampercasino.com

Update 20/10/2016 – BetDNA Statement

In the time between the date this article was published and the 20th of October (6 weeks) there was extensive behind the scenes communication regarding this issue. Much of this came about due to the player’s discussions with SportsBookReview. This discussion resulted in a suggestion that the player may get paid if they were to get various sites to remove the negative publications made about this issue.

This sort of requirement puts a site like ThePOGG.com in a very difficult position. In the first instance we won’t remove factually accurate information if the issues covered have not been addressed. Unfortunately that places us in the position of being a barrier to the very player we were trying to help. As such we involved ourselves in the conversation with SportBookReview, who also managed to get one of the management team at BetDNA to talk directly to us. At this point we made clear that if removing accurate information was the cost of getting the player paid, that instead we’d offer to pay the player’s balance ourselves unless the operator could prove the claims that they had made, seeing that as the responsible way to both retain a relevant post and ensure the player is treated fairly.

As it transpires, the removal of content – while it would still unacceptable to us – was a miscommunication regarding something the SportsBookReview team said as they were looking to find a compromise rather than something the operator pushed for. It is also important to stress that BetDNA have ultimately paid the player the portion of their balance that was fairly owed.

The culmination of this discussion was the release of a statement from BetDNA which can be found here – https://betdna.com/blog/at-betdna-sportsbook-its-great-to-be-live

Response to the Update and other commentary

There is a lot of additional information to be covered here, but firstly I would like to thank the team at SportsBookReview who were fundamental in developing the professional tone that was a necessity to facilitate a productive conversation and recognise that while we don’t agree with the BetDNA team on all aspects of this discussion, their secondary effort to conduct what unquestionably can only be considered an uncomfortable conversation was approached maturely and in a manner that was rational even where they were confronted with ideas that they did not like or agree with.

Moving on to the issues at hand. There are several factors that are relevant, and not so relevant, to this issue that need to be discussed.

The Player – During our conversation with BetDNA we looked in great detail that the betting history of the player that brought this issue to our attention. It is BetDNA’s position that this player has used a bot of some kind to place bets and that this being the case they were in violation of terms and conditions. On review of the play history there was one specific session where the player in question placed at least one bet every hour for a total of 36 hours. This was fast paced, with breaks of around an hour at points, but I’m confident that most readers will agree that 36 hours is a very long time to stay awake and focused to find the “weak lines” that the player claims to have been betting on. In our opinion it is relatively likely that the operator is right in this conclusion. However, as it isn’t a physical impossibility that a person could achieve this, it cannot be asserted as an absolute that the player did use a bot.

The above is not directly relevant to the issues discussed within this article, but does have some bearing on the overall context of the discussion and as such has been included. A lot of other information relevant to the player’s complaint did come out and this has been covered separately in the complaint thread which can be found here – http://thepogg.com/complaint/betdna-please-help/.

It also needs to be highlighted that the BetDNA response states that the player’s wager history “showing a pattern of wagers that strongly suggested many characteristics of arbitrage and “steam chasing,” and that he probably did so with the aid of specialized software for that purpose. ” is something we partially disagree with. To our minds, and those of the SportsBookReview team, the player’s wagering history is not characteristic of an arbitrage betting pattern. While we have little doubt that the player was using weak lines to beat the the house (“steam chasing”) we don’t agree that there was any evidence of arbitrage betting taking place.

The BetDNA response focuses on the idea that the player was maliciously trying to damage their reputation as they had determined not to pay. This is a very one sided perspective. Following this logic any player who decides to submit a complaint against any operator is behaving in a malicious fashion. The truth is that if a player has had their winnings voided the operator holds all the cards, especially where operators function in jurisdictions with weak regulation, the player’s only choice is to try and pressure the operator with negative press.

Further to this, had the player simply been lying about the issues they’d encountered then this could be categorised as malicious. The facts are different:

  • There was not enough evidence to establish conclusively that the player unquestionably had been using a bot, though we accept that this is the most likely explanation for the playing patterns.
  • The player did experience a high level of Grading Errors – that’s a fact.
  • Most important to this articles – betting lines DID change after bets were placed.

Even if the player did use a bot, that the player had experienced the documented issues is without question. Dismissing these issues based on a supposed malicious agenda is a flawed proposition.

Grading Errors – The BetDNA article solely focuses on “Grading Errors”. A Grading Error is when an online sportsbook incorrectly records the result of a bet as a win/loss. The player did bring to our attention 3 Grading Errors that they’d spotted each of which went against them. However as all of these had been corrected and the player could not provide an example of a Grading Error that had not already been addressed by the operator we felt this was irrelevant to this particular article.

As Grading Errors were not the focus of this article making them the focus of the response seems an odd choice.

In the name of fairness we do want to highlight that BetDNA were able to provide us with 2 examples from the player’s betting history where Grading Errors had occurred that favoured the player.

BetDNA’s article makes the accusation that the player “selectively” chose examples of Grading Errors that were detrimental to them. This is an idea that we absolutely and entirely refute. Human nature is going to drive players to assume that winning bets have been graded correctly, there’s no incentive for any player to check up to see if a winning bet is in error. Losing bets on the other hand are always going to come under greater scrutiny. It’s entirely natural that the player only had examples of Grading Errors disadvantaging them and it’s a very weak claim to make that this is evidence of cynical or manipulative efforts.

More importantly though, the player place approximately 500 bets over the history of their account. Of those 500 bets, without checking each individually, we can say that 3 were incorrectly graded as losses for the player and 2 were incorrectly graded as wins. Looking at only the Grading Errors we know about, and if we’ve found 5 easily it seems likely there will be more, 1% of all bets were Grading Errors. This is a very high error rating, higher than any player should have to endure. In short, the error rating in itself provides more than a legitimate reason not to play with this operator.

Changing Betting Lines – This issue was the focus of this entire article. The BetDNA article makes little more than a passing reference to this issue, instead lumping it in with the Grading Errors. However, we have discussed this issue at length with the BetDNA team and the explanation they provided for this issue is as follows (this is not a quote):

Live betting lines change as circumstances in the events change. There is a 7 second lag between a player clicking to place a bet and the system acknowledging the bet. If a betting line moves during those 7s there are two possible way that the system can manage the player’s bet: i) the system can reject the bet and notify the player or ii) the system can accept the bet at the line that is currently available. In this instance the player’s account had selected the ‘Accept All Changes’ option and hence the changes to the betting lines that were observed.

The above explanation is inadequate to our mind for the following reasons:

  • Line change from +4 to -4 – This bet was placed on a Baseball game, meaning that for the above explanation to be true, in a 7s time period the Cleveland Indians went from being an underdog by 4 runs to a favourite by 4 runs. In that 7s space the expectations for the Cleveland Indians changed by a total of 8 runs. That’s a VERY big line change to occur on a Baseball bet in such a short space of time.
  • All line changes favoured the operator – While BetDNA did provide examples of Grading Errors that had favoured the player, they did not provide any examples of changing betting lines that favoured the player.
  • All line changes moved from the +ve to the -ve – In each case we’ve seen the betting line changed by simply replacing a +ve number with the same -ve number. This is a highly unusual pattern to occur with natural line movements. We would expect to see the integer change as well as the sign. Furthermore, these changes would correlate with the least noticeable manner of changing a line without the player noticing.

In short, we simply don’t feel that it’s viable to suggest that the line changes seen were solely the result of the ‘Accept All Changes’ setting within the account.

To this end we do need to highlight the following quote from the BetDNA article – “It deserves mention that it has been admitted, even by those who have reported this story, that we did nothing wrong as far as manually altering the odds or targeting any customer specifically.” While we would concede that BetDNA have managed to provide examples of Grading Errors that favoured the player, making it specifically unlikely that this was an intentional issue, no such evidence has been presented with respect to the more significant issue of the changing betting lines. As such we cannot agree with the quote – while this may be a software issue, the Grading Errors certainly suggest issues with the software being used, this does not preclude the possibility of malicious intent. While we draw no conclusions regarding which is more likely, neither can at this stage be legitimately excluded. It is also worthy of note however that BetDNA have stated that the software has been updated to address all issues and that we’ve no other reports of this type of anomaly.

In conclusion, while we are happy to see BetDNA address the issues, agree that the Grading Errors have gone both ways and we are satisfied that the specifics related to the player’s balance have been addressed within the related complaint, we are not satisfied that the explanation provided for the line changes adequately addresses the issue.

References

1.http://www.casinomeister.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32653&p=311812#post311812
2.http://thepogg.com/skybook-cheating-video-poker-amigotechs-software/
3.http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/online/7774-amigotechs-online-gaming-solutions-warning/
4.http://www.beatingbonuses.com/ast.htm
5.http://thepogg.com/complaint/pamper-payment-delayed/
6.http://www.casinomeister.com/rogue/pampercasino.php
7.https://www.freeextrachips.com/casino-bonus-blog/pamper-ac-casino-betdna-pirated-games-again
8.https://latestcasinobonuses.com/news/10185-counterfeit-software-at-pamper-casino-and-its-sister-sites

Complaint Report – http://thepogg.com/complaint/betdna-please-help/

BetDNA Review – http://thepogg.com/casino-review/bet-dna/

Casino Affiliates Now Review – http://poggwebmasters.com/affiliate-program/casino-affiliate-now/

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