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Royal Panda – Self-Exclusion and Gamstop

Ruling

Found for the Player - Royal Panda failed to conduct a UKGC required phone call before re-opening an self-excluded account and have failed to take responsibility for this.

Read our Royal Panda Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

I was a customer of Leovegas last year. I Self excluded myself from there site and the self exclusion passed on the 9/12/2017. I did not contact Leovegas to reopen the account, and was informed by them that the account and myself would remain self excluded from Leovegas and there Network Leovegas Gaming Limited. Which I thought great, it would help me not to gamble.

On the (8/4/2018) i fancied a flutter. I came across a site called Royal Panda. Didnt think atall about it and Joined them. There I deposited etc etc and played and everything was great. Thought nothing of it.

Anyhow I self excluded myself from Royal Panda on the 25/6/18 as I like to not take things too far and have a break.

I was recently informed that Leovegas is a sister site of Royal Panda. So firstly I approached Leovegas to ask them about my account. They advised me and confirmed the info I recieved off them was 100% correct.

“That when a user is Self excluded, but the date has passed (9/12/17) if the user has not contacted them to reopen the account, the account remains self excluded for 5 years. Which in turn advised this when I self excluded at the start of the exclusion”

Now I believe Royal Panda have done wrong. Firstly I dont think I should of been allowed to register with Royal Panda, as they are a sister site and Leovegas had informed me of the self exclusion still running. There was no information on the Royal Panda site they were connected.

Also I put myself on gamstop, just thought the Idea was great. I enrolled on the 26th April.

So I registered with GAMSTOP, the UK National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme. I thought under the terms of Leovegas Gaming Limited they must apply the Self Exclusion request to there entire network. As such, Royal Panda did not do this and I was left to gamble and deposit after my enrolment on the 26 April.

And they didnt adere to the Self Exclusion on the Leovegas Account since 9/12/17

Ive spoke to them recently and they deny any wrong doing. From letting me register (when SE with Leovegas) to not closing my account and not adearing to the terms of Leovegas Gaming Limited for self excluding me throughout there network through the GAMSTOP Ban.

All they say is that they are not affiliated to Gamstop, but neither are 21.co.uk or UkCasino. But these 2 casinos had to pay me refunds on my Deposits with them.

When I recently claimed a refund off( I will use 21.co.uk as my reference) i recieved this email confirming the deposits refund :-

[EDIT] (Senior Verification Executive) (21.co.uk)

Sep 13, 10:53 BST

Hello XXXX

Username: XXXX

Re: Your account

We have been informed you have registered with GAMSTOP, the UK National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme. Under the terms of our licence we must apply the Self Exclusion request to our entire network. As such, we have Self Excluded this account and returned deposits made after your registration.

£450 have been refunded these will still appear on your Bank Statement but will be refunded within 5 working days.

Under our Responsible Gaming policy you will not be permitted to open new accounts on any of our sister sites. A current full list of our sites are as follows:

21.co.uk, BetUK, BingoGodz, Bingos, Bingostars, Bingoloopy, Castlejackpot, Crown Bingo, Legs11, LeoVegas, MCasino, Pink Casino, Royal Panda, Slotto, Slotboss, Slotmob, Slotto, and UK Casino.

Plus any future sites operated by LeoVegas Gaming Ltd. If you hold any accounts with other gaming sites we would advise you to seek self exclusion with those also.

If you would like to speak to someone in confidence, you can contact GamCare, the UK’s leading gambling charity, directly. They have an excellent website and discussion forum and can be contacted by phone on 0808 8020 133.

Kind regards

[EDIT]

Senior Verification Executive

https://www.21.co.uk/

Also there are no terms and Conditions that validate there claim on there site about self exclusions on sister sites, no info on not being able to open accounts when users are still locked (self excluded) on accounts not been re-opened etc etc

But they keep on denying any wrong doing.

I thought under the Responsible Gaming policy i should not be permitted to open or hold accounts on any of our sister sites. That they would close these sister sites. But again Royal Panda deny any wrong doing even when they are connected through Responsible Gambling.

I contacted Leovegas, they advised me that my account with them is still self excluded, as I did not reopen my account with them. Leovegas also confimed as my account was self excluded/locked , I should not be able to open any accounts, or hold any accounts with any sister sites.

The right way in my opinion.

Royal panda informed me :

Please note that when active self-exclusion period is over there are no objections in creating accounts in sister sites casinos but Royal Panda confirmed there is no such clause in there terms and condition when I asked for a link to the rule.

They have tried to say they sent me a reactivate your account Email. At the time they say i recieved this is when my 1 month Timeout finished with them (25/5/18) I have asked for a hard copy of this email forwarded to me but they wont do this.

I timed out with them between the (25/4/18)

But they sent me a confirmation Email of the 24 hour cool off period when I finish my timeout, they are trying all different ways to hide the fact of wrong doing. It even explains on the 24hour cooling off period email-

“Not quite ready to start playing again? Either log into your account and set a new self-exclusion or time-out, or contact us and we’ll do it for you”

Then they inform me in the quite amicable heated live chat I had with them “ Your LeoVegas account is still self-excluded but can be reopened at any time after 09-12-2017 , to do so player needs to request account reopening himself, he'll then enter a cooling off period of 24hours, during which he can change his mind in. You joined us when your LeoVegas active self-exclusion period had already ended”

( I did not reopen my Account with Leovegas )

I have proof of this chat. And many more where dates change, info changes etc etc

Leovegas have confirmed I am still excluded fully 100% as I have not lifted the exclusion.

I would like to put a complaint to you about Royal Panda and there Responsible Gambling.

They are trying to get out of this by making rules up as they go along. But when I ask for the link to there site that explains there rules, there is no such clause.

I was left to join RP when Self Excluded with LeoVegas

Also.....

?

They have gone against the the terms of Leovegas Gaming Limited for self excluding me from there site through the GAMSTOP Ban also. When I signed up to Gamstop on the 26th April they should of closed my acccount and not let me Deposit atall at that time through the Leovegas Gaming limited network they are apart of.

Thank you

[EDIT]

Username : [EDIT] Royal Panda

Username : [EDIT] Leovegas

[EDIT]

[EDIT]

email of accounts : [EDIT]

Kind regards

Read the casino review

23 Responses

ThePOGG
Sep 17, 2018

Hi kemps1977 - welcome back!

There are a number of mis-understandings in the complaint you've submitted above.

Firstly, with regard to your Leo Vegas self-exclusion - if your exclusion period had concluded your exclusion would remain in place for a further 7 years unless you take "positive action to gamble again". You would not specifically have to ask for your Leo Vegas account to be re-opened, looking to open another account on the Leo Vegas license would constitute taking positive action to gamble with them again.

Secondly, Royal Panda are not actually on the same license as Leo Vegas or 21.co.uk. While they have been bought by the same parent company they have not yet been amalgamated onto the same license and as such self-exclusions from the Leo Vegas license do not carry over to Royal Panda and vice versa.

Next, while LeoVegas are signed-up to GamStop, Royal Panda - who operate under a different company - are not. So GamStop exclusions do not currently apply to Royal Panda.

This might have been challengable as 21.co.uk provided a list of properties you would be excluded at that included Royal Panda, but this was provided both after you signed-up and after you self-excluded with Royal Panda directly and as such this information. Which means that policies may have changed since your Royal Panda self-exclusion and if the group have chosen to include Royal Panda despite it still being run on a different company not registered with GamStop that's pro-active of them but not required.

Finally, even if the GamStop exclusion was considered to apply to Royal Panda it would only do so in the case where the details you registered with Royal Panda matched those you registered with GamStop. Just like your other complaint, if the email addresses used were different, or the other account information differed significantly between the two groups the operator would not be faulted for failing to detect your account.

Sadly I don't think you've got a case here.

ThePOGG

kemps1977
Sep 17, 2018

Asked for this not to be shown as its been sorted mate

kemps1977
Sep 17, 2018

FYI mate Leovegas themselfs have 100% guaranteed comfirmed I would have to lift the Self Exclusion with them before joining a site on the Network. 100 confirmed by Leovegas mate. The royal panda account should of not let me register. Other than that on 1st March they merged. Details again from Leovegas. And ever since the 1st of March Royal Panda have been on the Leovegas Gaming Limited Network

kemps1977
Sep 17, 2018

Also I dont think Gamstop is the Case anymore as RP arent affiliated.

Through safeplay which both use. At the time of registration it should of Flagged the the account.

Leovegas have been very helpfull and 100 agree with the sister site issue

ThePOGG
Sep 17, 2018

Hi kemps1977,

Firstly, we don't remove complaints after they are submitted. We are happy to discontinue our involvement in the matter however.

With regard to LeoVegas' policies - if they claim that you have to lift the self-exclusion with Leo Vegas before you can open an account with another property on their license, this is an internal policy not a license requirement.

While I'm well aware of the merger of these companies, the ownership information on the Royal Panda website is very clear - "Royal Panda Limited, Level 2, Tagliaferro Business Centre, High Street, c/w Gaiety Lane, Sliema SLM 1551, Malta". This extends to a different UKGC license - https://secure.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PublicRegister/Search/Detail/39221 - We're not wrong on this. This group currently has a Leo Vegas company and license and a Royal Panda company and license. If they choose to extend self-exclusions across the two licenses that is an internal company decision, but at the present time the UKGC has given no clear guidance that this has to happen.

And this extends to GamStop, as has already been covered. LeoVegas are listed as participating. Royal Panda are not. If the parent company has taken the decision to carry GamStop information over to Royal Panda despite not signing Royal Panda up to participate in the program at the present time that's a positive action to take but not something they are required to do.

I appreciate that this is not the answer you were looking for, but by the rules and standards currently in place your claim is not valid. That LeoVegas chose to refund anyway shows a company with a pro-active approach to Responsible Gambling, but this was not required of them based on the specifics of your case.

ThePOGG

kemps1977
Sep 17, 2018

No its cool mate. Im happy with the way you are explaining stuff.

kemps1977
Sep 21, 2018

Hi mate. A bit of extra news on this subject.

1.As you know been looking through UKGC Licencing etc and found something.

When I registered with ROYALPANDA i did NOT recieve a phonecall or an in-person motion towards the opening of the SE exclusion (LEOVEGAS) via lifting a self exclusion. No Information to inform me, nothing.

T&C UKGC 3.5.4.

5f. where a customer chooses not to renew, and makes a positive request to begin
gambling again, during the 7 year period following the end of their initial self-exclusion, the customer is given one day to cool off before being allowed to access gambling facilities. Contact must be made via phone or in person; re-registering online is not sufficient; and
5g notwithstanding the expiry of the period of self-exclusion chosen by a customer, no marketing material should be sent to them unless and until they have asked for or agreed to accept such material

2. A cool off notice was sent to me when my timeout (a month) came to an end. Which clearly states the email does 2 factors (SE And cool off notice) confirmed by operator.

But again nobody got intouch with me via In Person or Phonecall to confirm a lift of SE or nothing at this time either. Via UKGC these have to be done to reopen accounts, and in no other way.

3. Again I found this in the LEOVEGAS T&C about opening SE Accounts that are SE in Leovegas -

T&C 4.3 Should You opt for self-exclusion in the manner set out above You are located in Great Britain then You will not be able to open Your Member Account during the exclusion period. After the self-exclusion period has elapsed, Your Member Account may be re-opened following a 24-hour cool-off period. However as of 31 October 2015, if You are located in Great Britain and have self-excluded, then You must actively contact support[@]leovegas.com and request that Your Member be re-opened once the relevant period has elapsed, and only then can Your Member account be re-activated following a 24-hour cool-off period. Once Your Member Account is re-opened in accordance with the procedure described herein, You shall be responsible for any losses that ensue thereafter as a result of Your continued use of Your Member Account and shall not in any case be refunded by LeoVegas. Member Accounts closed for reason gambling addiction shall be closed for a minimum of five (5) years and may only be re-opened or re-activated when You make a positive request to LeoVegas for your account to be re-opened after the five-year period has elapsed, and should You not make such a request You account shall remain closed. For the avoidance of doubt, LeoVegas shall not give a 24hr cool off for time-outs, and hence in this case, Your player account shall re-open automatically once the selected period has expired.

As it clearly says - “However as of 31 October 2015, if You are located in Great Britain and have self-excluded, then You must actively contact support[@]leovegas.com and request that Your Member be re-opened once the relevant period has elapsed, and only then can Your Member account be re-activated following a 24-hour cool-off period“

4. Which shows my SE goes through theLEOVEGAS GAMING LIMITED group and accounts held with LEOVEGAS GAMING PLC and ROYAL PANDA Limited.

T&C 4.5
You accept and acknowledge that, should You choose to self-exclude from the Website leovegas.com as outlined above, You will also be automatically self-excluded from the related Websites, as defined in Clause 1.2 above, as well as any licensed gaming operator within the LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, including accounts held with LeoVegas Gaming plc and Royal Panda Limited. You acknowledge that we may share your personal information between the licensed gaming operators within the LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group to comply with the legal obligations under our operating license.

So when ROYAL PANDA kept on telling me they were not joined via SE and all there wrongfull statements about licences. The account that IS clearly shows a connection. It was infact I say a ploy to get me to leave the case be.

Please could you have a look at this for me.
I have call logs outgoing/incoming that show no forward motion was made from ROYALPANDA.

Im going to report them if this is the case...

ThePOGG
Sep 24, 2018

Hi kemps1977,

I'm afraid the situation isn't nearly as clear cut as you're assuming.

Your point regarding term 4.5 would only be relevant in the case where that term was in place before your self-exclusion in December last year. If this term has been added after your exclusion, which I would suspect it has as the previous version of the terms from a couple of months before did not have it and term 4.6 certainly wasn't added before the start of this year as GamStop was not in operation, then the term would have not basis on this case.

Without term 4.5, you were opening an account on an entirely separate license (Royal Panda). Your self-exclusion from Leo Vegas would not carry over and this would not be treated as an account re-opening.

I'll speak to the operator, but honestly, I wouldn't get your hopes up. It seems likely this term wasn't in place in December last year which would invalidate this line of reasoning. I don't have any way of demonstrating this one way or the other - their terms page url has changed since we last checked it with our monitoring tool, the internet archive doesn't have their current terms page and this is too old for the Google Cache to help.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

kemps1977
Sep 24, 2018

Hi mate, thank you for your quick responce and reply. Id leave contacting the operator for now as Ive managed to get LEOVEGAS GAMING NETWORK on the job of sorting this out.

If you dont mind?

LEOVEGAS have been very helpfull in this case if im being honest and they have forwarded all info to them since I posted this up.

Also im waiting on a reply from ROYALPANDA about a few questions ive asked them to sort out,

kemps1977
Sep 24, 2018

Also RP keep on refering to the SEVmerger which happened 24 May. If i could get those deposits back it would be sufficient you know, the deposits after this date.

I dont really like the way RP have conducted this claim tho. They have chaged detail, gave different dates etc for important things etc etc

There T&Cs are awful im afraid. Well I think so...

Im just annoyed really that they used my timeout confirmation as a ploy to use it towards an SE.

You wouldnt believe the details I have, then the details change etc etc. its like there making it up as they go along (shakes head)

Personally think the site is great, good games. Good withdrawal times etc. but there Customer service is appaling.
Its like they are a puppet on a string, you ask questions to wait 5/10 mins for answers. Its like they ask someone else then copy what they say.

Really bad IMO

kemps1977
Oct 01, 2018

Hello, i have some new information regarding the re-opening of the Self excluded site.
When apparently they lifted this Self-exclusion. I have proof that no phonecall was made, no meeting in person and via the terms&conditions on the UKGC LCCP “online is not sufficent in lifting an exclusion.” I did NOT approach them via live chat to re-open my exclusion or nothing. It was just done at there own accord.

kemps1977
Oct 01, 2018

Also had ive got Leovegas Gaming Ltd/Plc to look at this aswel, waiting on a decision still via that side

kemps1977
Oct 02, 2018

Just checking up on this with you please, cheers mate

ThePOGG
Oct 08, 2018

Hi kemp1977,

If LeoVegas Gaming are looking into this you need to give them time to review the issue before we'd do anything further.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

kemps1977
Oct 29, 2018

Hi The Pogg...

Leovegas replied today saying they are keeping to the NO REFUND.

I have explained numerous times ROYAL PANDA gave me a 24 hour cooling off from the timeout that was in process. RP say it was a 24 hour cool off as they opened the Self exclusion via LEOVEGAS.

Thing is i did NOT ask for this, i wasnt informed of this, and i have all the proof there was no contact via live chat, or Phone call ( which should be made) via the LCCP.

The emails confirms i was coming of a timeout or Self exclusion. So I took it as a confirmation the timeout was coming to an end.

The LCCP positively states a player needs to contact via Phonecall to reopen a SE. But this was not done atall. I can 100% confirm this via call logs via EE my network provider.

kemps1977
Jan 15, 2019

Hi The Pogg.
Just a quick query seeing if you have any news? As this thread is still open.
I have been incontact with the UKGC and they are very interested in how I have been able to open this account when no phonecall, no contact in person was made. They are asking for details of registration dates, self exclusion dates as proof. They are very interested in my case, I have mentioned the dates conserned etc and they advise that RP are in the wrong here, and this is why they want the hard evidence??

Are you willing to help me atall?

ThePOGG
Jan 17, 2019

Hi kemps1977,

Your complaint is still open as we are still looking into it. Or relationship with this operator is not as strong as many others and there have been some changes in company structure at their end recently. It has taken a significant amount of time to ensure the right people understand the dynamic of the working relationship. We have made some significant progress this week but I would still encourage you to expect this conversation to go on for some time.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

kemps1977
Jan 18, 2019

Thank you The POGG

kemps1977
Feb 11, 2019

Hi The POGG

Any updates please? Sorry to be a pain

ThePOGG
Feb 13, 2019

Hi kemps1977,

I've now concluded our discussion with the operator and the regulator with respect to your issue.

The operator has acknowledged that a phone call did not take place before your account was re-opened. However they that appropriate alternative strategies were engaged in place of this phone call and have in this case decided not to honour any refund.

Speaking to the regulator generally about situations of this type they would appear to be of the view that where historic policies have not aligned with the regulations, cases should be reviewed based on the policies that should have been in place not the policies that were in place.

At this juncture our ability to help you is sadly at an end. However I would recommend that you take your complaint to the UKGC for review.

Sorry we could not be of more help.

ThePOGG

kemps1977
Feb 13, 2019

Hi The POGG

I see, so in turn very bad practice off RP and there Licencee.

I wonder what there alternative was?

Ok I will process this matter, get all information collected. Would it be ok to reference you have helped me in this cause?
Thank you so much for your help over a long period of time, much appreciated

kemps1977

ThePOGG
Feb 15, 2019

Hi kemp1977,

The operator feels the Live Chat/email conversation (I cannot recall which at this specific point) was sufficient to be considered an alternative.

You can feel free to reference that we've assisted you.

ThePOGG

kemps1977
Feb 18, 2019

Been in contact with the GC and thats against the LCCP apparently, online is not sufficient. Just shows they do not care about law doesnt it!!

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