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|Founded||November 22, 2007|
|Headquarters||College Station, Texas, USA|
|Key people||Victor Palmer, Wilfried Schobeiri (CTO)|
Centsports was a company founded in late November 2007 by Texas A&M graduate Victor Palmer. It was notable for being regarded as providing a legal way to play online gambling and sports betting games in the United States. In August 2011, CentSports was acquired by FreeSportsBet.com.
In the United States, online gambling is illegal. Most states consider that "gambling" consists of three elements: prize, chance and "consideration," or providing something of value to be eligible to participate. As Centsports did not allow users to fund their accounts with their own money, and instead funded betting accounts with revenue from its advertisers, "consideration" from the bettor was not involved, and therefore the games were considered legal. However, the NCAA's Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities division stated that engaging in Centsports-style gaming "would be in violation of NCAA sports wagering legislation."
Revenue and usage
Centsports earned revenue through advertising from such sponsors as Pizza Hut, Skype, and the NBA. Using this revenue, it funded gaming accounts with 10 cents. If a user accumulated a minimum of 20 dollars, the user could then compete in brackets to cash-out the winnings. Checks were mailed to winners. If a user lost all of his or her money, the user could start over with 10 cents.
The site allowed users to bet on a variety of different sporting events, including football, basketball, boxing and auto racing, across amateur and professional leagues, in several different countries.
The site grew its user base through a "crony system," where a user would invite others to join the site, and would receive a 5% bonus on the winnings the invited users made. As of 2010, Centsports had about three-quarters of a million members; about 40% were college students.
- Arons, Tina L. (July 27, 2008). "Former West Texas native takes a bet on gambling Web site". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- Symmes, Richard (May 5, 2008). "Does CentSports Engage in Illegal Bookmaking or Violate National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") Bylaws?". Richard Symmes, Symmes Law Group. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- "CentSports.com Taken Over By FreeSportsBet.Com, Centsports Users Screwed". The Faster Times. September 1, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Berke, Jonathan (June 12, 2008). "A Legal Alternative To Online Gambling". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- "Educational Tip -- Online Gambling Using "Play Money"". Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- Solem-Pfeifer, Chance (November 4, 2010). "CentSports site offers ‘free’ sports gambling in social environment". Daily Nebraskan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). Retrieved June 5, 2012.