For several months, BigiBet, a sports betting company in Ibadan, Oyo State, has held on to gambler’s winnings, after staking huge amounts.
Operated by Noblesteed Nigeria Limited, BigiBet is a brand that offers online and retail sports betting products and services to the Nigerian market.
Prominent sports betting platforms such as Bet9ja and NairaBet credit their winners’ online wallets almost immediately and allow them to transfer their winnings to their bank accounts without hassles, according to sports betting pundits.
However, since July, several punters of the betting scheme have complained of not getting their winnings with BigiBet.
Michael Frank, a BigiBet gambler whose account has not been credited since winning in September, suggested that the betting platform is infesting gamblers with fraudulent tricks.
“I think that website is a bad one. When you lose, you lose; but when your stakes win, forget about it. You can never get your money back,” he said.
Frank trusted Bigibet when he saw an advert about the platform on a DSTV channel. After seeing multiple promotional images on social media, he became convinced he could win big with Bigibet.
“On September 18, I staked N100,000 and I won N600,000. I was very happy, but I did not know my happiness would be short-lived. I tried to withdraw, but it did not work. So, I notified BigiBet customer care immediately, ” Frank told FIJ.
“They said it was an error and apologised, asking that I gave them two days to resolve it. On September 20, I called to tell them I had not received my money but they refused to pick up my calls. “
Frank did not stop calling them. He emailed BigiBet’s customer care, but they told him to be patient for a week. At the end of October, he did not get his money.
“I went to their office where they almost hurt me,” he said. “I had to leave when their facial expressions signalled to me that I would not get my money.”
He would later realise he was not alone when he noticed many comments similar to his complaint on BigiBet’s Facebook page.
“I messaged some of these people when I saw them asking in the comment section for their money, and I realised BigiBet had even blocked many of them on mobile calls,” Frank said.
“To fund your account is not a problem. But to withdraw after winning is impossible. Tell me if that’s not a fraud.”
Vivi Eke, a regular user of BigiBet, said he did not expect to be victimised by a betting company he had used for more than six months.
In January, Eke registered with BigiBet and began to stake on games. Initially, he had no problem. But in November, he found it hard to withdraw his winnings.
“When I won, I could only see that I won but I could not withdraw my winnings like I used to,” Eke told FIJ. “I called their customer case but they did not do anything about it. My money is still hanging in their wallet.”
Taiwo Oluwagbemi, a saxophonist, wanted to withdraw his N51,000 immediately after winning a sports bet, but like others, he was made to forget his money.
On November 4, Oluwagbemi began his crusade to win his stakes on BigiBet. By November 7, he had amassed a total winning of N51,000.
“When I tried withdrawing, I began to experience issues. I called their customer care but they didn’t say anything meaningful, ” Oluwagbemi said.
When FIJ contacted BigiBet, the company’s representative it was aware customers have had issues with withdrawing their gateways for a while.
“The team in charge has been working to get better results. Withdrawals have been held for some time, but we will resolve them soon,” the call rep said.
However, several Bigibet gamblers have flooded social media with negative comments about the sports betting platform, saying they have waited for too long to get their winnings.
Replying to a BigiBet tweet, Callmevinc2 said he could not withdraw his money for over a month.
On Facebook, BigiBet’s page is littered with comments from people who are either asking for their money or bashing them for not crediting them.
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