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Non-Bonus Complaint William Hill Casino club demands comprehensive private financial information about me

Discussion in 'Casino Complaints - Non-Bonus Issues' started by K2014, Oct 29, 2014.

    Oct 29, 2014
  1. K2014

    K2014 Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Taking care of my family
    Location:
    UK
    Hi all,


    I have been playing a lot in dozens of online casinos during the last several years and never encountered such a problem before.
    Generally I have been quite lucky with one exception, William Hill, where I had for a long time a terribly bad luck.
    During that time, they were very nice.
    Recently, I started winning back some of the money I lost over there.
    Then, at some point William Hill stopped paying me, locked my account, and started demanding that I supply them with
    comprehensive private financial information.

    William Hill did not mind when I explained that I would not trust delicate financial information with any commercial enterprise, let alone an off-shore casino which is neither a regulated financial institution nor a regulated governmental body. They simply did not care.

    Although their demands were extremely intrusive and in fact most probably illegal, I was willing to compromise and offered to send the required information to their regulator, the GRA, instead of to William Hill. They refused my offer!
    I asked the GRA for help but the GRA basically said that William Hill may ask for any private information to
    be sent directly.

    The GRA also advised me that If I was uncomfortable cooperating with William Hill's requests then I should consider taking legal action against them.

    I would like to emphasize that William Hill did not dispute that I won properly. They also verified my identity and my address. Their "only" demand was that I supply them with comprehensive financial information about myself for the past 3 years. When I refused and asked for clarifications for their behavior they wrote me that they have a right to ask for any financial information, including, and they confirmed the items on the following list one by one: information about my earnings, property ownership, other gambling sites I play at, transfer of funds in my family, and more, all during a period of 3 years.

    It is a very big sum for me, the winnings that William Hill is not paying, and it has been going on for several months now. So I will be very grateful for any advice on the matter!
     
  2. Oct 29, 2014
  3. dunover

    dunover Unofficial T&C's Editor Staff Member CAG PABnononaccred PABnonaccred PABinit mm3 webmeister

    Occupation:
    International Money Launderer
    Location:
    the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
    So you've passed the KYC checks by the sound of it. The piece I bolded I have never heard of before, and is thoroughly outrageous. WH is a casino not a mortgage lender! The relevance of property ownership and earnings I cannot fathom. The inference here is that you are cashing out a handsome sum of money or they suspect you of some kind of impropriety. Often the latter 'suddenly' arises due to the former, especially with Playtech casinos.

    As for the legal aspect, before Rumpole replies I'd suggest that it is in their T&C's somewhere which you agreed to and secondly they are regulated by their LGA. They are duty bound under their regulator to safeguard any financial information or documents you submit. If you want to get paid, play ball.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Oct 29, 2014
  5. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    If that is true then it is disgraceful. I just did a quick text search through their small print terms for the items you describe and can find no mention of it. You don't even need to give such detailed information when taking out a loan let alone receiving funds that you have fairly won.

    Do you have an email from them containing this demand or was it contained in a live chat session?

    If casinos are allowed to pull stunts like this then it is outrageous.
     
  6. Oct 29, 2014
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Play ball, and then report them to the Information Commissioner's Office for a breach of Data protection laws.

    Terms are a contract, and are trumped by the law. If they are that concerned, they should ask the police to investigate, who would have the right to obtain such data in pursuit of the investigation, but they would NOT share this with a commercial company.

    In any case, they have no means of double checking much of this information, so will have to rely on your honesty. At best, they could obtain your credit files from the credit reference agencies in order to verify some aspects of the information, but this is something they can do in any case.

    If they weren't holding a large sum of money to ransom, you could just tell them to shove it, but since they are, it looks like you will have to play ball and then take action after.

    It is an offence for a commercial entity to request any more personal information than is necessary to provide the service and obey any laws and regulations surrounding the activity. In most cases, it has been companies trying to fish for enough data to get a good price when sold on for marketing purposes, and this has been the cause of a few raps of the knuckles from the ICO.

    In the case of WH, they are not simply asking for your data, but that of family members with whom they have no agreement. This is not only something they cannot do, but something that would be illegal for you to comply with unless you have the permission of these family members.

    By playing ball here, you will both get your money and drop WH right in it so deep that they will have a job digging themselves out. Most damaging would be a complaint from another family member about you being told to disclose their information to WH.

    Nothing like this has even been posted about before. The worst we have had in the past is a casino asking for a player to provide evidence of financial means, such as a payslip. Unfortunately, this is no measure of means because it only looks at current income, not personal wealth.
     
    3 people like this.
  8. Oct 29, 2014
  9. Nifty29

    Nifty29 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    PAID CASINO SHILL
    Location:
    Turn right, then right. then right again
    If the sum is large, then consult a lawyer.

    Ignore entirely any and all legal advice provided on the forum. It's about as useful as a plasticene cheese grater. Nobody is a lawyer here.....although there are some who think they are, which is a dangerous thing.

    The requests seem ridiculous....they also are highly unusual, and there is usually a reason behind "unusual". I'll say no more until both sides of the story are told.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. Oct 29, 2014
  11. ternur

    ternur A damn fine cup of coffee CAG webby mm3

    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Finland
    Respectfully disagree with you there :cool:

    But totally agree with you regarding legal advice on a forum. One should always consult a licensed lawyer in the jurisdiction where legal dispute arises.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Oct 29, 2014
  13. suzecat

    suzecat Dormant account CAG MM webmeister

    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    California
    This sounds like "chicken" where seemingly unreasonable demands are made in the hope the player does not comply and then the casino does not have to pay.

    I'd figure out if the benefit is worth the trouble. If you won life changing sums, then jump through the hoops. If there are new demands made after you supply these financial ones, I would say you are being played. IMO that's when a solicitor/attorney would be useful.

    Best of luck.
     
  14. Oct 30, 2014
  15. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    Having re-read your initial post I would like to ask you to clarify one thing - what exactly have they asked for? Here you say

    but then

    Does this mean that they actually asked for all of the things listed that they perceive they have a right to ask for, or were they just providing that list to say that they could ask you for any/all of them?

    In addition, have you asked them to detail what section of their terms and conditions that they state these requirements in?

    If this is all true, then it is really shabby. William Hill have been resident on UK high streets since I was wearing nappies and as a consequence this implies legitimacy and fairness. If they suspect you of something underhanded in your play or account credentials, then they should at least have the courtesy to explain this to you as the reason for the extended set of requests.

    I would heed all of Nifty's advice and consult a lawyer. If you know for a fact that your account is legitimate and you have done nothing wrong and the owed amount is significantly large it is surely worth a few hundred quid to get some cast iron legal advice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Oct 30, 2014
  17. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Even the comprehensive financial information about oneself over the past three years is none of their damn business. Who do they think they are, HMRC?

    They would only be able to argue a possible "right" for the listed information if it was in their terms, and the right would only extend to those who were a party to the contract. All they are permitted to ask for is ID documents and evidence that the deposits came from a source owned by the player, and that the money there is "clean". At worst, statements from the source of deposits is the most they can ask, anything to do with other family members or third parties is none of their business, and I am pretty sure these third parties would be shocked that such a demand has been made.

    If I sent my mother's and brothers bank statements to a casino I was playing at, I would be in breach of the law in the UK unless I first obtained written permission from them. A company would also be breaking the law for insisting I supply this information. Only the courts can require this information to be turned over, and a request has to be made by a recognised investigating authority.

    The main reason getting a lawyer involved is that they could send a letter to WH on your behalf, and this might make them see sense and water down their demands so that they are compliant with UK data protection laws, as they will know damn well that they might be able to fool a player, but they won't fool their lawyer. This should not cost more than £200, for a consultation and a legal letter to WH.

    The main reason why players often don't go to a lawyer is the potential cost, which in many cases is more than the disputed amount. Casinos think that most players will give up at this point and walk away. However, the few players that call their bluff often find that the casino will do anything to avoid the matter going to court. It even scared Betfair into caving in over their happy hour fiasco rather than defend their decision in court.
     
    3 people like this.
  18. Oct 30, 2014
  19. petro

    petro Dormant account, per user request PABnoaccred2 PABaccred

    Occupation:
    N/A
    Location:
    Narnia
    Here's my story about WH:
    I responded to a promo WH offered. After I deposited the promo disappeared and staff said it was a "technical glitch."
    So I withdrew.
    During this time they requested lots of verification even though I only had funds with them for 5 minutes and I did not play.
    I waited 2-3 months for my money and when I got it, only half of my deposit was there.

    I'm still fighting them for it.

    EDIT: I believe WH have a rep here that I contacted but I got no response. It could be the case that the rep is inactive.
    Also, I should mention that I have been abused by the staff of WH in the form of being ignored in live chat. This happened multiple times.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  20. Oct 30, 2014
  21. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    That sounds like the actions of a rogue casino - how the mighty have fallen :-(
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. Oct 30, 2014
  23. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    To the OP K2014: If you are on the up and up (not multi-accounting, or otherwise attempting to defraud casinos) and not 'fudging' with the truth, please file a Pitch a Bitch immediately and stop posting about this matter.

    To Petro: if you've gotten no response from the WH forum rep, please send Bryan or Maxd a PM and let them know. An unresponsive/out to lunch Rep doesn't do the forum - or the casino - a bit of good.

    Just my 2 cents....
     
    1 person likes this.
  24. Oct 30, 2014
  25. petro

    petro Dormant account, per user request PABnoaccred2 PABaccred

    Occupation:
    N/A
    Location:
    Narnia
    @ Mousey It's the I-Gaming Industry rep found here: http://www.casinomeister.com/forums/member.php?u=23717
    I don't know if an I-Gaming rep counts as a genuine rep.
     
  26. Oct 30, 2014
  27. matita

    matita Dormant account

    Occupation:
    not
    Location:
    england
    The terms Phishing and Identity Theft spring to mind - if you have only communicated in writing with them I would call WH over the phone and ask to speak with somebody in charge of their fraud department. Somebody might have hacked one of their email addresses or even worse, one of their staff members might have gone rogue and leaked clients personal information. Is in their best interest to make sure that their clients details are kept safe. I would start by changing your casino account password and your email address password just in case. I would also copy and paste in google parts of the first email they sent you to ask for documents to see if anybody else reported anything similar on a different forum (if this is actually phishing they would have sent the same template email to lots of people).

    I've been involved with online casinos for 10+ years and cannot think of any reasons why they should know whether you play anywhere else (they wish they knew that), let alone comprehensive financial information for the past 3 years. If they thought you were a fraudster they would have involved the authorities and let the police take over the investigation. Online casinos only need to verify your identity, address details and ownership of the card used to make deposits and in order to do that they only need to see a form of id, a recent utility bill and copy of your debit or credit card.
     
  28. Oct 30, 2014
  29. K2014

    K2014 Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Taking care of my family
    Location:
    UK
    Yes, I do.

    Should I post the full email correspondence here? Or should I just cut and paste the relevant parts?
     
  30. Oct 30, 2014
  31. petro

    petro Dormant account, per user request PABnoaccred2 PABaccred

    Occupation:
    N/A
    Location:
    Narnia
    This has happened before to a player. http://www.casinomeister.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46295
    The casino was Betfred.
     
  32. Oct 30, 2014
  33. K2014

    K2014 Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Taking care of my family
    Location:
    UK
    Hi all,
    Thank you for taking the time to help! Here is more information about my case.

    William Hill owe me more than 20000 pounds. In 2012 and 2013 I lost a much bigger sum than this in their casino. During this period, they were happy to receive my money, no questions asked. In 2014 I started winning back what I lost. At some point William Hill stopped paying and started to demand an unreasonable amount of private information. If this was a regular "know your customer" check, why did it start only after I started to win back what I lost? "Know your customer" checks are for customers who deposit a lot, not winning a lot, isn't it? During 2012 and 2013 I was winning quite a bit in many other casinos. None of them reacted as William Hill did.

    I presented my case to William Hill's representative here in casinomeister, several weeks ago. No answer.

    This is exactly one of the two reason why I was not willing to send them such information. During the last several years I did not work and therefore could not send them my salary slip, which anyhow they did not have the right to ask for. Therefore, supplying them with the information they demanded meant supplying them with comprehensive financial information about me and my family. The other reason being that my intensive gamblings do not always look nice to everyone. I did not mention it in my first post, but eventually, after the GRA wrote me, I did send William Hill a letter with proofs of substantial winnings in other casinos during the relevant period. They did not answer. To be sure, I sent that letter three times, the last time about a week ago.


    Yes. William Hill claim that it is their right to ask for all that information because their terms and conditions allows them to perform additional "checks". Of course, nothing in their terms and conditions allows them to strip me and my family of our privacy in such a manner. Their terms mention "checks" in relation to a proof of address and a proof of identity,
    which they received twice already and accepted. Interpreting "checks" as William Hill do, that is, as "our casino has a right to ask for any information about the player and her associates" is an unreasonably broad interpretation and an obvious excuse to delay or avoid paying me.
     
  34. Oct 30, 2014
  35. K2014

    K2014 Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Taking care of my family
    Location:
    UK
    They first asked for an ID, proof of address, proof of earnings, and a bank statement. I sent these [Edited: except for the proof of earnings]. I covered parts of my bank statement which contained private information. They answered that this is not enough because my bank statement did not show details of my earnings. I explained that I currently do not have earnings to show but in spite of the intrusive demand, I sent them again my bank statement, this time without hiding anything on it. Then William Hill started to demand proof of earnings for the last three years and the full content of my bank statements for the last three years! Here is their email, not edited except for hiding names and exact dates:

    Dear *******

    I am writing to you further with regards your William Hill Casino Club account. I have received your documents, thank you for sending them to me. The ID and proof of address has been verified. Unfortunately I cannot accept the bank statement you have sent as there is no detailing of your earnings displayed.

    I have now suspended all activity on your account until I have received proof of earnings for the duration of your account, opened in *****2011. I will require the full content of the following documents;

    • Proof of earnings
    • Bank statement

    Please note, until we have received legitimate copies of these documents your account will remain suspended. I look forward to hearing from you.


    We then had several more exchange of emails. In these William Hill claimed that their terms allows them to ask for anything to justify my level of gambling. Since, in practice this would mean to provide them with comprehensive financial information about me and my family, I asked them for detailed clarifications for what they thought they could ask for. At first, William Hill ignored my questions so I had to asked them again and again but eventually they answered.

    ME TO WILLIAM HILL:

    Dear ******

    Here is a clearer version of the email I sent you yesterday. Please ignore the previous one.

    Thank you for your answers. In the terms you referred me to, I could not find anything that entitles your casino to require the extensive information concerning my private financial matters that you demand as a condition for paying me the money you owe me.

    All I see mentioned in your terms are forms of ID, bank statement and utility bills, all of which I already sent you more than once, except for a notarized ID which I will be willing to provide you with, if asked for, although you confirmed that you already verified my identity.

    My savings and my family savings had been accumulated during many years from various sources. I would therefore like again to ask in more detail what kind of information do you insist that I provide. For example:

    1. Concerning funds from my savings and my family savings, must I provide you with a list of these savings? Yes or no?

    2. Concerning funds from my family's property sale, must I provide you with copies of the sale documentation itself? Yes or no?

    3. Concerning funds from winnings at other casinos (I have been playing at quite a few of these) must I provide you with screen shots of each major winning I had during and before the time I was playing at your casino? Yes or no?

    4. Concerning family's funds, must I provide you with documentations confirming such financial transactions? Yes or no?


    Thank you,

    *********



    WILLIAM HILL'S ANSWER:

    Dear *******

    Thank you for your email, however there was no attachment as mentioned in your correspondence.

    In answer to your questions regarding what you must send. If these funds have supported your gambling level with William Hill Casino Club, then yes you must send us the proof before we can fully verify your account.

    You have stated you cannot see anything within our Terms and Conditions advising we may ask for additional information. Paragraph 5.2 states clearly our rights concerning deposits made and Paragraph 5.4 advises that we may ask for any additional information including bank details and statements:

    5.2 By agreeing to the Terms of Use You authorise us to undertake any such verification checks from time to time as we may require ourselves or may be required by third parties (including, but not limited to, regulatory bodies) to confirm these facts (the "Checks"). You agree that from time to time, upon our request, You may be required to provide additional details in respect of any of such information You have provided us, including in relation to any deposits which You have made into Your Account.

    5.4 In certain circumstances we may have to contact You and ask You to provide further information to us directly in order to complete the Checks. For this purpose, we will be entitled, at our sole discretion, to require that You provide us with a notarised ID or any equivalent certified ID according to the applicable law of Your jurisdiction or otherwise, proof of address, utility bills, bank details, bank statements and bank references. Until such information has been supplied to our satisfaction we may prevent any activity to be undertaken by You in relation to the Account or we may, where we reasonably believe that deliberately incorrect information has been provided by You, keep any amount deposited on the Account following the closure of the Account by us.

    I must advise again that until we have received satisfactory information and documents to support your reasons your account will remain suspended and your withdrawal in pending status.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Regards
    **************
    Customer Relations Operations Manager
    William Hill
    0800 085 9296
     
  36. Oct 30, 2014
  37. K2014

    K2014 Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Taking care of my family
    Location:
    UK
    Sorry Mousey, I am new here and not familiar with the local humor. What is file of pitch a bitch? I wrote to the William Hill casino representative and he did not answer.
     
  38. Oct 30, 2014
  39. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    This looks like they want proof that you had the funds to support your level of play, but it's odd that they waited all this time to ask. The time to ask was when you were over 20K in the hole, not when you had won most of it back. They seem to assume that the only permissible source is earnings from employment, but what about all those "rich toffs" who inherit "daddy's money" and live the high life without ever having to do a day's work in their life.

    Given how rare this type of request is, and how reasonably common it is for players to have "worth" outside of regular employment more than enough to support being 20K down at one individual casino, it looks like they are certain you are using "stolen funds" with which to play, and they are now asking you for extensive proof that you were the legitimate owner of said funds deposited over the past 3 years.

    If you can't get anywhere with their rep, or with a PAB (look up, tab "casino complaints", hover mouse over it to reveal menu, and it's the first item "Pitch a Bitch"). Click on this for a guide and online form for submitting a mediation request to Casinomeister (done by his employee Max, who has more than a decade of experience in the industry) to mediate between yourself and WH in this matter.

    If this fails, then you will have to get your lawyer to handle these requests from WH, with the ultimate aim of taking them to court to recover YOUR money which they are now holding.
     
    1 person likes this.

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