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Flamantis Casino

Ruling

Found for the Player - Flamantis casino failed to detect a self-excluded player and failed to provide relevant information to allow the player to know the exclusion applied then refused to pay winnings to that player.

Read our Flamantis Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

THIS COMPLAINT IS ABOUT FLAMANTIS.COM, ITS NOT IN THE SELECTION ABOVE

www.flamantis.com owned by everymatrix

username:[EDIT]

email: [EDIT]

date of incident: 14th september 2015

I opened an account with Flamantis casino on 14th September 2015 and deposited $50 aud. Within 2 or 3 hours of playing I had won $6000 (I'm sorry I dont remember the exact figure as I can't login to my account). When I went to withdraw this I opened a "live chat" and asked for the email address where I could send my proof of address and ID into, which I got and emailed through. I then went to login to my account the next day and was unable to. I was told:

Hi [EDIT],

You probably had yourself excluded from other EveryMatrix casinos and self exclusion automatically applies to all everymatrix casinos.

Sincerely,

[EDIT]

Hi [EDIT],

According to UKGC terms as you have been self excluded your winnings are void and you are only eligible to receive back your original deposit.

Sincerely,

[EDIT]

(which incidently was never sent)

I asked for proof that I had blocked myself from their site as I don't believe I did and this was not sent to me. I was also under the impression that, if I did, self exclude from their site I shouldn't have been allowed to set up an account, deposit, in good faith, play and win?

When I was told I was not getting my money sent to me I registered a complaint to eCOGRA on 15th September2015 and received an email saying:

Dear [EDIT],

I appreciate the effort you have made to contact eCOGRA and explain your predicament. I will contact the customer service team at Flamantis to follow up on your query today.

and I mailed everymatrix.com asking them to show me proof of my self exclusion and got a reply form them saying:

Hello [EDIT],

I am contacting you on behalf of EveryMatrix in regards to your email. We have received your formal complaint from Ecogra and are now communicating with them to resolve your issue. As such, I'm afraid there can be no further correspondence with you regarding this matter. I have attached our Complaints procedure for your reference.

Please await the response from Ecogra.

Best regards,

EveryMatrix Complaints Team

this was on 17th September.

I have mailed Ecogra four times since asking for an update and/or is anything happening but have received no response.Its been 2.5 weeks since I have had any correspondence from anyone so I would like to see if you can do anything with it for me?

I have explained this as best as I can, and hope you can advise me further, if there's any more info you need please let me know.

many thanks!

[EDIT]

Read the casino review

5 Responses

ThePOGG
Oct 07, 2015

Hi hdegan,

Apologies for the delay - we had some technical issues at the start of the week.

I need to be clear about what we can/cannot do for you. Since you've already contacted the the casinos official ADR service the casino will not speak to us regarding this issue.

What we can do for you is contact eCogra as a 3rd party representative for you. If you feel this would help that's something we'd be happy to do, however this will not speed up the process. As I stated before, eCogra are subject to UKGC regulations now and while I cannot off the top of my head remember the exact time frames they have to allow for response from the operator, they certainly haven't expired yet.

Regarding your complaint - yes you do need to be logged into your site account to see your complaint. I've just reset your password to [EDIT]. Please try logging in again, remember that your username is hdegan not your email address, and if you have issues contact me immediately and I'll review our security logs.

ThePOGG

hdegan
Oct 07, 2015

many thanks for getting back to me. my only concern is that nothing is happening.Its been 3 weeks without a word from eCOGRA so I am unsure if they are doing anything or not. If you think I should wait I'll wait and see what happens.This has never happened to me before so I dont know what the protocol is, all i know is I won money , was told I wasnt getting it and have had no correspondance from anyone since.
thanks again
[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Oct 09, 2015

Hi hdegan,

I have contacted the casino directly about this issue. I doubt we'll be able to make much head way in that particular direction, but will try nonetheless.

Regarding eCogra, given that the time for the casino to provide information will not yet have expired, eCogra likely won't have any new information that they can provide you with at the present time. You will be one amongst dozens of complaints they will be dealing with and if they don't have any new information to provide you with it's unlikely that they'd assign someone to respond at the present time.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Nov 04, 2015

Hi hdegan,

I've spoken with Flamantis casino regarding this issue and they inform me that it's been concluded by eCogra. Can you confirm this?

If my current understanding is correct, I cannot support the decision that's been made and as it's UKGC rules that are being used to justify the position being taken would intend to take this to my contacts at the UKGC to determine whether the rules are being interpreted as they intended. Could you forward on any correspondence you've had with eCogra to webmaster@thepogg.com?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Dec 11, 2015

Hi hdegan,

I've spoken at length with Flamantis casino regarding this issue and we've now reached a point where I believe there's no possibility of further progress being made.

There are several issues I want to address here relating to different aspects of how this issue has been managed by the different bodies involved.

1) Why were you allowed to play? - As a player self-excluded on another property under the same license as Flamantis, the casino are bound by their UKGC license not to let you play. That much is true. As a standard your account should have been caught at time of registration, but as you switch your first name between Henry and Harry the system failed to detect the matching account. I've repeatedly asked if there were other differences in the key information provided at time of sign-up (surname, address, email, date of birth etc) and received no response. I assume this to mean that there were no other differences.

I want to stress at this point that the Everymatrix system failed here. A single change in one data field, especially something as unimportant as first name, should not be enough to allow an account to be missed like this.

The operator's response to this failure has been that the player should have known that they were self-excluded on ALL Everymatrix properties as Everymatrix are clearly referenced within the terms and conditions.

2) How did your account get detected - As stated above the automated detection system that should have prevented you from playing failed to detect your account. Your account was detected the next day after you had played, won and requested a withdrawal, so it seems fair to conclude that your account was spotted when the security review of your withdrawal was taking place.

3) eCOGRA - The appointed ADR service responsible for Flamantis are eCOGRA and they've reviewed this issue. They reached a conclusion that your complaint was unjustified as the operator has returned your deposit meaning that neither party has benefited from the play while excluded.

4) Why do we disagree with these conclusion? - Firstly the Everymatrix claim that a player should know that they're self-excluded because of their brand being referenced in the terms of the casino doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Players remember casinos by the casino brand name not the platform provider, but even if we were to assume that they did recognise the platform name, assuming that an exclusion at one Everymatrix branded property extends to all Everymatrix branded properties is inconsistent with industry practice and furthermore simply not true.

Where a player self-excludes at a Playtech operator it would not then follow that they are self-excluded at ALL Playtech operators.

A self-exclusion at an Everymatrix casino does apply to all of their UKGC licensed operators, it may apply to all of their operators running on one of their licenses (though at this stage this isn't clear), it does not apply to all operators who work with Everymatrix. Off the top of my head I can think of 3 examples (Guts, Slotobank and Spin Empire) where within the last year the operators have been running on Everymatrix software and displaying the Everymatrix branding, but not running on an Everymatrix license and as such not subject to, or even aware of, self-exclusions at other Everymatrix properties.

Where self-exclusions are carried over between properties in this fashion a robust system needs to be in place to detect excluded accounts at point of sign-up and clear detail needs to be present in the operator’s terms and conditions providing information for the player as to which properties a self-exclusion applies at. In this instance the system in place to detect excluded accounts has been shown to be far from robust and insufficient information was made available within the terms and conditions for the player to be aware of the other properties impacted by their self-exclusion

The eCOGRA ruling is simply incorrect. Working under the assumption that this player's account was detected during a security review of their withdrawal, had the player lost and as such not requested a withdraw no security review would have taken place and the player's account would have gone undetected. As such no refund of losses would have been forthcoming had the player lost.

While the operator may not have directly benefited in this single instance, over the sum of all accounts that go undetected in this fashion the operator is left to keep the funds of those accounts that lose and withhold payment of winnings. In other words the operator would actually profit from this type of failure in the long run and for ethical reasons that’s completely unacceptable

The only situation where this would not be the case is if we conclude that the player WAS aware of the self-exclusion and intended to press for return of losses had they lost. As it's impossible to know a person's intentions, to draw this conclusion we would need to have significant evidence based on the player's behaviour to indicate their manipulation of the system to this end. The only evidence we have been shown, or that was detailed in the eCOGRA report, suggesting this is that the player switch between the first name Harry and Henry, first names that are commonly interchangeable within the UK. While we accept that there are a sizeable volume of fraudulent gambling protection claims being made at the present time, especially within the UK, where a self-excluded player tries to get round the automated detection systems set up to catch excluded players allowing them to claim back losses and demand to be paid wins, to suggest that this player has been engaged in that type of behaviour solely on the grounds that they changed between using Harry and Henry is a very tenuous argument and certainly not one on which a fund confiscation of this magnitude should be based.

As such we cannot support the position taken by Flamantis, Everymatrix or eCOGRA with regard to this issue.

It is worth pointing out at this stage that via a discussion with another Everymatrix operator as a result of this issue, we’ve been informed that within the coming weeks Everymatrix will be implementing a check box on the sign-up forms of all of their operators that will prevent a player signing up without first reading the self-exclusion policy and reviewing the license page to see which operators are covered by a self-exclusion. This is a huge positive step forward and goes a long way towards ensuring that issues like this one do not occur in the future.

As a result of this complaint, Noxwin (sister property to Flamantis) have lost their Deposit Guarantee seal and will be downgraded to ‘Needs Work’ status. While it is the platform provider that has the final say on this issue, we’ve been far from impressed with the communication surrounding this issue and as such no longer feel comfortable presenting this operation as a seal holder. Alongside the communication issues, the changes to terms and conditions that they suggested have not been implemented over a month after being raised.

This issue will be forwarded to the UKGC as part of a larger document detailing issues with the current self-exclusion policies being applied at white label providers. It would be our hope that the UKGC will make adjustments to their license to ensure that clear information is provided to players about which properties a self-exclusion extends to.

ThePOGG

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