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Sunday, July 22, 2007

HippoJo casino: payments have stopped


I came across HippoJo Casino, a relatively new Real Time Gaming operation, from Brian Cullingworth's Infopowa news report Hippo Jo Launches With RTG software thread, in the forum at Casinomeister:

Also, see the Casinomeister HippoJo launch news entry in the April news section.

These reports contain some pretty upbeat language:


Experienced Aussie online gambling know-how is behind this newcomer


The site is clean and professional looking, with round-the-clock Support. In the event of any disputes that cannot be settled at casino level, the management have agreed an arrangement whereby the independent advocacy services of the experienced Casinomeister portal will be called in.


HippJo is owned by a Cyprus registered company called Trustbond Services Limited, and we can reveal that the substantial backers have retained the services of a highly experienced and respected Australian online gambling consultant


Marketing for Hippo Jo will be carried out by Four Monkeys Pty Ltd...The Four Monkeys team has been involved in online casinos since 1999 and origininates from the early days of the industry when it was involved in setting up an online casino for the Queensland State Government.


So, I was happy to patronise an apparently well-funded and knowledgebly run operation, notwithstanding its youth and the fact that the company's software choice, RTG, has a generally bad repuation as a hands-off licensor which does not police its licensees or offer any player backup.

I successfully cashed out on three occasions, but having been paid pretty swiftly on the first two, payments have now completely stopped.

There have been no payments for almost five weeks.

Support staff say the problem is with Neteller - there is a technical difficulty preventing Neteller payments from the casino's merchant account to players' Neteller accounts. I have queried this with Neteller, and not only can they not tell me when this apparent technical difficulty will end, they cannot even confirm the problem - I have been pursuing the matter with them now for two weeks and they have failed to tell me anything at all. Since it should take no more than a few mouse clicks to establish whether or not HippoJo's account is fully functional, this is extremely odd.

It's also worth bearing in mind that there are no technical difficulties affecting payments from other merchants - all other Neteller withdrawals I've made have been paid in good order. Additionally, the Neteller deposit option has not been disabled from the casino software, so as far as I can see there is no problem with a player depositing FROM his Neteller account TO HippoJo casino. The problem only exists the other way around.

HippoJo assured me of daily updates until the matter was concluded. These updates, though regular at first, have now stopped.

The most recent communication I received from the casino accounts department was an assurance that payment would be made, but with no possibility of a timescale.

I am currently growing cynical of the Neteller failure claim, and am coming round to the opinion that the problem is funding-based - I believe HippoJo over spent on its marketing budget, leading to a funds shortfall. This is conjecture on my part, but it's the only explanation that has credibility at this point, for at least two reasons:

1) That a "technical problem" preventing payments would exist for five weeks, caused and unresolved by Neteller, seems absurd.

2) Neteller's complete silence on the matter is indicative of a problem at HippoJo's side - Neteller would have no reason to deny a technical problem of their own, but would be understandably reluctant to reveal that their merchant is being dishonest, which would be the case if they were to acknowledge that there was no problem with Neteller.

Hopefully HippoJo will sort itself out and resume payments, but this is not what one expects from a casino for which claims such as "Experienced Aussie online gambling know-how is behind this newcomer" were made from respected sources, and which had apparently "retained the services of a highly experienced and respected Australian online gambling consultant".



13 Previous Comments


The most recent development here was a notice that the Neteller payment issue had been resolved, and that one was to be informed within seven to ten days of date of payment.

This was two weeks ago, and no payment date has yet been issued.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 11:32 am  


HippoJo has now been placed on the Casinomeister "rogue" list - see Casinomeister HippoJo Casino rogue listing.

Brian Cullingworth, a.k.a forum poster "Jetset" - who introduced us to HippoJo by way of the Infopowa release I mentioned in my article above - has now followed up on Bryan Bailey's rogue listing with a warning of his own - see the Infopowa Hippojo Casino warning.

Better late than never.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 11:34 pm  


Somewhat out of the blue, I received a partial payment from HippoJo this morning, 27th September. I'd all but written the money off, so this is a very positive development.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:01 pm  


Part payment just proves it is money problems the casino is having, not this waffle about payment solutions.

Simple as that.

By Blogger Sand Racer, at 11:27 am  


On 12th October I received a slightly larger partial payment, plus some communication from the casino which I hadn't received in a while. I've now received almost fifty percent of my cashout.

Things are certainly looking better.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 8:36 pm  


I think Hippojo have gone down, as they have not updated their comopetition for over two weeks....
and it is supposed to run every tues + wed.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 am  


As of October 31st 2007, the website is down. It looks as bad as it could at this point.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 11:43 pm  


Brian Cullingworth has published details of the owners of HippoJo, after their failure to respond to his questions:

Geoff Sheehan
Four Monkeys Pty Ltd
geoff@fourmonkeys.com.au
+617 5580 5810
"For HippoJo our company will be doing the operations, marketing, affiliate and advertiser management, as well as the call centre and payments processing."

Kelly Signell - Director, Trustbond Services Limited, Cyprus. This company holds the ownership of the casino although the investors are Aussies.

kelly.signell@gmail.com

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:19 pm  


It's probably dead now. You may try other aussie online casinos like kingbilly bitstarz etc.

By Anonymous Jackie, at 8:09 am  


As an Australian, the first casino choice of mine would be bitstarz casino always, it is definitely one of the best online casino out there and it is fair too, I have seen people winning bit jackpots on this online casinos.

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