An investigation conducted by The Financial Times into unspecified funds that were heading to a Betfair partner website uncovered that the gambling agency was giving people access to the Betfair exchange platform by means of a backdoor, utilizing accounts on a Betfair clone site referred to as “9wickets.”
After the inquiry, Asianconnect — which is an agent for online gambling platforms — put a stop to its operations with the Betfair partner site.
In a correspondence that was forwarded to all their users, Asianconnect said they would no longer be functioning as a broker for 9wickets accounts, with all linked accounts to be suspended as well.
Betfair, the prevalent European online bookmaker, and exchange is part of Flutter Entertainment, initially named Paddy Power Betfair.
The investigation uncovered how particular B2B partner sites of Betfair were possibly susceptible and had backdoors into their exchange. This essentially revealed that customer identity checks were being circumvented and anti-money laundering procedures were not being executed.
The FT’s investigation team signed up to Asianconnect via a Gmail account, using Neteller to deposit funds. Asianconnect then provided them with login details for the 9wickets website.
A wager was placed on a long-shot horse called Miss Recycled in a race in Brighton. This was made on the 9wickets platform by a certain used called wick1069. Right away, someone on the actual Betfair exchange platform equaled the bet.
The horse eventually emerged as the winner, and the Financial Times team questioned Flutter if they would recognize the winner. However, citing privacy, Flutter did not.
The FT team then asked Flutter to send an email to congratulate the said winner. But once again, no such communication was sent.
The investigating team then went on to utilize the same details to open an account on Betfair, which as expected, asked for a series of stringent identity checks. The team queried Flutter how one identity was able to open two accounts for use on Betfair, and if that comprised a breach of anti-money laundering regulations.
The account made by the FT team was then suspended. The funds were at first frozen pending an investigation, and have since vanished.
The likes of 9wickets assert that they are “Powered by Betfair”, and to have consent to hardwire Betfair’s API onto their platforms. This lets them mimic the liquidity pool and odds from the actual Betfair exchange.
At the moment, a 2% commission charge applies on all winning bets made on these partner sites, which goes to Betfair. Clone sites are asked to direct 50% or more of all their business to the real Betfair exchange. The affiliate business accounts for less than 1% of the £2bn in annual sales for the Flutter Entertainment group.
Flutter claims that they only deal with renowned and respected B2B partners that are duly and completely licensed operators and endorse strict levels of verification. This includes fully observing the “know your customer” regulations that are outlined by the licensing authority.