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Confiscation as Revenue

Discussion in 'Casino Complaints - Non-Bonus Issues' started by MJackson, May 12, 2009.

    May 12, 2009
  1. MJackson

    MJackson Moderated User - posts must be approved

    Occupation:
    No comment
    Location:
    Miami, I, I mean Montreal
    Just out of curiosity is there anyone here who supports casinos/poker rooms "confiscating" non bonus related money from players?

    I contend that confiscation or seizure of property is strictly a judicial matter and is never the right of a private company. I believe that this is proveable, at least in the United States by the argument that there is apparently no exception to the rule. Can anyone think of one instance in which a business is authorized to confiscate money from a customer without involving the police or without themselves facing serious criminal charges?

    I could go on for 20 pages about all the reasons that this practice, especially by poker rooms, should be denounced and stopped. But I don't think any argument beyond the above is necessary.

    Restated, no casino or poker room should engage in confiscation of money or other property because confiscation of money and property is a police/judicial action without exception.

    There would be no problem at all if a casino thought there was a crime committed, turning over evidence to the authorities and having the money confiscated by them. But it never works that way.

    I bring this up becuase it goes right to the core of two of the industry's most fundamental problems, trust and legitimacy.

    Many poker rooms and casinos don't even do this sort of thing. But the ones that do more than make up for the abstainers by threatening the reputation of the entire industry, making it seem little better than an alley dice game to the people who matter most, new sign ups.

    And of course there is the moral hazard of getting to keep any confiscated money, a non-negligible incentive.

    Confiscation is a practice that should be eliminated. Casinos and poker rooms stealing players' cash on the whim of a manager, cash which they get to keep and from which the "decision is final" and no recourse exists, makes the entire business of online gambling look too much like the ugly caricature that fanatical prohibitionists sketch. And it doesn't have to be that way.

    Casinos and poker rooms should be allowed to close accounts, they should be allowed to call the authorities and report crimes, they should be allowed to work with credit card companies and ewallets to right wrongs and replace or return any funds that may have been of fraudulent origin. But they should be denounced for keeping for themselves what clearly belong to others.

    If you really know that money is from a fraudulent source and you keep it, at least in the US, you are guilty of exactly the same crime in exactly the same degree as the person who deposited the stolen/illegal/fraudulent money. This is not a serious argument for keeping someone else's money, whether it actually is stolen or not.

    And as it so happens neither is any other. Non-bonus related confiscation should be universally denounced and stopped in the name of making this industry as legitimate as it's land based competitors.
     
  2. May 12, 2009
  3. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    Good post and very interesting view points there that you have brought up MJackson..:thumbsup:
     
  4. May 12, 2009
  5. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Occupation:
    Devil's Advocate
    Location:
    Heaven
    I would like to see some examples, as I am not quite sure what MJackson is getting at.
     
  6. May 12, 2009
  7. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming

    Occupation:
    I do nothing productive
    Location:
    Hell on Earth
    Usually most poker rooms do not seize the initial deposit. That is out right theft.

    If the poker rooms are going to keep anything it is usually only the money they believe was fraudulently acquired from them.

    In almost all of the cases I have seen with honest poker rooms the player is refunded his/her initial deposit and their account is closed.
     
  8. May 12, 2009
  9. Jasminebed

    Jasminebed Closer to 100 than Birth

    Occupation:
    Not in workforce
    Location:
    Ontario
    With poker rooms, any "winnings" confiscated are really player monies.

    I'm skeptical of poker rooms online, but if say JackB was denied winnings and simply returned his deposit, does that mean that I and every other player in every hand he ever played has their funds lost in these games returned to them? I think if that was the case, and many players started receiving refunds for hands, or having "readjustments" to games they played in, you would have to wonder how many times where people were not caught?

    I think that many players involved in any kind of collusion or cheating usually operate for a while before being caught.

    If this player fraud is as prevalent as casinos seem to believe, wouldn't almost all of the honest players have been subject to losses to one or another of them?

    It would be a logistical nightmare to refund all bets, void all winnings every time a fraudster struck, and leave players so unhappy and confused the poker rooms would go out of business.

    Proof of identity PRIOR to being allowed to play tables would help reduce some of this fraud, and IMO give honest players more confidence in the integrity of online play.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. May 12, 2009
  11. MJackson

    MJackson Moderated User - posts must be approved

    Occupation:
    No comment
    Location:
    Miami, I, I mean Montreal
    I could give specific examples that have happened to me and others at Absolute, Carbonpoker, Ultimatebet etc. but I am trying to make a general point. Confiscation of money or property is exclusively the domain of the courts and the police and cannot legitimately be assumed by private companies as it too often is online.

    I am not diminishing the right and indeed duty of poker rooms to stop fraud, cheating and collusion. I am stating that when we grant poker rooms the extraordinary right to confiscate money at the management's discretion, with the obvious moral hazard of profiting from such seizures, even if it is in the name of stopping and in fact effective against cheating, fraud and collusion, we also guarantee extreme abuses of that right that strike at the achilles heel of online gaming, trust and legitimacy.

    To me it's pretty black and white. Private companies should not be granted police powers and should not illegitimately assume them.
     
  12. May 12, 2009
  13. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Occupation:
    Devil's Advocate
    Location:
    Heaven
    Just as I thought - nothing to do with casinos at all. And as I am not aware of any "confiscations" - the only possible reason I could fathom for your post was that somehow, some way, you were the "victim" of a "confiscation".

    If you cannot, or will not, point out some examples, then I'm going to assume you're stirring the pot and I will close the thread accordingly.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. May 12, 2009
  15. swampwitch

    swampwitch ProfessionalUnderachiever

    Occupation:
    Independent craftsperson specializing in chenille
    Location:
    Iowa, dammit.
    So the OP is saying that a player who wins through collusion or other forms of cheating should receive the winnings, and that those funds should not be confiscated by the poker rooms because it enriches the poker room.

    I'd have to respectfully disagree. To payout to obvious fraudsters enriches the fraudster...even if the cheater is somehow prosecuted down the line.

    IMHO, the "winnings" should be confiscated by the poker room, and it is then that the room's management must do everything within their power to reinstate said funds to the players who fell victim to the cheater...nightmare or not. At the very least, make the effort.
     
    4 people like this.
  16. May 12, 2009
  17. Jasminebed

    Jasminebed Closer to 100 than Birth

    Occupation:
    Not in workforce
    Location:
    Ontario
    Keeping the thread open

    Regardless of the OP's motivation for posting, I think it is an interesting subject.

    "Confiscation" might not be the correct term. Perhaps "withholding" or "voiding" winnings may not be identical terms, but certainly fraud players have accounts closed and winnings denied. It is right that fraudulent players should not prosper.

    I'd appreciate some feedback as well as to what happens when a fraudster is caught out to the legitimate players of those games with him/her as a participant?

    It's been a very busy time at the forum with two huge issues regarding progressive wins active.

    I hope you keep this thread open Spearmaster, I think it is a worthwhile subject.
     
  18. May 12, 2009
  19. pokeraddict

    pokeraddict Webmaster

    Occupation:
    Pro Poker Player
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I'm going to guess this comes from a player making a fraud deposit or bouncing an echeck and winning before it is discovered. No poker, casino or book is going to pay you your winnings when you freerolled them. While giving it back to the players might seem logical the players were not defrauded, the poker room was. How many times do people lose their fraud deposit? I would imagine the wins here don't even come close to covering that therefor I don't see why it is wrong for the poker rooms to keep that.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
    3 people like this.
  20. May 13, 2009
  21. MJackson

    MJackson Moderated User - posts must be approved

    Occupation:
    No comment
    Location:
    Miami, I, I mean Montreal
    Well, that's exactly what I'm saying. The money should be given back to the players who were cheated, or refunded to the credit card that was stolen, or refunded to the account where the dumped chips originated from or sent back to the ewallet that opened the duplicate account etc. NOT kept by the poker room.

    I like your quotation marks to imply that words like "confiscation" were used in a non-standard way and your injection of "victim" into a "detached theoretical argument" that is "highly pertinent to the industry in which you operate", fathomed possibilities aside.

    If you cannot or will not accept general arguments of principle then I'm going to assume this thread, and all others on this site, might as well be closed anyway.

    You may guess what you like, it should make no difference to the arguments presented. I was not trying to address direct fraud against casinos or poker rooms, and I specifically stated "non-bonus-related" in the original post so I was not directing the points towards freerolling of any kind, nor did I mean to address winnings from bonuses. I was addressing situations exactly like the ones Swampwitch was referencing except where the casino/poker room keeps the money for themselves. An all too common occurence which should not ever happen.

    I also firmly believe that where actual fraud occurs, the casino/poker rooms should contact the authorities and it should be dealt with legally. The casino should not invoke police powers and thus themselves become the criminal.
     
  22. May 13, 2009
  23. swampwitch

    swampwitch ProfessionalUnderachiever

    Occupation:
    Independent craftsperson specializing in chenille
    Location:
    Iowa, dammit.
    If the cheating happened during a tournament, with the result a big win for the cheater, the players were indeed defrauded, especially if they put up their own money to play in the tourney. Their placing in or out of the money, and the amount of money won or not is adversely affected, and it's up to the room to first confiscate the fraudulent winnings, and second to compensate the other players accordingly.
     
    1 person likes this.
  24. May 13, 2009
  25. Jasminebed

    Jasminebed Closer to 100 than Birth

    Occupation:
    Not in workforce
    Location:
    Ontario
    I've refrained from playing poker online because of such issues.

    So it's not a tournament, but a sit and go table. I come out $80 bucks ahead, fraudster is up $1K and several other players have all lost. In the "adjustment" do my $80 in winnings go too? Voided hands, voided play?

    How can a casino rectify these situations without retrieving funds from modest and legitimate winners also?

    If two co-cospirators live in different cities and tell each other their hole cards via telephone, whose is the wiser for quite some time?

    Gambling has always attacted those willing to cheat...online gives them even more opportunity and anonymity.
     
  26. May 13, 2009
  27. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Occupation:
    Devil's Advocate
    Location:
    Heaven
    I am still not sure I'm reading this right.

    Are you saying that if a person has a duplicate account, or dumps chips to another account, he should be entitled to getting the funds back?

    Or are you saying that players who lost money in a poker game to an account which was a duplicate account, or was the beneficiary of a chip dump, should get their money back?

    If you're talking about the players cheated out of their money by one of these accounts, I agree with you.

    If you're talking about someone who has a duplicate account or was a participant in chip dumping, I disagree entirely.
     
    4 people like this.
  28. May 14, 2009
  29. MJackson

    MJackson Moderated User - posts must be approved

    Occupation:
    No comment
    Location:
    Miami, I, I mean Montreal
    Yes, that is what I am saying. I am not saying that someone with a duplicate account or someone who dumps chips is absolutely entitled to receive a refund, I am saying that the casino or poker room is not entitled to keep it, not just in this scenario, but in any.

    If a crime has taken place why can't it be reported to the authorities and resolved like any other business would resolve such an issue?

    I do not agree with the idea that private companies should act as judge, jury and executioner, that is for the courts. That is what I am saying.

    You may stop some fraud by confiscating funds from suspicious accounts, and you will also cause losses to completely innocent players. But the consequences, good or bad, of using this tactic do not change the principal that a private business should not take police action against customers.

    There is no other situation in another industry that I am aware of where a business would claim to have and frequently excercise such an extraordinary right. Arbitrary confiscations at management's discretion and without due process of any sort delegitimize the industry and ultimately harm everyone involved, even the gambling sites themselves.
     
  30. May 14, 2009
  31. suzy1975

    suzy1975 Banned User PABnononaccred2 PABnoaccred

    Occupation:
    cleaner
    Location:
    glasgow
    lovely post

    well done MJACKSON for this gr8 post and it is true it some companies do play on this and i have had it happen to me on 2 occasions where they have decided my i.d was not what they required despite them having already accepted these. The one that sprung to mind was belle rock group who in their wisdom when i was up 1200 pounds decided to close my account and keep my deposit and winnings however after ecogra became involved i was given a ukash voucher for my initial deposit of 50 pounds(nice eh?) of course uninstall all of there software and recycle bin.
     
  32. May 14, 2009
  33. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming

    Occupation:
    I do nothing productive
    Location:
    Hell on Earth
    I am not all that familiar with CarbonPoker, but the other two poker rooms you name have proven themselves to be lacking in ethics and morals many times over... Those two usually do not act like law abiding business... So when referring to those two sister poker rooms I usually use words like 'theft', 'criminal', 'cover up' etc...
     
  34. May 15, 2009
  35. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    In chip dumping, it is likely that the funds thus dumped were somehow not legitimate. They could have been stolen, but also could be deposited legitimately, but from the proceeds of criminal activity.

    If the money was the proceeds of crime, then it is the law of the country from where the "dumping" player comes from that should decide the fate of the funds. Here in the UK, it is NOT the private company that should KNOWINGLY benefit (knowingly, since by detecting and locking the accounts, they have indicated knowledge of a potential act of moneylaundering). The courts decide on the guilt or otherwise (in other words, whether the money was the proceeds of crime). The proceeds of crime legislation then give the STATE the power to confiscate the funds, but this has to follow due process. Arbitrary confiscation for their own profit is NOT "due process".

    There certainly should NOT be confiscation on mere SUSPICION, which seems to be happening. There should be an INDEPENDENT "due process" involved, be that eCogra, or the courts.

    Unfortunately, many online casinos and poker rooms legally locate themselves where the laws favour them, and not the player. The player is thus at a considerable disadvantage, and can often do nothing when mistreated in this way.

    This thread is one result of players often powerless to get common justice, but in making it so difficult for legitimate players, online casinos and poker rooms open themselves to more fraudsters being able to gain credibility because of the number of "dolphins" caught up and wrongly accused of something dodgy.

    Take eCogra reports for example, FIFTY PERCENT of complaints are resolved in favour of the player, yet this means that the casino had ALREADY done the "judge, jury and executioner" routine on these players. This means that of complaints taken to eCogra, 50% were innocent "Dolphins" caught up in the nets intended for catching disreputable players. To me, this is a pretty appalling record. If our courts wrongly found people guilty to the extent that 50% of the verdicts were overturned on appeal, there would be an outcry, yet this 50% rate seems somehow OK for CONSUMERS of this "entertainment with prizes" product.
     
    1 person likes this.
  36. May 18, 2009
  37. MissScarlett

    MissScarlett Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Artist/Defender of the undersog.
    Location:
    little sea side villiage
    You asked... "Can anyone think of one instance in which a business is authorized to confiscate money from a customer without involving the police or without themselves facing serious criminal charges?"


    Yes
    there is.....
    the
    I.R.S.
    :eek:
     
  38. May 18, 2009
  39. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    They are a little more than just a business though, they have the government backing them up...where you been lately anyway MissScarlett?
     

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