Failed sportsbook owners directed by Malta authorities to settle up with players
This month will hopefully see the final resolution and payouts to players in the Playbanks affair, a small sportsbook rated "F" by Sportsbook Review which failed in late 2006, leaving players unpaid. The Malta licensing agency the LGA stepping in to safeguard player interests in a task bedevilled by apparently inaccurate records and undeclared chargebacks.
This week Frances Blenheim, the complaints officer at the Lotteries and Gaming Authority on Malta advised players as follows in a notice on the licensing authority's website:
" Player Funds Claim PB International Limited – Payment
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority has directed the Management of PB International Ltd., operator of, to pay all players having a legitimate balance on their account.
The Authority contacted all players concerned in January 2008, many players responded and have since been paid the full balance in their player account.  However a number of players have not yet responded to collect their funds.
The Authority is advising those players, who are still owed funds to contact us on  Legitimate claims by players may be made to the Authority in the following format:
1. Supply of documents to verify identity:  copy of passport, copy of Credit Card back and front, copy of Utility bill/Driver's licence;
2. User name or Account Number used on;
3. Real name, address and contact number;
4. Bank details:  Account Number, Account Name, Bank Name and Address, Swift Code, IBAN.
Payment will not be made to Players until the verification of their identity and legitimacy of their claim has been substantiated and approved.
Any claims found to be false or fraudulent will be reported to the Malta Police."
The owners of, PB International Limited, closed the site down late in 2006, starting a long train of delays for players who had not been paid out on their account balances despite promises that this would be done timeously. By early 2007 complaints of non-payments were still appearing, although there was still confidence in the LGA's requirement that customers' funds must be kept separated from the sportsbook's money.
By mid 2007 the issue was still dragging on, with Mario Galea, Chief Executive of the Malta Lottery and Gaming Authority, informing Bookmakers Review that the bank statements for Playbanks had just arrived, and the processing for payments would start shortly. Galea added that the delay was caused by many allegedly false claims for payments submitted by players.
Seven weeks later the Review was still receiving emails from unpaid players. Complicating the issue, it appeared that there were inaccuracies in the Playbank records as to who had been paid, and questions about bankwires which were apparently not despatched as claimed. Presumably this caused further delays whilst it was investigated.
This week, it appears that the LGA has managed to find order in the Playbank chaos and that players will, at last, be paid.