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Bitstarz - jurisdiction issues

Ruling

Found for the Player - In our opinion Bitstarz are implementing policies intended to facilitate them accepting illegal US traffic while claiming that they do not.

Read our Bitstarz Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

I signed up for this casino and deposit several times. Few days later when I while I was looking if a bonus a bonus available, I noticed on my profile section that my profile is completely blank. While trying to fill out the information, USA is not on the list of the country available so I started to feel suspicious. I researched online and found out that Bitstarz doesn’t accept us players (but there’s also a statement staying you can still enjoy and play). I contacted support and they told me it says in their terms and condition that they don’t allow us players which I apparently missed. But I don’t recall seeing anywhere staying that if you deposited money and aren’t allowed to, you won’t get it back. I count yes them several times before because of the deposit bonus I was promised and tuned out someone with the same IP address already had used it which is a lie because I’m the only one in my household that gambles online. I even asked them how did they allow me to play even when they know I’m in a restricted country. There’s scene games I tired to play and I couldn’t because it says I’m restricted. Hey said that they wouldn’t know if I’m from the USA because when I signed up I didn’t give them any address which I find odd because I’ve signed up to many online casinos but not even 1 company had allow me to register without giving any address or phone number. They told me too bad and be very careful next time. No wonder why they were so rude to me when I was asking for my missing bonus. I read a comment online about how they give excellent customer service and why I’m not getting that vibe and this is why because they already know I won’t be a player for long.

Read the casino review

3 Responses

User icon
ThePOGG
March 17, 2020

Hi ipo808 - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

I'll contact the operator and see what we can find out for you.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

User icon
ThePOGG
August 21, 2020

Hi ipo808,

Firstly apologies for the delayed response to this issue. Bitstarz have strung this out far beyond what we consider to be reasonable.

Sadly, while we would support your claim the operator has refused to change their position.

The operator's position is that because they mention in their terms and conditions that US players are restricted, that this absolves them of any and all guilt or responsibility when they accept play from US citizens. We do not agree with this position at all.

The facts of the matter are that Bitstarz do not request any information from the player regarding their residence either at point of registration or before deposit.The vast majority of players do not read through the terms and conditions before they register. Fact. They rely on the operator to put in place a barrier to their play if the operator would not accept them.

The argument that has been made historically for not requesting residence information has been that it would disrupt the registration flow and result in reduced conversion. We do not accept this. Having a drop down field on the registration form where the user selects their country of residence is so minimal in its disruptive impact that it likely would have no practical implications whatsoever for conversion. Beyond this, every well run operator already requires far more information at point of registration.

In our opinion Bitstarz are making a conscious decision not to request residency information for a clear reason - by not requesting this information players they allow players from restricted jurisdictions to play as long as they are profitable to the casino while claiming that they're not accepting players from these black markets.

The defence we've received to this case is that US players will be identified at point of withdrawal when ID verification occurs. This is a problematic policy in two respects:

i) It means that the operator will only ever identify restricted play where the player wins. As the vast majority of players never win (i.e. they lose their deposit/s to the casino and move on) this conveniently allows the operator to retain these losses while claiming ignorance. When the player does win the operator can then point out that the player has breached rules and refuse to pay. This creates a no-lose situation for Bitstarz. If the player loses they win. If the player wins they refuse payment.

Bitstarz have asserted that they would not do this and will pay out wins in this circumstance. Even where this was to be the operator's policy this would still allow the operator to profit from large volumes of US play from those players who don't win. However, historically our experience has been that this has not been the case anyway. A previous case exemplified Bitstarz trying to void a win because a player was located in a restricted jurisdiction (USA) - https://thepogg.com/complaint/bitstarz-freerolls-us-player/. So there are questions to be asked as to whether Bitstarz are genuinely paying out US winners when they are identified or whether they are only doing this when they get challenged on the matter by a 3rd party.

ii) If we take the operator's word for it that they will pay out winning US players and ignore the likely significant financial benefit they are deriving from players who are from restricted countries and never win, we would still have to rely on ID verification occurring at an appropriate juncture. This does not appear to be the case. In another complaint from a US player that has been running concurrently to this one we have seen that this simply is not the case - https://thepogg.com/complaint/bitstarz-2500-euro-win/. In this claim the player was allowed to process tens of thousands in deposits and withdrawals without having been asked to verify their identity or residency. Not only does this demonstrate verification policies that are entirely insufficient in terms of preventing money laundering and funding of terrorism, where the operator is claiming that they will catch players from restricted jurisdictions at point of verification and then engages policies that make no reasonable effort to verify players this again facilitates the operator in accepting as much play as possible from jurisdictions that they claim are restricted.

In short we feel that Bitstarz are being entirely disingenuous in the representation of their actions. They are wilfully engaging policies intended to maximise rather than minimise the volumes of play they receive from prohibited jurisdictions while at the same time using the fig leaf of mentioning the jurisdiction as restricted in their terms of use to make the claim that they are not doing this.

Sorry we could not be of more help.

ThePOGG

User icon
ipo808
August 21, 2020

Thank you for at least trying to resolve the issue. All I want is for future players to know not to support this specific casino because clearly they are scamming US players that don’t read the terms and conditions right away. The reason why I came across this particular casino is when I google best Casino online that allows US players, one of the link showed them as far as the casino that accepts US players. When to told them about it they said they aren’t responsible for a post that didn’t come from them directly. I find it odd that I came across it signed up and had a few emails back and forth and even had a conversation via chat numerous times but they still allow me to deposit even tho they already knew I’m a US player but they still allowed me to deposit because I had no idea just yet that all my deposit will just go to waste. Is there any way to put this casino in a blacklisted casino? I just don’t want this to happen to any other players. I lost a couple hindered dollars who knows how much money the next one will lose.

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Agreement

ipo808 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:

  • Bitstarz
  • Curacao eGaming
  • Direx N.V.

March 17, 2020

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