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Gala - Self Exclusion Woes...


Found for the Casino - This issue pre-dates the implementation of the UKGC license and as such does not fall under current self-exclusion restrictions.

Read our Gala Casino Review.

Player's Complaint


I hope you can help me. My complaint is a little unusual but having exhausted Gala's internal complaints I wonder if you can help or push me in the right direction.

My problem is as follows:

I have held, and been a regular depositor at Gala bingo for years and years, around 10 years now.

I self excluded at coral around 2012-2013. I cannot remember the exact timescales. I believe that this led to my Gala Casino account being blocked also, because they are connected.

I have been depositing and playing at gala bingo, completely unaware this would not be allowed (I had no idea coral were even connected to Gala) and the thought never even really crossed my mind anyway.

I tried to re-open my gala casino account last year, because I fancied a go, to be told I was self excluded. I did not remember doing so, but it was so old I could not remember when it happened and I was told it was frozen due to my Coral account being excluded. So I queried it with the live chat agent who told me, the system has changed so he has no idea when it happened, but it shows me as excluded.

At this point I thought.. Hang on, I have been playing at Gala Bingo since 2008.. Surely that is not allowed either... As my older account with exactly the same details, why has that not been excluded?

The penny dropped in my head that had I tried to withdraw after around 2013, it would have been denied because they would have connected the accounts..

I told Gala that I have a gala bingo account, and surely that is not allowed.. and they immediately froze it which proves me correct on the above point.

I therefore believe Gala should give me back my deposits on the bingo site because had I won, this would not have been honoured and I know they would have played the 'sorry' excluded card.

I did not realise at any point I had excluded from Gala by excluding from Coral.

I have complained to Gala, but they come back and say I was not excluded, and that there was an error, and that I would have been paid because I was paid a small withdrawal in 2012.. but that was prior to the exclusion.

They keep focusing on a small exclusion I had from my bingo account in 2008, which is not what I am talking about and that was reactivated anyway.

Normally I would let it pass, if it was obvious or I had been an idiot, but I feel like they are not being completely up front with me, and should have excluded the bingo account too rather than accepting deposits for years...

I hope you are able to see my point and help in some way?


My gala Username is [EDIT].

Read the casino review

1 Responses

User icon
February 15, 2016

Hi Casinoman - welcome to!

I'm afraid there's not going to be anything we can do to help you in this instance.

Firstly, self-exclusion policies are intended for use by players that have significant problems, not simply as a 'time-out'. There has to be responsibility taken on both sides. Someone who is self-excluding is stating clearly that they cannot control their gambling at all and that they are trying to give up. Reading through your story it's clear that after a self-exclusion you've continued to play regularly and don't seem to view this as a problem.

There is no judgement here, but given the number of people engaging in trying to defraud operators by self-excluding then trying to get back round the system and case where players have mis-used the self-exclusion system has to be reviewed carefully.

Regarding withdrawals - I have no reason to believe that you wouldn't have been paid. As you'll have seen, your Gala account was closed. Had your Gala Bingo account been flagged as self-excluded they would simply have locked the account. Given that it wasn't it seems unlikely that they would have caught this without you pointing it out. I would suggest that only having made one withdrawal over the course of years where you were playing regularly is a little on the low side, but that's essentially irrelevant to the conversation.

Alongside this your self-exclusion pre-dates the implementation of the UKGC license. While quality operators would make efforts to extend self-exclusions to all brands that they owned, at that point in time there was no license requirement for them to do so. That a mistake has been made and your Gala Bingo account has been missed is unfortunate, but it's not in breach of any of their licenses at the time of occurrence.

Finally, as a UKGC Accredited Alternative Dispute Resolution service, I know that gambling protection issues are being reserved to the regulator (i.e. ADRs are not to review them). As such neither ourselves nor Gala's appointed ADR will be able to help you with this issue. As such if you want your case reviewed further you'll need to submit it to the UKGC at this email address [email protected]. As I've pointed out, I personally don't think you've got a case here, but they may disagree.

My understanding is that the UKGC will review all issues from a general perspective to see whether or not license requirements need to be changed but they will not tell operators to repay players, viewing this as a civil matter that would need to be resolve in the courts. I've spoken with the UKGC regarding this specific issue and it is my hope that they will issue guidance for players in the near future regarding how they would go about taking legal action against an operator in a manner that isn't prohibitively expensive. As such if you choose to take your complaint to the UKGC I would suggest that you ask for any information they can provide you with regarding this process.

Sorry we can't be of more help,


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February 15, 2016

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