Betfair Casino ran a promo on Saturday 13 November which offered an unlimited happy hour bonus with only 10x playthrough. When they realized how much they were losing, they changed the playthrough amount to 20x and began locking accounts and confiscating winnings.
Even though players had risked their own funds and met the posted wagering requirements, they were given the “speak to the hand” treatment and were told that they had not played in the “Spirit of the Bonus.”
Enforcing a “spirit of the bonus” clause is something that a rogue Costa Rican clip shot joint would have pulled years ago. Most rogue casinos wouldn’t even try to pull a stunt like this now. For the player, the “spirit” is to win; for the casino, it’s for the player to lose, right?
From Casinomeister’s philosophy and mission statement section:
“Spirit of the Bonus”
No such animal. If the casino offers a bonus, the casino should not assume on what grounds the bonus should be accepted. If the player wants to just play and watch the reels spin or is playing to make a profit, it is not up to the casino to enforce subjective terms like “spirit”.
Betfair was a Casinomeister Accredited Casino, but they were removed from the Accredited section as soon as this episode began to unfold. Complaints at Casinomeister began to pile up, and Max forwarded these to Betfair’s casino representative. He responded to only the first batch with a blanket response – again – referring to players exploiting the spirit of the bonus. He recommended that players contact the LGA if they had any problem with this.
Malta’s LGA is one of the most non-responsive licensing agencies ever. You might as well complain to the mailman.
Of course, the player issues spilled out into the forum. One startling note is that a player has reported that Betfair paid his winnings into his bank account, only to remove them later. Alarming behaviour for a publicly traded company.
As Vinylweatherman stated here, “Betfair are trying to make out they are victims of mass “bonus abuse”, rather than victims of their own incompetence.” It looks like he hit the nail right on the head.
Players need to be aware that Betfair will confiscate winnings at a whim. If they don’t like the way you play, even though you risk your own funds and meet the wagering requirement, they will exercise their right to seize your winnings.