Sports Betting Swindle That Rocked Australia

By Ryan White Updated: March 2023

Business tycoons, esteemed families and even the rich and famous have reportedly been duped into a sophisticated betting scheme by some of the most elite residents in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Many are said to have lost their money as a result – leaving many high-profile figures reeling from what appears to be an elaborate swindle.

Michael Pryde promised investors large profits with his ‘Simply the Bets’ betting scheme. He claimed to have an infallible algorithm that could accurately predict sports events outcomes, leading many to be seduced by its guaranteed returns – only for it all to turn out to be a hoax when he presented false bank statements demonstrating enormous wealth in his accounts. 

ACMA Acted But The Damage Is Done

Despite being unaware of the need for a gambling license, John Pryde attempted to open his own gaming business. When ACMA investigated further they found that he was operating without any legal documentation and had gone as far as providing false premises; empty office space in North Sydney’s McLaren Apartments complex with no physical apartment number assigned to it.

Supreme Court Actions

The Supreme Court has taken decisive action against Michel Pryde by freezing AU$1.3M in assets, following legal claims from two aggrieved businessmen seeking reimbursement of their funds. According to  several lawsuits have been filed on behalf of numerous other disgruntled investors who are attempting to recuperate the cash they lost through investments with Pryde – many receiving victories along the way; such as Dean Jacobson collecting a hefty AUD74K (US$51K). This was reported by Erik Gibbs.

More Civil Suits To Follow

As the fallout from Mr Pryde’s misappropriation of funds continues to unfold, numerous civil suits have been launched in an effort to recoup losses. Unfortunately, investors are still awaiting millions while others have already filed successful claims and regained their hard-earned money.

Simply The Bets Scandal Takes Its Toll

Mr Pryde’s legal case continues to drag on, taking a severe toll on his mental health. Despite claims of mental and emotional damage caused by the ongoing lawsuit, he adamantly denies any wrongdoings claiming that his side has yet to be heard in court.

Avoid gambling scams

Our Online Gambling Experts Offer Advice

Do your research, and before you sign up for an online sports betting site, it’s important to do your research and make sure that the site is legitimate. There are a few things you can look for to determine if a site is legitimate, including reviews from other users, licensing information, and contact information. 

Avoid sites that require you to deposit money upfront

One of the biggest red flags when it comes to online sports betting scams is a site that requires you to deposit money upfront. While some legitimate sites may require a small deposit, you should be wary of any site that asks for a large amount of money before you even place a bet.

Be careful of sites that guarantee wins

Another thing to be wary of is any site that guarantees wins. No one can guarantee that you will win every bet you place, so if a site is claiming otherwise, it’s likely a scam.

Watch out for odd or suspicious behaviour

If you notice anything odd or suspicious about an online sports betting site, it’s best to stay away. This could include things like unexpected pop-ups or ads, strange URLs, or unrealistic bonus offers.

Don’t click on links from unknown sources

One of the easiest ways to get scammed is by clicking on a link from an unknown source. If you receive an email or see a pop-up with a link to an online sports betting site, don’t click on it unless you are absolutely sure that it’s legitimate.