Rogued Playtech Casinos with predatory progessive terms

Casinomeister

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Just lately, I was revisiting a player issue which has really bothered me. In case you have forgotten (or were unaware) this was the problem with Sylvia P. who had won over $4.1 million dollars from a progressive slot at Joyland casino back in 2008. The casino had withdrawal terms of $9k per month and had applied this to her progressive win. That would have taken 39 years to pay out. :rolleyes:

So the casino cut a deal with her using non-casino email addresses (thus erasing any evidence of dodginess), and she received about half. That thread is here:
https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/stipulations-on-playtech-progressive-win.31033/

Playtech upheld the casino's decision stating that "it was in the terms and conditions, which she agreed to..." I was also told by the COO of William Hill back then (they had purchased Joyland and the casinos that went with it) that the $9k a month withdrawal limitations applied to progressive wins was unacceptable, and that the terms would be removed.

Well guess what folks? The term is back. And not only is it back at Joyland casino, but it is being used on +40 Playtech casinos - which are now listed here:
https://www.casinomeister.com/rogue-casinos/

Most of the casinos listed have $9k - $15k a month withdrawal limitations and apply this to progressive wins as well. These are officially Not Recommended at Casinomeister. Would you recommend these casinos to anyone? I sure won't.

And just a note - most Top Game casinos do the same.
 

dunover

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Jeez, they've learnt nothing???

I'm sorry, but if PT is prepared to allow it's software providers to hide these unreasonable T&C's away and still allow them to offer progressives, then PT are as rogue as the sites themselves.

In the UK, if a lottery scratchcard states '1m POUNDS TOP PRIZE' you get 1m pounds when you submit the ticket. If the scratchcard states 'Top prize 50,000 POUNDS A MONTH FOR 2 years' you get exactly that.

IF this sorry sh*t is to be allowed to continue, then a banner should be put on the picture links to these slots at ALL Playtech casinos that have this surreptitious term CLEARLY stating that the jackpot may take decades to be paid out. I know we all say 'read the terms carefully' but over a matter as serious as this all doubt should be removed.

In the case above, the casino (assuming Playtech has paid the $4.1 to them already) has basically made the player feel like a favour has been done while diddling them out of 2m bucks. This scenario should never be repeated.

Coincidentally, I have also tried to get a straight answer about this question on the recent BOF thread regarding the Playtech 'Fly Casino and see how evasive they were:


https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/fly-casino-sister-site-to-omni-casino-bbf-thread.57275/


All I wanted to know was 'do you get the jackpot up front'/if so 'why impose monthly instalments' and where do the millions sit before they are finally paid out to the player?

Hmmmm..... one more reason I'm glad I never play Playtech.
 

vinylweatherman

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Jeez, they've learnt nothing???

I'm sorry, but if PT is prepared to allow it's software providers to hide these unreasonable T&C's away and still allow them to offer progressives, then PT are as rogue as the sites themselves.

In the UK, if a lottery scratchcard states '1m POUNDS TOP PRIZE' you get 1m pounds when you submit the ticket. If the scratchcard states 'Top prize 50,000 POUNDS A MONTH FOR 2 years' you get exactly that.

IF this sorry sh*t is to be allowed to continue, then a banner should be put on the picture links to these slots at ALL Playtech casinos that have this surreptitious term CLEARLY stating that the jackpot may take decades to be paid out. I know we all say 'read the terms carefully' but over a matter as serious as this all doubt should be removed.

In the case above, the casino (assuming Playtech has paid the $4.1 to them already) has basically made the player feel like a favour has been done while diddling them out of 2m bucks. This scenario should never be repeated.

The BIG problem with Playtech is that the payouts are not done via an annuity, but can stop at any time if a casino goes bust. Playtech however, have handed over the whole amount to the casino, so apart from the publicity, operators get a substantial interest free loan over a number of years, if not decades.

Joyland actually lasted 6 months from this incident, then the whole group was bought out by Will Hill in what looked like a "rescue deal". Worse still, the other half of the jackpot could not be traced in the company accounts. Since this was never the operator's money, it should have been recorded separately in the accounts, and what happened to it possible to trace by Will Hill's auditors.

All players who play these network progressives are being stolen from whenever an operator pockets all or part of one.

It's even more damning when the CEO of Will Hill lies to Bryan when the issue is in the public gaze, and then slips the offending terms back in over time when the fuss seems to have died down. He clearly meant that the term was "bad PR", rather than being "unacceptable" from a moral perspective.

This latest "outing" will probably result in the terms again being removed and branded "unacceptable", but we will have to see whether they get slipped back in after the fuss has again died down.


Yet another example of why I have this personal dislike for Playtech as a brand.
 

Casinomeister

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... It's even more damning when the CEO of Will Hill lies to Bryan when the issue is in the public gaze, and then slips the offending terms back in over time when the fuss seems to have died down. He clearly meant that the term was "bad PR", rather than being "unacceptable" from a moral perspective...
Actually, it was the COO Peter Marcus who I was in contact with back then. He said that they were removing the term - which they did. But it's back. Peter Marcus has since moved on.
 

Casinomeister

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I've just noticed that Prime Casino is listed there...but they are Microgaming - yet they used to be Playtech powered. This is probably a term held over since then. I know that Microgaming will not allow their casinos to piece-meal progressive payments. Casino Rewards tried this in the past once and got nailed for this.
 

vinylweatherman

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Actually, it was the COO Peter Marcus who I was in contact with back then. He said that they were removing the term - which they did. But it's back. Peter Marcus has since moved on.

I see, so he took his higher moral standing with him, and the new COO reverted to form and started putting the terms back in.

How is this "proper player protection" as it holds progressive winners hostage to the fortunes of the company for years, even decades. Online casinos just don't last that long. Another nail in the coffin for the argument that there is no need for the UK to change the rules in order to "afford proper player protection".

The ONLY way to stagger payments in this way for a progressive would be the purchase of an annuity that would guarantee the payments independent of the fortunes of the company or software provider. I fail to see how the UKGC would consider a prolonged payment agreement dependent on the casino lasting another few decades as adequate protection for the player concerned. Given that the court action is about the whitelisted jurisdictions arguing that player protection is already up to standard, they should be ensuring that their licensees do not undermine their arguments by introducing such terms when there is a substantial body of case history that shows that players' funds often vanish when an operator goes bust.

I would hope the UKGC has specific regulations governing staggered payments of large wins with the aim of ensuring that winners still get all the payments no matter what befalls the company after the payout is agreed.

The motive I see for operators in preserving the current system is the ability to use network progressive funds to help with operating costs, which is a risk for the player concerned as the company may thus not have the necessary funds to continue the payments if they make bad business decisions.

There have been enough failures of Playtech operators that it will be a matter of when, not if, the next staggered payment of a network progressive goes wrong because the company has run out of money. This will happen at a time when the UK government, along with many EU ones, are changing the rules such that "offshore" licenses are not enough to offer gambling to citizens.
 

Westland Bowl

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Maybe Playtech owners are planning to sell it and don't want to be paying out any big progressive wins before they do? Yeah, stick the liability to the future buyer to do with it as they want.
 

vinylweatherman

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Maybe Playtech owners are planning to sell it and don't want to be paying out any big progressive wins before they do? Yeah, stick the liability to the future buyer to do with it as they want.

In the Joyland case, Will Hill refused to accept liability because they could not trace what happened to the money. One thing is clear from this, the remaining half of that win, some $2million, did not get passed over to Will Hill as part of the company assets, so it had to have been removed by the previous owners, and some "creative accounting" done to cover this up. This is nothing short of fraud, but they got away with it, and Playtech let them.
 

maphesto

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I've just noticed that Prime Casino is listed there...but they are Microgaming - yet they used to be Playtech powered. This is probably a term held over since then. I know that Microgaming will not allow their casinos to piece-meal progressive payments. Casino Rewards tried this in the past once and got nailed for this.

According to Wayback Machine, Prime Casino did not have that term the first years as a Microgaming casino, it was added later. Very strange. :confused:

Prime Casino are using same gaming license as accredited Palace Group, I find these things strange.
 

naththo

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Very disappointed news to hear that!

That is very disappointed news to hear that. Such a shame that adhere to T/C about tight financial payment per month. It should not happen like that if it was for progressive jackpot. It seems unfair. While casino earns more money than we earn each week. So really its not acceptable. I am hoping it does not apply to other like Betfred or Omni casino or casino.com something like that.

I want to say thank you for letting us know. It is very important to let us know if something had changed or gone wrong. Thats why I am glad I joined with casinomeister.
 

Blathaon

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Is there any particular reason why Playtech don't pay the progressive wins directly?

With the amount of rogue playtech casinos you would think that Playtech would want to make sure that they didn't get any unnecessary bad press.
Playtech is a huge provider and yet there are only a few decent casinos, which is a real shame as they make some excellent slots.
 

vinylweatherman

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I've just noticed that Prime Casino is listed there...but they are Microgaming - yet they used to be Playtech powered. This is probably a term held over since then. I know that Microgaming will not allow their casinos to piece-meal progressive payments. Casino Rewards tried this in the past once and got nailed for this.

They have been Microgaming for YEARS, so such an old term should have long since disappeared. Microgaming should insist that such terms not even be present, not just not enforced, it can give the wrong impression that this is an allowed term for a Microgaming casino, and very few players would ever be in a position to discover it was no longer being enforced.

What view does Microgaming have over the recent practice of applying max cashouts to deposit related bonuses where funds over the amount are simply confiscated, rather than paid in instalments? This too is something I never expected to see with Microgaming, but I also never expected to see players lose their money when any Microgaming operator went bust.
 

Richas

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I would hope the UKGC has specific regulations governing staggered payments of large wins with the aim of ensuring that winners still get all the payments no matter what befalls the company after the payout is agreed.

Nowhere near good enough I am afraid. They do not require the segregation of player funds for example. With my poker focus Full Tilt's collapse made this requirement a high profile item but even post that fiasco the UKGC did not shift to requiring segregated funds as IoM do. They saw this as disproportionate but this is likely as they deal with listed large bookmakers rather than remote gambling startups. They (rightly) saw the big bookmakers as relatively secure. Obviously this pattern of who they licence is about to change.

More imminently though the UKGC is due to have a public consultation on the protection of player funds. They have already discussed this with their licencees and the public consultation is due to start in days rather months.

I will be inputting to the consultation on some poker specific stuff (mostly the way responsible gambling in poker relies on good bankroll management so funds on site are often very large compared to the average bet so poker players esp poker pros whose bankroll is their working capital need high levels of protection) but this jackpot issue with payout shenanigans seems to me to be an important issue that someone should be inputting to them about.

Any volunteers? Maybe you or Casinomeister fancy drafting something once the consultation questions are in the public domain? Maybe a collaborative site users effort?
 

Casinomeister

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...I am hoping it does not apply to other like Betfred or Omni casino or casino.com something like that...
All casinos listed here do not piece-meal their progressive winnings. It's part of the standards listed here:
Link Outdated / Removed
Must pay out progressive jackpot wins in full or in reasonable chunks, regardless of any terms and conditions limiting payouts.

Is there any particular reason why Playtech don't pay the progressive wins directly?...
They pay the amount directly to the operator in full within 48 hours (after the obligatory fraud check). Playtech has never taken the position to police how the operators pay these progressive wins - I guess this would be up to the licensing jurisdiction.
 

Blathaon

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All casinos listed here do not piece-meal their progressive winnings. It's part of the standards listed here:
Link Outdated / Removed



They pay the amount directly to the operator in full within 48 hours (after the obligatory fraud check). Playtech has never taken the position to police how the operators pay these progressive wins - I guess this would be up to the licensing jurisdiction.

This is a real shame, it's not the casino that won, its the player playing at the casino. Does MG and NetEnt do the same? Or do they pay directly to the winning player?
 

Casinomeister

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I'm pretty sure MGS pays directly into the player's account and not to the operator (bear in mind some of the information I have is five years old). Net Ent I don't know. But I haven't seen these sort of terms anywhere else but Playtech and Top Gaming.
 

vinylweatherman

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Nowhere near good enough I am afraid. They do not require the segregation of player funds for example. With my poker focus Full Tilt's collapse made this requirement a high profile item but even post that fiasco the UKGC did not shift to requiring segregated funds as IoM do. They saw this as disproportionate but this is likely as they deal with listed large bookmakers rather than remote gambling startups. They (rightly) saw the big bookmakers as relatively secure. Obviously this pattern of who they licence is about to change.

More imminently though the UKGC is due to have a public consultation on the protection of player funds. They have already discussed this with their licencees and the public consultation is due to start in days rather months.

I will be inputting to the consultation on some poker specific stuff (mostly the way responsible gambling in poker relies on good bankroll management so funds on site are often very large compared to the average bet so poker players esp poker pros whose bankroll is their working capital need high levels of protection) but this jackpot issue with payout shenanigans seems to me to be an important issue that someone should be inputting to them about.

Any volunteers? Maybe you or Casinomeister fancy drafting something once the consultation questions are in the public domain? Maybe a collaborative site users effort?

They need to get it right, because a failure of a UKGC licensed operator that leaves players out of pocket would be a huge embarrassment.

I think the argument is about how, not if, players funds are protected. An alternative to segregation would be an insurance backed scheme. If done properly, it would have the same effect, but would not tie up large sums of money in a segregated account.

Banks were never required to hold all deposits in segregated funds, and this was thought to be safe because of the size of the banking sector. The result was hugely embarrassing, and also very costly, with the whole global financial system on the brink of failure. Now, banks are being required to hold a higher proportion of liquid cash, as well as taking measures to ensure that depositors cannot lose their funds when the merchant banking and market speculation departments screw things up.

Usually, a company that takes customers money with it on going bust results in calls for regulation of that sector, but casinos are already regulated, so blame will fall on the UKGC, and by association, the government. Those offshore regulators who lost out under the new regime would take the opportunity to argue that the UKGC has failed in the very task it was set up to do, protect players better than in the current system of whitelisted jurisdictions.
 

Richas

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They need to get it right, because a failure of a UKGC licensed operator that leaves players out of pocket would be a huge embarrassment.

I think the argument is about how, not if, players funds are protected. An alternative to segregation would be an insurance backed scheme. If done properly, it would have the same effect, but would not tie up large sums of money in a segregated account.

Banks were never required to hold all deposits in segregated funds, and this was thought to be safe because of the size of the banking sector. The result was hugely embarrassing, and also very costly, with the whole global financial system on the brink of failure. Now, banks are being required to hold a higher proportion of liquid cash, as well as taking measures to ensure that depositors cannot lose their funds when the merchant banking and market speculation departments screw things up.

Usually, a company that takes customers money with it on going bust results in calls for regulation of that sector, but casinos are already regulated, so blame will fall on the UKGC, and by association, the government. Those offshore regulators who lost out under the new regime would take the opportunity to argue that the UKGC has failed in the very task it was set up to do, protect players better than in the current system of whitelisted jurisdictions.

I entirely agree regarding the necessity for UKGC to get this right (in their own self interest as well as players) and I also agree that IF they get it right it puts another nail in the coffin of the idea that sites choosing their own regulator is the way to go.

I am persuaded that some insurance scheme or pool could deliver the required protection but the details are likely to be complex and involve insurance/finance firms who may have their own issues or may have problems insuring a site that has gone 100% rogue as Full Tilt did by crediting players with money they had not collected and paying out dividends from player funds too.

Where a fraudulent site goes bust any insurance policy is likely to be busto too. Forcing segregation and checking on that with auditors seems to me to be far simpler. I am open to persuasion though if the details of the protection scheme are clear and do work for players. if not just letting them pocket the interest on the player segregated deposits looks quite generous to the sites. The fact that they have used player funds as working capital before is to me the problem rather than something to use a workaround for IF it puts player funds at any risk.

Either way advertising a huge jackpot and then spending many years to pay it out without interest is horribly misleading.
 

chayton

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TBH I don't get the phrase "reasonable chunks" - what I see as reasonable may not be reasonable to the casino or vice versa. And if the casino is getting paid the full amount from Playtech, then the player should get paid the full amount too.

What's the point of letting the casino keep part of a players winnings for months? The only winner in that scenario is the casino. Progressive wins should be paid in full to the player period.
 

dunover

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TBH I don't get the phrase "reasonable chunks" - what I see as reasonable may not be reasonable to the casino or vice versa. And if the casino is getting paid the full amount from Playtech, then the player should get paid the full amount too.

What's the point of letting the casino keep part of a players winnings for months? The only winner in that scenario is the casino. Progressive wins should be paid in full to the player period.

I know - it's hard to see who has actually 'won' the jackpot. The casino, or the player?
 

Mouche12

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Truly and utterly appalling and criminal behaviour. Is it not worthwhile for this winner of the JP to institute legal proceedings against William Hill, based on this unfair term and their rogue behaviour?
 

bsilva028

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fortunally i dont play at any of the casinos listed.

related to prime, they still are microgaming if you try download it from the site, and i read somewhere that who processes their banking is palace group.

in fact with which rules?
 

zanzibar

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This is nothing new. I emailed our good friend the Gibraltar gambling commissioner about this in September of 2011.

Looking back at my email I specifically mentioned WHG International, bwin/party and Mansion so at the time William Hill was paying jackpots piecemeal, just as now. Paying in large chunks or one lump sum is the exception rather than the rule for Playtechs.

I gave an example clause they all use and provided links to articles about the Joyland fiasco.

BTW if you want to know where the money went, I'd start by asking Teddy Sagi. After all, Playtech was paying the jackpot money to Joyland casino which they more or less owned indirectly through a subsidiary. If you consider that structure, it makes a lot more sense why Playtech pays the casinos rather than the player.

The email concluded like this:

Frankly I believe William Hill still owes this woman $2 million, as they bought the Joyland Casino business from Playtech, debts and all. I am not naive enough to believe that it will ever be paid though.

Now here is the worst part: to the best of my knowledge, Playtech pays the casinos that offer these progressive jackpots the full winning amount if a player wins the jackpot at their casino. It is then up to the casino to pass the jackpot on to the player.

I am sure you can see the inherent contradiction in the casino receiving the full jackpot amount in one lump sum, but the player only receiving it in $10,000 monthly instalments over 15-35 years.

What I would appreciate is if you could comment on how this sort of clause fits in with your licensing requirements and whether you think that it is an appropriate business practice for casinos regulated under your jurisdiction? It is my opinion, and that of many players that I have spoken to, that these sorts of terms are unacceptable for casinos that are regulated in the world's most respected licensing jurisdiction. I would like to see your casinos obliged to pay progressive wins in a much shorter and legally defined timeframe.

I'm still waiting for a response.

Also after reading that back and in light of recent events, I am shaking my head at my own description of Gibraltar as "the world's most respected licensing jurisdiction".
 

zanzibar

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Also forgot to mention that IGT are not much better.

If you win with them you'll be paid in 20 annual instalments which, if the jackpot size is less than 2.4 million, is actually worse than 10,000 a month or 120,000 a year that the Playtechs offer. They also give the player the option of taking a reduced lump sum up front, as Joyland did when they ripped off that woman. The only difference I see is that it is all written in stone in the terms and conditions, and possibly that IGT pays the player direct?

I still find it odd that they are treated as an exception to the CM "reasonable chunks" rule though.
 

Casinomeister

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Reasonable chunks: this was brought up by an operator who wanted to pay a player several hundred thousand dollars at one time - the player requested that the amount be split up into reasonable chunks because of tax purposes. That's all - something that is reasonable to both parties with legitimate reasoning.

There are some casinos that pay out $500,000 per month - and I would consider that reasonable as well.

IGT is a way different story - it has to do with US banking and lottery laws - and this is explained here:
https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/igt-wagerworks-and-their-megajackpots.52932/
 
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