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Gambling Grumbles: still up and running and, apparently, working, after successfully tackling 888.com

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gambling Grumbles: still up and running and, apparently, working, after successfully tackling 888.com

Gambling Grumbles has been around for many years, and was originally associated with industry doyen Julie Sidwell until her premature death.

I have never paid it much attention, but an apparent successful resolution came to my attention recently:

Littlewoods Game-On Casino: The best possible ending

At Gambling Grumbles we consider our mediation efforts to be a complete success only when both the casino and the player are satisfied with the results - and that is exactly what happened with Mark R of Birmingham, England, and Littlewoods Game On Casino.

Mark was far from happy when he first contacted us, saying that the casino was refusing to give him either his winnings or his deposit.

"I deposited £500 on 28th February 2010 during their happy hour promotional period which is between 7-9 GMT," he said. "Their bonus entitles anyone who deposits during this time to a 10% bonus which must be wagered 20X on any games excluding roulette. I completed their wagering requirements as outlined in their terms and conditions. Unfortunately they haven't credited my bonus and more worryingly closed my account. I have spoken over the phone and via live chat to no avail and I have sent e-mails requesting why this has happened. I have provided a copy of this e-mail below for you to look at. I have since requested that my funds be withdrawn to my bank account (£563,not including the bonus I am entitled to) but they refuse. They will not release my deposit or any winnings or bonus."

A quick look at the e-mail Littlewoods sent him revealed the reason he wasn't getting paid: The casino did not like that he only plays there, and its sister casino, 888, when a bonus is being offered.

"Please note, that in consideration of the reason why restrictive measures are being taken on your Littlewoods Game On account, the funds will remain on your bankroll. This decision has been made in light of the actions taken, in connection with another related account on which it was noticed that you only deposit at specific times, to award your account with the most bonuses. This means that most of the money wagered on our site is our own. Though this is not against our Bonus policy, it is not the kind of play that we want to foster. Please refrain from opening further accounts with casino's owned and operated by Cassava Enterprises Ltd, as they too will be blocked and the deposits not returned."

Two things should be made clear at this point:

1. Gambling Grumbles completely supports the right of any casino to refuse to allow any person to play on its site, no matter what the reason (just as a player can refuse to go to any particular casino).

2. Gambling Grumbles also supports the right of a casino to set any rules it wants - so long as they are clearly spelled out on its website. It is the obligation of the player to read the Terms and Conditions before playing.

In this case, however, Littlewoods confirmed that Mark's playing only when being offered a bonus "is not against our Bonus policy". Moreover, it did not just close his account but it also kept money he had deposited as well as his winnings. We wrote to Cassava about this and within days they contacted Mark to tell him that he is being banned from all Cassava casinos but that he will, indeed, be receiving his money.

"Your account has been permanently blocked and no further accounts will now be accepted," they told him. "As such the remainder of the bankroll which is £563 is expected to be returned to you in the form of a cashout. Therefore, your account has been permanently blocked and no further accounts will now be accepted. The cashout is in process to be paid on the 12th March and usually requires 4 to 7 business days to be received via your card. I must also advise you on this occasion to kindly refrain from opening further accounts with any gaming site owned and operated under the Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd.; as such accounts will be closed as soon as they are detected. In case that you do open any new account(s), Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd. may, at its sole discretion, withhold all deposited and related monies in relation to such accounts."

On one hand, Littlewoods Game On Casino and its partners will no longer have a player whose betting habits they do not like. On the other hand, Mark will soon have both his deposit and his winnings. Both sides are happy with the result - which means that we at Gambling Grumbles are, too.

Although there is no independent corroboration of this account, I see no reason to mistrust it, and so take it as having happened as outlined in the article.

A couple of points worth making:

The resolution was not completely satisfactory, as the player didn't receive the bonus he was promised as per the Happy Hour invitation. But whatever.

What is quite astonishing is that Littlewoods, under the ownership of 888.com, actually attempted to steal this player's own deposited funds. Forget about bonuses, winnings and other funds rightfully owed to players that casinos routinely feel the urge to claim as their own with impunity; this was the player's deposited funds.

888.com comes within the jurisdiction of the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, as well as carrying the inevitable and generally pointless eCOGRA stamp of untrustworthiness. A complaint to either of those, including eCOGRA, would have moreorless guaranteed a return of the deposit.

So what was Littlewoods thinking?

However, it's a positive development when a mediation service successfully persuades a casino to pay a player what he's owed, so good work here from Gambling Grumbles.

If you'd like to avail yourself of their services, drop them an email.

And if you have a problem with 888.com, you can go straight to the horse's mouth and file a GRA complaint. I think that in such a clear-cut case of theft of deposit, it would be unlikely that they wouldn't find in the player's favour.

Best of all, of course, is to stay away from 888.com.

9 Previous Comments

What the hell are Littlewoods thinking? Can't be right surely.

What are the specifics? Is this Littlewoods staff, operating an 888 skin, support staff and all.

Oer are 888 running a skin, backend, customer support and all, for the Littlewoods brand.

By Blogger Sandracer, at 4:15 pm  

Gambling Grumbles is awesome!

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Caruso, hope this message finds you well. Glad to see you still kicking and screaming. -your frienermy, BL

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Greetings to you, BL.

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