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  • Betway allow me to reregister after self-exclusion. Will not refund.

    My issue is about whether a request by email to permanently self-exclude from an online bookie - in this case Betway, is sufficient to self exclude, and whether confirmation by their operations department that I had been excluded for 6 months is proof that I was self-excluded.

    I sent an email regarding a request for permanent self-exclusion to Betway in Feb 2013. I tested my logins shortly after and saw I could not login.

    I called them on 23/12/14 and asked did I have an account (I have opened and self-excluded from several sites before so I didn't recall whether Betway was one). The agent told me I did have an old account, there had been a request for self exclusion logged in their system, but the process had not been fully completed, and so my account was "locked". (He said I had been sent an email at the time asking for the reason for self-exclusion. I do not recall receiving this. They say I did not reply.)
    Next, rather than unlocking the "locked" account the agent told me to reregister with a new username which I did and a new account was created.

    I lost £900 in the space of 12 hours. I was annoyed and obviously regretful that my 2013 request for permanent self-exclusion was not adhered to.

    I have had subsequent conversations and email exchanges with Betway Support. 2 other agents have confirmed by phone that they are in possession of my 2013 email asking for permanent self-exclusion. I asked for my money to be reimbursed.

    They said they would forward my dispute to the Operations team (also based in South Africa). They sent an email reply on behalf of Operations team today to me. It reads

    "Kindly note that we won't be able to refund the money deposited because the minimum exclusion period of 6 months has lapsed long ago. You are more than welcome to inform the player that the account can be re-opened should he send an email stating that he wish to have the account unlocked. But should he wish to remain self-excluded, Account willl remain locked."

    This Perations email seems to confirm that my original request for self exclusion was implemented, albeit for 6 months only. They also use the term "remain self-excluded" in their last sentence, again seeming to confirm I was self-excluded.

    In response to this email I firstly called their support agents and then sent an email to their support telling them that this email from Operations contradicts what I was told about my account being "locked". I reminded them I was apparently self-excluded for 6 months (according to the Operations email). I asked why I was not excluded permanently as requested, as they have acknowledged receipt of my original exclusion request. I asked could I get transcripts of phone calls acknowledging receipt of my exclusion email. I asked why the agent who told me to re-register with a different username didn't just unlock my account if I was merely "locked" and not self-excluded.

    The agent on the phone said he would escalate to management, and so I sent the follow up email as above, outlining all the points, for management to read.

    I received a reply after 17 minutes (obviously not from management as it is Christmas Day and it would normally take a few days anyway I guess). The reply did not answer any of my questions regarding the Operations email, nor about getting a recording of calls (1 agent earlier said I could obtain them, another said no). They did not respond as to why the agent on 23/12 did not just unlock my account if it was merely locked.

    This last response reads
    Hi there
    Account name: xx
    Thank you for contacting Betway.com

    After reviewing your account we can confirm that in an email we asked you to give us a reason why you want to be self excluded.

    As we have not received a reply from this email, we locked your account as a normal lock where you can unlock it upon request.

    Unfortunately this is why we will not be refunding your deposits.

    We can confirm that your account has now been locked under Self Exclusion on the 24th December 2014. This is due to your explanation on the phone.

    All the best,

    The Betway Team

    They do not refer to the Operations email nor respond to my questions, and it is clearly not from management as I got a reply after 17 mins!

    Can anyone on this forum help me (sorry about long email) - do I have a case, particularly with the Operations email seeming to confirm my request for self-exclusion had been implemented?


  • This is a real mess - much of it, as I'm sure you're aware, of your own making. That said, I think that Betway are definitely at fault here. Their Terms & Conditions do not appear to offer the option of permanent self-exclusion (which in itself is hardly to their credit), but players can self-exclude for up to five years, so if you asked for permanent self-exclusion, I would have thought they should have excluded you for the maximum period permitted (five years) and not the bare minimum (six months). Moreover, I can find nothing at all in their T's & C's which says that a self-exclusion will only be implemented when a player supplies a reason for seeking to self-exclude. Most damning of all, however, in their Terms & Conditions is the fact that, having previously self-excluded, you should not have been allowed to open a new account nor should your old account have been unlocked until after a 'cooling off' period of twenty-four hours had elapsed. I am assuming from your post above that no such 'cooling off' period was enforced nor were you informed of the requirement to observe one before you could begin playing with Betway again.

    I'm not an expert on self-exclusion, but I do think you may have a case for having your £900 refunded. You can either have another go at Betway (I would ring them rather than sending an email) and make it clear to them that you want to speak to someone in their senior management about this matter or alternatively you can contact the UK Gambling Commission, by whom Betway are now licensed in respect of their UK-based customers, and make a formal complaint against Betway on the grounds that they have breached their own Responsible Gaming policy. I don't know whether the Gambling Commission will help (although they claim not to resolve customer complaints with regard to disputed bets, I think you can argue that this is a very different issue), but I reckon it has to be worth a try. Good luck in any case.


    • Trevrizent - thank you very much for your response. I agree this is of my own making - sadly I am a problem gambler who felt tempted after a period of abstinence.
      I did not read their Responsible Gambling terms so thanks for pointing this out, particularly the lack of "give reason to self exclude" text Re. "cooling off" - not only was I not told to "cool off" when I rang but was in fact encouraged to re-register with a new username by the agent.
      Update - Since I posted this I have exchanged a couple more emails with the agent who re-registered me. After persistently asking to speak to Head of Customer services or senior management, or get their names and email addresses - he is now claiming to be the "Acting Head of Customer Services" for the holiday period. I reminded him that he was a party to this dispute so he should not be dealing with it. He finally relented and said Senior Management will not be in until "Mid-January". He is essentially blocking me I believe. Also, I suspect that the "Operations" email referred to before possibly came from him or his colleagues as he won't give the name of the Operations Manager.
      I have actually found an email address for the Betway CEO and am thinking of emailing him direct - what do you think? It seems to be difficult to get past this agent who resigned me and who claims to be the Acting Head of Support.


      • The other thing I wanted to clarify - and I am no legal expert, but what stops a firm changing their terms and conditions during the period of these sort of issues being disputed. I am talking hypothetically - if this was a much larger sum than £900 say 50K could an operator not in theory change their Tcs and Cs to help their case?


        • In the first instance I would contact the 'Acting Head of Customer Services' as he calls himself and tell him that, unless he provides you with the contact details of someone in senior management to whom you can address your case within seven days (i.e. by close of play on Friday 2 January), then you will not hesitate to make a formal complaint to the UK Gambling Commission about Betway's flagrant breach of their own Responsible Gaming policy in this matter. My hunch is that you may eventually get somewhere with them, but only after they have come to realise that they can't keep fobbing you off in the hope that you will eventually give up - in other words, this is likely to be a long battle. If they haven't provided the relevant contact details by the end of next week, then post again on here and we'll weigh up how best to proceed. Just to be on the safe side, I would go to their website and take a screenshot of their Responsible Gaming policy. I'm not saying that they'll try to change it, but you never know.


          • Thanks again - but do you think it is a good idea to send an email to the CEO - I have his direct address? I was intending to start it with something like "Apologies for contacting you direct but your Customer Services agent who recently encouraged me to re-register a new username whilst I was self-excluded will not provide me with the names of senior management and has told me he is head of customer services".


            • It's up to you, although my advice would be to wait and see whether they provide any contact information by the end of next week before emailing him and then, if you do email him, you can say that you gave his company ample opportunity to provide you with the information you requested, but they failed to do so. If you do decide to contact him after next Friday, I would also delay making a complaint to the Gambling Commission until he has had an opportunity (let's say another seven days) to respond satisfactorily.


              • Thanks - I will take your advice and contact the "Acting Head" again and ask for the Senior Management contact. I guess the only reason I was reluctant to do this because I get the impression if he does provide me with someone's name it could be his mate sitting next to him - I don't trust it will be a genuine contact. I believe they may have authored the "Operations" email themselves. Thanks for your support and will keep you posted


                • Hi Trevrizen
                  There have been some interesting developments. I am not convinced that Betway or other firms do not monitor these forums - I wonder is there a way I could contact you by email? Thanks


                  • Feel free to post the gist of what they say on here - sorry, but I don't do private messages.


                    • The reason for the discretion apart from the contents being seen by Bookmakers is that Betway are trying to direct me towards the Arbitration service eCOGRA and there are terms on eCOGRA's site which explicitly forbid making public disputes whilst they are being investigated. I am unsure whether the UK Gambling Commission has same. Looking at eCOGRA they seem to be mainly auditors of Casino software so I am unsure of their competence in such matters - less the fact that they proudly boast multiple Bookmakers as "clients" on their site - I doubt their independence. If I can't be discrete with the correspondence I shall forge on. Thanks


                      • Did you lose the £900 on their casino or their sportsbook? I'm asking because it seems to me that eCOGRA has no jurisdiction over their sportsbook. If you'd rather not say on here, I'll understand.


                        • sportsbook


                          • By the way, eCOGRA only state that they will terminate any investigation on a player's behalf if the player makes details of the complaint public AFTER contacting eCOGRA. Given that you haven't involved them yet, I don't see that you can have fallen foul of this condition.


                            • In that case this has nothing to do with eCOGRA - their jurisdiction only covers Betway's casino (look at the list of operators covered on the drop-down menu on the eCOGRA dispute form).


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