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Villa Fortuna Casino: you will not be paid your winnings unless you play slots; eCOGRA supports them


Monday, February 16, 2009

Villa Fortuna Casino: you will not be paid your winnings unless you play slots; eCOGRA supports them


Villa Fortuna Casino is the most recent addition to the Grand Privé stable, a group which has been the subject of two previous blog articles, Grand Privé rogued by Casinomeister, and the more recent Grand Privé affiliate problem.


The Villa Fortuna terms & conditions deserve honourable mention in the online gambling hall of fame as containing quite the most outrageous payment condition in the entire unfortunate history of the online gambling industry:


Villa Fortune Terms



Inactive accounts WILL NOT receive balance payments for wins.

An active account requires that a player deposits a minimum of $20 per week, and that the deposit is wagered through 20X. (All table games and Video Poker excluded from meeting the wagering requirements).

You can ALSO keep your account active by depositing $80 and wagering it through 20X at least once a month. Again all table games and Video Poker games are excluded from wagering).



As such:

• If your account does not qualify as "active", you will not be paid winnings.

• In order to qualify as active, you must wager $400 per week - or $1600 per month - on slots.

• Wagering on video poker, blackjack, or any other table games does not count as "active" account qualification wagering.

• Therefore, if you are a non-slot player, if you play exclusively blackjack, roulette, baccarat, video poker or any other standard casino game, and you win, you will not be paid your winnings.

• If you are a non-slot player, you can only lose at Villa Fortuna. As per their terms, you are not permitted to win at this casino.


In an industry currently existing on ever more absurdly unfair and convoluted terms and conditions, these are the worst and most extraordinary terms I have ever seen by a very large margin.


Villa Fortuna is powered by Microgaming, one of the oldest software providers in the business. Apparently, Microgaming is happy with this.

Surprised?

It gets better.

Villa Fortuna carries the eCOGRA "play it safe" seal - take a look at the eCOGRA approved sites page and you'll see Villa Fortuna residing in relative pride of place close to the top.

On the homepage, eCOGRA tells us:


play without worry only where you see this seal, ecogra safe and fair



play without worry only where you see this seal - "eCOGRA: safe and fair"


Apparently, eCOGRA considers that a casino whose terms do not permit anyone other than slot players to cash out their winnings is both "safe" and "fair".

This is strange, as any remotely reasonable definition of these terms would go along the lines of "monumental ripoff".


In addition to which, there is nothing in the eCOGRA Generally Accepted Practices which does not allow for such extraordinary terms.


So, in summary: a long-standing licensee (Grand Privé) of one of the oldest software providers extant (Microgaming) is running a casino whose terms do not permit the payment of winnings to players of blackjack, roulette, baccarat or any games other than slots. You can lose your money playing these games, but if you win, and you haven't played slots, you will not be paid. eCOGRA, seal-supplying toothless puppet of a casino supervisory organisation, funded by those same software suppliers whose casinos it "supervises", is happy with this.


This would appear to represent the current state of the online gambling industry - an industry which continues to seek readmittance into the US.


Stay away from Villa Fortuna Casino. Unless you are a slot player you will not be paid.

And when you see the eCOGRA "play it safe" seal, take something good out of it and have a little giggle; it has no other value.

Update 19th February 2009:

These terms have now been removed from the Villa Fortuna terms and conditions page.

They have also been removed from all the other Grand Privé sites, where they were also listed.



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