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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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In a nutshell, I have gambled for the past 3 years professionally

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In a nutshell, I have gambled for the past 3 years professionally on sports betting. Primarily using various online bookmakers. Unfortunately though all bookmakers are very quick to limit/restrict my accounts as soon as I flag in their system as a profitable punter. I've been had my accounts closed hundreds of times in total from most of the major bookmakers.
Anyway, for the past couple of years I have made deals with friends where they open accounts for me and I bet on behalf of them in their name. This is called using pseudo accounts to bet, it's technically against the T+C of the sites but its impossible for them to take any action even if somehow caught, and obviously this is definitely not against the law in any way at this stage. Each set of accounts last around a month.
What I'm proposing on doing though which would enable me to get my bets on indefinitely for obvious reasons will brush up on the borderline of fraud so I seek advice in this area.
At the moment all I actually need to open betting accounts on behalf of my friends are a photograph of their passport, and a photograph of proof of address. I also use these pictures to open an online e-wallet, Skrill (Moneybookers), to connect to all the betting accounts to deposit/withdraw, then send winnings back over to my own Skrill account when finished. (Obviously they know about all of this I explain it all very carefully).
On the majority of the bookmaker sites these ID pictures aren't even checked, but just requested rarely to be briefly checked over. They are also needed to open a Skrill account but the checking of the pictures on there is very lax, and just briefly looked at for a split second when you ring and ask them to verify the pictures for you. This isn't huge money we are talking for each Skrill account I have access to, maybe a 4/5 grand worth of winnings every month will be cashed off back to mine to withdraw. It would be very easy to link all the Skrills accounts I've used back to mine by Skrill if they wanted, but for some reason Skrill have never even asked me about it. Also I know I'm doing nothing wrong at the moment anyway as technically I'm telling these people what to bet on, and I'm taking a big cut of the winnings.
Anyway, what I'm thinking about doing now, is to have these two identification pictures professionally photo shopped, enabling me to temporarily create an imaginary identity allowing me to get a months worth of bets each time. It seems bad at first reading and might appear like fraud, but is it really? What law would this breach in particular, and even then, IF bookmakers did clock on, what could they actually do? Realistically I'm pretty they would say sorry no we can't let you deposit and play and I haven't been punished in any way. Or if they requested the pictures when I was cashing out they would just hang onto my winnings on that site if for some reason they wanted additional ID which I wouldn't be able to provided. Again I've used a huge amounts of friends pictures to verify my accounts in the past and I've never been knocked back once.
The only thing that could really trip me up is if Skrill put 2+2 together, as they may become concerned about money laundering which is fair enough with my personal account having lots coming in and out from many connected accounts. But it's not money laundering is it if what I'm doing isn't actually breaking any laws in the first place is it? End of the day Skrill have nothing to sue about anyway, I'm not doing them out of any money, they are just benefiting from all the transfer and withdrawal fees I give them every week. If push came to shove and they collared me about it though I can just see them telling me I can't do it any more and closing my own personal account, even if what I'm doing technically doesn't break any law.
Finally, from an ethical point of view I understand many that read this are going to frown upon me, and see me as con-man looking to abuse a system, but what kind of system am I abusing really? These very bookmakers make their income by praying from the weak minded, In a business that destroys many lives, and it further disgusts me that they give the illusion to the public its possible for anyone at all to win (long run), as its NOT. The few that DO have the ability to win are shown the door to make way for their usual prey. I do see myself as a law abiding and ethical person in general, although in this particular circumstance I will take no remorse in beating them at their own game.
Although I'm sure you are going to advise me again what I propose, what I need to know is what kind of liabilities am I realistically opening myself up to given these particular circumstances if I do go ahead with this plan. As a final note I am 100% sure a vast number of other professional gamblers go down this route, and through all my research have I even found one instance of a bookmaker taking or even being able to take action against someone in my position.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It's ok, I'll wait as long as it takes.

Thank you.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Continue please no problem, thanks

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
What is it you want to achieve please ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just want to know if what I plan to do is definitely illegal, and even if it is what are the realistic repercussions given my circumstances ?

Is all that can realistically happen is I get a slap on the wrists by Skrill or a Bookmaker and turned away, or could one be liable to prosecute for some sort of fraud?

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
So you are opening accounts up under different names and producing documents to support this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes exactly, I'm creating documents to play under an imaginary name. I know its not against the law to Photoshop documents like this online, but I know its against the law to create an identity to earn money illegally. But what I'm doing to earn this money is not technically illegal is it?

Obviously if I was caught the minimum the betting sites would do is close the account and confiscate the funds which I don't mind, all I want to know if is they have any grounds to sue if they linked it back to me. Same goes for Skrill (moneybookers) if they cottoned on, but I can't see them causing any kind of fuss at all as they are just making lots of transaction fee profits from me

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
It is illegal to supply documents that are false. This is fraud by false representation. Had it not been for the false documents and account names they probably would only let you have one account.
Fraud is where one party suffers a loss, ie the gaming company because of multiple accounts and where another party makes a gain, ie you gambling.
Sadly you can't do this as it would be illegal. There would be nothing in criminal law to stop you using friends account, but if you created your own accounts and used false documents, this would be a criminal act.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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