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Bonus Complaint Gala Casino refusing to pay £1102 of my winnings

Discussion in 'Casino Complaints - Bonus Issues' started by izzygill, Mar 21, 2016.

    Mar 21, 2016
  1. izzygill

    izzygill Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Retail
    Location:
    UK
    I’m writing this post to express my frustration with Gala Casino. Despite Casinomeister’s best efforts with me going through the PAB process, Gala have been completely unwilling to cooperate, which is why Casinomeister has issued a fresh warning on them and they’ve understandably had to close my PAB.

    http://www.casinomeister.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64418


    I joined Gala Casino in January and took part in a 400% card-games exclusive bonus, played exactly according to the terms and won £1102.

    I then received an email which said the account would be closed and I wouldn’t receive the winnings because of bonus abuse due to other accounts. However I can categorically say I have never joined the site before nor know of anyone who has or is linked to me.

    I contacted the Gala rep on here who escalated my complaint, then someone from Gala got back to me, this is an excerpt of their response…

    “The decision to freeze your account was due to the discovery of a further account registered with the same IP address. Along with this there was further evidence that it was being operated by the same individual including the same betting pattern and acceptance of the same bonus.”

    They then proceeded to cite said terms and conditions I’m supposed to have violated…

    “Bonus offers are limited to one bonus per person, household and/or computer, and/or payment method unless otherwise stated.”

    However, even if they weren’t making up the claim about someone registering using the same IP, it STILL isn’t against the terms and conditions!

    “one bonus per person, household and/or computer, and/or payment method

    Nothing about the IP is stated!

    But this is all by the by, because they haven’t given a single shred of evidence which shows anyone else used the same IP as me, nor have they given any to Casinomeister.

    Also, regarding their second point which they cited as a reason of abuse… “there was further evidence that it was being operated by the same individual including the same betting pattern and acceptance of the same bonus”

    … firstly, they’ve not shown any evidence… secondly, even if there was any, it’s not against the terms… and thirdly, accepting a card-exclusive welcome bonus and playing various stakes on blackjack (the most popular casino card game) that someone else also did, does not mean I’m automatically a multiple bonus abuser!

    So the only evidence Gala states which could possibly be deemed valid is that I signed up to the same, card-game exclusive welcome bonus as another unnamed individual based somewhere, and we both placed bets of varying stakes on Blackjack.

    Apparently this reasoning is valid enough for Gala to not pay me my winnings. Also, their non-cooperation with Casinomeister on this issue and unwillingness to provide them with any evidence, to me speaks volumes.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. Mar 21, 2016
  3. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    As you are in the UK, next step is their ADR, and you can follow this by threatening to take them to the small claims court.

    Their arguments based on "same IP address" can be shot down simply by asking your ISP to send you an explanation as to how they allocate IP addresses to their subscribers. This will invariably be "dynamic IP", and you would use this letter (or email) as a rebuttal to their claim that they can void your winnings simply because another player also got allocated that same IP address when they played.

    The "same betting pattern" argument can also be challenged if you used something as simple as "basic strategy", as this would be a very common way to play Blackjack, and is probably how many people play it.

    This will leave them with little more than "spirit of the bonus", which you shoot down with consumer contract law by arguing that you did not break any of the terms and conditions during play itself, and their other evidence is insufficient to show that you were the person operating the other account, even with the "balance of probability" argument.

    There is a good chance they won't let it get all the way to court if they believe there is a chance of them losing the case. They will also know that unlike a couple of years ago, the case is firmly within the jurisdiction of English law and the English courts.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Mar 21, 2016
  5. mac72

    mac72 Senior Member

    Occupation:
    gamble
    Location:
    n ireland
    Thats a good analysis and small claims court is an easy process to do yourself.I'd say if you fill in the claim and they are notified you will probably get a good result as all that can happen is they turn up and you follow the guidelines VWM set out above (no need for solicitor). Thats if it ever even gets that far.

    With Casinos all now advocating "mobile play" its about time they removed the "same ip address" rule as it just isn't fit for purpose
     
    2 people like this.
  6. Mar 21, 2016
  7. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    You should take this straight to IBAS, their ADR, and keep us updated on your complaint's progress.
    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
    4 people like this.
  8. Mar 22, 2016
  9. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Following the procedure may mean it takes longer, but it can be used to show the court that you tried all available avenues to resolve the complaint before taking it to the courts.

    The small claims process is good for claims up to £10,000.

    One thing that might work in a players' favour is that many UK facing casinos merely have a maildrop address here in the UK, rather than actual offices and staff. This means that if they are to defend an action in court, they often have to arrange for someone to travel here from their main offshore office, or pay a UK solicitor to represent them. If they fail to turn up or send a representative, a player could very easily win judgement by default.

    Once they receive their formal "letter before action", it should get their attention and make them reconsider the strength of their evidence as it would have to be presented to a judge, not an ADR, their own internal teams, or a third party "security" contractor. If this doesn't get the desired result, then you would have to be prepared to follow through and actually lodge the claim with the court so that they receive the letter from the court that will leave them in no doubt that they will have to justify their stance before a judge under English consumer law. It was at this point that Betfair folded and paid UK players involved in the notorious "happy hour" fiasco where they had erred technically by confiscating the winnings from the sportsbook purse, which happened to be regulated by the UKGC, rather than their offshore casino regulator, at the time.
     
  10. Mar 23, 2016
  11. izzygill

    izzygill Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Retail
    Location:
    UK
    Thank you everyone, some really good advice here which I'll definitely take on board. I've gone to IBAS as the next step, hopefully it will result in a fair and positive outcome. I will make sure to update here.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Mar 23, 2016
  13. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    Yep, please let us know how it turns out.
     
  14. Apr 3, 2016
  15. petro

    petro Dormant account, per user request PABnoaccred2 PABaccred

    Occupation:
    N/A
    Location:
    Narnia
    Hi izzygill,

    I thanked your post because I was impressed by it.

    Just a question: What is the difference between saying: "One bonus per household and/or computer" and "One bonus per IP address."
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Apr 9, 2016
  17. ricky

    ricky Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    banking
    Location:
    london
    The easiest solution would have been to send a copy of your ID/bill showing real address, then confirm if someone else has already sent them the doc

    Most casinos will then allow you to continue
     

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