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Paddy Power – self exclusion

Ruling

Found for the Player - The player claims they were allowed to sign-up a 2nd account using exactly the same details as a self-excluded account. Paddy Power will not discuss this issue. If true this would likely be a breach of license.

Read our Paddy Power Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

I have been self excluded from Paddy Power for a long time. Incidentally I am also excluded from Betfair since before the merger.

On May 24th 2018 I was able to open account with the exact same email address (and no username), as my self excluded account.

I was then able to deposit (and lose) £925 in total.

Only after the losses, my account was locked due to the self exclusion.

Upon contacting Paddy Power support via live chat to request a refund, I was twice told I'd hear from their payment team (after having first verified my identity via the usual documents).

On the 25th I still hadn't heard anything, so I contacted live chat again. At this point I was informed no refund would be issued as they closed my account within 24 hours, so they don't have to issue me any refunds.

I don't think this is correct, and would like to see the funds refunded.

I have chat logs available if you need to see them.

Many thanks

Read the casino review

13 Responses

ThePOGG
May 25, 2018

Hi YourBiggestFan - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

Before going further, you say that you registered via the same email address. Can you tell me if any other registration information was changed?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

YourBiggestFan
May 25, 2018

Nothing else was changed. Same first and last name, same email, as far as I know same address (although I may have moved since, so that could have been different), same date of birth etc.
I wasn't attempting to circumvent it or anything like that, just forgot I had an excluded account already

YourBiggestFan
May 26, 2018

Minor correction, total amount deposited was £975

ThePOGG
May 28, 2018

Hi YourBiggestFan,

If you've used different details then the operator would be right that they have 24 hours to detect your account manually. It may not have been intentional, but neither would it be the operator's fault that the system did not detect you automatically.

We'll contact Paddy Power and see what we can find out.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

YourBiggestFan
May 28, 2018

Hi,

I agree that if I was deliberately trying to deceive checks this would be a different situation, but all my details are the same as always, my name hasn't changed, and I've always used the same email for everything.
Unfortunately in this case Paddy Power have failed the most basic of checks.
If I had attempted to withdraw any winnings I guarantee they would not have paid out, so the right thing to do would be to refund the deposits.

I appreciate you following up with Paddy Power and hope to get this all resolved amicably.

ThePOGG
May 28, 2018

Hi YourBiggestFan,

Unfortunately that wouldn't appear on the surface to be true. All UK licensed operators now run automated checks at point of registration so that if certain pieces of information match an already excluded account the registration is automatically declined. This is my concern here and would likely indicate that the details you've used have NOT been the same as those on your previous account. Obviously we're going to ask the operator to explain why the automated system did not detect your second account, but if it comes back that the details have changed you most likely wouldn't have a case.

As far as 'the most basic check', in actual fact I can state without having spoken to the operator that they have completed the checks they are required to make. The automated system may not have detected the second account you registered - and we will need to find out what that did not happen - but all operators are allowed 24 hours to detect duplicate accounts and in this case the operator did perform the checks required to establish that you were self-excluded.

Thanks,

YourBiggestFan
May 28, 2018

Since it's the same email address (I can prove this since I have old emails from them to the same email address, even paypal deposits from the email address too), you're right, it's very odd they've allowed the second account to be opened.

I can tell you with 100% honesty all details were the same, so we'll see what Paddy Power's explanation is

YourBiggestFan
Jun 07, 2018

Hi,

Any updates from Paddy Power?

Many thanks

YourBiggestFan
Jun 30, 2018

Hi,

Since things don't seem to be moving forward, could you advise me on how to take this down a more formal route?

I know I'm right in this case, and although I'm not holding my breath on recovering the funds, this kind of thing cannot be allowed to go unreported.

Thanks

ThePOGG
Jul 06, 2018

Hi YourBiggestFan,

My understanding of the situation is as follows:

The operator's position on this is that at the time you self-excluded you would have been presented with a pop-up informing you that it was prohibited to set-up any further accounts with either Paddy Power or Betfair. That being the case the operator is of the opinion that no refund is due as you've broken terms and condition.

We cannot agree with this position.

The UKGC license has the following to say regarding this issue:

"3.5.3.1 Licensees must have and put into effect procedures for self-exclusion and take all reasonable steps to refuse service or to otherwise prevent an individual who has entered a self-exclusion agreement from participating in gambling."

It is widely interpreted that "all reasonable steps" would include systems to automatically detected and prevent duplicate registrations. We have specifically inquired with Paddy Power why the secondary account was not detected in this manner - whether the details used at registration had been altered - and since this point the operator is no longer responding to our communications about this issue.

Our position would be that if the details were a significant match - i.e. one that an automatic system could be reasonably be expected to determine were a match across the key identifier fields - then subsequent registration should have been detected automatically and prevented from placing wagers. Given that we have asked this specific question and received no response, we can only assume that this has not been the case. Based on that presumption, it would seem to us that the operator has failed in their Responsible Gambling commitments in this instance.

Unfortunately as the operator are no longer responsive to this issue there's nothing further we can do to help.

We would recommend submitting your complaint to Paddy Power's ADR IBAS.

Sorry we could not be of further help!

ThePOGG

YourBiggestFan
Jul 06, 2018

Hi,

Thank you for your efforts. It is much appreciated.

I'm glad you agree that a popup on sign up does not satisfy the responsible gambling requirements of their license. For the record; there was no such message anyway.

I literally used the same email, first name, last name, date of birth. The accounts will have been near identical. This is a provable fact, so I'm guessing the reason they're not responding is that there has been a glitch in there system (or some other colossal mistake on their end) and it's gotten through. Every site has duplicate email detection, so something must have gone wrong for it to allow the same email to be used twice.

Anyway, since they're refusing to continue to discuss this, I've submitted a complaint to IBAS.
I will follow up here with the resolution as it may encourage future victims to fight their case.

Thanks again for your help

YourBiggestFan
Aug 14, 2018

Hi,

Just wanted to update with progress (or lack thereof) here for any future victims of this sort of thing.

I contacted IBAS UK on July 6th, and recieved a reply 3 days later stating "We have an arrangement with the Gambling Commission – the gambling industry regulator – that any disputes we receive that involve people seeking a return of lost stakes will be passed onto the Commission for investigation, instead of being adjudicated by IBAS. So at this stage, it is unlikely that we will be able to help.".

Seems to me like this is exactly what they should be getting involved in, but perhaps I'm misunderstanding their function.

However, they did go on to say they'd contact Paddy Power on my behalf anyway, to see if they can help settle the matter.

I sent over all the information and proof, on July 9th...

Heard nothing. So chased on July 19th...

Still nothing. Chased July 26th...

Literally not had a response. Starting to think the 'independent' adjudicators don't really care.

I'm going to escalate to the Gambling Commission to see if I'm met with a higher level of professionalism there, but at this point, disillusioned with the system, I'm not holding my breathe.

YourBiggestFan
Aug 29, 2018

Hi,

Update. Still no response from IBAS, but I recieved a response from the Gambling Comission:

"Thank you for contacting the Gambling Commission regarding Paddy Power operating as PPB Entertainment Limited.

From your correspondence we understand that you have a dispute with Paddy Power which has been ongoing since May this year. This is relating to you being able to deposit and gamble whilst self-excluded from their website. You would like us to review the information you have provided before you take further action.

We would firstly clarify that as a regulator we do not become involved in individual complaints and disputes. We also cannot assist you with getting a refund from a gambling operator of any money deposited whilst under self-exclusion.

We would advise that all operators that are licensed with us are expected to put into effect procedures for self-exclusion and take all reasonable steps to refuse service or to otherwise prevent an individual who has entered a self-exclusion agreement from participating in gambling.

Ultimately, the success of self-exclusion does rely to a very large degree on the extent to which a problem gambler is committed to managing his or her behaviour. When requesting self-exclusion you are also agreeing to refrain from attempting to circumvent the procedures in place such as using variants of your name, address and e-mail address.

You state in your email that you used the exact same details apart from your home address which had changed. Please be aware that if you have used any details (address, email address, cards) that differ to your self-excluded account this can be the reason your self exclusion was not picked up by the operator.

We understand that sometimes individuals do change their details, however in order for your exclusion or any account closure to be effective you would need to notify the operator of this so they can update your records. If you do not notify them of this they may not be able to recognise your self-exclusion.

We would advise that as you have used variants in your account details we would not consider this as a regulatory breach.

We understand that you are looking to get your funds back from the operator. We would clarify that operators are under no obligation to refund any stakes/deposits made whilst under self-exclusion. This is as there would be an incentive to gamble if those successfully breaching a self-exclusion agreement could expect to be refunded stakes they have lost.

If you wish to seek any funds you believe you may be owed we would advise you to pursue this with the operator directly. We would also like to clarify that ADR's do not generally handle self-exclusion complaints and may also be unable to assist you with getting a refund.

You may also wish to consider that all gambling contracts made since 1 September 2007 are legally enforceable under the Gambling Act 2005. If you think you have an actionable case against a licence holder you can consider referring the matter to court and you may wish to seek independent legal advice. We do not give legal advice on this or any other area.

We understand this may not have been the response you were expecting, however, we hope this has provided you with clarification on our role."

So according to them, a pysical address change (I'm not sure it was a different address, no evidence has been given that it was, but it's possible) would constitute circumvention.
Checking an email address, which as we know is unique, apparently isn't part of "all reasonable steps".

In my eyes I've taken this all the way to the top, and it's quite clear the the protections in place are actually all just an illusion, and there is nothing anyone can do to enforce the terms of a UKGC license are actually followed, at least when it comes to responsible gaming / self exclusions.

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