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BETAT - Casino refusing to refund me while self exclusion on sister site is in effect

Ruling

Declined - As Alternative Dispute Resolution services are prevented from managing complaints against UKGC licensed operators that involve Self-Exclusion issues, we have to decline this complaint.

Read our BETAT Casino Review

Player's Complaint

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I registered at BETAT Casino on the (29th of March 2016).

I had made numerous deposits at BETAT before realizing I was self excluded from there sister site "Slottyvegas", The request for self exclusion was made on (13/06/2015).

I talked to there Livechat, I was advised that i didn't qualify to be refunded since i used a different email address. Which is hard to believe, no the less my place of residence, address / contact information were the same.

I argued that its was unintentional, a big mistake, They didn't comprehend my complaint. I was accused first hand of having a "gambling problem". Which is not true, It was a common mistake and primarily common sense to contact them, to make them aware of my situation. Which is that I was excluded from one of there brands in the NRR Entertainment Group.

However they presumed it was totally my fault, Which is not the case, all the licencor information is small printed. I wear glasses which makes it hard for me to see letters from a certain distance.

They are obligated and instructed to deny me registration. I had played over a course of 2 days. They had enough time act upon the situation and advise me that I was not allowed to play there while the self exclusion was in effect, but I was allowed to make mass numbers of deposits which were undetected. What I find hard to believe.

It was disputed that my phone number was not the same, which is correct. however that's personal to me. what gives them the right make that accusation. It's been over 9 months since I made the exclusion at Slottyvegas and some of them details are presumably outdated which absurd.

Subsequently, I believe they had enough information to stop me but they didn't and allowed me to spend money. Which makes them responsible, so forth they appear to deny everything but I presume they will however I can provide any information they require.

I never made duplicate accounts, I undoubtedly signed up to a casino with a high reputation. which happens to be the same group respectively which I didn't know at the time.

"I will now provide a summary of in-depth conversations providing detailed explanations from my perspective"

Me: The first conversation i had with "[CASINO REP 1]" -

info: Welcome to Casino Customer Support. An agent will be with you shortly.

info: You are now chatting with '[CASINO REP 1]'

info: Your Ticket ID for this chat is LTK171370240128X

[CASINO REP 1]: Hi there

you: Hello, I have been allowed to open an account with you. however i shouldn't off because i am self excluded from slotty vegas which is part of the NRR entertainment brand. Its was a real mistake

[CASINO REP 1]: can I have your email address, please?

you: [EDIT]

[CASINO REP 1]: one moment please

Me: I am now being transferred to on duty manager.

info: Please wait while I transfer the chat to '[CASINO REP 2]'.

info: You are now chatting with '[CASINO REP 2]'

info: Your Ticket ID for this chat is LTK171370240128X

[CASINO REP 2]: Hi there. Im [CASINO REP 2] from the account opening team

you: Hello

[CASINO REP 2]: Hi [EDIT]. My colleague [CASINO REP 1] has explained the situation

Me: "[CASINO REP 1]" Never explained nothing to me, literally [CASINO REP 2] presumed he had. tactics that casino's use to bewilder the customers from aggravating the situation and presuming they are correct.

[CASINO REP 2]: You did indeed open a BETAT account after self-excluding on SlottyVegas however you chose to open your BETAT account using a different email address than that used to register your account at SlottyVegas

UKGC: Social responsibility code provision 3.5.1 -

Paragraph 5.

"Licensees" must close any customer accounts of an individual who has entered a self exclusion agreement and return any funds held in the customer account. It is not sufficient merely to prevent an individual from withdrawing funds from their customer account whilst still accepting wagers from them. Where the giving of credit is permitted, the licensee may retain details of the amount owed to them by the individual, although the account must not be active.

Me: Licensees meaning "NRR Entertainment Limited" whom hold the licence. When i was excluded from "slottyvegas", I never received a exclusion form on paper / electronically.

Ordinary code provision 3.5.2 Paragraph (1.)

UKGC: Self-exclusion procedures should require individuals to take positive action in order to self exclude. This can be a signature on a self-exclusion form

I never signed an exclusion form, technically i am not bound to there exclusion policy only what the UKGC have provided in good practice for casino's to follow which deems there polices inefficient with UKGC's guidelines.

Social responsibility code provision 3.5.1 Paragraph 6 (A.)

A register of those excluded with appropriate records (name, address, other details and any membership or account details that may be held by the operator)

Me: UKGC's social responsibility code paragraph 6 (A.) does not mention specific details like "email address" however the essential details, name, address were all correct.

Paragraph (8.) of this provision comes into force on 31 October 2015

Customers must be given the opportunity to self-exclude by contacting customer services and in addition by entering an automated process using remote communication. In order to avoid inadvertent self-exclusion it is acceptable for an automated process to include an additional step that requires the customer to confirm that they wish to self-exclude. The licensee must ensure that all staff who are involved in direct customer service are aware of the self-exclusion system in place, and are able to direct that individual to an immediate point of contact with whom/which to complete that process.

Me: When i made the choice to exclude myself from "slottyvegas" it was done over livechat, I never confirmed the decision with an additional step process, it was manually done by the representative.

Paragraph (7.) Ordinary code provision 3.5.4

Please note that the Commission does not require the licensee to carry out any particular assessment or make any judgement as to whether the previously self-excluded individual should again be permitted access to gambling. The requirement to take positive action in person or over the phone is purely to a) check that the customer has considered the decision to access gambling again and allow them to consider the implications; and b) implement the one day cooling-off period and explain why this has been put in place.

Me: As stated above the exclusion was made solely by the representative. It was instant, I never received a one day cool off neither a phone call to make sure the decision was final which is against the rules provided by the UKGC.

I cannot find any records that betat.co.uk even hold a licence with UKGC - MGA - It seems suspicious there not showing up, Which i will investigate at a later date.

To address this - Please return and refund the deposits / losses in the amount £450

Email / Username - [EDIT]

Read the casino review

12 Responses

User icon
ThePOGG
April 2, 2016

Hi lainey58 - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

Unfortunately there’s not going to be anything we can do to help in this instance. As a UKGC Accredited Alternative Dispute Resolution service we’ve have to work within their framework. While we are the appointed ADR for both SlottyVegas and BETAT, all ADR services have now been told to refer problem gambling complaints to the UKGC directly. That being the case, we're not allowed to engage with this type of complaint.

As such if you want your case reviewed further you’ll need to submit it to the UKGC at this email address [email protected]

Our current understanding is that the UKGC will review complaints in a general sense with regard to whether or not their policies need to be updated, but will not assist players in recovering funds in individual cases. To do that I believe that you will have to take the operator to court. I’m currently trying to get further details from the UKGC to assist players that wish to pursue this option.

I’ll let you know as soon as I have more information on that front.

Two comments that I would make regarding your case specifically:

1) In no complaint situation would your eyesight be a valid justification for not ensuring that you've complied with terms and conditions. You enter into a binding agreement when you confirm at point of sign-up that you've read and understood the terms and conditions. Further to this, the ownership information of the company, while in small print at the bottom of the site, is also in standard print throughout the terms and conditions page including in the very top paragraph.

While this is only one aspect of this case, I point it out to ensure you understand that you need to review the terms and conditions page of any operator that you sign-up to before creating an account. In future complaints it's unlikely you'd receive a favourable ruling if you've agreed to terms and conditions you've not read and subsequently break a rule.

2) Having informally spoken with the NRR group about this issue, they've pointed out that at the time of self-exclusion you were presented with the option to enter additional email addresses to be excluded. Their system would have immediately detected any email address or phone number that matched one already present in their system and prevented registration. My understanding is that only by entering different information in BOTH of these fields would you have been able to register an account at all. For these reasons alongside other factors they have significant concerns about the legitimacy of your claim.

While I would make very clear that we are not in any way passing a ruling on this issue - there are factors in support of both parties - I would suggest that this isn't a clear cut case.

As stated above I'll inform you once we have more information from the UKGC, but for the time being all I can recommend is directing your complaint to the email address detailed above.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG

User icon
lainey58
April 2, 2016

Hello, The Pogg

Thank you for your response.

I would like to just reiterate some of the points you made, I agree that vision cannot contribute towards ones mistakes to not clearly read the terms of service / use, clearly however it rectifies the unwillingness of communication the casino has to offer or to establish a clear cut understanding between both parties, e.g the operator and customer while they don't provide enough details when signing up under affiliation links or any third party repudiator e.g not providing enough clarification on there terms of services under reputable sources.

Secondly you pointed out that NRR provided me the option to add additional emails, while the so called exclusion was in the transition of being confirmed, this is not the case. I concur no information about additional steps were made aware to me further more no contact was made to offer me this solution of protection, outlining every comment made there is no substantial evidence the casino can provide to legitimate that claim.

Regards,

Elaine

User icon
ThePOGG
April 3, 2016

Hi lainey58,

My point about your eye sight is that you claimed this as the reason you failed to identify that you'd already self-excluded with this group was due to "all the licencor information is small printed". I was highlighting that this simply isn't the case. The licensor information is in small print in the footer. However the text size on the terms page - which you have asserted that you have read at point of sign-up - is actually larger than the text size on this page, which is a fairly standard text size. All relevant information is included there, so I have to presume that you've failed to read the terms page in this instance.

As to the rest of your claim, there's nothing we can do to assist with clarification of this issue - you'll need to take it to the UKGC.

Sorry we can't be of further help.

ThePOGG

User icon
ThePOGG
April 4, 2016

Hi lainey58, I'm afraid there is no further purpose to posting here. The operator feels that they have met their licensing obligations to the letter, feels that you have intentionally sought to alter details to prevent the system they have in place from detecting your account and has no further interest in discussing this issue with you. We are not in a position to compel them to discuss this issue and as such all we can do is once again recommend that you take this issue to the UKGC. Further posts on this issue can only be considered one sided - as we not be able to verify/refute your claims - and as such we cannot allow publication. ThePOGG

User icon
lainey58
April 4, 2016

Hello, The Pogg

Thank you for responding,

I will make this short, can you obtain a copy of the self exclusion agreement for me. The casino will not respond to me and have no interest is providing these documents.

They have an obligation to provide both parties with the agreement. the UKGC has asked for this to be provided to them.

Kind Regards,

Elaine

User icon
ThePOGG
April 4, 2016

Hi lainey58,

In short no. As an ADR we are not allowed to be involved in the discussion of this type of issue. I took this to them informally on the off-chance that this was a misunderstanding that they'd resolve simply through escalation.

If the UKGC has requested that the operator take action it will have to be the UKGC that ensures that action is taken.

Sorry,

ThePOGG.

User icon
ThePOGG
April 6, 2016

Hi lainey58,

Just a quick update. I will be attending a meeting with the UKGC towards the end of this month. During that meeting I will be looking to raise the current state of play for Self-Exclusion related complaints. As such I'd hope to be able to provide more information at that point.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

User icon
lainey58
April 6, 2016

Hello, The Pogg

Thank you for your response.

I have now forwarded my complaint to the UKGC,

The casino had enough time to respond and resolve

the discrepancy as civil as possible. If you can make them aware of the current state of affairs regarding my

complaint that would great.

The regulator and licencor should help with refunding player complaints not just acknowledge them.

Furthermore if that was the case, casinos wouldn't profit from situations like this, passing rulings and judgement at there own decision, making it difficult for honest players to give there own opinions on the issue. While they sugar coat there terms and conditions at any given time

because they simply can.

The UKGC really needs to think about how they let operators run there businesses because player complaints are soaring without question, 75% of player complaints never get resolved because the casino will not engage into communication with the ADR.

User icon
ThePOGG
April 6, 2016

That's not actually a fair representation of the situation.

Player complaints aren't soaring, they remain fairly consistent with the level activity within the online sector. Nor are the casino in question in this case non-responsive to complaints. In fact they're one of the most responsive groups when it comes to ADR intervention. Certainly any casino holding a UKGC license HAS to engage with ADR procedures. That is part of their license agreement. Even without the ADR requirements, this is an operator that's been widely responsive to complaints across the 3rd party dispute mediation portals. It's ThePOGG.com that's declining to discuss this complaint in this instance not the operator.

Self-exclusion policies have been excluded from ADR intervention for 2 reasons:

1) Fraud in this specific area IS soaring. With the introduction of stronger guidance in this area many UK players are choosing to self-exclude then intentionally look for ways round their self-exclusion, allowing them to demand to be paid wins and demand that losses are returned. I'm certainly passing no judgement in this instance but I can see why the operator feels this is what you've done given that you've changed 2 core pieces of information that would have automatically prevented you from registering an account.

2) Operators can conform precisely to the terms of their license in this area but still be morally wrong. The ADR would be compelled to rule in favour of the operator in this type of situation, but the UKGC would rather they didn't. The UKGC view this as an area that need supervision directly by the regulator.

For the time being that leave the court action for players who feel they've been wronged, i.e. the player is not left without recourse. Certainly, given the size of the claim, you'd be well within your rights to take this to the small claims courts. If you're confident of your claims that's the route you should go. You can find more information about this process here - http://www.europe-consommateurs.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/eu-consommateurs/PDFs/PDF_EN/small_claim.pdf

While I personally don't feel the current system is idea, given the proliferation of fraud surrounding these particular rules the structure to review these cases will take time to develop. In the meantime all I can recommend is either pursuing legal action via the small claims court or waiting to see if the UKGC makes any changes to policy over the next few weeks.

ThePOGG

User icon
lainey58
April 6, 2016

Hello, The Pogg

Thank you for your response.

I refute from making speculations however in this instance I will formally address my concerns.

Specially any ADR company will side with the operator unless there is probable cause to imply the customer is right, however with my complaint there is no right and wrong answer presumably. You have a coinciding relationship with the operator to maintain promotional assistance e.g affiliation/sales.

This is a systematic problem which the UKGC needs to address. Its a one sided conversation and the casinos are allowed to profit regardless what any regulatory body says subsequently your duty is to side as a public representative and favor public interest however complying with operators decisions so prominently show values of uncertainty.

On the 13th June 2015 I self excluded from NRR Entertainment, Furthermore. On the 17th September 2015 the casino had a warning imposed due to security concerns which is understandable.

You have raised issues that I entered 2 core pieces of information different. unfortunately new registrations cannot be presumed to have the same details a year after the exclusion, besides anyone who agrees that's a concrete basis for refusing a customer refund is partially unstable and is remotely siding with the opposition.

Moreover that specific topic.

New registration's must have a windowed response time,

I would think around 24-74 hours to provisionally authenticate a new member and distinguish fake accounts as a security precaution.

On that basis they surely had enough time to review my account and make me aware that I was previously self excluded from there sister site. Which shows levels inconsistency in there work ethics.

Regards,

Elaine

User icon
ThePOGG
April 7, 2016

Hi lainey58, I have got a few issues to raise here and I'm putting a stop to further conversation. Your posts are no longer even vaguely relevant to your specific complaint and have moved on to critiquing the entire ADR system. Given that the ADR system is not even relevant to your complaint, that you are pursuing this line of conversation is a bit of a mystery. If you want to do that there are plenty of forums where you can have this discussion. This specific complaint thread is not the appropriate place for that conversation. While I don't think the ADR system is perfect, it is the best system that is practically available within realistic confines, and attacking our credibility and independence shows a fundamental lack of knowledge or understanding of a) how our complaint system works or b) the host of times we have ruled against operators (including this one) who we have had a relationship with. You are making a significant assumption when you make that claim, just as you plucked a figure out of the air when you claimed "75% of player complaints never get resolved because the casino will not engage into communication with the ADR". These are not statements based on facts, they are statements based on your perception of the situation. Given the limited view that any player is likely to have and the negative selection bias that is likely to occur as they remember the instances that do not get resolved rather than all complaints, that is understandable. To highlight just how askew your opinion is, of the complaints we have managed this year only 18% have failed to be resolved due to the operator refusing to engage in communication with us. Of that 18%, 11% represent complaints against a single group. Also, so far there have been 0 complaints that have had this result against UKGC licensed operators (though I fully expect that to change as the year progresses). Let me also stress that only 4.5% of the complaints to have come in have come in against operators that actually list ThePOGG.com as their ADR service. In the other 95.5% of cases the operator had NO license requirement to discuss any issue with us. If you have a problem with the ADR system, as I have explained to you already, the small claims court is a perfectly viable option. In most other industries there is no license bound requirement for any company to engage in ADR. Consumers in the gambling industry are actually being given extra protection in this instance by the insistence that operators engage with at least one ADR entity. Regarding the specifics of your case, I would say that it is not only the change of data that would concern me. There are other several other factors in the narrative you've presented that do concern me. From what I've seen this operator abides by the UKGC requirements. In fact, by limiting registrations on certain fields that match entries already in their database they are already significantly ahead of many other UKGC licensed operators. My personal opinion is that a little more should be done. I'd like to see accounts denied registration for matching addresses and automatically locked if a player tried to use a payment account that matched another registered user. However if the UKGC wants more from operators than is currently being enforced, they have to take action to ensure that operators meet their standards. At the current time my opinion would be that this operator has exceeded the average standards that we have seen across all licensees. If you feel that your specific case has not been handled fairly by the operator or that the rules are not fair then that is what forwarding your complaint to the UKGC directly is intended to address. Beyond legal action all I can suggest is waiting to see what the UKGC have to say when I speak to them later this month. I will state in advance however that even if they change their policies regarding ADR's managing self-exclusion issues (unlikely) we will be obliged to decline your case and attempt to find another ADR who would be prepared to manage the issue as you've highlighted significant concerns with the independence of our service. This would fall under term 5.19 of schedule 3 (which can be found here - http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/ADR-Blog/Advice-for-ADR-applicants-and-ADR-entities.aspx) covering perceived bias on your part. ThePOGG

User icon
ThePOGG
May 2, 2016

Hi lainey58,

The information I've received from the UKGC is as followed:

1) Self-exclusion issues will remain reserved to the Gambling Commission. In other words, ADRs like ThePOGG.com cannot assist with this type of issue.

2) While the UKGC cannot directly force an operator to pay a player, where the commission find that an operator has not adhered to best practice it would be normal for the operator to to look to address the issue to be seen to comply with best practice. As such, if you've not already forwarded this issue to the Gambling Commission I would strongly suggest that you do so as your next step.

3) Your alternative to forwarding your issue to the Gambling Commission is to take legal action against the operator. The UKGC is considering publishing information for players on how to go about doing this, though I can give no information for the likely time frame within which this will be achieved.

ThePOGG

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lainey58 consented for ThePOGG to act on their behalf and share the personal information that they provide to ThePOGG with the following agencies for the purposes of resolving their complaint:

April 2, 2016

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