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Spinland – Time out period 388-21358B46-02F7

Ruling

Resolved - Spinland have decided to refund this player despite not being required to do so by license. This is an exceptionally positive move to take.

Read our Spinland Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

Hi applied for 6 week timeout break from gambling as I knew I was a) gambling too much and b) gambling excessively when drinking. I was going to Cyprus for a week for a wedding and knew if I didn't apply for a timeout I would lose my inhibitions and start gambling. They timed out the account for six weeks on the 17/08/17 at 08:27 to which they agreed.

On 27 August 2017 11h28 GMT you contacted us via Live Chat requesting that the Timeout be removed. The host asked you to consider the reason why you applied the Timeout to begin and you re-confirmed your desire to have the account re-activated, as follows:

Visitor

Hey can you unlock my account please?

Thank you for holding.

Before we cancel your time out request, we would encourage you to think about why you applied the time out in the first place. Please confirm that I cancel the time out request now for you?

Visitor

Cancel it's fine thanks

The say that I was showing no sign of excessive gambling, but if you look at my account history with them it is very obviously the case.

What is the point in a time-out if all a compulsive gambler has to do is say cancel it's fine? So just because I drank at a wedding I am down £1700.

At no point was I made aware that a time-out can be taken off with no further questions other than are you sure? Like not even a 24 hour period.

Please note that I can send you all e-mail correspondence that I've had with Spinland if you like.

They said that I showed no signs of being a problem gambler, but again the times and the varied amounts of gambling clearly showed otherwise.

If I thought that a time-out wouldn't be enforced I would have went for a self-exclusion or e-mailed them and explained, but as I was at a wedding and drank and lost my inhibitions I e-mailed them and felt like my gambling problem has maybe been taken advantage off.

Any further information please ask. Also if you'd like the correspondence please ask and I'll forward them.

Many Thanks

[EDIT]

PS I have now self excluded so I am unable to use the site again.

Read the casino review

9 Responses

ThePOGG
Sep 06, 2017

Hi Bazza3750 - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

My first comment about this case would be to direct to the Spinland website's Responsible Gambling page where they discuss what a Time Out is and the associated restrictions:

"3C. Timeout Periods
Time out periods provide you with an option to take time out from your gambling activity on your account for a set number of days or weeks – it's up to you. Applying a time out applies a soft block to your account, and you will be unable to access it for the period of time you have specified. When that time frame has lapsed, you are able to log in and continue to play. The added benefit is that you are in control of the timeframes, and can specify a range of time out periods – from 24 hours, up to 6 weeks that can be activated from the Timeout page. You can remove the time out at any point upon request to Support, but before you reopen, we would encourage you to think about why you applied the time out in the first place."

I've emphasised the section relevant to your complaint. In short the Spinland website does clearly detail that Time Outs can be removed at any time and they are not subject to the same restrictions as self-exclusions.

The above being the case, my initial opinion would be that you do not have a case here.

Regardless, I have made enquiries with the UKGC regarding their requirements of operators with regard to what are effectively exclusion requests of lower than 6 months. I will revert to you once I've concluded my discussion with them.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

ThePOGG
Sep 15, 2017

Hi Bazza3750,

Just a quick update, while I don't have anything new to tell you at the current time I can say that there is an ongoing discussion about this issue and I'll revert to you once that is concluded.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

Bazza3750
Sep 15, 2017

Thank for the update I appreciate all you're doing.

ThePOGG
Sep 29, 2017

Hi Bazza3750,

Unfortunately I have to inform you that your case has been unsuccessful. I will provide a full explanation below.

Firstly - the UKGC's policies regarding Time Out periods:

While the above does state that the operator is required to offer various time out options it does not provide any policy regarding the management of Time-Out periods. There is no clear statement that these have to be enforced for the duration of the selected period in face of contrary customer requests.

I've contacted the UKGC in regard to this and their response has been that they would expect operators to enforce the full time that the player selects. However, as their own license conditions isn't clear on this point expecting any operator to comply with the policy would be unfair. There will be variance from operator to operator in how the Time Out facility is enforced and without a clearly defined standard laid out within the UKGC license they cannot be viewed to be in breach of their license.

As such we've had to look at both the operator's policies and your account activity.

Spinland's Time Out policy can be found below:

Note above that I've highlighted that there is a clearly stated policy that Time Outs can be lifted at any time if you specifically request that happens and that their staff will encourage you to consider the reasons that you asked for the Time Out before they re-open your account.

Having reviewed the conversation you had with Spinland support this was the response you received when you requested to re-open your account:

The above is in line with Spinland's stated policies for the management of Time Outs.

Next I've moved on to look at your account activity as you state that "They said that I showed no signs of being a problem gambler, but again the times and the varied amounts of gambling clearly showed otherwise."

Unfortunately having reviewed your account activity I simply cannot agree that your activity shows signs of problem gambling.

You first start playing with Spinland on the 04/06. Between the 04/06 and the 13/08 you played a total of 10 sessions with no single session longer than 2 hours and no more than 3 1/2 hours played in any single 24 hour period. These aren't worryingly long periods of time to have spent nor are the sessions worrying in number.

While there are some late night sessions this isn't remarkable in itself. People have different routines based on their family life and work. Simply playing at night isn't considered a sign of gambling addiction otherwise all casinos would close during night hours.

Over these playing sessions your depositing pattern does not stand out as concerning. Your largest depositing day, before the day where you had your significant loss, is the first day you play where you deposited a total of £300 over two deposits. Over all sessions you deposited a total of £770, leaving an average deposit of £77 per session. None of these figures are remarkable in terms of depositing patterns for problem gamblers.

Over the same period you've withdrawn a total of £2898.48. This leaves you a total of £2128.48 ahead of the casino for these sessions.

In short there's nothing overtly concerning about your patterns of activity running up to the 13/08 that should have resulted in the operator classifying you as a problem gambler.

In summary of all of this:

- The current UKGC license does not provide adequate detail regarding the policies that operators are required to abide by to meet their expectation. I've requested that the UKGC update their policies to clarify this.

- The current policies regarding Time Outs being pursued by the management of Spinland are clearly laid out on their website and the practices you encountered are in lines with those policies.

- The activity within your account history is not indicative of a problem gambler and in fact even including the loss on the 27/08 you've still ended up several hundred pounds ahead of the operator.

I'm sorry to say that there's not the grounds to uphold your claim.

ThePOGG

Bazza3750
Sep 29, 2017

I simply do not see the point in a timeout period if it's not upheld. The ease of which I was able to end the timeout makes it in itself completely pointless. If I had of known that it was that easy I would have self excluded before I went on holiday. I literally responded two seconds after they asked me to consider why I opted for a timeout hardly enough time to give it any thought whatsoever. I only really gamble when I drink and there is one hundred percent an issue there. I think I should know as I am me. I was an idiotic mistake that I pre empted by doing the timeout before I went on holiday, but I got drunk and asked for it to be taken off never thinking they would do it, but drinks in wits out. I also think the fact that I timed out for six weeks previously gives creedance to my gambling being problematic and I'm not entirely sure I agree that the frequency is relevant when the amounts I was betting were extremely high most of the time. I appreciate and am thankful for your help, but am disappointed with the outcome.

ThePOGG
Sep 29, 2017

Hi Bazza3750,

Actually comparatively the amounts you were gambling weren't that high and given the significant win you'd had the losses were not disproportionate to the the win.

I'm not questioning whether or not you do have a gambling problem, by all accounts you seem to, but I am saying that by simply viewing your account activity - which is all that the operator has to work on - you did not demonstrate behaviours that would fall into the realm of problematic.

Some other consideration may come in to play as I've been going over the data again. Effectively due to some technological issues and a misinterpretation the operator believes you to have mis-represented your activities at the time of the issue. I don't want to go into detail about this right now but I believe they've made a mistake in this regard. I need to take this back to the operator again as there is some chance of greater good will if deception is not an issue. I cannot guarantee anything but I'll come back to you again as soon as I can.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

Bazza3750
Sep 29, 2017

Thanks, I really do appreciate all your efforts

Bazza3750
Oct 04, 2017

Hey the pogg I received 2 emails from spinland on Monday one saying my withdrawal request had been received and a transaction reference number and another instantly after saying this email is confirmation that your withdrawal has been processed and payment will be made to your account as per your websites policy.

Then this morning there was a deposit of £1700.19 paid to my account, which is the exact amount I lost that day.

I am in disbelief and cannot thank you guys enough for what you did for me. What an incredible service you have.

I would love to know given the email on Friday how you guys managed this. If you want to tell me I'd be really interested, however if you don't want to go into great detail I'll respect that.

Thanks so much for not giving up.

Again if you guys want any further details of me I'm happy to provide, but honestly no details were given other than the standard emails I've had anytime I've made a withdrawal. I'm amazing at how quickly it happened.

ThePOGG
Oct 04, 2017

Hi Bazza3750,

I'm really glad to hear you've got your money and are happy with the result.

The truth here is that much of the credit has to go to Spinland and their license holder White Hat Gaming. The UKGC guidelines on this do not explicitly state that time outs have to be enforced in the face of a contrary instruction from the account holder. This is different to the guidelines on self-exclusions that do make this clear. That being the case the operator were under no obligation to return your funds.

I asked the operator to review the case and see how they felt in the light of the clarified position of the UKGC. There were a couple of factors that resulted in your submission stating you were in Cyprus sounding non-genuine. While I won't go into detail about what these were I will say that the basis for this conclusion to be drawn was sound. The operator made their decision not to pay based on the suspicion of a deceptive player.

It was only on a secondary review of the information that I spotted something that would legitimately throw off where their system would register you as playing from. Once deception was taken out as a factor in the case the operator concluded that they would uphold the claim.

I do have to stress that this is a good-will gesture or their part. I could not have compelled them to do anything in this situation and many operators would have decided to retain the funds regardless as their licenses did not require them to do otherwise. So I would strongly emphasise that the credit should go to the operator for making such a strong statement regarding their commitment to social responsibility.

Looking to the future - I would ask you to seriously consider installing some software to help you control your gambling. Especially if you know that your specifically susceptible to slips when intoxicated. There are a number of subscription softwares on the market that will allow you to do this (they can be found in our Responsible Gambling section) and in the coming months we hope to launch our own free tool that will help players block themselves from gambling sites as and when they need to. Better than fixing these types of situations is when they don't arise in the first place.

All the best,

ThePOGG

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