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Heypoker - Problem Gambling

Ruling

Resolved - HeyPoker has returned this player's deposits despite some misgivings regarding the way in which the self-exclusion was requested.

Read our HeyPoker Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

Excluded from sites on the evoke network, which according to UKGC rules mean all sites on the same license shouldn't allow my business. And if they do, winnings won't be honours, bets will be void.

Excluded from Redbet and Whitebet on this network, yet HeyPoker continue to send me promo material, play on their site and lose. As I am already excluded on their UKGC license I shouldn't have been permitted to play here and shouldn't have been receiving emails luring me into playing. According to the policies the enforce if a player wins in this situation, where the winnings are voided, it is only right that my losses are voided also. Especially as this company is directly in breach of its UKGC license.

Read the casino review

27 Responses

ThePOGG
August 1, 2015

Hi lee - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

Reading your complaint I have some immediate concerns.

You were aware that you'd self-restricted at both Whitebet and Redbet. I know as I'm a member at these site myself that they don't tend to cross promote their brands - i.e. a Redbet member isn't particularly likely to receive promotional material for HeyPoker. That being the case I have to assume that you also signed up to HeyPoker? If you restricted yourself at both Redbet and Whitebet, why didn't you also ask for a restriction at HeyPoker?

While I agree that you should have been restricted at all sites at the same time, mistakes can and will happen from time to time. Did you make any effort to alert HeyPoker to the fact that they were still sending you promotional material when you should have been restricted?

My concerns here related to a growing trend of players who try to use self exclusion policies to great 'no lose' situations for themselves. By self excluding, if the player can then get access to play again they will demand to be paid winnings and demand to have losses returned.

I'm also not clear as to what exactly has happened here. Have the casino voided winnings or is it losses your unhappy about?

Regardless, I'll need your username and email address at each of the mentioned casinos and I'll contact them on Monday to discuss this issue.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
August 7, 2015

Hi lee,

Until I have your username and email address there's nothing I can do to move this issue forward.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
August 14, 2015

Hi lee,

If I've not heard back from you by Friday the 21st of August I'll assume you're not longer looking for our assistance and close this complaint.

If you still want us to speak to the casino I need you to get in contact with your username and email address at each property.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
August 21, 2015

Hi lee,

As we haven't heard anything further from you in the 3 weeks since you submitted this complaint I'm going to assume that you either do not wish us to look into this issue any further for you or you've resolved the issue yourself. If that's not the case, feel free to get back in touch with us.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
September 17, 2015

Hi. Really sorry for being inactive here. The usernames I used at all sites thompers and addresses were [EDIT]. There seems to be a growing trend of none problem gamblers as seeing this as some kind of scam to create a no lose situation against casinos, when it isn't. In fact what generally happens is it's a no win situation for the player. I exclude from many places and only recently had a £1700 win rejected from MegaCasino because of an exclusion on a "sister site" that I had no idea about. After that happened I decided that casinos shouldn't get it both ways. I am a problem gambler and if I ask a license holder to not accept my bets, then they shouldn't on ALL sites operating on that license. Some operators acknowledge that this is correct and have given retrospective refunds, knowing that profitting from problem players isn't ethical. Heypoker/redbet and whitebet however feel it is acceptable to exclude on one site and play on the others, despite operating on the same UK licence and despite that being against their license terms. Please take them to task on this. I didn't lose a huge amount at heypoker (a few hundred) and I'm not concerned much for a refund. It's the principle and their attitude they've given me when I've raised the issue that's annoyed me, and I'd love to see them taken to task on it!

ThePOGG
September 18, 2015

Hi lee,

While I agree that abuse of this system can go both ways, your response hasn't answered the questions I asked:

1) Given that you requested self-exclusion at both Redbet and Whitebet, why did you not request the same at HeyPoker?

2) Did you make any efforts to alert HeyPoker to the fact that they should no longer be sending you promotions?

3) Have the casino voided winnings or is it losses you're unhappy about?

The above are fairly critical pieces of information to a case like this.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
September 18, 2015

1. I requested the exclusions at Redbet, Whitebet and then Heypoker on separate occasions after playing at each site and losing as I am a problem gambler. It was only after experiences with other Casinos where I had winnings voided by being excluded at a sister site that prompted me to ask the question why a casino can void my winnings if excluded from a sister site but keep my losses in the reverse scenario. I looked into this and found that the LICENSE HOLDER (and not individual sites using the same license) must take all reasonable steps to prevent an excluded player from playing. Redbet, Heypoker and Whitebet maintain that you can exclude from one and play at the others. This is against their UKGC license terms, yet they refuse to acknowledge this. 2. I didn't make any efforts to alert heypoker to not send me promotions, but as an excluded player on their license they should al;ready know this. 3. It is losses I am unhappy about in this case. Because I recently won £1700 at MegaCasino and had winnings voided because of an exclusion with a site operating on the same license asnd this was deemed to be correct by the UKGC. I was excluded on the license and therefore my winning bets were effectively voided and deposits returned. Therefore, if that is a rule then it has to work both ways. I was excluded on redbet/whitebet so my heypoker bets should be voided. This isn't something I have preplanned. Has I won, I'm confident thery'd have used it as an excuse not to pay me. The UKGC set the precedent and the rules regarding this, and heypoker et al are simply ignoring them unless it suits them. Kind regards, [EDIT].

lee
September 18, 2015

To add to this, following the MegaCasino incident I looked into some of my historical play and asked the question of some other casinos. Betsson agreed with me and apologised and issued a refund, as did the L&L group of casinos. There isn't really a grey area here, it's some casinos completely ignoring the rules designed to protect problem players like myself.

ThePOGG
September 18, 2015

Hi lee,

To be clear here - you requested a restriction for problem gambling at Redbet, Whitebet and HeyPoker? This was done at each property.

I'm not looking for information regarding UKGC licensing here - I am aware of the technicalities of the UKGC license. What I'm concerned about is that you've previously state that you requested restriction at both Redbet and Whitebet but never stated that you requested a restriction at HeyPoker. I'm trying to get a clear picture of why you'd request a restriction at the first 2 but not HeyPoker. These are questions I'm going to have to have answers to when I speak to this group about it.

Regarding MegaCasino - while I cannot comment on the specifics of your case - if the casino has not informed you of which sites you've been restricted from and you've been able to register an account at another of their properties using the same details then I don't believe they're in the right to withhold your winnings.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
September 18, 2015

I requested a restriction at the first two purely because they're the ones I played at first. Then some months later I discovered heypoker (without any realisation that they were related to redbet/whitebet) and lost money there. My concern though is that the UKGC rules are in place to protect me from a license holder taking me for more money. With so many sites popping up operating on a single license how am I ever going to be able to exclude myself properly? The UKGC has taken steps to address this but this company is ignoring them. After losing at heypoker I decided to exclude and i only then did i recognise the 'evoke' brand and asked the question "why are this company taking my custom"? The fact is they shouldn't have been and even now, won't acknowledge it. They seem perfectly happy to have a license but operate on their own terms. As for Mega Casino, I used the same details to register at a 'sister' site. There was no direct menton of the sister site, just a very obscure mention in their terms and condititons (here hxxp://www.megacasino.co.uk/terms.asp) that "The limitations applied during a Self Exclusion apply to any other known account you have on our license. For a list of the sites under our license click here." So to have known of the sister site I'd have had to not only read their t&c's but click a link away from them to learn the associated sites. Kind regards, [EDIT].

ThePOGG
September 21, 2015

Hi lee,

I have contact HeyPoker and I'll get back to you with a response as soon as I have one.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
September 21, 2015

Thanks, much appreciated. Had some good banter with the customer service lads tried my best to explain the license conditions etc but they were adamant that the decision was final and was coming from the upper tiers of management. Good luck and thanks, [EDIT].

lee
September 23, 2015

You having much joy out of these guys? They seemed a little stubborn in my dealings with them haha

ThePOGG
September 23, 2015

Hi lee,

You're going to have to give me some time to work on this issue. I have contact the operator, but give the nature of this issue and the fact that it will have to work its way up the ladder, it's going to take some time to get to the bottom of.

I'll let you know as soon as I have further information.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
September 23, 2015

No problem, your efforts are greatly appreciated :)

lee
September 28, 2015

You had much correspondence thus far? I struggled to get past live chat operators!

ThePOGG
October 1, 2015

Hi lee,

HeyPoker should be in contact with you today to get your bank details to return your funds.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
October 1, 2015

Thank you so much ThePOGG! This feels like a small win compared to the injustice of the MegaCasino incident I talked about, but great to at least see some consistency from casinos around this issue at last. Do they have access to this page? Just want confirm whether they have the correct contact details for me. Warm regards, [EDIT].

ThePOGG
October 2, 2015

Hi lee,

The casino do not currently have access to this page, so you may want to get in contact with them if they've not emailed you already.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
October 2, 2015

Little concerned they still haven't contacted me, I contacted them yesterday and they said they'd pass it on to the 'relevant department' but still today I've heard nothing. Maybe they're busy but I'm a little worried!

lee
October 3, 2015

This morning I'm told that the department I'm waiting to hear from doesn't work weekends. Alongside "We will contact you as soon as possible we have gotten more information regarding your case".

Seems like stall tactics. A little frustrated and worried :(

ThePOGG
October 5, 2015

Hi lee, If they've said they're going to pay there's no reason for them to stall. Far more likely is that the relevant department (given this has had to go to management level) don't work weekends. You're just going to have to be patient and wait on this coming through. I'll follow-up towards the end of this week if there's been no progress. ThePOGG

lee
October 5, 2015

Thanks again, ThePOGG. I'll keep you updated :)

lee
October 5, 2015

Hi again. It turns out they aren't returning my funds. They've decided they're returning 500 euros, a fraction of my deposits. Not sure why they decided to keep almost half? As I understood it my deposits were being returned. Frustrating! Regards, [EDIT].

ThePOGG
October 7, 2015

Hi lee,

I've spoken with HeyPoker again. Apparently there was an internal miscommunication. They will be refunding your entire deposit balance. If you could confirm how much this was and when you receive it I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
October 14, 2015

Hi lee,

Can you confirm receipt of your funds?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

lee
October 14, 2015

Hi, apologies for the lack of an update as I've been really busy. Yes, I can confirm that I received the funds in full last week. Again, a big thank you for this ThePOGG! Warm regards, [EDIT].

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Agreement

lee 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:

August 1, 2015

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland sits to the north-west of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom shares a border with The Republic of Ireland and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel. The population of the UK is approaching the 67.6 million mark leading to a fairly densely populated land mass. The gambling sector in the United Kingdom is entirely regulated and licensed by the UKGC – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Should players resident In the UK wish to gamble with foreign based operators there is no history of this being treated as a criminal offence, but high levels of protection exist for UK residents playing with UK licensed operators.