Social Media Giants Should Do More to Stop Gambling Scams

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If you have been following the news recently, you might have caught some stories about the authorities in Australia and the UK taking aim at Facebook for allowing adverts that are promoting scam cryptocurrency projects.  

We won’t bore you with all the details, but essentially scammers have been using fake quotes and images of celebrities to lure people into those crypto trading scams. And now authorities are taking a stand, saying that Facebook (and other Big Tech giants) should be gutting these adverts from their sites.  

But what about scams that lure people into betting and casino gaming programs? It’s an interesting subject to broach, particularly as some of it skirts the boundaries of legality. Often, these don’t appear as adverts, but paid-for posts from accounts saying something like “I might quit my job and follow betting tips from XXX.”. Included with these will be some sort of “proof”, showing a large amount of winnings.  

Scams can seem seductive 

The truth is that for many of us, these kind of posts are seductive. Gambling has changed over the last 20 years. You hear tell of things like matched-betting systems, gambling software, the use of Big Data – all of it offering get-rich-quick solutions.  

While gambling strategy exists and can be useful, most people are aware that get-rich-quick schemes don’t work, regardless of the tech we have at our disposal. For a refreshing insight, read the posts on roulette systems by Stephen Tabone. The London-born strategist and philosopher details what doesn’t work about everything from the Martingale System to the Labouchere Betting System.  

Tabone’s conclusions, however, are what most gamblers should keep foremost in their minds – betting is about having a bit of fun, and doing it in a responsible manner is the best way to conduct yourself. But logic from the likes of Tabone doesn’t always stack up well to the average human mind. As we said, some of the scams are seductive. 

Scammers can cover all bases 

So, how might a seductive scam work? Well, one example could be soccer betting. The scammers might offer the first tip for free, signing up 100 bettors to their service. They could send 50 people a tip that there will be over 2.5 goals (e.g., 3 or more) in a specific game, and the other 50 will get a tip of under 2.5 goals. Now there are 50 people who have just received an “insightful” winning tip, and they are encouraged to sign up and pay for further information. The process can be repeated, and then ultimately replenished with new signups.  


As we mentioned earlier, the problem is that this is not always technically illegal. It’s not outright theft in the same way as the crypto scams we mentioned earlier. But should social media be doing more? Whether it’s YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, you can see dozens of these accounts touting their services, often through proxies. To be fair, if you read the comments underneath, you’ll see that most people call it out as a scam. But as with all these types of campaigns, they only need to lure in a couple of fish to be successful.  

To stress the point: We are not saying that all gambling strategists and betting tipsters are inherently bad – far from it. Some can give sagacious advice. But when we get into the realm of “guarantee wins”, you know that alarm bells should be ringing.  

There has been a wind of change on how social media companies are conducting themselves. Governments are acting to ensure that they take responsibility for the content that appears on the platforms. Gambling scams should be taken into those actions, too, as it will create a better and more trusted industry for all of us. 


- Payton O'Brien, Gambling911.com

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