Online Casinos: The Good and The Bad


Dormant account
Dec 22, 2004
Good morning players,

In hindsight I should have investigated the casinos before I deposited my money, but cest la vie, we live and we learn.

I deposited $100.00 and took a bonus with Portofino casino. Portofino has video poker games that you can play 100 hands at once. This is precisely what I was doing when my $25 (.25*100) hand of deuces wild dealt me 4 deuces. Certainly the biggest single hand win of my gambling career. A quick run over to the Portofino website to read all the fine print, and back to the casino to start working on the astounding playthrough requirements (had to wager $22,500).

Met the playthrough requirements and requested a withdrawal. I received an email asking for some documentation, front & back of all CC's, ID, bank statement, utility bill, and signed for all deposits made over the previous year and a half. Did it, scanned em all, emailed them off. Two weeks go by and no withdrawal. I emailed the casino, and they said they needed my Social Security card. It wasn't part of the original required documentation, but to the scanner it went.

Another 2-3 weeks, and I log in to my casino account to see if the money has been moved, but there's a problem; I don't have a casino account as it has been blocked. No response to email. Call the casino, gal on phone cannot help. Call back a few days later; guy on phone says account blocked because they think I have multiple accounts. He's not forthcoming as to why they think I have multiple accounts, only mumbles something about they found another account with not the same but a similar email address.

Wrote these folks a nice, clear, professional letter. There is no response. Telephone calls are not returned. Emails are left unanswered. A word of advice for anyone in any industry; unhappy customers are usually not best handled with avoidance and silence.

I wrote them another letter this morning, less nice, less clear, less professional. :)

*A copy of this letter is below, maybe I'm delusional and they had every right to sieze my funds. Please tell me if I am.

Lesson: Investigate BEFORE you deposit.

But I don't want my fist post to be completely negative, so if you allow, let me speak highly of two other casinos.

First Web Casino has/had a 200% match bonus for new players. Off I went and downloaded, registered, netellered $50 in to my account. I cashed out 2 hours later with $1500.00, which was deposited into my neteller account the foloowing day. A week later they send me an email informing me they had deposited another free $100 in my casino account. Kudos for FWC.

Showdown Casino sent me an email offering a free $25.00 chip. Opened the account and won. Read the fine print on their website. I had already met the playthrough, and just needed to make a real money deposit ($20 min.) prior to any withdrawals. Deposited $50 and requesed a withdrawal. Two days later my $1300.00 winnings were in neteller.

So that's two big thumbs up for FirstWeb and Showdown, and a big thumbs down for Portofino. However I only have two thumbs, so I'll select a different finger for Portofino ;)

Anyhow, all my gaming now consists of Omaha/Stud/Holdem, and according to Pokertracker, I am NOT the biggest loser out there. I'm also having alot of fun playing.


Portofino Letter

Good Morning,

I sent an earlier email in November, and I have yet to receive a response.

I will briefly discuss the issues raised in my previous emails.

I opened my account in March, 2003. I played regularly, never exceeding $100.00 per deposit, but I'd make regular deposits, probably averaging twice a month over the 19 month period I played at your casino. I have never contested a deposit (chargeback?), and have never requested a withdrawal. On October 1st, I deposited $100.00 and was fortunate enough to win a nice payout playing deuces wild poker. I had accepted a bonus on my $100.00 deposit, and was required to make some minimum wagers (only on slots). I met the playthrough requirements (wager $22,500.00) and requested a withdrawal.

I was contacted via email and informed that I needed to have some information on file ( a 'faxback' form). I submitted the documents that were requested. After another 2 weeks or so, when I emailed to inquire as to the status of my withdrawal, I was asked to send additional information (Social Security Card) that was not originally requested. I submitted the additional requirements.

Another two weeks, and I check to see if my deposit has left my casino account and discover I have no casino account, as it has been blocked. Another email to discover why my account was blocked goes unanswered. Several telephone calls to get a vague, "you have multiple accounts". I do not have multiple accounts. As I stated in an earlier email, at some point between March 2003 and October 2004, I downloaded the software onto a friends laptop. I don't see this friend often, and have no idea if/when/how she uses the software.

Portofino's refusal to pay out my win isn't just. IF I did have multiple accounts, there is no way I could have used these accounts to give me any sort of edge with the games. If it is Portofino's position that my downloading software through the same ISP that I played my account with constituted a violation of section three of the 'Terms & Conditions', I would invite a closer examination of the wording of the section:

Only ONE ACTIVE ACCOUNT is allowed per person, household, family, household address, e-mail address, credit card number, and environments where computers are shared (university, fraternity, school, public library, workplace, etc.). Winnings will only be dispersed to players having one account. Not abiding by this rule is grounds for forfeiture of any and all winnings.

I have respectfully requested Portofino to review this decision, but apparently Portofino believes the appropriate way to deal with this is silence. Since my telephone calls are not returned and emails are not answered, that leaves me talking/typing to a brick wall. I will seek remediation via alternative avenues.
If Portofino still uses Real Time Gaming software (I'm pretty sure it does), file a complaint with Link Removed ( Old/Invalid)

They attempt to regulate any problems or discrepancies with casino who use that software.
Macgyver is right. Getting Montana involved is the only way to deal with this crooked casino. Several months ago,I deposited $25,lost all but raked up some comp points. I requested these be converted to casino crdits but was told I needed to send them the faxback form which I did for 5 times and they still said they didnt receive them. Later,as in your case,they kept silent and did not respond and I had to ask for montana to intervene. Even after they ruled in my favour,I still could not convert my comp points until I contacted montana again. All this,mind you,for a measly $9 but its the principle that counts. I lost all and I suspect that I would have been for a nsaty encounter if I had attempted to cashout. Good luck!
Thank you for the link Macgyver, I filled out the information today. I would have preferred not to publically mention the name of the casino, but I had given up any hope of recovering my winnings (they did return my deposit after closing my account). Had I known of MontanaOverseas, I would have refrained from mentioning the name of the casino, at least until Montana exhausted whatever influence they have. I don't think it helps my cause to publically badmouth a company as I'm trying to reach a resolution with them.

chuchu- I forgot I have 147 or so comp points available. At least I did when I had an account. I'm a frequent complainer (more of a mutter under my breath) of the faxback form, and other documentation most casino's require, but I think it's a necessary evil. In most cases, it's a one-time burden and then you're able to enjoy faster payouts. Or so I hear. I just submitted documentation today to another casino that I had to sign my full name ONEHUNDREDSIXTYEIGHT (168) times. Apparently I don't make large deposits but I make a lot of them. I did mildly complain in good humor, and they told me to sign my name large enough to cover a few lines at a time. But the signing was done, and I told them I know what Tiger Woods must feel like.

slotchik - I don't recall what exactly I won on the hand. I was dealt 4 deuces, and tossed the 5th card as 4 deuces with an ace pays extra. I think I caught about 8 aces on the draw. I think it was around $5300.00 or so. The requirement of the bonus was I had to play 30x (on slots only) the combined bonus+ original deposit ($750 = $22,500). After the playthrough was met and I requested a withdrawal, they would remove the bonus ($650.00) and then limit the maximum withdrawal to 2x the bonus amount - or $1300.00.

So that's what I did. After hitting the deuces I went to the slots and played until I met the playthrough (had about $2300 left), threw the rest of the money into keno (was basically for fun at that point, even if I win, I couldn't withdraw any more money). I requested a cashout at $1950.00. They paid $100.00 and closed my account. According to my calculations, I got stiffed for $1200.00.

luckydave said:
I'm a frequent complainer (more of a mutter under my breath) of the faxback form, and other documentation most casino's require, but I think it's a necessary evil. In most cases, it's a one-time burden and then you're able to enjoy faster payouts.
I've used something like 80-90 different casinos...

The only ones I've have to fax ANYTHING to were RTG casinos.
The ones with the most convoluted T&C's were RTG casinos.
The majority with stupid 'sticky bonuses' were RTG casinos.
The ones I had to wait longest for payout were RTG casinos...

RTG? :puke:

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