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Scratchcard Heaven – making up the rules as they go along

Ruling

Resolved - Scratchcard Heaven applied invasive security procedures to verify the identity of the player that ultimately resulted in their payout taking over 4 months.

It should also be noted that they refused to discuss any aspect of this complaint.

Player's Complaint

Sorry I cannot find the casino name in the dropdown list. I played at this casino last year and after a couple of months I hit a big win so I met the bonus rules then tried to withdraw. I sent them loads of documents at the time but they never paid my money. Apparently they returned my withdrawal to my account after a period of time.

After a few months I tried to login and find out what was going on. My money was nowhere to be seen, when I checked my account history it had been removed due to inactivity. When I emailed the casino they agreed to add my balance back and said sorry for the delay.

They only added my deposit back to my account because apparently they have this rule now where you can only make small bets. They never had this rule when I played last year so I think they are trying to pull a fast one on me. Every time I email them I get the same default reply "sorry but they are the rules now" so I am a bit stuck. I don't think the casino can make up these rules that did not exist when I played last year.

Read the casino review

43 Responses

ThePOGG
Apr 16, 2014

Hi galty66 - welcome to ThePOGG.com.

Unfortunately our drop down menu only reflects the casinos that we have reviewed so far and that list is not exhaustive. Nevertheless I'm happy to look into your issue with Scratchcard Heaven.

Before I could do anything for you, I would need you to provide me with the username and email address you use at Scratchcard Heaven so we can locate your account.

I would also want to emphasize that unless you have certain pieces of information it's highly unlikely we'll be able to do anything to help you.

I have reviewed the Scratchcard Heaven terms and I assume this to be the term that the casino are referencing;

"6. When a bet abuses the betting system – regardless of which game it was placed on – it will not count towards a player’s wagering requirements. If the player placed single bets equal to or greater than £15 or 20 percent of the bonus amount before the wagering requirements for the bonus have been met, we reserve the right to withhold any amount in excess of the player’s original deposit from a player’s withdrawal."

As this isn't a casino we monitor, our ability to verify when that rule was added is essentially zero. I've checked with our monitoring system - they can't monitor the page - and google has been restricted from indexing the page so no cached page is available.

Unless you have a screen shot of the terms at the time you signed up, or an open admission from the casino that the terms have changed from that point I would expect the casino to simply state that the term was there at the time you played. If you do have either of these things, please forward them on to [email protected]

Thanks

ThePOGG

galty66
Apr 16, 2014

I didn't think to take a screenshot and the support team at the casino just give a template response "these are the terms" every time I speak to them therefore I cannot start a dialogue with them regarding this issue.

There are a few casinos that are operated by the same company and they all have the same terms and conditions. One of them is called Slots & Games which you do list on your website. Do you have the terms recorded for this website?

My details are:
Username: [EDIT]
Email: [EDIT]
Date deposit according to account history: 23/08/2013

Let me know if you need any more info, I can still login to my account at this time so can retrieve any details required.

ThePOGG
Apr 16, 2014

Hi galty66,

While we do list Slots and Games (though they're listed as 'Not Recommended' so we don't link to them), they share a bonus terms page with Scratchcard Heaven on an intermediary domain. The page that their bonus terms are posted on are coded as rel=noindex - this basically tells bots like the service we us and google that the page should not be crawled automatically or included in search results. As such there's no way for us to monitor that page.

Given the lack of supporting evidence, I'll contact the casino, but I wouldn't hold out any great hope of resolving this issue.

Thanks

ThePOGG

galty66
Apr 16, 2014

Where do you list the terms you monitor on your website?

ThePOGG
Apr 16, 2014

You can find the changes as they occur listed here - http://thepogg.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?4-Terms-and-Conditions

We also send out the more significant changes made to terms and conditions via Facebook, Twitter and Google+

ThePOGG

galty66
Apr 24, 2014

Received an email today that my full balance has been credited back. They are asking for some documents (which I have sent long ago) so I have replied seeking clarification but I think we have almost solved this issue!

ThePOGG
Apr 24, 2014

Hi galty66 - that's great to hear.

As much as I'd love to take some credit for this, it's nothing to do with me.

I have managed to establish contact with this casino group about another complaint I've received recently, but I was waiting on them getting back to me about the first complaint (due to the Easter weekend causing delays), before I brought up this second issue.

As I said - I'm thrilled you've got your money back and I'd love to be able to say I helped, but in this case the success is all yours.

Please keep me informed and I'll be happy to intervene if required.

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Apr 28, 2014

Hi galty66,

Just a quick follow up - have you managed to verify your account and withdraw your funds?

Thanks

ThePOGG

galty66
Apr 28, 2014

I have sent my ID but my account is not verified yet.

ThePOGG
May 05, 2014

Hi galty66,

Checking in again - have you managed to verify your account?

Thanks

ThePOGG

galty66
May 05, 2014

The casino has asked that I visit a solicitor and get my documents notarized. This will cost me time and money so I'm currently seeking clarification from them. They also want a copy of my bank statement from 8 months ago showing my deposit to the casino. I have stated that this is unreasonable and I can't be expected to keep all my old statements.

I will chase them now for a response and keep you posted.

ThePOGG
May 07, 2014

Hi galty66,

In my experience - unless the amount of your win is very small (maximum a couple of hundred) - the only possibility you have to receive funds is to comply with the request for Notarized ID. While I don't particularly like this practice, I do accept that there are times and places where it serves a legitimate purpose especially when considered alongside the high levels of identity fraud within the online industry.

As to the bank statements, a quick trip to your bank and they should be able to provide you with historical statements.

It's your choice how you wish to proceed with this, but in my opinion it's highly unlikely that you will be paid without providing these documents.

Thanks

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
May 14, 2014

Hi galty66,

Any update on how you've decided to proceed?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
May 16, 2014

Looks like I am bascially bing held hostage by the casino. Happy to take my deposits, but when I win they make it very difficult to get your winnings.

I have not visited a solicitor before so I will try and find a suitable one over the weekend to verify my documents.

ThePOGG
May 28, 2014

Hi galty66,

Have you managed to get your documents Notarized and submitted?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
May 28, 2014

I'm halfway there, I have the bank statement from the bank showing my deposits, and hope to get my documents certified this week.

ThePOGG
Jun 11, 2014

Hi galty66,

Have you managed to get hold of notarized ID yet?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Jun 18, 2014

Hi galty66,

Has there been any progress with this issue?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
Jun 18, 2014

Have sent certified documents. Awaiting reply.

galty66
Jun 26, 2014

Sadly I have not received a reply from the casino. I have sent numerous emails over the past 10 days. Today I logged into my account to find the casino has been taking a £700 "dormancy fee" every month since april so my balance is significantly lower than what it was.

galty66
Jun 26, 2014

I have spoken to the casino, they have re-credited my account with the dormancy fees. I am now trying to withdraw.

ThePOGG
Jun 27, 2014

Hi galty66,

£700/month dormancy fees - that's ridiculous! There are loads of casinos that charge a fee when an account with a balance does not play within a certain time frame, but I've never heard of a casino charging even a tenth of that. Glad you got that reimbursed.

Let me know when you receive your payment.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Jul 07, 2014

Hi galty66,

Have you made any further progress with this issue?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Jul 14, 2014

Hi galty66,

Can I assume that you've received your funds? I'll hold this complaint open until Monday the 21st and if I've not heard anything further I'll close it as 'Resolved'.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
Jul 20, 2014

Sorry I have been super busy with work, I also seem to have mislaid my card read so I cannot login to online banking to check the money has been sent. The casino says they have sent the money. I will try to login this week, or will go down to a branch to check my bank balance.

ThePOGG
Jul 21, 2014

Hi galty66,

Great to hear some progress has been made and don't worry at all about the delays (I know what you mean about the card reader!).

Send a quick update through when you've confirmed the payment and I'll close this issue.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
Jul 21, 2014

I cant find my card reader so have phoned the bank today to check my balance. I have not been paid. I will send an email to the casino shortly to ask what the hell is going on.

ThePOGG
Jul 21, 2014

Hey galty66,

I would ask you to bear in mind (before you contact the casino) that bank transfers can take a number of days. I'm currently waiting on one that can take up to 7-10 business days, so if it's only been a week or so there may be nothing the casino can do.

ThePOGG

galty66
Jul 23, 2014

I contacted the casino asking why my withdrawal was delayed but I did not receive a reply. I logged into my casino account and my withdrawal has been reversed without any communication. I submitted another withdrawal yesterday and they have already emailed me to offer me a 20% bonus if I reverse my withdrawal. I can't believe it to be honest.

ThePOGG
Jul 23, 2014

Hi galty66,

Having re-read this complaint it seems likely that your withdrawal has been reversed due to the max bet rule violation you originally highlighted. I had hoped that the request for NID meant further investigation into your account and a possible mistake on the casino's end, but by the looks of things this was only clearing up security concerns surrounding your account and did not supersede the max bet issue.

My advice would be to try making a withdrawal for your deposit amount and seeing if that gets processed. If that doesn't get processes I'll contact Scratchcard Heaven directly as I can't see any justification for not returning at least your deposit.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
Jul 23, 2014

There was no max bet rule when I played there.

ThePOGG
Jul 23, 2014

Hi galty66,

As I stated at the beginning of this thread I've pursued every avenue I could to verify that statement and came up with nothing. Unless you have something that could prove that to be the case I can't fight this complaint based on your claims that the rule wasn't present.

To provide context - I'd give an estimate that 9 out of 10 times that a player approaches me regarding a casino that I can monitor, often over our live chat system, and says that the casino changed the rules after they played the player's wrong they've just missed the term when reading.

ThePOGG

galty66
Jul 23, 2014

I have just found this great little website called the wayback machine it shows the terms and conditions for the website at various times in the past.

I played the the casino on 23rd August 2013. The wayback machine shows the terms dated 26th August, which does not have the max bet rule: http://web.archive.org/web/20130907220750/http://www.scratchcardheaven.com/BonusPolicy.aspx

ThePOGG
Jul 23, 2014

Hi galty66,

I checked WayBackMachine at the time this complaint was first opened and it doesn't support your claim. The issue here is that the page you entered is not the page that carries the maximum bet term. The term in question is currently on this page - hxxp://download.gamesrv1.com/Resources/External/bonusterms/tc_eng_GBP.html (replace the 'xx' with 'tt'). That page cannot be monitored by WayBackMachine.

However, in a roundabout way this does support your case. The bonus policy page that you looked at carries a link to the page with the relevant term. It did not have a link to that page at the time you played. As such there's no way I can currently see that the term could have been in place.

I'll contact the casino now and see what I can do.

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Jul 28, 2014

Hi galty66,

Just to let you know, I have had a basic response from Scratchcard Heaven and hope to make some headway with this issue this week.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
Jul 28, 2014

I have also received a response from Scratchcard Heaven this weekend. Despite accepting my certified documents (including certified bank statement showing my deposit to the casino) they have asked me to provide them with a RIB document from my bank. I don't know what a RIB document is so I have asked for further clarification. If the withdrawal was smaller I would have probably have given up by now, maybe that is what they are hoping for!

ThePOGG
Jul 30, 2014

Hi galty66,

I'm afraid I'm in the dark as to what a RIB document is as well, so I'd be very interested to hear what you find out.

I have had a very basic response from Scratchcard Heaven stating that my enquiry has been passed on to the relevant department. I'll let you know when I hear more.

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Aug 08, 2014

Hi galty66,

I've received a follow up from Scratchcard Heaven basically saying that they're not interested in discussion of this issue.

Have you had any success in acquiring a RIB document?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

galty66
Aug 08, 2014

They did not explain what a RIB document was, but said they would accept a bank statement dated within 3 months. The previous bank statement I had sent them was dated last year, to show the deposit from my bank account to their casino. I have now sent my latest bank statement to them, and they have accepted it.

Last week they declined my withdrawal without any communication, so I emailed them to vent my frustration at the time this is taking, and why my withdrawal was declined without reason or communication. I received an email that my withdrawal was "in progress".

I can forward on some emails to you if that would help explain the current situation? I have logged into the casino today and my withdrawal is still showing as pending...

ThePOGG
Aug 08, 2014

Hi galty66,

If you forward the email on to [email protected] I'll take a look. I think it's unlikely to change anything, but I may be able to shed some light on what's going on.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Aug 08, 2014

Hi galty66,

I've looked over the email you received on the 31st of July. The RIB document appears to be nothing more than an up-to-date bank statement.

My opinion at this stage is that you're highly likely to be paid. The fact that they are asking for a testimonial and photograph says they view you as a legitimate winner. I can't be sure given the max bet issue, but it would appear they wish to use your win in a promotional sense so they could not do that and not pay you at the same time.

I'll be frank and say that requesting Notarized documents from a player you want to keep isn't the way I'd go about business, but it does seem to be likely they intend to pay.

ThePOGG

galty66
Aug 15, 2014

I have checked by online banking today and the money dropped into my account on the 13th. I won't be filling out their testimonial request as I think it is unlikely that they will publish anything I write about this whole saga!

I have learnt a few things from this though. Keep copies of everything in case an online website reneges on their word or promotions, and perservere.

ThePOGG
Aug 18, 2014

Hi galty66,

Thanks for the update and I completely agree with and support your approach to their testimonial. Frankly if they intended to pay you the verification process they put you through and taking a whopping 4 months to sort the issue out is FAR from good customer service. I hope other players who read this take the appropriate action and avoid Scratchcard Heaven.

All the best,

ThePOGG

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