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Casino Bonus Abuse Fraudster Opened 1K Accounts

A British man who opened more than 1,000 Bet365 Casino accounts so he could claim the bonuses has been sent to prison for five years. Bonus abuser Jon Howard convinced more than 1,000 people to let him borrow their personal details so he could sign up for promos. Jon Howard, 40, of Essex, made a profit of around £236,000 (US$295,000) from the accounts he opened using other people’s identities. Last Thursday, he was convicted of online bonus abuse by defrauding Bet365 and the Santander Bank at Basildon Crown Court but was cleared of additional money laundering charges.

Howard denied the online bonus abuse fraud. But a “lengthy and complex” investigation led by Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate concluded he was the major player in a syndicate that began fraudulently claiming bonuses in 2008. The activity continued right up until Howard’s home was searched by police in February 2019, prosecutors said.

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Online Bonus Abuse Is Designed To Deceive

“Hours were spent trawling through paperwork in different names, receipts for luxury items, bank books, and 177 sim cards that were seized from the address. Substantial sums of money were involved,” said detective sergeant Mike Monkton in a statement. Betting online in someone else’s name is against the terms of use,” he added. “The whole enterprise was dishonest and designed to deceive the gambling company.” 

The court heard that people would willingly give the syndicate their personal information, allowing members to sign up and create accounts. On Friday, at the same court, Howard’s codefendant, Daniel Gorman, 45, saw a sentence of 16 months imprisonment for fraud, with a suspension of 12 months. He was also cleared of money laundering.

A Rise In Online Bonus Abuse

online gambling

Known in the online gaming industry as “online bonus abuse,” the syndicate’s modus operandi is nothing new. As long as online casinos have offered promotions like sign-up bonuses, loyalty awards, and free bets to attract customers, those have sought to exploit them. Detection is rare, and prosecution is almost unheard of.

What Is Bonus Abuse?

Though it may seem that most players don’t abuse bonuses in UK online casinos due to the risks involved, bonus abusers have many jackpot winning tips and tricks to exploit and bypass available bonuses. Here are a few typical ways to misuse online casino bonuses.

Online Bonus Abuse With Multiple Accounts

As most online casinos to win the jackpot provide multiple attractive bonuses, signing up from multiple accounts using technical loopholes to claim the benefits of new users is online bonus abuse. Online casinos have strict rules that limit players to a single account. They enforce this by tracking down the unique IP address of the device. However, using a VPN to hide the IP address is a common way of bypassing the restriction and misusing casino bonuses. This is one of the most common online casino bonus abuses. However, if they catch you, you will face a ban from visiting that casino site forever.

Saving Bonus Money

Online casinos do not allow you to save bonus money and combine it with future promotional funds. Although it is technically not a fraud practice, casinos consider it online bonus abuse.

Claiming Multiple Bonuses Is Online Bonus Abuse

Opting for numerous offers at the same time to increase your jackpot winning chances is not allowed on gambling websites. If you have an ongoing promotion, you cannot claim another one until you meet all the bonus requirements. Sometimes, you must withdraw former promotions earnings to claim a new offer. Failing to avoid abiding by this rule will lead to online bonus abuse.

Claiming The Bonus Multiple Times


You cannot claim some bonuses again. This is especially true for welcome bonuses. Taking advantage of online casinos’ technical glitches and claiming the same bonus twice is online bonus abuse. If caught abusing it, casinos might penalize you by blocking your account.

Online Bonus Abuse – Breaking The Maximum Bet Limits

There’s a specified limit of betting for gamblers in online casinos. Thus betting more than the specified maximum will be bonus abuse. Casinos might reject your bonus money if they see you crossing the bet limit.

Ignoring The Game’s Requirements

Redeeming bonuses on games rather than those allowed by the casino is bonus abuse. The restriction on bonus claims is for jackpot games that have a lower house edge, like craps. Casinos have terms and conditions to which you must adhere to. These are in order to ensure that the promotion is only for use on the games specified.

Online Bonus Abuse – Arbitrage

Arbitrage is betting on opposing outcomes or events to eliminate risk, especially in sports betting. Usually, players wager the bonus money on both teams involved in a game. They then draw in confirmed cash in any of the two outcomes. It is online bonus abuse as it goes against the rules of betting games. Bonus abuse is estimated to cost the online gambling industry up to 15% of its gross revenue, according to About-Fraud. A study published last year by payments fraud specialist Ravelin found that 71% of online gambling operators like Bet365 Casino reported an increase in the problem over the previous year.

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