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Poker pros dragged into mass sports betting fraud

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Multiple unauthorised sports betting accounts using professional poker players’ names have been created in recent weeks, according to several reports.

This alarming increase in sports betting fraud may be a result of the FIFA World Cup, which is ongoing in Qatar. The culprits stand to make huge profits given this will be the most wagered-on tournament in history due to the increase in licensed sportsbooks in the United States and all over the world.

These accounts have been created using the personal information of poker players who are experts, as well as “unauthorized bank withdrawals of up to $10,000”.

A renowned pro poker player in California, Todd Witteles, said in a statement on Friday that an account at BetMGM West Virginia was created in his name. He explained that he has never opened an account with the betting operator and has not been to West Virginia before.

“They withdrew to a different account on the same day without ever playing on the account,” Witteles said.

“This is definitely the worst case of any kind of bank account theft in poker history.

“I’ve seen cheating scandals at the poker table, online and live that have resulted in bigger thefts than this, but as far as directly stealing out of people’s bank accounts, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

A handful of these fake accounts were created on BetMGM’s sports betting app. The company has launched a thorough investigation since the dealings were reported.

“We’re aware of a potential incident and are actively investigating,” a BetMGM representative said.

“The security of our patrons’ accounts is of the utmost importance to us. We encourage any impacted patrons to contact our customer service department directly.”

Several other victims have come out to share their own unfortunate experiences with these sports betting fraudsters. Las Vegas poker pro Joseph Cheong revealed via Twitter that $9,800 had been withdrawn from his BetMGM account. Some victims who were scammed for a lesser amount have already been refunded by the operator, according to a report.

BetMGM’s online payment provider, Global Payments Gaming Solutions, has also released a statement saying it was assisting the authorities in their investigations.

“There has been no security breach or fraudulent accounts opened at our gaming business in connection with this investigation,” a spokesperson from Global Payments said.

“The protection of our customers and their clients’ information and funds is our top priority and we are working with these third parties to ensure any impacted individuals are refunded.”

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