Jeff Haney on a dying scheme to hustle online casinos

August 14, 2006 at 7:29:0 PDT

The federal government’s recent crackdown on online gambling has thrust the largely unregulated, sometimes bizarre backwater of Internet casinos into the spotlight.

Not long after the House of Representatives passed legislation this summer designed to clamp down on online gambling, the boss of Costa Rica-based BetOnSports was arrested while changing planes in Texas. As a result, the company announced Friday it would close down its service to Americans.

Although millions of Americans wager billions of dollars online annually, according to The New York Times, most are ostensibly just trying to get lucky, which is of course a sucker’s bet.

For a brief shining moment a couple of years ago, though, so-called “advantage players” – sharp gamblers who play only with some kind of an edge – dove into the realm of Internet casinos with glee.

They were not trying to get lucky. Taking advantage of a surfeit of cash bonus offers available at the time, they just wanted to make a deposit, collect the bonus, put in the required amount of play and cash out with a small profit.

A typical offer might go like this: Deposit $200, get a $100 bonus, play $3,000 worth of online blackjack (expected loss: $15) and you’re home free. Expected gain: $85.

Following step-by-step instructions…

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Author: GamesAndCasino