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MegaCasino – Non payment of withdrawal

Ruling

Found for the Player - MegaCasino appears to have waited until after a player won to enforce an exclusions to justify non-payment of winnings. If this is the case this is an absolute abuse of Responsible Gambling procedures. Advising the player to 'consider' self-excluding, allowing them to play on, then retroactively enforcing the exclusion after the player wins is knowingly putting a vulnerable player in a position where the can lose but cannot win. This practice actively reverses the protections that Responsible Gambling are intended to imbue, resulting in the vulnerable player becoming more vulnerable.

This is the second significant issue we have encountered while looking at the Responsible Gambling procedures at SkillOnNet licensed casinos. See https://thepogg.com/skillonnet-responsible-gambling-failures/.

Read our MegaCasino Review.

Player's Complaint

Hello

I created an account with Mega Casino last week, deposited £30 with no bonus, and won, over the course of a few days £4000, which I then tried to withdraw.

I was sent an email by the VIP account manager, congratulating me on my win, and also received an email to say my withdrawal was being processed, and a following email to say my withdrawal had been confirmed.

As it was a fairly large amount for me to win, I decided to contact the casino through live chat, to confirm the withdrawal was ok, and asked how long it would take to process, and was again told the £4000 was successfully processed and would be in my account in 2-7 business days.

Later that day, I reviewed another email from a customer service manager telling me my withdrawal had been cancelled and winnings confiscated. This was because of a self exclusion with another site / under a different name.

I have self excluded from sites before.

I have accounts with many casinos online.

I have not had an account with mega casino before.

Is this something they are allowed to do? I don’t believe it is in any way fair.

Thanks for any help

[EDIT]

Read the casino review

34 Responses

ThePOGG
Jan 26, 2018

Hi dancul30skye - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

My first question has to be have you ever self-excluded from any of the operators on this list - https://secure.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PublicRegister/Search/Detail/39326

My second question has to be, if you have, have you significantly changed the details you registered under between the two properties?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Jan 26, 2018

Hi

Thanks for looking into this, much appreciated.

As far as I can tell from memories and any communication (emails) with these casinos, I have had accounts with Playmillion and Playojo - neither of which have actually been self excluded. I have just logged in to both accounts successfully and taken screenshots of my account being logged in.

I did, in October, have correspondence with Playojo. I emailed them complaining, as I believed I’d created an account previously on their site, which I had self excluded from, and then I thought they had allowed me to open another account.

They assured me this was not the case, and dismissed my complaint, and after further investigation on my end, I can’t see any evidence that I did have a previous account with them, and I was in fact mistaken.

During this email chain with Playojo, they do recommend I follow their procedure for self exclusion, which I never did.

Regarding playmillion, the only correspondence I can find with them is a welcome email/depost acceptance email. And as mentioned I can still log in to their site.

I can email all links of pictures and emails to you.

Thanks again

Daniel

dancul30skye
Jan 26, 2018

Sorry

Forgot to mention,

My username would either be

[EDIT]

And email address is either

[EDIT]

Or

[EDIT]

Address is always the same,

Bank details, I’m pretty sure, are always the same for these sites.

Thanks

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Jan 26, 2018

Having re read the email from MegaCasino, they never actually use the term self exclude. They say that I ‘reported to have problems related to gambling’.

Thanks again

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Jan 29, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

Can you confirm which accounts you are still able to access?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Jan 29, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

I am still able to access my:

Playojo account, using username dancul300

Playmillion account, using username dancul30

I have not tried to deposit since my dispute was raised, but I have logged into both accounts.

Thanks

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Jan 29, 2018

Apologies I forgot to mention

I can still access my MegaCasino account with username [EDIT]

ThePOGG
Jan 31, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

The issue here is that where you contacted PlayOjo enquiring whether you'd previously self-excluded, most operators would take this to be grounds enough that they would apply a self-exclusion automatically. They have clear evidence that the player has experienced gambling addition related issues and would have to act on that information. So the question then becomes, were you allowed to deposit with PlayOjo or PlayMillions AFTER this conversation?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Jan 31, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

Thanks again for your help.

I cannot currently see as far back on bank statements or transaction history as I need to (the emails with Playojo happened on October) as I’m on my phone. It’s possible
I deposited again after this conversation, but it’s also possible I didn’t.

However my account with Playojo is still active now, I’m currently logged in.

Am I able to send you the emails conversation with Playojo? During the conversation, i believe it’s noteworthy that I never describe having problems with gambling, only that I believed I had self excluded another account ([EDIT]) and therefore excpected my current one ([EDIT]) to be closed.

Their response explains a the process I need to follow in order to self exclude, placing the onus on me to do so, rather than telling me they have performed the exclusion (as other operators have done when I’ve emailed them).

So it is my belief that the account is still active.

Thanks

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Feb 02, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

I'm afraid that any operator would bey well within their rights to take a self-exclusion at another property as clear evidence of a gambling problem as self-exclusions are specifically and exclusively intended to be used by people experiencing gambling problems.

That they've described how to self-exclude to you is a point of interest here but that would need to be combined with play being allowed on your accounts after this point to demonstrate that they did not apply a self-exclusion at this time.

And unfortunately being able to log into an account does not necessarily demonstrate a lack of restrictions. Many operators run systems that allow them to lock a users account to "withdrawal only" meaning that the player will be able to remove their funds, but not deposit or play.

Check your bank statements and come back to me and I'll see where we can go from there.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Feb 02, 2018

Hi The POGG

Thanks for your reply.

I can’t find any deposits after the date of the emails, however as I thought about it properly, I’m 99% sure I never attempted any.

I’ve just been on live chat with Playojo, and they confirmed my account is restricted - but that it was only placed on restriction on the 23/1/18, which would coincide with Mega Casino issues arising.

Therefore, if only placed on restriction then, I assume it was a live acccount up until he 22/1/18, which would have meant I could have deposited if I’d wanted too?

I have screenshots of my live chat to confirm this.

Thanks

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Feb 08, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

I have had an email from eCOGRA (I’d contacted them previous to speaking to you and this is their first reply) and they tell me they are unable to look into the matter further as I mentioned self exclusion, even though in this case I don’t believe I have actually self excluded from any casinos using the same license as MegaCasino. (I’m aware from the info on your site that ADR’s have been advised to pas on responsible gaming cases to the gambling commission - who can’t actially help with divisible claims(?))

Not sure if this is relevant to you but thought I’d update anyway,

Thanks

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Feb 12, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

Is there anything I can be doing to help at this time?

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Feb 12, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

Can you forward on the screen shots of your live chat to [email protected]?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Feb 12, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

I have done this, thanks for getting back to me

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Feb 16, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

I’d there’s anything else I can send over or help with please let me know,

Thanks for your help,

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Feb 22, 2018

Hi

I didn’t receive an email update for my last comment so I’m writing this to see if I do this time, if not I’ll check that somethings not gone wrong.

Just looking for an update

Thanks

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Feb 22, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

Apologies - your last comment was inadvertently deleted while doing some updates on the complaints system.

We still have an ongoing discussion with the operator about this issue. Until that's concluded I cannot comment further on this case.

I will revert to you once this discussion is complete.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Feb 22, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

Thanks for your reply. Fingers crossed.

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Mar 01, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

Quick update, I received marketing via text message from Mega Casino today. I’ve kept the message. Not sure if this is relevant or not.

Thanks

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Mar 02, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

I'd appreciate it if you could take a screen capture of this message and forward the image to [email protected]

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Mar 02, 2018

Hello

I have sent screenshots of the text and email as requetsed.

Thanks

[EDIT]

dancul30skye
Mar 10, 2018

Hello

If you need any more information, copies of original emails between myself and megacasino etc then please let me know.

Hope that it taking a bit longer is a good sign... 🙏

Thanks

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Mar 12, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

We don't need anything further from you at this time. We're awaiting a response from MegaCasino who are still having an 'internal discussion'.

I'll get back to you once I know more.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Mar 12, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

Thanks for your reply, and for your help.

Thank you,

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Mar 19, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

I've concluded our discussion with MegaCasino regarding your issue. They have effectively acknowledged - certainly not denied - that your exclusion was applied at the time you won based on information you had given them months before when they advised that you should consider whether you needed to self-exclude.

To our mind this is an entire abuse of Responsible Gambling policies. If this was being done to protect a player then it should have happened when you gave them the information they based this decision on. Instead this is being used to allow the operator to avoid paying a win. In our opinion this is a fundamental abuse of Responsible Gambling policies.

MegaCasino have now stated that they will offer no further comment on this case. As such there is nothing further that we can do to help you directly.

What I would recommend you do is firstly contact MegaCasino's ADR eCOGRA and see if they will look at your case. You should also consider contacting the UKGC directly. They will not intervene in individual complaints, but this is a licensing issue and if they have other concerns about this licensee may help them build a case. Finally we will flag this issue up directly with the UKGC ourselves. I think your chances of receiving payment in this case are now slim, but our honest opinion is that these funds should never have been withheld in the first place.

Sorry we couldn't be of more help,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Mar 23, 2018

Hello ThePOGG

What a frustrating situation. I have contacted eCOGRA again with an update, as well as the UKGC.

I feel there is a bigger issue here, which I’ve also mentioned to UKGC, as eCOGRA previously said they were unable to investigate Responsinle Gambling issues because of UKGC guidance, but the UKGC don’t look at individual cases.

This leaves people in my situation with little option, and when a reputable ADR like yourselves finds in my favour, there’s nobody that can listen to the findings in a way that resolves the situation.

I have also contacted MegaCasino to update them to the situation and let them know who I’d be contacting next etc.
I won’t hold my breath for a reply.

Thanks for all your help. Gutted that they’re not paying out (yet) but glad this site exists to help others,

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Mar 23, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

I could not agree more with this and have highlighted this issue repeatedly to the parties involved. As long as the approved ADRs will not review Responsible Gambling related cases and the UKGC cannot intervene in individual issues this leaves vulnerable players who have already lost too much money with the only recourse of taking their claim through expensive legal proceedings. These are the players that can least afford to take this type of action. As we are outside the approved ADR system now we do try and take up any Responsible Gambling related claims that we can but this only works with operators that will voluntarily discuss issues with us.

For this reason we are actually funding a free tool to help players control their gambling called BetBlocker. This allows you to restrict yourself from accessing thousands of gambling sites quickly and easily. The Window and Linux platforms are already live but we will be rolling out Mac, Android, iOS and Windows Mobile in the next few weeks if you feel this tool would be of any use to you.

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Jul 27, 2018

Hi ThePOGG

There has been a development in this case that I’d like your opinion on, should I continue on this thread or begin a new form?

[EDIT]

ThePOGG
Jul 27, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

Please post any relevant information here.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Jul 31, 2018

Thanks.

So having pressed UKGC to review this, with help from a consumer complaints radio programme, eCOGRA eventually took the case on. (They refused twice until I showed them an email from UKGC explicitly saying they had to investigate)

They found some information I did not have access to beforehand, and they have found in favour of the casino.

I do not believe the situation has changed, I’ve found myself in the same technical position as before- never actually self excluding from skill-on-net sites, but being retroactively self excluded after winning.

I will email though all the info eCOGRA gave me, I’d be interested to see what you think of the findings. It’s all pretty hard to understand from a customer point of view and when I asked for it to be explained further to me I was ignored.

Thanks

Dancul30skye

ThePOGG
Aug 02, 2018

Hi Dancul30skye,

Thanks for forwarding your communication with eCOGRA.

In our opinion eCOGRA have left out some critical information in the report they sent over.

The crux of this case hinges on when your self-exclusion was applied. If it was applied on the 5th of October then the operator has taken the right action at the right time and you are not entitled to your win. If the exclusion was applied on 23rd of January the exclusion has been retroactively applied at the point where you won. That would be an abuse of the Responsible Gambling system.

What I find specifically concerning is the distinctions that are being drawn between the two licenses. eCOGRA are right that if you have registered your account from an address outside of the UK this account would be managed separately under the Malta Gaming Authority license. In their communication eCOGRA make clear that self-exclusions on the MGA licenses are not applied to the UK license accounts and vice versa. This make sense as identifying players who are registering under multiple different addresses is very challenging in any form of automated manner. That being the case, the PlayOJO self-exclusion, and indeed account, is entirely irrelevant to the case. The problem exists as your interactions with PlayOJO staff strongly suggests that information is being shared across the two licenses in this case.
You have previously provided us with screenshots from a Live Chat conversation with PlayOJO that shows an operator stating that your self-exclusion at PlayOJO was applied on the 23rd of January. The information provided by eCOGRA indicates that your PlayOJO account was excluded on the 1st of November. That being the case the PlayOJO representative should have given that date as the exclusion date of your account. Presuming that the operator chose, as they should have given the information provided, to enforce a self-exclusion on your accounts the UK license self-exclusion should have occurred on the 5th of October and the MGA license self-exclusion should have occurred on the 1st of November. The date of the 23rd of January is only relevant to the identification of your new account at MegaCasino after your win. As this was on the UK license, why would this information then be passed over to the MGA license? More importantly, assuming that the operator chose to share information between licenses given the identification of these accounts (which would be good practice), why would a self-exclusion have been applied on the MGA license on the 23rd or January rather than the 1st of November? There should have been no reason for the 23rd of January to have been mentioned on your PlayOJO account notes. An exclusion should have already been applied to this account on the 1st of November so any activity on the UK license on the 23ed of January would have required no action even if the operator was trying to engage in best practice.

And this is where I would see a problem – the evidence indicates that the exclusion to your PlayOJO account was actually actioned on the 23rd of January, not on the 1st of November. If that’s the case it is not unreasonable to conclude that there is a significant possibility that the exclusion on the UK license, for both PlayMillion and MegaCasino, was also actioned on the 23rd of January, triggering the alert to the MGA licensed accounts, rather than on the 5th of October. What needs to be reviewed here is the system logs showing the actions that have been taken on your account. We have yet to work with a operator on a case like this that cannot provide a detailed system log showing when account exclusions are actioned and no-where in the report that was forwarded to you is this log provided. Given the nature of your issue and the evidence indicating that your exclusion may have been applied after your win this information should be included in the report you received as it’s the only information that is specifically relevant to the issue.

Beyond the above I’m not sure there’s much more we can offer in the way of help.

ThePOGG

dancul30skye
Aug 03, 2018

Hi ThePogg

Thanks so much for looking through all that. It seemed to me to be lots of information but without telling me anything relevant/that would conclude my case. And when I asked for more information they basically ignored me.

When I spoke o UKGC before, they said they had an ADR specialist department, so my next step is to contact them I think - is that the best idea? Or can you advise on any other approach?

Thanks again for this great service.

Dancul30skye

ThePOGG
Aug 06, 2018

Hi dancul30skye,

Unfortunately I'm not in a position where I can offer any useful advice at this stage.

The UKGC do have an ADR team, we interact with that team on a semi-regular basis when clarifying what the Gambling Commission's position is on various situations. This department manage the ADRs that the UKGC appoint. However I am not aware of them involving themselves in any individual player case nor overturning one of their ADRs' rulings. To our knowledge they do not function as an appeals body.

If the UKGC have suggested this as a possible avenue of pursuit then I would suggest going down that road, but this is not something I have any experience with personally.

ThePOGG

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