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Vernons Casino withholding money

Discussion in 'Casino Complaints - Non-Bonus Issues' started by Alifay, Feb 20, 2012.

    Feb 20, 2012
  1. Alifay

    Alifay Dormant account

    Wage Slave
    New Milton England
    I recently signed up with Vernons casino after seeing an advert for them on TV offering £20 absolutely free and 100% first deposit bonus up to £250. Too good to be true? you betcha. The free money and £250 bonus all applied as it should have, and MY money was taken without qualm, as id guess is fairly standard, but thats where my good feeling ends.

    After playing through a massive wagering requirement, i found myself in a position where i had about £4500, with about the same again to go in wagering requirement. At that point i decided to try a few video slots, as money spent on those counted 100% towards requirement, under the idea that once the requirement was met, anything i had left would be withdrawn, as I wasnt massively impressed with the casino as a whole.

    Heres where it gets funky. With a few pounds of the wagering requirement to go, i hit the free game feature on The Incredible Hulk. The VERY last spin throws up a hell of a curveball, a 5-symbol win, totalling £30000! At that point feeling pretty lightheaded with the shock, i decided to attempt to withdraw it all, and had all these ideas of what to spend it on.

    Three days after this, i receive an email from them, saying i would need to send off detailed photographic ID to their 'accounts headquarters' in the Philippines, to verify my details were as they should be. No email address to send a photo of it, they want the ACTUAL documents in their office...is this standard practice? surely not. :/
  2. Feb 20, 2012
  3. thelawnet

    thelawnet Dormant account

    Hardly to be good to be true.

    The bonus is non-cashable and they get your £250 subject to heavy wagering requirements.

    No, it's not. Notarised documents sometimes, but you should not send original ID.

    Could you please paste the email in here, so we can see exactly what they have said?
  4. Feb 20, 2012
  5. Alifay

    Alifay Dormant account

    Wage Slave
    New Milton England
    Reading the email more closely, it does actually ask for a notarised version...at the expense of sounding a little dumb, how does that vary from the actual document? (email will be posted shortly)
  6. Feb 20, 2012
  7. thelawnet

    thelawnet Dormant account

    You just take the doc to the solicitors (notary public), they charge you anything up to about £100, and then they copy it, stamp it as authentic, and you send it off to the casino. The casino can call the solicitor to confirm.

    I was charged £75 for this service but I did have the casino pay for it.

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    For UK purposes documents can be authenticated by any solicitor for much less than this, but the casinos in bananaland tend to ask for 'notarisation', which is a rarer and more expensive service.

    I would contact your local notary, find out the cost, and ask Vernons to pay.

    Do think it's very shoddy that they are a UK brand, registered in Alderney, but farmed out to the Philippines for this kind of thing.
  8. Feb 20, 2012
  9. Alifay

    Alifay Dormant account

    Wage Slave
    New Milton England
    And here is the email that is causing me so many problems :)

    Dear Alistair,

    This is Celine from the Vernons Casino Support Team.

    Please disregard the first email that you received requesting for a copy of your ID with proof of address. What we need in order to process your withdrawal requests is a copy of your notarized ID and proof of address. This document is necessary as the amount of your withdrawal requests is considered as big payment.

    Kindly send the document(s) to;

    ID Verification
    14/F Yuchengco Tower
    RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala
    Makati City 1200

    Note that the Notarized ID must display the following:

    • Photo
    • First and last name
    • Billing address as registered in the account
    • Birth date
    • Expiration date (if one is not present on the document please specify)
    • Signature
    • Notary seal

    Express mail is recommended; as regular post may take about 2-3 weeks for delivery. Once the requested document is received, it will be added to a secure file and we will advise you accordingly on the matter.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    If you have any problems or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Vernons Support Team 24/7 via one of the following methods:

    Online chat support: available from the lobby
    Email: This email is not visible to you.
  10. Feb 20, 2012
  11. Alifay

    Alifay Dormant account

    Wage Slave
    New Milton England
    Ah i see, thanks for the advice! :) to be honest, i was starting to wonder whether i would ever see any of this money, so went a little mad with bets i was making in blackjack etc, and now stand at just shy of £42k...to be honest id not care at all if vernons wanted to deduct that notary fee from it, as long as it got sorted haha.
  12. Feb 20, 2012
  13. cdomi66

    cdomi66 Experienced Member

    truck driver
    Calgary, AB
    It does say "copy" of notarized id and address...seems pretty standard to me
  14. Feb 20, 2012
  15. Alifay

    Alifay Dormant account

    Wage Slave
    New Milton England
    The more that experienced people are commenting on this, the more im looking to have overreacted a little :) To be honest, i normally use William Hill casino, and have made some fairly large withdrawals from them without any kind of notarisation required...again UK based, but seemingly a much smoother running operation!
  16. Feb 20, 2012

    PNEFOREVER2 Senior Member MM

    Parcel Sorter.
    I signed up to this casino other night having seen the advert on TV and used the £20 ND just to try them out,didn't make a W/D but I shall be keeping an eye on this thread.

    Congrats on the win-hope all go's as smoothly as possible.
  18. Feb 21, 2012
  19. P.V.

    P.V. Senior Member webmeister

    Make money!
    Turn around...
    The casino should know that the Philippines are not in the EEA list of countries. Here's the list for those interested.

    There are no restrictions on the transfer of personal data to EEA countries. These are currently:

    Czech Republic
    Germany Greece

    The European Commission has decided that certain countries have an adequate level of protection for personal data. Currently, the following countries are considered as having adequate protection.

    Canada Faroe Islands
    Isle of Man

    Although the United States of America (US) is not included in the European Commission list, the Commission considers that personal data sent to the US under the “Safe Harbor” scheme is adequately protected. When a US company signs up to the Safe Harbor arrangement, they agree to:

    •follow seven principles of information handling; and
    •be held responsible for keeping to those principles by the Federal Trade Commission or other oversight schemes.

    You will need to be satisfied that in the particular circumstances there is an adequate level of protection. For UK personal data the Act sets out the factors you should take into account to make this decision. These relate to:

    •the nature of the personal data being transferred;
    •how the data will be used and for how long; and
    •the laws and practices of the country you are transferring it to.
  20. Feb 21, 2012
  21. LaHutti

    LaHutti Sr. ÜberUnter Ass. Man. webby PABnonaccred PABaccred

    East and West
    I don't know this casino, and I haven't read their terms and coditions, but I would suggest that you be very careful what you do, in terms of "betting crazy", from this point.
    We have seen bad examples of players screwing themselves badly, playing, winning, reversing, winning more, and end up being completely screwed, by other casinos.
    If I was you, I would cash out, do whatever they ask for documents wise, and get the money out of there, without risking your win. You can always go back, after you have the money.
    Just my opinion, and a friendly advice...I would just hate to see another big winner get screwed, on som technicallity.
  22. Feb 21, 2012
  23. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Web Dev.
    I find it odd these casinos ask for private info to be sent to the Phillipines. Why would a brand like Vernons not say send it to London and then, if they really have to, they send it to the Philippines. Them asking me for that would make me nervous as hell!

    Asking for notarised docs suggests to me one of two things: either they think you are a fraudulent player or you have done/said something to upset them LOL. I know of instances where players have been very rude to support staff and just to make a point, the casinos have made them jump through hoops like this to get a withdrawal (I'm not suggesting you did that by the way - just using an example).
    1 person likes this.
  24. Feb 21, 2012
  25. JuicyFruit

    JuicyFruit Non-Gambler

    IT Consultant
    Homeward Bound
    Passports don't have all info requested by Vernons.

    The only UK ID I can think of that has all this information is a Driver's Licence. If one doesn't drive, what type of notarized ID would be acceptable for UK players as passports don't contain the billing address? Or can you send in a mishmash of ID, albeit all notarized?

    I have an account with Vernons, although I have not played there very much. Until this is sorted, I won't be playing there anymore as I don't drive at the moment. Also, being UK based, surely their verification process for UK players should be based on the electoral roll and other financial checks that all other casinos seem to implement (e.g. BigCasino, Virgin, etc.), which precludes the need to ask for any docs.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  26. Feb 22, 2012
  27. thelawnet

    thelawnet Dormant account

    I was asked for docs when I won a progressive at another playtech.

    I think it's just a standard procedure based on win size. If you win say $100, they have one set of id requirements, $1000 might be email ID, and $10,000 might be a physical copy. There might be other procedures associated with large cashouts too, check for any malfunction or cheating...

    It makes sense to do this and doesn't imply that he's upset them (well other than winning money, of course!).
  28. Feb 22, 2012
  29. Jasminebed

    Jasminebed Cool old lady

    Not in workforce
    Firstly, congratulations on your awesome win.

    I'd send email copies of your ID, make sure that these will be the correct ones they want notarized. In the event that they are not what they want, or all they want, you will save yourself some delay, and possibly some money in notary fees.

    To avoid temptation to continue playing, see if the casino will either flush your withdrawal so it is not playable, or ask for a temporary exclusion until the sum is able to be withdrawn.

    This office in the Phillipines is related to Playtech somehow, it's not the first time a player has been asked to send docs there. This has been requested by several different Playtech casinos. There have been no complaints I've read of payments not being made after complying, or of any misuse of information provided.
  30. Feb 23, 2012
  31. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    STILL At Leisure
    United Kingdom
    For 42K, it is well worth doing this. If anything goes wrong, make a formal complaint to Trading Standards as vernon's is a UK company, and has to abide by UK law. The law states that UK companies are responsible for personal data even where they have sent it to their subcontractors. They are supposed to ensure any subcontractor handles the data in accordance with UK laws where it relates to a UK player.

    Whilst 42K is a large payment, it is pretty routine by casino standards, and MOST casinos don't bother asking for postal copies of documents, let alone notarised postal copies. Whilst that particular building is secure, the security in transit relies on the postal systems of a number of countries. The sheer frequency of requests to send such documents to this particular address is likely to attract the attention of a criminal group, who will see it becoming worth their while trying to intercept such post at the weakest point in terms of security. This is not necessarily going to be in the Philipines, and could in fact be done here in the UK where the use of agency workers by the Royal Mail provides opportunities for criminal gangs to inject their own people past the outer security measures in order to tamper with the post.

    It is best NOT to rock the boat until the money has been paid, but this sending of documents by post to the Philipines is unique to Playtech. If the EU are yet to consider the Philipines a safe country for the handling of personal data, it seems some government ministers have been "asleep at the wheel" as these same Playtech casinos are on the UK whitelist, and SHOULD have been required to comply with laws surrounding data security as a condition for being on this whitelist.

    Since this regime is due to change to one of secondary licensing, it may be worth making sure that the procedures for granting these licenses include requirements about where player data can, and cannot, be sent for processing.

    Funnily enough, the biggest scandal regarding personal data misuse was traced to Israel, a country considered a safe place for handling personal data. The assassination of an arab activist was done by people who entered on forged UK passports, and it was found that the originals had been intercepted and copied in Israel when supposedly being handled safely.

    That address is Paragon International Customer Care, a subsidiary company of Playtech. I found this out because they advertised some jobs on a Philipines based recruitment site, and this same address was given for prospective workers to send in their applications. The nature of it's connection to Playtech is detailed in the notes to the accounts of Playtech, a UK listed company. The company handles the "white label" Playtech casinos, which further reveals that vernon's casino is NOT actually Vernon's, but a white label that uses it's name for branding. This could land Vernons in trouble if a consumer complaint reveals that there has been misleading of customers into believing they are playing at vernon's itself, and it turns out not to be the case, with Vernons trying to deny any responsibility for the actions of the casino.

    William Hill casino is not actually William Hill itself, but run by another company called William Hill Online, a joint venture between William Hill and Playtech, which for the first time makes Playtech an operator, not just a software supplier. The joint venture has had a rough ride, with the most recent incident being a strike in it's support centre, and a falling out between the partners (William Hill and Playtech).

    These white label Playtech casinos that run off well known brands should NOT be asking players to post anything to the Philipines, it is a PR disaster, and looks even worse because of the official policy of Playtech denying they have any offices or employees in the Philipines, and that any staff there are working for the individual casinos. This makes it look like it is these UK brands themselves that are based in the Philipines, which contradicts what THEY are trying to get across to customers. The whole thing looks like a web of deceit, but if the companies just told the truth about who was connected to whom, and where, the whole thing begins to make sense.
    To deal with the current situation, the casinos should be having their players post documents to a local office, or that in their licensing jurisdiction. From here, they could be quietly forwarded to the Philipines without getting players worried about what was going on. This is probably what some Playtech casinos do, but because this is handled internally, players do not know their data ends up in the Philipines, so do not worry unduly.
    2 people like this.
  32. Feb 29, 2012
  33. liverpool10

    liverpool10 Dormant account

    Casino Manager
    Vernons Casino

    Hi to all in the thread,

    I am one of the Casino Managers at Vernons and have just seen this thread. A request for a player's notarised ID to be mailed to us is an extremely rare occurrence and I can fully understand why the process may have seemed cumbersome. This requirement for proof of identity and for us to be able to verify satisfactorily a person's identity is covered within the player account terms and conditions. Depending upon the value of the transactions and the general pattern of activity within the account this may occasionally mean there is a requirement for the ID to be notarised or certified by a solicitor. This is in line with our enhanced due diligence process. When we are advised by our risk and fraud departments to make these requests our UK compliance officer gives final authorisation. Also, we have since amended all our processes to ensure UK players are always provided with our UK address should we for any reason require notarised ID to be sent via mail. I hope this helps with any questions but would be happy to answer anything further. Vernons is proud of its heritage and will always continue to act responsibly and be a trusted name in gaming.

    1 person likes this.
  34. Feb 29, 2012
  35. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    STILL At Leisure
    United Kingdom
    So, why the Phillipines address in the first place, whether or not it is the wrong one to give to a UK player.

    It's all very well ensuring CS give the UK address from now on, but this does NOT answer the question. What has this Phillipines based company got to do with it in the first place? You are Vernons, a UK company based in the UK, running your online operations out of the EU. No connection whatsoever to an company in the Phillipines.

    Although giving the UK address makes the process less worrying for the player, this is surely only an "interim maildrop", with these notarised documents then being forwarded to the Phillipines company through your internal systems. The worry here is mainly that the Phillipines is NOT on the list of countries considered safe under UK and EU rules for the handling of this type of data, and such data should NOT be going there until such time as the UK and EU add this country to the list. The current situation opens you to action should anything go wrong with the security of such data, and the UK Information Commissioner's office may view your choice of a Phillipines based company, rather than an EU based one, for verifying players' identity as an act of negligence, which would rob you of the defence of "unforseeable circumstances", or that you "did all that was possible" to keep the data secure.
    It may not have happened yet, but the risk is that it might, and this issue will blow up in Playtech's face. Nothing they can do now will convince me that they are NOT using this Phillipines company to handle sensitive player documents and data, even though I believe that once it arrives in that building, it will be just as secure as it would be with an EU based company. It is the postal journey that presents the risk.

    On the other hand, sending such documents via email is JUST as risky, even more so if done over a public WiFi or insecure home network.

    The solution is NOT about giving a country specific address, but finding a more secure way of uploading documents directly to secure servers, coupled with using local notaries to inspect the documents and verifying them WITHOUT the need to send them through the post. It is a bit like how the UK banks work. If you take a certified document to a branch, it can be verified in person, and by an employee who has the authority to clear the documents without the need to have them forwarded to head office.

    In the UK, this could be done at high street shops (if present), and the ORIGINAL documents looked at by a local manager, and if they are OK, this is communicated to head office. The local manager could also take copies of the originals, which would immediately make them "certified copies" having been "certified" by having been done by a company employee from the original, and these, if necessary, could be forwarded internally to head office.

    Another question for the rep, what about the problems caused by the UK governments decision NOT to introduce national ID cards. It has left no universal photo ID system that is equally available to ALL Citizens. The drivers licence, although generally accepted, is available ONLY to those considered medically fit to drive, and then only if they pass the test. If you have diabetes for example, it is not a case of "can't be bothered", but a case of "not allowed a license for medical reasons". It is insulting for such people to be more or less told that their refusal to get a driving license is evidence that they have something to hide, and should be treated with suspicion.

    Although they could get a passport, it is a MAJOR step, and is not an ID document, but a travel document. As such, it does NOT have the holder's address printed on it, as this is held in a database, and linked to the passport number. A player at a different Playtech casino was told he had to have a photo ID with his billing address on it, which appeared to rule out the use of a passport. If medically unfit to drive, there would be no way to get a photo ID that shows the address, as the driving license is the ONLY one that does. The "pass" scheme proof of age cards are the only other photo ID available, but do not show anything other than the holder's name alongside the photo, and conformation that they are above a certain age. They are meant to prove age in a shop, rather than prove identity.

    Such players have nothing to send to either the Phillipines nor the UK. I am also puzzled as to why a major company like Vernons would even CONSIDER subcontracting such an important and sensitive matter as player's identity documents to a company with no name (unless you dig really deep;)) based in some large multi-occupancy building in Manila.
    1 person likes this.
  36. Feb 29, 2012
  37. maphesto

    maphesto Dormant account

    Please send a PM to Casinomeister and tell him you are a casino rep. Then players can reach you when they search at i-Gaming Reps at the top of the page.
    2 people like this.
  38. Mar 1, 2012
  39. P.V.

    P.V. Senior Member webmeister

    Make money!
    Turn around...
    Mail/post is probably the most unsecure way to share personal, sensitive data. Honestly you should look at more secure and encrypted ways for players to provide information to your staff for verification.

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