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Viking Slots - bonus terms and conditions applied retrospectively

Ruling

Found for the Casino - This player applied a highly unusual betting strategy matched by a large number of other accounts and could provide no explanation for the exact match activity that would not fall in under the definition of fraud or collusion.

The complaints involved in this investigation can be found below, but it should be noted that a large number of other accounts were also involved:

Read our Viking Slots Casino Review.

Player's Complaint

Hello,

I took up a bonus offer with them on 28th October. It was a deposit £400 and receive a 100% to £400 bonus.

I always check the terms and conditions of any bonus offer I receive as I know casinos tend to vary their terms from time to time.

The only term that caused me concern was "If the player placed single bets equal to or greater than £5.50 or 15 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.In addition, if a player deposited with Skrill or Neteller and placed single bets equal to or greater than £2.50 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."

I noted that the terms had last been updated on 16th March 2017.

I deposited by debit card and did £5 spins so keeping within the maximum spin size.

I went on to win £6525 including my original stake, having completed the wagering process.

I then submitted a cash out request having uploaded all the relevant documents to verify my account.

On the 31st October I received an E mail saying my cash out had been refused stating the following 'As stated in our bonus policy, Bets, placed on any game, which abuse the betting system will not be counted towards the wagering requirements.

We reserve the right to withhold any amount in excess of the player's original deposit from a player's withdrawal if the player placed bets equal to or greater than 5.5 Euro or $0.50 per line or 15 percent of the bonus amount before the wagering requirements for that particular bonus have been met

Please note that the original deposit is available in your account'

Note the new 0.50 per line restriction as this was not present in the terms I referred to on their website 3 days earlier. I had played slots with stakes greater than 0.50 on a single line but still within the £5 maximum overall stake per spin.

These terms had been updated on the 30th October so post me completing the bonus and abiding by the previous terms. So what they have done is confiscate my winnings by citing a term they have added after I won.

I E mailed them immediately in relation to this, only to be told, "Kindly note that the bonus policy

Read the casino review

12 Responses

User icon
ThePOGG
November 8, 2017

Hi jon2322 - welcome to ThePOGG.com!

You submission appears to be incomplete. Please provide the missing end of your complaint.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

User icon
jon2322
November 12, 2017

Apologies, must have been too many characters. In a nutshell they have seized my winnings citing an alleged breach of a term that has been added after I completed the bonus, I have screen shots and a video of the old terms that were in place when I completed the bonus.

User icon
jon2322
November 14, 2017

I have photographs and a video of the terms prior to the change and can supply if necessary.

I notice on other casino dispute resolution sites that other casinos that are part of the same group as Viking Slots have also done the same tactic, the casino has admitted fault and paid the player. Links again can be provided.

User icon
jon2322
November 14, 2017

Hi,

Just for clarification, as I did several deposits over a period of days, the date of this winning deposit was 24th not 28th as stated and was for £200 not £400.

jon2322

User icon
ThePOGG
November 15, 2017

Hi jon2322,

I've had time to discuss this issue in full with the operator.

As things currently stand, your non-payment has nothing to do with the change in terms though admittedly your play would be in violation of the new term.

The issue relates to a very large number of accounts signing up across this network of operators in a short space of time that all share very similar activity and behaviour profiles and most notably all chose to employ the same highly abnormal betting strategy.

The style of play that you've chosen is unusual enough that to have two players select it at the same time would be remarkable. Where there are dozens of accounts choosing to play this strategy it's very clear that this isn't coincidence and something is connecting the activity on these accounts.

As such I need you to explain to me why you've chosen the same abnormal betting pattern as so many other accounts?

Thanks,

ThePOGG

User icon
jon2322
November 18, 2017

Hi,

I'm currently away for the weekend but will respond in full upon my return.

Jon

User icon
jon2322
November 21, 2017

Hello, I am slightly concerned that the casino in question have informed you that they have seized my winnings due to ‘abnormal betting patterns’. I have an E mail from them clearly stating that they seized the winnings as I breached the ‘£0.50 per line term’, a term that was clearly added after I completed that wagering. Please find attached a link to a screen shot of said E mail. https://gyazo.com/fdea523ceb86d4c38333b43c316f92fe The mere fact that the casino operator has provided false information to me makes me hesitant to believe anything they say. In relation to my play at this casino, the terms of the bonus are so restrictive that I devised a pattern of play that gave me an increased chance of winning. At no point did I breach any terms and conditions of the bonus in question, the very restrictive terms dictate how anyone with an ounce of intelligence would play. How other people play is completely down to them and has nothing to do with me. It is interesting to note that I have played this strategy at other casinos in this group and not been accused of this ‘abnormal betting pattern’ when I have lost, if this was the case then surely the group as a whole should be returning all deposits. It seems to me that the casino wants to keep losing deposits and seize winnings, making it impossible for the player to win. Further to this, I have been subject to what can only be described as ‘a daily bombardment’ of marketing E mails from this casino group offering me free spins and further bonuses. If they think I am abusing their bonus system with my pattern of play why are they encouraging me to deposit more? From a legal perspective this is pretty black and white, I signed up to a casino, played a bonus and did not breach any terms and conditions, was fortunate enough to win and had my money seized for no apparent reason. I look forward to your response [EDIT]

User icon
ThePOGG
November 21, 2017

Hi jon2322,

Where operators detect activity that is likely to be fraud they tend not to tell the involved parties that.

WE have reviewed both your activity at this operator and that of a large number of other accounts. It is simply implausible that so many account all selected what is very obviously an abnormal betting pattern without any interaction between account holders or correlating factors initiating said patterns.

So I ask again, why have you selected the betting pattern you have and why have so many other accounts done the same? You are correct that from a legal perspective this is pretty black and white - at the present time we view your activity to be high risk of fraud and as such unless a plausible and verifiable explanation is provide that explains your behaviour patterns matching so many other accounts we will take no further part in the representation of your case.

Thanks,

ThePOGG

User icon
jon2322
November 29, 2017

Hi, My betting pattern was dictated by the very restrictive terms and conditions imposed by the Operator. Indeed, your own website advocates a £5 spin to extract the best value from the bonus, so pretty much anyone with an ounce of intelligence would bet how I did. I cannot comment on why and how other people have bet. What concerns me the most is that the Operator stated they were seizing due to a term that was retrospectively imposed after I won. I have this clearly in several E mails. This is a blatant miss truth. At no point have the Casino directly accused me of 'activity likely to be fraud' and thus they have no right to act as judge and jury and claim winnings without factual evidence. If the Operator is accusing me of fraud, an accusation I am quiet happy to rebutt, then why do they continually bombard me on a daily basis with offers via E mail, text and phone calls? If you have decided that you will take no further part in my representation then I feel I will have no other option than to contact IBAS, inform the UKGC and also the Competitions and Marketing Authority who appear to be taking an interest in how online Casinos operate in relation to terms and conditions. Regards [EDIT]

User icon
ThePOGG
November 29, 2017

Hi jon2322, I've already covered the explanation you were given by the operator. For the purposes of your complaint we have no further need for you to expand on your dissatisfaction at not being told that the operator believe you have engaged in fraud. It has no bearing on this case. I haven't asked you to explain why you chose a £5 bet size, though this in itself places you above 90% of average players bet sizes (hence being listed as a 'High Roller' bet size on this site). It's actually relatively obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of the mathematics of bonus play in a casino why you've chosen this bet size. While it does raise some flags worthy of note that in itself would not give grounds for non-payment. I have asked you to explain why you chose the betting pattern you did. The facts are very straight forward here - you chose EXACTLY the same strategy as dozens of other accounts in a very short space of time alongside EXACTLY the same game as multiple other complainants that have submitted complaints to this service in the same time period. Our team has NEVER seen a single complainant come through using the strategy you applied. That we've seen multiple complainants all using this strategy at a single group in the space of less than 2 weeks would make for something remarkable. That there are dozens of other accounts associated with this activity that the operator can provide information on demonstrates beyond question that these accounts are not functioning independently of each other. This isn't coincidence. There is some factor here that is very clearly accounting for so many accounts choosing to implement the same strategy at the same time. There are a limited number of potential explanations for that and the majority of those would be either in breach of the terms and conditions you agreed to or illegal. I have asked you repeatedly now to offer an explanation that would fall outside those categories. As stated previously unless that is forthcoming we will take no further part in the representation of your case. It is your choice - provide a verifiable reason that would legitimately explain your strategy choice outside of collusion/fraud or this conversation has reached its conclusion. You can feel free to take your issue to any other party you feel is relevant to review this issue. But I am being absolutely clear about this, we will not take any further involvement in your claim unless you offer an adequate explanation for your behaviour that would place your activity outside of the fraud/collusion bracket. Until you provide this no further posts will be approved on this thread. ThePOGG

User icon
jon2322
December 5, 2017

Hello,

You are clearly asking me questions I cannot answer. How can I account for the actions of others. You have made your position clear so I will be taking my complaint to IBAS/UKGC.

I will also be seeking legal advice as the seizure of my winnings is tantamount to theft. The Casino has no right to appoint itself judge and jury.

Regards

jon2322

User icon
ThePOGG
December 5, 2017

Hi jon2322, It's not that you cannot answer, it's that you're choosing not to. There's either a mundane explanation for this that you could choose to provide but are unwilling to do so, or you're engaged in activity that breaches terms. Either way you know the reason that you've chosen this strategy and as is obvious from my explanation above you know it isn't coincidence. This service depends on YOUR honesty and where you're intentionally withholding information there's nothing we can do to help you and you are wasting our time and resources that could be invested in helping other players. We now consider this complaint closed. ThePOGG

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jon2322 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:

November 8, 2017

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