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Party - Complaint

Ruling

Declined - This player's principal concern relates to the placement of Responsible Gambling information, something the regulator has to rule on.

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Player's Complaint

Over a two week period I was able to make 10's of withdraws around $8,000 AUD while gambling on the partypoker website playing blackjack.

The issues I have and raised with partypoker include:

1. Their terms and conditions do not state the withdrawal prerequisites and conditions clearly as required by industry guidelines.

2. As such, when I attempted to withdraw moneys from my partypoker account I was surprised to find that a minimum amount of $5,000 USD was required.

3. This lack of awareness combined with my problem gambling that I continued to gamble with no easy/suitable way to withdraw.

4. Also, governing guidelines dictates that sites and poker User Interfaces must conspicuously promote ‘responsible gambling’ links on their lobby page or similar. Partypoker only have a small link hidden on their software client.

5. I’m not sure whether gambling companies should have controls in place to prevent obvious problem gamblers from continuously withdrawing funds from a credit card account, as I was able to withdraw thousands of dollars in a matter of hours.

6.On at least two gambling sessions, the partypoker servers crashed causing funds to be removed from my account.

7. When I contacted partypoker about this, they assured me that the funds were eventually credited to my account however the logs they provide do not provide me with sufficient detail have this assurance.

8. They also quoted their ‘blackjack rules’ website which is separate to their terms and conditions and was not titled ‘rules’ anywhere on that page.

9. When I pointed out this issue they said they have updated the page to be titled ‘rules’ however policy dictates that they are required to notify ALL customers of any changes to any rules – this they never did.

10. Essentially it was their belief that any system errors that caused a loss, was not their responsibility to rectify – just because they have made a ‘rule’ stating this on an obscure webpage. I don’t believe that companies can make internal policies that absolve themselves of any legal obligations.

11. Over a 24 hour period I played over 3,900 hands of blackjack for a less than 35% winning ratio. I don’t believe this is the standard win/loss ratio and I believe their blackjack game is configured with a higher losing ratio than a standard blackjack game.

I believe that partypoker’s lack of compliance with governing guidelines has contributed to my problem gambling and financial hardship. I believe that had I been able to withdraw funds without restrictions that I was not made aware of and if I had been able to view the responsible gaming information, I would not have lost as much money as I did.

I can provide personal transaction details if required, plus the emails I have received from partypoker and the minimal logs they have provided me.

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6 Responses

ThePOGG
May 30, 2017

Hi Blahusiak - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

1. What industry guidelines? Your referencing guidelines that we're not familiar with. Having looked at the PartyPoker terms and conditions there is a clear section detailing the withdrawal terms. Specifically what is your problem?

2. You were trying to withdraw funds from your PartyPoker account and the minimum amount they would let you withdraw was $5000 AUD?

3. At what point did you make the operator aware of your problem gambling issues?

4. Again we need to know the 'governing guidelines' you're referencing? You're an Australian resident and we're UK based, so if you're referencing Australian rules you need to direct us to them.

5. Gambling companies have a responsibility to prevent problem gamblers from accessing their service. But those responsibilities only extend as far as managing players they can be reasonably expected to be aware of. So you need to have made the operator aware of the issue before they could be considered to be responsible.

6/7. You would need to be able to provide concrete figures of what, if anything, you can prove to be missing before we could pursue this issue.

8. Quoted Blackjack Rules about what?

9/10. Again, unless you can prove that the server crashes have caused you a demonstrateable detriment there's nothing we can do regarding this issue.

11. Gambling is an activity that is based on risk. While you may have had a more significant than average loss, that does not necessarily indicate that there's anything wrong with the software in use. Before we could even begin to establish whether you claims regarding this are true I'd need to know that you'd played perfect Basic Strategy? Even if that's the case the sample size is VERY small from a mathematical perspective and as such it would only establish an issue if the issue was VERY big.

If you can answer the above questions we can progress from there.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

Blahusiak
June 1, 2017

Hi,

I will just touch upon the main points in your response if that is okay.

I refer to the governing guidelines and policies that would apply to partypoker.

It is difficult to tell from these international bodies which is the applicable set of guidelines. For example with partypoker they looked to be registered in Gibraltar but also be covered under UK legislation to some degree.

The Gilbraltar guidelines are as follows:

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/sites/default/files/HMGoG_Documents/RTOS%20Final%20Version%201.0.2012.pdf

And if I used them as a guide, we can find many examples of where partypoker aren't compliant.

With respect to logs and evidence, I have requested this however partypoker only provide me with partial logs that only show debits/credits but you cannot distinguish from this from normal/abnormal play. I know partypoker are required keep more detailed server logs however they would not/could not provide more detail logs.

Without going into more detail for now, are you the appropriate complaints body with whom I should be dealing with? If so, I'm happy to provide more details as we go.

Regards,

Ben.

ThePOGG
June 2, 2017

Hi Blahusiak,

If you're looking to discuss the finer details of the Gibraltar responsible gambling guidelines you would be best served taking your issue up with the Gibraltar Gambling Commission.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

Blahusiak
June 4, 2017

No I'm not looking to discuss the finer details of the Gibraltar guidelines. I am making a complaint and TRYING to get your assistance.

Partypoker is licensed and regulated over two gaming commissions the UK and Gibraltar and you support UK gaming commission complaints right?

Why do I have to identify the related policies, guidelines and legislation - aren't you the ones who are meant to assist in this??

ARE YOU THE CORRECT BODY for UK GAMING RELATED COMPLAINTS? Can you assist in my complaints above?

Did you want me to look up the UK guidelines as well?

Blahusiak
June 5, 2017

I suppose what I'm trying to say is:

1. Please can you let me know if you are the right body to deal with the nature of my complaint(s) - see my first post.

2. If so, then we can get into the "finer detail" of the relevant UK policy and legislation.

3. Don't make me jump through hurdles, hurdles which you should know better than me, if you think this is not the type of case you deal with.

4. Refer me to the correct UK gambling complaints department/body/organisation if so.

Regards,

Ben.

ThePOGG
June 6, 2017

Hi Blahusiak,

You are an Australian citizen - the UKGC license does not apply to you. You are not covered by its protections and Party casino are not required to meet its standards when dealing with players outside of the UK.

They are required to meet the standards of the Gibraltar Gambling Commission - the body that I directed you to previously.

You haven't been asked to "jump through hurdles", you've been referred to the appropriate body to review a complaint of this nature. The exact requirements that the GGC place on operators with regard to responsible gambling is a licensing issue which they have to rule on.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

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Blahusiak 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:

May 30, 2017

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.