The sports handicapping industry is non-regulated. To sell picks on sporting events, you only need to have customers who will buy them. You don’t have to know squat about handicapping or even really that much about the sport. Anybody can advertise, make phone calls, and/or start a website claiming whatever they want. Anything goes in this business as it is a very, very rare day that any law enforcement or government agency or will do anything to regulate you, stop you, or punish you.
Warning Signs About a Handicapping Service
There are usually hints that a service or handicapper might not be telling you the truth. If you learn these, you might not fall into the increasingly large group of sports bettors who paid for plays from an unqualified handicapper or even much worse, were scammed of lots of money from an entirely dishonest and deceptive scam service, a scamdicapper.
1. Their contact information is incomplete, deceptive, or non-existent.
If you can’t find them, you can’t report them to the proper authorities or take your own legal action. Many sites only have a generic contact form where you type a question to them. There is no phone number or address anywhere on the website. This could be because the service wants you to believe they are located somewhere they really aren’t, usually Las Vegas. Or, if there is no phone number it could be because the handicapper has a full-time job other than handicapping and they can’t be or don’t want to be contacted at that job. The capper wants you to believe handicapping is their profession and that is what they do for a living.
2. They are not monitored at an independent monitoring site.
Why wouldn’t a handicapper want people to know their past record? There are two main reasons: One, they don’t have as long of past record as they claim to have. Two, their past record isn’t very good and/or isn’t the same as they claim it is. There are a few handicapping sites who monitor themselves transparently at their own websites. This is usually because when they release a play, the betting lines often will move.
3. They claim independent monitors are dishonest and accept bribes.
This is usually the excuse handicappers use to answer whey they aren’t monitored. If that is the case, then why aren’t the same cappers who are supposedly “bribing” the monitors always finishing right at the top every season? I have been monitored at the Sports Monitor of Oklahoma City for 11 years. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that they are entirely honest and would never take money to change somebody’s record.
4. You are unable to talk with a handicapper on the phone.
If the only person you can talk with is a sales person and not a real handicapper, that raises a red flag. You should be able to ask about a handicappers style, his capping methods, and ANY other question that comes to mind.
5. They don’t want to accept a credit card for payment.
Credit card companies offer a form of consumer protection. If you paid with a credit card and it turns out you were scammed, you can file a dispute with the credit card company claiming the service was fraudulent in the sale of their service to you. Many times you can get a refund for what you paid the scammer. This is called a “chargeback” and is something scammers hate. Instead, they will tell you to wire money to them or to a bank account. This is not a good paper trail and Western Union will not let you dispute money sent to somebody. Some scammers will promise you a big bonus at a specific sportsbook if you deposit money at that site. Then the “sportsbook” disappears.
6. They put pressure on you over the phone.
Many scam services employ salespeople with little ethics who operate out of a “boiler-room” environment. They always immediately ask how much you bet so they can get an idea on how much to price their picks at. The more you say you bet, the higher the price for their plays they will try to charge you. If you don’t buy, they will try to intimidate you, even call you names. Read below to see some of my experiences with these scammers.
7. After you have bought from them, they try to upgrade you and sell you “better picks”.
You have purchased some picks or a package from a service. You haven’t won money, at best you are a little ahead or hitting 50%. You are then told about the “Billionaire Boy’s Club” picks or the “High Roller Locks” that are 17-4 the past month or 49-11 this season. BUT, these plays will cost you a lot more money than you originally spent with the scamdicapper. However, you are told they are a “sure thing”. Hang up and never take another phone call from that service. Chalk up your losses to a “life’s learning experience”.
8. The plays they release are at lines you cannot get
While scamdicappers are very guilty of this, even legitimate services are guilty of this. When a service releases a play, the line they quote to bet it at should be available at least at a major offshore book and preferbly more than than just one. Quoting a line from an obscure book that nobody uses but is a half to a full-point or more better is unethical and will create a better record for the capper than what you will experience because you are not able to bet at that line they are being graded at. Many sites that have multiple cappers selling plays are guilty of using stale lines that are no longer available.
9. HIGH PRESSURE TACTICS from Handicapping Services
This is what really ticks us off more than anything. If you ever have called for a free pick from an ad or email, many times you will get a recording asking you to leave your phone number for a callback or a salesman who says he is on the other line and will call you right back if you would just give him your number. If you do talk with somebody and you hear a number of other voices in the background, you probably have gotten hold of a “boiler room”. For some boiler rooms, almost anything goes. Lying about past performance is the most common deception employed. However, just because a call center/boiler room has contacted you does not automatically mean the sports service or handicapper is not on the up and up. It baffles me that the sales methodology used by some sports services works but it must as they are still in business. It also doesn’t have to be a boiler room that uses high pressure sales tactics, it can be an individual who has gotten your phone number and talks to you about “easy money” is out there to be made.