TowerGaming Sportsbook Rating and Review

TowerGamingTowerGaming is rated D+ on the SBS Rating Guide. This gambling site launched in 2006 offering poker, casino and bingo. Their sportsbook product was added in July 2009. They were the subject of controversy several times prior to adding sports betting to their offerings. This will be covered first in this article, followed by details of their sports betting side.

Overview of Early Issues

The most well-known issue involves TowerGamings’ blatant violation of Ongame Network rules with their online poker room. They also developed a business on a typo domain similar to a popular poker bonus site to promote their poker room. In addition to these issues, the company has been accused of not paying one of their sponsored professional poker players for promoting them at live events. Affiliates have complained about not getting paid money owed to them too.

Broke Ongame Network Rules

Ongame NetworkTower Gaming’s poker room launched on the Ongame Network. The poker room immediately became a problem to other Ongame skins. That is because the poker room offered bottomless 8x bonuses. This meant that players received 62.5% rakeback all of the time. The network stopped allowing this but Tower Gaming continued to offer 8x bonuses to players.

As if the rule violation wasn’t enough on its own, TowerGaming also offered players that signed up through certain affiliates rakeback on the remaining 37.5% of rake. While many players were not offered it directly, Tower Gaming turned a blind eye to affiliates that violated network rules. David Visser, the long time affiliate manager who is no longer with the brand, helped affiliates get around the rules. This included setting up individual trackers for every player so that rake stats would be available for each.

Ongame Kicks Tower Gaming Off Network

TowerGaming eventually got kicked off the Ongame network. They moved to the Cake Poker Network, which eventually became Revolution Gaming. Even though the network accepts U.S. players, Tower Gaming chose not to accept them after the move.

Alleged Cybersquatting

TowerGaming was allegedly involved in cybersquatting a widely known poker bonus site by registering, with an extra “n” to confuse players and to rank for the bonus site’s searches. TowerGaming insisted it was a rogue affiliate that set up the site but this website promoted just one online poker room, Tower Gaming. The company also did nothing to try and shut the site down. They were also accused of spamming from this same domain name.

Stiffed Sponsored Player

Poker Player Miika AnttonenTower Gaming sponsored a professional player named Miikka Anttonen to help promote their brand at live events. Miikka Anttonen bought into the events with his own money and provided his own accommodations to each event. He was owed nearly $60,000 and could not collect. He came up with a deal that would have paid him half of what he was owed based on the condition that he recanted his accusations. He did so in part, but TowerGaming still refused to pay him anything. This cost the player most of his bankroll and he had to rebuild from nearly zero.

Fails to Pay Affiliates

Sometimes a company’s ethics show in their affiliate program. A large affiliate complained in December 2011 about getting stiffed out of $28,000 by Tower Gaming. According to the affiliate, Tower Gaming never disputed the balance owed. There was a revolving door of affiliate managers and eventually emails were not getting answered. You can see other complaints of affiliate non payment here.

Sports Book Introduced with Software Used by Bankrupt Company

Oddsmatrix Eurolinx BetonbetTower Gaming’s sports book launched using OddsMatrix software. This same software was used by the Eurolinx and BetOnBet through the Linx Media Group. The Linx Media Group went bankrupt on August 21, 2009, right around the same time that Tower Gaming started using the software. Eurolinx and BetOnBet players have yet to receive any of their funds. These players had hoped that they would receive a fraction of their balance through the liquidation process but this never happened.

OddsMatrix COO Jesper Jensen stated when Tower Gaming launched sports betting that they are ultimately responsible for player funds at the Tower Gaming sports book. The company states that Tower Gaming is simply a white-label, meaning that Tower Gaming is licensed to provide the software to their players and market it, but OdssMatrix handles bet grading and management decisions. The banking arrangement had not been made clear.

Jensen released this contradictory statement:

As players are betting with OddsMatrix, we are in control of player funds residing in the sports book. If any of our licensees fails/dies, we are responsible to payout these players. This can only be done if the funds reside physically in the sports book balance. If funds are moved away, e.g. to main balance, poker- or casino balance, it is out of our control. As stated above, players are paid by OddsMatrix, but only if the licensee of OddsMatrix goes bankrupt. We are not doing day-to-day payment processing.

This is in stark contrast to what happened at Eurolinx and BetOnBet when players lost everything. The statement also contradicts itself. First they say that they are in control of player funds. Then they state that they are only responsible if the licensee fails or dies and that they do not do the day-today processing. Are they in control of player funds or are they only responsible if Tower Gaming disappears? Maybe there is an issue with a translation.

Sports Book Complaints

Tower Gaming has not just had issues with its poker players and its marketing; the company has also run into problems at its sports book. Tower Gaming has confiscated winnings and bonuses from players that took advantage of their first deposit bonus. The excuse each time was that the first deposit bonus is only for recreational players. It seems that Tower Gaming defines a recreational player as one that loses. Several players have complained about this. What is most disturbing is that these players only won a small amount, typically less than $1000.

Tower Gaming has made too many bad decisions over the years for them to be a recommended sports book. When a gaming company violates network rules, tries to use another company’s brand to their advantage, stiff affiliates, refuses to pay a sponsored pro and refuses to pay players small bonuses they are a sports book that is probably best avoided. They are rated D+ because they do pay most players, but there are many far better sports books available on the market.