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Royal Panda – Self Excluded Player Allowed to Deposit, Account Closed and Deposits Kept

Ruling

Unresolved - The UKGC has not provided the guidance necessary to make a ruling on whether or not self exclusion information should have been shared between companies.

Read our Royal Panda Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

On 29/04/2018 I was self-excluded from LeoVegas Casino using Gamstop (the UK's national online self-exclusion scheme). Being a problem gambler, I then searched for other casinos to play at 2 months later, and found that I was able to deposit at Leo Vegas’ sister casino, Royal Panda. I was able to deposit 32 times on 29/06, 12 times on 01/07 and a further 8 times on 02/07. This totalled £2,150.00.

I was not aware of the link between these casinos until I was able to seek further help to help with my problem, at which point I was made aware that Leo Vegas and Royal Panda are owned by the Leo Vegas Group, with their systems merging during May 2018, although the takeover of Royal Panda occurred during March 2018.

I then queried this firstly with Leo Vegas, asking why as a self excluded player I was able to make over 50 deposits over a few days. The response I received was that due to my self exclusion registration being through Gamstop, they do not share this vital information with their other brands (in this case Royal Panda). If I had self excluded through the Leo Vegas website then they would have shared my self exclusion with Royal Panda.

When I queried this with Royal Panda customer support, I received the following response:

“As the funds in question were used to play Royal Panda’s online casino games, and in the interests of fairness to our other players, we are unable to offer you a refund of your deposits, or accept any responsibility for your losses. This is explained in clause 1.14 of our terms & conditions:

“There is a risk of losing money when playing for money at Royal Panda. Royal Panda has no responsibility for such losses.”

We’re sorry to see you leaving, and would like to thank you for playing at Royal Panda.

As you’ve decided to self-exclude, we thought it best to send you email confirmation of your self-exclusion for your records, along with some important advice and information relating to that.

As discussed, you have been self-excluded.”

Clearly, they have recognised that I am a self excluded player through Leo Vegas as they have now self excluded me from their website. My argument is that should I have won, and subsequently requested a withdrawal, it would have been identified that I was self excluded through Leo Vegas and my withdrawal would have been declined, and in line with UKGC guidelines I would have been refunded my deposits less any withdrawals (in this case, I had only ever deposited with no withdrawals made).

Read the casino review

4 Responses

ThePOGG
Jul 10, 2018

Hi danhor - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

Before we go any further, did you sign-up at Royal Panda using the same information that you used at GamStop?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

danhor
Jul 10, 2018

Hi, and thanks for looking into this for me, much appreciated.

I was already registered with Royal Panda and yes, the details were exactly the same as the ones held by LeoVegas. LV are basically saying that because I didn't self exclude directly with them on their website, this is why they didn't share my details with Royal Panda (although their systems are shared as of May 2018). Seems like a poor excuse for idiots like me to suffer and be left in the gutter. Thanks,

ThePOGG
Aug 17, 2018

Hi danhor,

Apologies for the delay. This particular issue has required extended conversation with both the operator and the UKGC.

The situation is as follows: At the present time while Royal Panda were purchased by Leo Vegas towards the end of last year, they are still being operated independently with their own license and company - Royal Panda Limited. While LeoVegas are registered with GamStop Royal Panda Limited is not and as such GamStop registrations and indeed self-exclusions do not currently carry over between the two companies.

I have asked for guidance from the UKGC regarding specifically how and when self-exclusion information, and indeed GamStop participation, should be expected to be shared where companies are merged. The regulator has indicated that they are considering issuing guidance on this to the industry in the near future but has not indicated either when that may happen or what their position is on situations like this one.

This leaves us in a position of limbo with regard to your case. There is an argument in favour of both parties at the present time. On the one hand by the standards laid out self-exclusion information does not currently have to be shared between the two properties and GamStop participation is not shared. On the other a reasonably significant length of time has passed since the merger - at what point do companies sharing ownership have to ensure shared Responsible Gambling commitments regardless of multiple licenses? Without the regulator's input it's difficult to define a rule for this latter question and without that line in the sand it's not possible to make a ruling.

For the time being I'm going to hold your case open and wait to see if the suggested guidance from the UKGC is forthcoming.

I realise that this is a frustrating situation but until the UKGC take a position we do not have any grounds to take action ourselves.

ThePOGG

danhor
Aug 17, 2018

Good morning,

Thank you so much for coming back to me in such detail. I cannot express how thankful I am that you have taken so much time to look into this for me, I have exactly the same opinion as you, and this sort of issue should have been considered already by the UKGC but as always it takes idiots like me to suffer before they take action.

I’ll wait patiently for your reply and thank you once again.

P.s – I am going to raise one final complaint about a separate issue with another casino, just to give you a heads up. The reason I say ‘last’ is because I have now addressed the issues around idiotic play that I had…

Thanks,
[EDIT]

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