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Rushmore casino: confiscation of winnings and deposit because player didn't log into account

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rushmore casino: confiscation of winnings and deposit because player didn't log into account

The problems with Rushmore Casino are currently gathering pace. I previously reported on the Rushmore payments delays and problems that players were experiencing, and also the rather inexplicable confiscation of $5000 winnings a player suffered in late 2008.

Now, Rushmore Casino has confiscated player funds of around $1500 on the basis of no wrongdoing on the player's part whatsoever, nor does the casino claim the player did any wrong.

The player's fault was, in fact, to simply fail to log into his account for a period of time that Rushmore apparently considers excessive.

The matter was reported in the Rushmore: sucky rule to confiscate funds discussion at Casinomeister - where, incidentally, Rushmore had previously been one of the accredited online casinos.

The player reported thus:

I remembered a couple of days ago that I had a Rushmore account from a while back and tried to log on. I vaguely remembered some problem with fax back forms etc (probably my laziness) meaning I hadn't withdrawn and so I was expecting to see a healthy balance in there (1 or 2 thousand).

Instead I got an error message saying that I'm not allowed to log in. I emailed and was told that after 180 days accounts are closed. Fine, I thought - what happens to my money?

Apparently its "forfeited to the company".

This rule can be found in the Rushmore terms & conditions - see term 5 line J:

If you do not log onto your Casino account for a period of 180 days, any balance in your account will be forfeited to the Company.

This was backed up by a representative of the company:

13th October 2009

Hi all,

This players account was last logged in to back in December 2008.

As stated in our terms and conditions:

Rushmore Casino reserves the right, in its total discretion, to void any winnings and withhold any balance in Rushmore Casino account under any of the following circumstances: If you do not log onto your Casino account for a period of 180 days, any balance in your account will be forfeited to the Company.

Kind regards,


Rushmore, Cherry Red & Slots Oasis Rep.

This has to be one of the most astonishing and unfair licences to plunder player funds at will I have seen: if you do not log into your account for six months, Rushmore will wipe clean your balance - deposits, winnings, everything. The casino will not contact you beforehand in an attempt to help reunite you with your funds. There will be no advisory emails. They will just grab your cash.

This is irrespective of the fact that there are many reasons why a player might not log into a casino account for six months:

1) They're away from home.

2) They're ill.

3) Heaven forbid, they're dead.

4) They thought they had already withdrawn the money.

5) They withdrew it but the withdrawal was not successful at the casino end - this was in fact the case with the player in question.

6) They initiated the withdrawal process, transferring funds from the casino site to the main account of a multi-platform sports / casino / bingo (etc) site, then didn't request the final withdrawal.

Whatever the reason may be, the casino has no justification for confiscating the player's money on this basis. It costs nothing to keep the account open - casinos don't send bank statements or issue debit cards, and if they did this would cost no more than a few pennies at most.

In addition to which, there are laws against such anti-consumer behaviour.

In the UK, the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 says as follows regarding funds which have been transferred from a dormant account to a "reclaim" fund:

1 - Transfer of balances to reclaim fund -

(2) The customer no longer has any right against the bank or building society to payment of the balance, but the customer has against the reclaim fund whatever right to payment of the balance the customer would have against the bank or building society if the transfer had not happened.

In other words, wherever your money is, it's still your money and yours to rightfully reclaim.

A followup HM treasury consultation document states:

The key principles underlying this scheme are:

Consumer protection: to ensure an ongoing legal right for account holders to reclaim their money at any time.

Reuniting: wherever possible, account holders should be reunited with the assets that are rightfully theirs.

Which, again, reinforces the customers' legal right to their money, however long the account in which it's sitting has seen no action.

Since Cyprus is a member of the European Union, and EU law is pretty much homogenous, then I am quite sure that Cyprus law will have similar, if not identical, requirements.

As such, Rushmore Casino is almost certainly in breach of the law.

And although such legislation would apply specifically to proper financial institutions like banks and building societies, there is no court that would rule in favour of the pseudo-financial institution of an online casino in such circumstances.

The Cyprus Consumers Association, based in Nicosia, Cyprus, where Rushmore Casino is located, says of its mission:

...to safeguard the consumers' rights and educate and represent the Cyprus consumers and all local and international relevant bodies dealing with consumer matters.

They may be a point of contact for anyone with issues with Cyprus-based operators.

Their various offices and contact details are listed on the contact page.

Bryan "Casinomeister" Bailey displayed a stance I can only describe as confused on this matter:

13th October 02:03 PM

When you sign up at an online casino, you agreed to the terms. It's your responsibility to abide by them whether you think they are fair or not. If you don't like them - don't sign up. It's pretty simple.

13th October 2009, 03:20 PM

Using my logic - you are bound by their terms and conditions that you agreed to when signing up. Are they obligated to make an exception? If so, why?

What about "We reserve the right to eat your children"?

Is that defensible with the "it's in the terms to which you agreed" argument?

13th October 2009, 03:09 PM

One thing everyone needs to remember - these are winnings, right? Not the actual funds that the player deposited - so in other words, the player is not out of pocket.

13th October 2009, 03:54 PM

Sure - in spirit, these are his funds, but technically speaking - he's not out of pocket if those funds never hit his bank account.

Yup. When you win money gambling at a casino, the money is not actually yours, only in a spiritual sense.

I knew I'd had that one wrong all these years.

13th October 2009, 04:42 PM

I'm not defending the casino

Well good heavens. He certainly had me and everyone else fooled.

Anyway, things came full circle and worked out right in the end, even if the path was well and truly confused:

14th October 2009, 08:38 AM

The Rushmore Group has been removed from the Accredited Casino section.

Here's why - even though this term is in their terms and conditions, I don't believe it was implemented fairly.

Thanks. After fully thirteen years of experience in the online gambling business, I'm glad we finally got there.

To put the finishing touches to this comedic performance, the complaints manager Max Drayman made possibly his most ludicrous statement to date in a gaff-prone career, on the subject of fraudsters:

13th October 2009, 04:42 PM

Fraudsters will often leave their winnings to simmer for a while, sometimes a long while, in the hopes that the details of their doings will be lost in the fog of time.

It's a tactic based on ignorance - most play records are digital and can sit on the shelf for quite some time without going off - but hey, they're fraudsters so what do you expect.

Yup. If a fraudster withdraws next week, he won't see his money. But if he leaves it a month, he might - because the audit trail will have somehow gone cold. Or at least, that's what Max thinks they think.

Or maybe he doesn't think.

Rushmore Casino is a rogue casino that delays payments, offers vague and unsubstantiated excuses to withhold payment, and will wipe out your potentially substantial balance if you happen to not log into an account which you thought you'd withdrawn from, anyway.

Rushmore will probably be at the 2010 International Casino Exhibition in London in January.

I think I'll be having a word with them about this.

4 Previous Comments

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:46 pm  

I was going to delete your post as part of my ongoing battle against spammers, but on reading it find I can make neither head nor tail of anything.

I'm going to leave it for its amusement value.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:50 pm  

Ihave won nearly £5000 from 888.com roulette and they wont pay out what can i do

By Anonymous pat, at 10:16 pm  

You'll need to give details of the problem before advice can be given.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 10:18 pm  

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