BAD PUBLICITY FOR BET365
Punters case taken up by influential UK newspaper.
The Guardian, one of the UKs influential daily newspapers, has given exposure to an online punters claim that Bet365 has been stalling on payment of GBP 54,000 in winnings since April.
The betting company has declined to comment on the issue, but is generally perceived to have a good reputation and is possibly erring on the side of caution in complying with anti-money laundering regulations required of UK operators.
Nevertheless, the aggrieved punter claims that she has been trying since late April to withdraw GBP 54,000 in legitimate horse race winnings back to her debit card.
The Guardian reports that the frustrated punter is now seeking legal remedies against the betting company in an issue which began with her opening a Bet365 betting account on April 16 with a deposit of GBP 30,000, GBP 23,000 which she promptly lost in her first horse racing wagers.
That prompted Bet365, possibly identifying a high roller, to up her maximum bet limit.
The punter then enjoyed a good run of results over the ensuing two days, taking her remaining balance up to GBP 54,000…and Bet365 then allegedly reversed its betting limit decision, telling the punter that her maximum race betting wager was now reduced to GBP 1…but she was welcome to use the companys online casino facilities without restriction.
Angered and frustrated by the companys attitude, the punter started the withdrawal process, requesting that her GBP 54,000 be returned to her debit card. She was assured by Bet365 towards the end of April that her identity had been verified…but the money was not returned.
The Guardian reports that a series of telephone and email exchanges then took place between punter and betting company regarding the unpaid winnings. This included a requirement to provide bank statements, which the punter says she met…but no pay-out was made.
Approached by the Guardian for comment on the issue, player advocate Paul Fairhead said that an increasing number of punters are suffering similar treatment from online operators when they request withdrawals from their accounts.
“I see at least one new case like this every week,” Fairhead told the newspaper. “Nobody should have difficulties like this. They are holding on to the money in the hope that the problem goes away.
“I’ve heard stories of punters being asked to take selfies holding up documents, and then being told that the documents still aren’t enough and that they need to be signed by a bank manager or a notary as well.”
Fairhead believes that it is time for the Gambling Commission, which regulates all gambling in the UK, to step in and ensure that verification is standardised and streamlined across the industry.
“One of the stated aims of the Gambling Commission is to ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly,” Fairhead said. “What we need is a standard, transparent verification procedure across the industry. It should be set down by the Gambling Commission, so that bookmakers cannot hide behind their terms and conditions and force people to jump through an endless series of hoops to get access to their money.”