The allegedly botched Betfair promo that has seen the usually respectable UK online gambling group becoming the target of widespread player criticism on the message boards entered a new phase this week as the company completed investigations into individual accounts and started firing off what many see as autocratic emails to its players.
Players report receiving communications that include a refusal to correspond further on the issue, veiled threats regarding negative account balances but little in the way of specific charges beyond a general claim of T&C contravention. The following is a typical example:
"We have now had the opportunity to review your account activity in relation to our recent ‘Happy Hour’ promotion, and we thank you for your patience during that time.
"As a result of our investigation, and in light of our finding that you have acted in contravention of Betfair Casino’s Standard Terms and Conditions, we have debited your account with a sum equivalent to the bonus funds and winnings associated with the ‘Happy Hour’ promotion in which you participated. Your account has been re-activated and is now available for you to use.
"As your Betfair account held insufficient funds to accommodate such a debit, your account will now show a negative balance. Please fund your account with the negative balance amount of -GBPxxx at the first opportunity. Failure to do so by 26 November 2010, may result in us taking the appropriate action to recover this sum from you.
"Whilst we are aware that this was not the outcome you were hoping for, we do now consider this matter closed, and shall not enter into any further correspondence in connection with it.
Betfair has yet to issue a public statement on the row, which continues to light up internet gambling forums. Some players claim to have been referred to the company's licensing jurisdiction – the LGA in Malta.