Gala - the rogue that never was

shawshank

Full Member
PABaccred
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Location
UK
I’ve kept quiet about this for eight months, since Gala first confiscated £895 of my money. But after getting absolutely nowhere, it’s time to open this up.

Dialogue with them broken down back in February, without them giving a reason for keeping my winnings other than sending a general link to bonus terms, without stating which rule I’d broken. I hadn’t broken any of their rules, and laid out reasons clearly showing why I hadn’t broken a single one, but they kept referring me back to the generic terms.

So after going round in a vicious circle with them for some time, I contacted Casinomeister and set up a Pitch a Bitch with them. A month went by without hearing anything, so I contacted Max who explained he’d written to them but hadn’t received a response, but that these things take time and to give Gala longer.

Another month went by, and I emailed Max again who said I needed to wait longer and that he would chase them up.

This went on for five months, without Max receiving a single response from them, until being told by Gala in July that they wouldn’t be discussing my nor any other PAB from this point forward, and for me to contact Gala directly. I did, and they never replied.

I was dismayed, but took slight consolation that Gala would be added to the rogue casino list, as stated in Pitch A Bitch FAQ’s 5.4, and others would be warned about their behaviour:

"If they repeatedly ignore us or give us the run-around we'll issue a Casinomeister Warning against them and let you know about it. After that we usually queue the casino up to be added to the Rogue Pit."

However, they weren’t ever added. I asked Max if they were going to be added to the Rogue List, and he said Casinomeister had no plans to.

I asked Max why Casinomeister was going against it’s own rules, after they were completely none-cooperative and silent for five months, and then refused to discuss anything. He refused to give an answer and told me to contact Bryan.

I emailed, Bryan, a month went by but he never answered. So I emailed again. Another few weeks went by with no reply. Then I received a block email send out about rogue casinos warnings this morning, and saw that Gala were nowhere to be found.

So why exactly is it okay for a company to take £895 of my cash, not give any response to Casinomeister as to why, but for them to carry on being an accredited casino, despite the Pitch A Bitch rules stating they’d do something? What’s the point in writing out so many rules on Casinomeister if you don’t actually keep to them?

There is a Gala representative on here. Perhaps he can explain why the casino is keeping my cash?

Sincerely

Andrew
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
There were some communication breakdowns while your PAB was being dealt with, and as you should be able to recall Gala casino was removed from the accredited section during this time. They were reinstated after we gained a new rep, and he told us that they were not able to divulge personal information about you and stated "...I've made sure the case has been reviewed and we are happy to respond to the customer directly by email if he still wishes to pursue the claim." Adam suggested that you bring this up with the UKGC and this is what Max conveyed to you. I'm pretty sure about this.

We don't "rogue" casinos for not cooperating with the PAB process - but they may be removed from the accred section if they fail to take care of complaints swiftly and fairly. Have you contacted the UKGC about this?

Please keep in mind that the during the past couple of months both Max and I have been on the road - especially me. Sorry for not responding to your email - there are a number I have not gotten to yet.

Rest assured we'll get an answer on this.
 

maxd

Complaints (PAB) Manager
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Location
Saltirelandia
... I asked Max why Casinomeister was going against it’s own rules, after they were completely none-cooperative and silent for five months, and then refused to discuss anything. He refused to give an answer and told me to contact Bryan. ...

I'm sorry but that's not what happened. You asked (more than once) why things were taking so long, I explained some of the history with these guys and made it _very clear_ that you weren't the only one who was unhappy with their conduct re PABs. You said "I don’t really see what the point of your service is." I explained that we help hundreds of players to the tune of $200,000+ per year and that yes, it was unfortunate that you weren't one of them. You said "why aren’t you issuing any kind of warning or adding them to the rogue pit". I replied:
(a) there's a lot of history behind this issue that you are not and could not be aware of. Suffice it to say [at this point] I feel pretty much the same way you do about that casino.

(b) They've been on and off the Accred list for a variety of reasons over the past couple years. The point being that they've not got off without action being taken. Where things stand at this particular moment is another discussion.

(c) I've already told you that if you want to debate this that you should talk to Bryan. He's the man who makes the decisions in these matters. Arguing with me is barking up the wrong tree.
...

In other words I replied to all your emails and gave you the best information and guidance I could under the circumstances. Yes, it was a crappy situation but you saying "He refused to give an answer" is flat-out bullshit and I don't appreciate you misrepresenting the situation, especially on the forums. That's trollish behaviour and unbecoming of a Casinomeister forum member.
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
The bottom line is that the Gala rep assured us that this issue would be taken of swiftly - I would like to know from the OP if he has initiated any communication with the casino rep here in the forum.
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
Back to the topic at hand. The Casino rep has made no effort to solve the player's issue. The player has provided a screenshot of the terms prior to his game play which do not indicate the "banned" game. So in essence we have no recourse but to base our decision on what the player has provided to us.

If the casino had truly believed this player was in the wrong, they would have given us a copy of their terms and conditions that were applicable to the player. They remained lackadaisical, and in the end gave us a "speak to the hand" email.

I've recommended that the player contact the UKGC and file a formal complaint. The UKGC should also be able to provide the player with a copy of the bonus terms from the day he signed up.
 

maxd

Complaints (PAB) Manager
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Location
Saltirelandia
I've recommended that the player contact the UKGC and file a formal complaint.

Just to clarify this a little: if the player approaches the UKGC with a complaint the UKGC will tell the player to read the casino's Terms, specifically the "Dispute Resolution" section which will name the casino's designated ADR.

FTR those Terms at Gala read as follows:
17.6. The Complaints and Disputes resolution policy is as follows:

Upon receipt of an escalated enquiry, the Customer Support Manager will obtain a report from the nominated Agent and Line/Team Manager as appropriate and carry out any further necessary investigation and respond to you. The response of the Customer Support Manager represents the final stage of the Internal Complaints and Disputes procedure.

Should you remain dissatisfied in relation to a Dispute, you do have the option to escalate the matter externally via an Alternative Dispute Resolution provider. Please see below for more information.

For customers in Great Britain:

You may escalate the matter externally to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).

The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) acts as an impartial adjudicator on disputes that arise between betting and gambling operators and their customers, after they have been through the operator's own internal dispute procedures and if deadlock exists.


The IBAS panel of betting experts apply their specialist knowledge to the facts and will adjudicate by reference to these Terms but do not rule on complex legal issues. As well as offering effective dispute resolution procedures, IBAS also check that we have complied with the standards set by the appropriate regulatory bodies and with the IBAS Terms and conditions of registration. IBAS can be contacted at www.ibas-uk.com or via telephone on +44 (0)207 347 5883 or via post at IBAS, PO Box 62639, London EC3P 3AS. You may refer a dispute to IBAS at any time following the conclusion of our review of the dispute, so long as this is within twelve months of the date when the dispute arose.

In other words, under UKGC rules, if a UK player wishes to press their complaint -- after having tried to get resolution at the casino -- they will need to file at the designated ADR, in this particular case that is IBAS. There are no other options.

The same does not apply to non-UK players, they are told to file their grievance at the
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
. Again, no other option.

Players should know that it is the casino's decision to take this route, they could just as easily accept player complaints from us -- or any other 3rd party -- if they wanted to, the UKGC rules do not prohibit them from doing so. What the new rules allow them to do is say "talk to our designated dispute handlers or piss off" because that's the bare minimum the UKGC requires of the casino in terms of handling player disputes.

Other UKGC casinos can and do accept player complaints from us and the process works perfectly smoothly. In fact they've told us that they see the ADR route as "the last step for the player before they take legal action".

Reading between the lines here we see that the ADR route is the absolute minimum the law requires of a casino holding a UKGC license to provide in terms of player dispute resolution. Any casino that automatically defaults to the ADR procedure for disputes is doing no more for their players than they are required to by law, any less and they'd be breaking the law. Players need to decide for themselves if that's the level of Support they are willing to accept at their casino of choice.

Good luck Gala customers! :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:

maxd

Complaints (PAB) Manager
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Location
Saltirelandia
One thing I forgot to mention: unfortunately the UKGC rules only allow casinos to mention UKGC-Accredited ADRs -- eg eCOGRA and IBAS -- so the players simply can't know from reading the Terms how reasonable, or otherwise, any given casino is willing to be in terms of working with non-Accredited ADRs. For now it looks like that information will have to be a word-of-mouth thing between players themselves.

Gala could find itself wishing it had accepted PABs from Max and the equivalent from other player facing sites rather than forcing all players down the route of ADR then legal action.

I'm sure you know that Gala is far from alone in this. There are a goodly number of casinos taking the same route, many are those that were never keen on talking to 3rd-party complaints people in the first place. They now seem to think the UKGC rules allow them to give the same old two-finger salute with one hand while smugly holding up their UKGC license with the other. Let's hope that the laws you mention end up giving them a bad case of oh-shit-itus.
 

paul7388

Ueber Meister
MM
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Location
glasgow scotland
Okay must ask a few questions.

Its your forum and I respect your decision on how you rate casinos. But must ask how this affects coral for instance who are accredited. As they belong to the same group it seems weird having one rogue and one accredited.

Also I understand why you decided they are rogued from what you put. But like you said you are taking the players word at face value since the casino would not respond. But many other casinos have played the spirit of the bonus abuse, Seemed to change terms etc and don't cooperate in PABs and are maybe listed as not recommended but aren't rogued.

I personally have found Gala to be more than fair and would rate them highly and I got paid once from a no deposit bonus in which I think I might have broke the terms but withdrawal went through no problem.

I know Its your choice and I know I will get a lot of flak for questioning of other members but I feel there are a hell of a lot of places so much worse than Gala that aren't rogued. But im sure many members play at Gala and would trust it a lot more than many other casinos. I would have thought placing them in not recommended would have been enough and explaining why as Rogued just seems a bit far as its making them out to be worse than many casinos including the virtual group etc from only one complaint.

I know its a serious complaint and Gala never responded when given the chance but it still seems harsh to me to rogue them. Especially when coral who in same group are one of the best places to play online. I am quite surprised they would just change terms to avoid paying one player £850 as it is an amount that is nothing to a company that size. It looks maybe like game was added to list about same time as player was playing it and whoever checked saw it in terms and wouldn't pay as it was listed there. Seems more than a mistake than anything even tho it doesn't condone non payment but I would be more than surprised if someone high up panicked and went damn that players hit a fortune change terms so he doesn't get his money.

If Gala were in the habit of doing this and deliberately not paying players then surely the forums would be littered with complaints as it is a very popular casino.

Anyway Bryan as I said I respect your decision and maybe I shouldn't be questioning it but feel this once I had to say that personally I feel its a bit harsh when you look at casinos that are bad but not actually rogued.

Anyway no need for members to tell me all these reasons why Bryan is correct as like I said I respect his decision but feel myself personally its quite harsh.
 

citizenx

Non-Gambler
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Location
UK
Okay must ask a few questions.

Its your forum and I respect your decision on how you rate casinos. But must ask how this affects coral for instance who are accredited. As they belong to the same group it seems weird having one rogue and one accredited.

Also I understand why you decided they are rogued from what you put. But like you said you are taking the players word at face value since the casino would not respond. But many other casinos have played the spirit of the bonus abuse, Seemed to change terms etc and don't cooperate in PABs and are maybe listed as not recommended but aren't rogued.

I personally have found Gala to be more than fair and would rate them highly and I got paid once from a no deposit bonus in which I think I might have broke the terms but withdrawal went through no problem.

I know Its your choice and I know I will get a lot of flak for questioning of other members but I feel there are a hell of a lot of places so much worse than Gala that aren't rogued. But im sure many members play at Gala and would trust it a lot more than many other casinos. I would have thought placing them in not recommended would have been enough and explaining why as Rogued just seems a bit far as its making them out to be worse than many casinos including the virtual group etc from only one complaint.

I know its a serious complaint and Gala never responded when given the chance but it still seems harsh to me to rogue them. Especially when coral who in same group are one of the best places to play online. I am quite surprised they would just change terms to avoid paying one player £850 as it is an amount that is nothing to a company that size. It looks maybe like game was added to list about same time as player was playing it and whoever checked saw it in terms and wouldn't pay as it was listed there. Seems more than a mistake than anything even tho it doesn't condone non payment but I would be more than surprised if someone high up panicked and went damn that players hit a fortune change terms so he doesn't get his money.

If Gala were in the habit of doing this and deliberately not paying players then surely the forums would be littered with complaints as it is a very popular casino.

Anyway Bryan as I said I respect your decision and maybe I shouldn't be questioning it but feel this once I had to say that personally I feel its a bit harsh when you look at casinos that are bad but not actually rogued.

Anyway no need for members to tell me all these reasons why Bryan is correct as like I said I respect his decision but feel myself personally its quite harsh.

I'm not going to tell you that you're wrong but I am going to say that I think this behaviour of theirs is appalling in every way.

I hope that they never get accredited again.

Scummy behaviour. Should be ashamed of themselves.
 

shawshank

Full Member
PABaccred
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Location
UK
I'm sorry but that's not what happened. You asked (more than once) why things were taking so long, I explained some of the history with these guys and made it _very clear_ that you weren't the only one who was unhappy with their conduct re PABs. You said "I don’t really see what the point of your service is." I explained that we help hundreds of players to the tune of $200,000+ per year and that yes, it was unfortunate that you weren't one of them. You said "why aren’t you issuing any kind of warning or adding them to the rogue pit". I replied:


In other words I replied to all your emails and gave you the best information and guidance I could under the circumstances. Yes, it was a crappy situation but you saying "He refused to give an answer" is flat-out bullshit and I don't appreciate you misrepresenting the situation, especially on the forums. That's trollish behaviour and unbecoming of a Casinomeister forum member.


I must apologise about this, as in hindsight the wording in my original post did misrepresent the responses you gave to me and the effort you put in to trying to get this resolved. My wording should have said that although you were very cooperative and felt the same way as me about Gala, that you were unable to give a response as to exactly why action wasn't being taken against them as it was not your decision to make or divulge information that you couldn't, but that I was also unable to get a response as to why from anyone else when it was suggested I tried. You are completely right on this and I'm sorry for my original post looking disparaging against you.


I personally have found Gala to be more than fair and would rate them highly and I got paid once from a no deposit bonus in which I think I might have broke the terms but withdrawal went through no problem.

But personally I've found them to be very unfair and unwilling to cooperate, or actually give any sort of a justified reason for keeping my winnings.


It looks maybe like game was added to list about same time as player was playing it and whoever checked saw it in terms and wouldn't pay as it was listed there. Seems more than a mistake than anything even tho it doesn't condone non payment but I would be more than surprised if someone high up panicked and went damn that players hit a fortune change terms so he doesn't get his money.

Having been stung before with other casinos, I always make sure I check terms thoroughly on any sign up bonus to make sure that I'm in no way violating their terms and conditions. I know how easy it is for a casino not to give you winnings if you've violated any term however small, which is why I always go over bonus conditions in advance. Especially now, since this happened I make sure I screen grab the terms wherever I play. There is absolutely no way that the game I played on was excluded at the time I joined or played, as the screen grab attests. If it was, it would have been very easy for Gala to rebut my claim, but instead, when faced with the screen grab of their terms I sent them, they chose to ignore it and cite general and vague bonus abuse t&c's, without divulging anything further.

On Bryan's advice, I'm now contacting the UKGC who should be able to provide me with a copy of their terms as listed on the day I played, which will vindicate me, and then I will be able to post it here for you to see.

Obviously I can’t say I’m pleased that they were rogued. The purpose of trying to discuss the matter with Gala through Casinomeister was so that I could get the winnings I feel are rightfully mine, not that they would be thrown in the rogue pit. But I am very grateful to Bryan and Max for their handling of the matter and the action taken, as since Gala have been rogued, their rep has contacted me this morning, which is the first word I’ve heard from them in eight months of trying to deal with them. So hopefully something will come of this.
 

dunover

Unofficial T&C's Editor
Staff member
webmeister
PABnonaccred
PABnononaccred
CAG
mm3
Joined
May 22, 2012
Location
the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
Okay must ask a few questions.

Its your forum and I respect your decision on how you rate casinos. But must ask how this affects coral for instance who are accredited. As they belong to the same group it seems weird having one rogue and one accredited.

Also I understand why you decided they are rogued from what you put. But like you said you are taking the players word at face value since the casino would not respond. But many other casinos have played the spirit of the bonus abuse, Seemed to change terms etc and don't cooperate in PABs and are maybe listed as not recommended but aren't rogued.

I personally have found Gala to be more than fair and would rate them highly and I got paid once from a no deposit bonus in which I think I might have broke the terms but withdrawal went through no problem.

I know Its your choice and I know I will get a lot of flak for questioning of other members but I feel there are a hell of a lot of places so much worse than Gala that aren't rogued. But im sure many members play at Gala and would trust it a lot more than many other casinos. I would have thought placing them in not recommended would have been enough and explaining why as Rogued just seems a bit far as its making them out to be worse than many casinos including the virtual group etc from only one complaint.

I know its a serious complaint and Gala never responded when given the chance but it still seems harsh to me to rogue them. Especially when coral who in same group are one of the best places to play online. I am quite surprised they would just change terms to avoid paying one player £850 as it is an amount that is nothing to a company that size. It looks maybe like game was added to list about same time as player was playing it and whoever checked saw it in terms and wouldn't pay as it was listed there. Seems more than a mistake than anything even tho it doesn't condone non payment but I would be more than surprised if someone high up panicked and went damn that players hit a fortune change terms so he doesn't get his money.

If Gala were in the habit of doing this and deliberately not paying players then surely the forums would be littered with complaints as it is a very popular casino.

Anyway Bryan as I said I respect your decision and maybe I shouldn't be questioning it but feel this once I had to say that personally I feel its a bit harsh when you look at casinos that are bad but not actually rogued.

Anyway no need for members to tell me all these reasons why Bryan is correct as like I said I respect his decision but feel myself personally its quite harsh.

It's the lack of communication that's the crux here. I am presently going through the same talk-to-the-hand with another casino (although not accredited in an accredited group). The pig-ignorant lack of communication is hellishly frustrating and stressful, especially when an answer or decision is so simple. I personally don't care if this site Gala or my one is considered wonderful by 90% of other members - the fact they have the propensity to ignore simple and reasonable questions and demonstrate a total lack of support to a player with issues invalidates their whole claim to have any customer-orientated ethos.

A site should have consistent and unbiased attitudes to ALL their players and exercise due care in all complaints and issues. Ignorance is the most underhand and crappy behaviour, and the most upsetting and stressful for the player with a problem and also those trying to mediate like Max - especially when money is deemed to be owed.

I'll give 2 examples - recently my case at Spin Genie whereby it cost me £50-odd to claim a £5 bonus because they never take pending withdrawals out of your balance and ring-fence them like every other site. Once aware of the issue, a phone call to me, apology and restoration of my original w/d amount paid as they made the call. 10/10 for communications, speed and player-friendly resolution.

Secondly, after playing and regularly depositing/wd'ing at Betsafe they became aware I was still under a SE at Mr Smith which I did after winning a big amount on the Rhino. They contacted me and told me they were locking the account, going by the spirit of UKGC rules and zeroing my bets (which resulted in me getting a small refund of the difference between w/d's and deposits in my Betsafe account). Again, speedy action, good communications and fair ethical resolution plus an apology for not spotting my Mr. Smith SE while playing at Betsafe.

Those 2 examples are what being an accredited site, or meeting those standards is all about. For this reason, refusal to talk to CM as a mediator, no matter how good they are (Sky Vegas is another that didn't take accreditation seriously) ipso facto means they cannot be accredited, and are either NCD or rogued.

Gala have forced stress upon a player when all they needed to do was supply a quick answer and explanation. Instead they won't talk to CM (they could if they chose to) and are forcing him to jump through hoops and more time and stress by going down the IBAS route - basically giving him the middle finger and saying 'what ya gonna do about it??' So yes, for this demonstration of their true colours alone they won't see me regret them going in the pit. I know what it's like to be on the receiving end.
 

KasinoKing

WebMeister & Slotaholic..
webmeister
PABnonaccred
CAG
MM
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Location
Bexhill on sea, England
... as since Gala have been rogued, their rep has contacted me this morning, which is the first word I’ve heard from them in eight months of trying to deal with them. So hopefully something will come of this.
Might be a coincidence - but I pointed out this thread to my affiliate manager yesterday and have been having "a bit of a go at them" on Skype over your issue for the last 2 days.

Funny thing is, THEY contacted ME first to ask if I would be going to the Berlin conference in a few days time - the first part of my response was:
No, I'm not. Are you going to bother?
It's seems Gala aren't too bothered about anything much: https://www.casinomeister.com/forum...-reinstated-then-removed-again.67131/?t=67131
Maybe I shouldn't bother promoting you any longer...

KK
 

hedgehok

Meister Member
mm3
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Location
Germany
What a completely weird reaction by them. It really seems like they are not negotiating their business decisions once they have been divulged, not with players and not with ADR's or Max.

I had quite some experience with them this summer. I won ~€50k in one month in a remarkable winning streak on a table game promotion and hitting a huge bonus-round on Zeus 3. They paid EVERYTHING in under 24h. I was Gold-VIP and it was probably my favourite casino for quite some time. I also had a great VIP manager who was always very accommodating.

3 days after this big win I received the following e-mail:

Hi T...,
Please be advised that GalaCasino.com has, with regret, taken the decision to cease operating in Germany with immediate effect.

Based on your account details, you are registered as being resident in Germany. Unfortunately you can no longer play at GalaCasino.com and your account will be closed.

If you have any balance remaining in your account please log in and withdraw the remaining funds before Friday 18th September. Please ensure your payment details are correct, if you need to update them please contact Customer Services.

The decision has been made for commercial reasons and we wish to stress that our activity in providing the services on our website, or your use thereof, is not in violation of any local laws in Germany.

Kind regards,
The Gala Casino Team

:rolleyes: Coincidence ?

So I continued playing there under the assumption to be able to place wagers until 17th September. Round around the 12th of September I had a €100 cashback in my account (some of you might know, they only have a WR of 1x) but was unable to play ANY games since they where restricted on my account.

I contacted my VIP manager and they told me that they went through all accounts manually and restrict them even before the deadline. So they basically denied me to wager through my cashback and be able to withdraw. I tried to negotiate, even asking to just credit my Skrill with €80 (TRTP would be something around €96) but they kept their decision.

Very sad to see them being so narrow-minded, unresponsive and unable to negotiate with players and mediators.
 

AdamGala

Newbie member
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Gibraltar
Hi,

Apologies if it seems like we have been quiet on this issue - we've been active behind the scenes and can confirm we have since resolved the players complaint to his satisfaction (This was done around 2weeks after the original post - Bryan / The complainant can confirm)

We can't get into the details here however I will say it certainly was not a simple issue of a player winning from a bonus and not being paid! We have hundreds of new registrants a month that enjoy our opening bonus, and go on to make a withdrawal without fuss.

Apologies if there has seemed like there are gaps in communication here.

Also to confirm, Gala are no longer in the Rogue list, and I'll personally continue my presence here to assist with any issues that may arise (Since May there have only been a few but these have all seen prompt attention) so please feel free to PM me with any feedback or queries.

Kind Regards
Adam
 
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