Venmo Online Gambling

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  1. Using Venmo For Gambling
  2. Venmo Online Gambling Sites

Yes, Venmo helps with distributing the costs of beer and funding mid-game snack runs during the Super Bowl. But as far as exchanging money goes, social media reveals this is not the extent of Venmo transactions on this day — users also collect pool bets and other wagers on the big game through the service. In the olden days, a paper grid and cash money mercifully kept the technically illegal transactions off the record (even if it was casually discussed in every workplace). Now, a cursory check of Twitter reveals new systems that lay everything out for the Internet to see: Google Forms, Google Docs, carefully-photoshopped digital square boards, and of course, Venmo.

Exactly two years ago, Venmo, the peer-to-peer payment app loved by drug-purchasers and bill-splitters alike, went down in the aftermath of Super Bowl 50, when the favored Carolina Panthers lost to the Denver Broncos. People had to wait minutes, if not hours, to send payments, and boy were they mad.

Venmo was vague about the whole affair, and attributed the disruption to “high volume.” However, according to two Venmo employees who spoke to The Outline on the condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions with their employer, Super Bowl Sunday is Venmo’s highest-traffic day of the year, and the crash was likely caused by a record-setting amount of user activity.

Venmo online gambling games

Still have a Super Bowl squares board I need to fill out by tonight. (Game of chance) 2 squares for $5. Accepting Venmo if interested.

— Jake Kowalski (@JAC0B_K) February 4, 2018

Super Bowl MAX's are in! We have a MAX (3x) & Mega-MAX (4x) get both for $20 or each for $15 via PayPal or Venmo. DM for more information.

— Belly Up Betting (@BellyUpBetting) February 4, 2018

***Perkins Post Squares***
Good luck everyone.
Contact us now if you haven’t already paid.
Venmo - @perkinspost
PayPal - [email protected] pic.twitter.com/qJenPxzX1r

— E Street Screening (@EStScreening) January 30, 2018

One (now deleted) tweet invited users to respond to a Google Form with their Super Bowl predictions and Venmo the creator $5 for entry into the betting pool. (Please note the third question: “Will Pink say ‘Eagles’ before/during/after the Anthem?”) Another included a link to a Super Bowl squares board painstakingly designed in Google Docs and implored users to send user @Keith-Powers-4 $25 per square in order to join.

“Venmo is a big source [of betting traffic] for sure, whether it be a friendly bet or someone wanting to access the edge,” said John Anthony over Twitter DM. Anthony runs @SharpSportsINC, a popular Twitter account that helps facilitate sports-related bets through Venmo. To say this practice is technically frowned upon would be an understatement. Most pen-and-paper Super Bowl bets are illegal — federal law prohibits full-scale sports betting in all states other than Nevada — and people are explicitly prohibited from using Venmo for gambling. (Social gambling is legal in some states, which sometimes but not always includes wagers like office betting pools).

Regardless, Venmo seems to have steadily gained popularity in the casual sports betting world over the last two years. Anthony attributes that to the app’s general ubiquity. “It’s def more casual or considered normal,” he explained. “I mean people pay for everything via Venmo, it seems like, at the age bracket from 18-mid 20’s.” That is to say, sending someone twenty bucks through Venmo after filling out a nicely designed Google Form may seem less ridiculous than throwing down a $20 after scratching out some bets in your friend’s-uncle’s-brother’s cheeto-stained notebook, but it’s just as risky.

“Given the Super Bowl is one of the biggest social events of the year, Super Bowl Sunday is one of Venmo’s biggest payment days of the year,” Venmo spokesperson Josh Criscoe told The Outline. “To ensure a positive experience for people using Venmo, members of the Venmo team get together to watch the game and monitor systems to make sure no payments are fumbled.”

If you checked your Venmo feed last Sunday between 6pm and midnight, you might have noticed that it was awash with Super Bowl-related transactions, from the semi-innocuous 'tom brady is bad bye!!!!!!!!!,” to the more, uh, sus 'Rigging the Super Bowl.” Venmo told The Outline Sunday in no uncertain terms that gambling on sports through Venmo is not only broadly illegal in most places in the US, but against the company's terms of service. According to research done by The Outline using the transaction data available through Venmo’s public API, on average 44 percent of Sunday night's transactions included messages with Super-Bowl-related terms and 14 percent directly referenced gambling.

All Venmo transactions require a message of some sort, and they’re generally pretty transparent. Inspired in part by Vicemo — the website that provides a comprehensive list of every public Venmo transaction accompanied by a vice-related message (like, a bunch of tree emojis, “drank,” “drugs,” or, of course, the ever popular “drugz”) — I sampled transactions for the messages listed in Venmo’s public API against a variety of Super Bowl keywords (“football,” “Super Bowl,” “fucktomb,” etc.) and gambling-related keywords (“squares,” “prop,” or “bet,” as in, “In hindsight, maybe betting the mortgage on the Patriots wasn’t the best idea”) keywords in order to get a rough estimate of the number of people who used Venmo for possibly illegal purposes last night.

Based on my research, there were about 139,500 Venmo transactions occurring per hour, which evens out to approximately 837,100 Venmo transactions over the course of the evening. Forty-four percent of these transactions were obviously related to the Super Bowl in some way, and at its peak in the minutes after the game ended, 14 percent of transactions explicitly referenced gambling (i.e. 'Refund for super bowl squares,” “illegal super bowl gambling”), with an 8 percent average overall.

I’m guessing (hoping?) that a sizable portion of Super Bowl Sunday betters were a little less conspicuous with their payments. Regardless, there was likely anywhere from 65,000 to 370,000 Super Bowl gambling-related transactions on Venmo Sunday night. This is all, mind you, illegal in most states and totally against Venmo’s Terms of Service.

Venmo

Despite the fact that Venmo staffed its HQ specifically for this event, the app still experienced a considerable amount of lag directly after the big game. Lots of users took to Twitter to point the finger at gamblers, who they alleged had overwhelmed the app with Super Bowl-related payouts.

Why is Venmo so slow? Is it because everyone is using it to pay off lost bets?

Using Venmo For Gambling

— Caleb Kaslik (@calebkaz96) February 5, 2018

Venmo Online Gambling Sites

My entire Venmo timeline is people losing money on the Super Bowl.

— Jack Falahee (@RestingPlatypus) February 5, 2018

While the Super Bowl is Venmo’s biggest day of the year, it’s certainly not the only day its users appear to gamble: An analysis by Quartz in 2017 showed that up to a third of the transactions on the whole service appeared to be gambling-related on the morning of the first March Madness game. Venmo did not respond to a request for comment.