Friday December 19,2014 : WHAT'S UP AT 666BET?
Complaints of slow-pay are followed by a shutdown.
A little over six months back, amid much fanfare and claims of serious backing, 666BET.com launched, headed by former founder and CEO at Gutshot Poker Barry Martin, and using football manager Harry Redknapp as an ambassador…yet this week the site is closed for "….a scheduled upgrade to our platform" and operator Novigroup on the Isle of Man appears to have disowned the site.
The writing may have been on the wall – or to be more accurate on several betting forums – two months ago, when complaints about slow-pay tactics started to surface from frustrated players. However, in the absence of an explanation by the owners, that is hearsay and speculation.
It must be a bitter pill for Martin to swallow; in May this year he boasted that 666BET would be spending around GBP 8 million on marketing to compete with the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes in just 18 months. Whether that was merely hubris is yet to be proved, but things are not looking too good.
666BET has Isle of Man and UK Gambling Commission licensing and offers online sportsbook, casino, live dealer games, live/in-play betting, and lottery using Gaming Synergies and Microgaming software. The enterprise initially targeted the British and European markets, but voiced ambitions regarding Asia.
The wheels seem to have come loose over the past 48 hours, starting with a Novigroup email which advised:
"We would like to inform you that as of 18.12.2014 Novigroup Ltd will no longer provide its betting and gaming services to 666bet customers.
"The website will remain open solely for the purpose of allowing all customers to withdraw their remaining account balance. We wish to reassure you that all customers’ funds will be paid promptly and in full.
"Please visit http://www.novigroupltd.com/666bet in order to withdraw your remaining account balance."
This was quickly followed by an email from "the 666BET team" advising:
"You may have just received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, please disregard this communication. As of 17:00 hours on 18/12/2014, Novigroup Ltd no longer provide their services to 666BET.
"Please do not worry, your account balances will remain intact and there is no need to withdraw any of your funds. All customer accounts will be carried over to our new platform.
"Due to the migration to our new and improved website, our site will be down until tomorrow. During this period you will be unable to log-in or make any transactions. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."
All of which implies that Novigroup – and its licenses – are no longer associated with 666BET, which is presumably about to re-emerge on another, as yet unknown, platform.
The shuttered 666BET website currently carries the message:
"We are currently performing a scheduled upgrade to our platform. We hope to be up and running again very shortly and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."
Reliable industry sources report that 666BET management was deeply concerned at a connection outage during the FIFA World Cup football earlier this year – a key opportunity for the newly launched 666BET, and there is speculation that this may have created relationship problems between 666BET and Novigroup, but in the absence of communication from either company this is again speculation.