JustBet History and Beginning

When it comes to gambling sites beginnings, perhaps only the
history of bookmaker.eu is more colorful than that of
www.justbet.cx. This is a company whose lineage carries with it
a player stiffing from 1985 by a “legal” US sportsbook based in
Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite this, they’re one of the most
trusted gambling sites in the business, and rightfully so. All
this and more will be covered below on the history of Justbet.cx.

The Gary Austin Story

Gary Austin became famous and turned tout (pick’s seller)
after winning the Castaways NFL Handicappers Championship in
1978. For those unfamiliar with Las Vegas history, Castaways was
a significant location for many reasons. First, this is where
the Red Rooster Nite Club (built in 1931) once stood. The hotel
was built in 1957, and in 1963, it was renamed Castaways. During
the sixties, it was famous for its 15,000 gallon aquarium
located behind the front desk with daily shows featuring naked
woman inside.

Perhaps more significant, this was a longtime mafia hotspot
and many of the “who’s who” in the world of sports bookies hung
out here. Their sportsbook called “hole on the wall” was managed
by gambling hall of famer, Sonny Reizner, and this was where he
NFL prop bets. The hotel was torn down in 1987 (it was
located approximately where the Mirage stands today). In any
case, the contest was massively hyped: Gary Austin ran an
amazing enterprise, perhaps got a big head, and the media fed it

After winning the Castaways capping contest, Gary Austin set
up a company called “Austin’s Edge” that took out full-page
newspaper ads bragging about his wins and marketing his picks
for sale. It caught so much attention that in 1980, Sports
Illustrated magazine did a 4,300-word article on him. Later that
year he was interviewed by Tom Brokaw on NBC’s Today Show.

In the year that followed, he made many television
appearances, became a bookie, and opened a sports rotation
service (a precursor to Donsbest) with now infamous tout, Jim
Feist, as a business partner. Made larger than life by the
media, he opened Gary Austin’s Sportsbook on Las Vegas Blvd.
located about where Bill’s Gambling Hall stands today.

The stories associated with Gary Austin’s Sportsbook are
many. Over the years, we’ve heard it referred to as a real
cowboy joint where the owner often set off-market prices due to
his leans on certain games. Gary, portrayed as a
larger-than-life tout, perhaps was too proud to decline a bet.
It was said that sharps such as Billy Walters and his crew would
wager mid-five figures a game with Austin’s book.

The famous story is about Gary Austin’s huge bet on the
Cardinals winning the World Series. If you’re interested in
controversy, Game 6 of that series had it, as did Game 7. Many
speculate that he was broke at the time, and lucky for him
(wink, wink), his sportsbook was robbed, forcing him out of
business. It was as simple as that! Robbery right after the
World Series, and the place closed. With that, all winning
tickets were useless, as were pending futures; and the phone-in
banks that included as much as $1 million were lost due to
operator bankruptcy.

While most assumed that Gary Austin would disappear, never to
be heard from again, this isn’t how it played out. Logically,
most casual gamblers that followed the Sports Illustrated and
media coverage of his portrayed greatness never knew the man had
gone broke, or had ever heard of such a thing as Gary Austin’s
Sportsbook. Naturally, Austin would stay a bookie and a tout,
and the next time his name resurfaced was in 1988 when he was
named in a federal investigation into a $1-million-a-day
bookmaking operation based in Los Angeles. While he was only one
of many named, rumor has it that this bookmaking business was
then moved to Costa Rica and in 1996 was given the name

Early Tradewinds Sportsbooks

In late 1997, the sportsbook Guardian Guarantee, heavily
marketed by tout Jim Feist, put Tradewinds on the map. Their
marketing ploy was with a single deposit, you could wager with
two sportsbooks using the same balance: Tradewinds and Sports
Exchange. These sites had virtually the same lines, and while
everyone had heard of and openly discussed Tradewinds as a Gary
Austin product, what exactly Sports Exchange was we are not

In any case, before long the name would change to BetGuardian,
simply a Tradewinds mirror site. By the year 2000, dozens of
additional Tradewinds powered websites with their own brand name
popped up as well. The most popular were Regency, BetBadlands,
and BetMalibu that went along with Tradewinds and BetGuardian.

Tradewinds Always Paid Fast

Although the Gary Austin connection initially kept most
forums from recommending the Tradewinds brands, the 1990’s
player feedback was impressive and overwhelmingly positive. The
Tradewinds powered websites had decent risk tolerance, weren’t
known for limiting players, and always paid lightning fast via
person-to-person transfer such as Western Union. No matter how
much the watchdog forums warned people to avoid them, player
feedback from regulars was always along the lines of “seriously,
these guys are solid”.

Gary Austin’s name stopped being brought up on forums over
time. For those wondering what happened to him, in 2002 he
married Costa Rican supermodel Lynda Diaz. The couple had twins
and lived in a multimillion dollar dream home until their 2009
divorce. While he’s lived quite a good life, he’s not all that
great a person. Anytime an old-timer approaches him over the
1985 Las Vegas debts, his response is “the statute of
limitations has expired” or “I’m not legally obligated to pay.”
It’s amazing that moral and ethical obligations, or the gambler
code, matter not at all to Mr. Gary Austin, a larger-than-life
gambling fraud.

Of course, due to the nature of the business as an illegal
sports betting operation targeting the United States, how much
(if any) ownership he actually had/has in Tradewinds is unknown.
However, we do know that somehow he afforded an $8 million home
behind the 8th hole of Costa Rica’s Cariari Country Club.

JustBet.com Launches as New Tradewinds Brand

In retrospect, it might seem that Tradewinds had an unusual
business model, as it appears that the company ran dozens of
sportsbooks that were all the same. Some players were with
BetGuardian, others with Guardian Guarantee, Badlands, BetMalibu,
Regency, TRDWD, M&M Sportsbook, or one of countless others. In
actuality, a lot of Tradewinds marketing was done by touts who
were getting recruitment fees to send players to the books.

These guys would appear on ESPN.com or in full page ads in
newspapers and magazines, and they also ran score phones and
free pick lines they marketed. Eventually, they’d make personal
contact with a player and drop a name of their sportsbook of
choice. The many brands were simply an easier way to know who to
pay. As the Internet started to mature, and branding and Google
rankings became more of a factor, the need to rebrand became a
pressing issue.

As a response to the need for brand identity, on August 1,
2006, the most popular Tradewinds website Regency was rebranded
as Justbet.com. From here, for the first time since their start
a full decade earlier, Tradewinds began offering an open
affiliate program. This, of course, being for the JustBet.com
brand. Over the next two years, many other Tradewinds sites
would have their players migrated to Justbet.com. As an
affiliate-friendly brand, Justbet excelled. There were contests
at SBR, unique bonuses at RX and EOG, and Covers gave them a
huge push.

JustBet Key Staff

While marketing exposure is one thing, what you do with it is
another. This is an area in which Justbet excels. Nathan M., a
standup guy well-known in the industry, took a position
representing JustBet on various forums under the handle
Sharky79. For many years and still to this date, if any player
has a challenge, Nathan is always there to fix it fast. Other
great guys behind the company include Scott C. who gives out
massive bonuses, and Butch C., who if you know by name, you’re
probably not a fan.

Butch heads up risk management, which is what keeps the book
in business, but it also means cutting limits for player’s too
sharp and making threats to players who chargeback. The two
females in marketing, sexy for their smarts, are Stephanie W.
and Brooke D. Then, of course, in addition to several hundred
support reps / ticket writers there is Gary T. who has been the
general manager for a few years now. Most will remember Gary for
his support days with BetCRIS. He’s the glue that helps keep
their massive operation running smoothly.

JustBet’s Latest Innovations

Once an underground type of bookie, Justbet has been amazing
as a legit retail betting brand. In addition to P2P and credit
cards for US players, those living elsewhere can deposit with
Neteller, Skrill, Ukash, or Click2Pay. Their platform now
includes a sportsbook, racebook, and online casino accessibility
from a single log-in and player bank. The website works great on
Nokia, Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and most other mobile
devices. It also features many of the latest industry
innovations such as live dealer casino games and in-play betting
for sports. If you’re ever lucky enough to visit their offices,
you’ll find over 100 flat screens monitored by several hundred
employees who take support calls and write bet tickets.

To sum up, Justbet is a well-managed online sportsbook that
offers great support in all departments. They also feature
sports betting bonuses, fair dispute resolution, and
fast payouts. Whether Gary Austin has any association with the
brand is unknown, but there’s never been a hint of concern at
this time. No payout delays, nor any other issues to report. JustBet has a perfect and proven track record. Due to a 2011
change that has taken place near industry, they’ve moved
away from the US facing .com domain and now operate at