The problem: I signed up for Powerbet casino at the recommendation of a few people here because of their good payment records in the past – this was on November 8th. I took the WINBIG1 bonus and lost it pretty quickly, but then had good luck with a larger bonus that they happened to be offering that week. I had the good fortune to get the balance to about $15,000 and cleared the wagering requirements. After some other play and so forth, I got bored and initiated a withdrawal. They wanted a faxback form and other documents to prove my identity silly if you ask me, but I eventually got around to getting them faxed and scanned over to them. They then took quite a long time to pay me, and when I checked my NETeller account on January 4th, I saw a payment for $2300. However, all my withdrawals were for $2500. I asked what the deal was, they took days to respond, and then responded with this:
Thank you for contacting the Casino Support Team.Your deposits have been refunded into your neteller account. You are under the legal gambling age for Calinfornia 21. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.Please feel free to contact our 24/7 Support Team if you have any additional questions.
Casino Support Agent
Now, I have attempted to play at other casinos where they don’t allow 21 year old players, and they simply just stop you from signing up – which seems like the right thing to do. However, I did not lie on the signup form, and Powerbet knowingly allowed me to play at their site while I was under 21 years old. I am over 18 years old, and I’m allowed to play in many casinos here in California, so I did not violate their Terms and conditions about the age restriction. All that aside, they basically accepted my wagers knowing that I was underaged, and would not pay me a dime if I won – but I bet that they wouldnt refund my losses had I lost, right?Response form the casino:
My advice is that the age is 21, which is why we refunded all the player’s deposits.
This is from Attorney Emery Ledger who specializes in gaming law and is based in California:
Note, you can attend a local horse track and gamble if you are 18 and also go to the bar and buy a drink (they will I.D. you and make certain you are 21 at the bar) but you need only be 18 to place the wager at the betting window. Practically speaking most Casino businesses have made 21 the minimum age so as to serve alcohol at the table or slot machines.Lottery: California has a complete set of restrictions, typical of the state lotteries that have addressed youth gambling:
(a) No tickets or shares in Lottery Games shall be sold to persons under the age of 18 years. Any person who knowingly sells a ticket or share in a Lottery Game to a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person under the age of 18 years who buys a ticket or share in a Lottery is guilty of a misdemeanor. In the case of Lottery tickets or shares sold by Lottery Game Retailers or their employees, these persons shall establish safeguards to assure that the sales are not made to persons under the age of 18 years.
California Government Code §8880.52: “No prize shall be paid to any person under the age of 18 years.” Id. at §8880.32.
Parimutuel betting: The age limit of 18 for horse races was established by regulations of the Racing Control Board, not by the legislature in a statute.
Casinos: On March 7, 2000, voters approved Proposition 1A, amending the State Constitution, to allow federally recognized Indian tribes to have a monopoly on full casinos (banking card games, like blackjack, and all forms of slot machines). Gov. Gray Davis signed a model compact with a majority of the state’s100+ tribes, which allows 18 year-olds to gamble in Indian casinos. Patrons have to be over 21 only if alcohol is served at the gaming tables and slot machines. Tribes are free to place higher age limits on its patrons and employees, and can change the age limits whenever they wish. For example, the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians announced in September 1995 that it was raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for its casino near Palm Springs and that it was firing all casino workers under 21; Harrah’s will run the Rincon casino with a minimum gambling age of 21.
California law also allows cities and counties the local option of licensing gaming clubs, limited to nonbanked table games, without slot machines. There are more than 300 gaming clubs operating throughout the state; most age limits appear to be 21. The only state limit is a restriction requiring operators and owners to be at least 18 (California Business & Professions Code §19809).
Bingo: Minors (currently those under age 18) are not allowed to participate in bingo games. California Penal Code §326.5.
According to the casino’s terms and conditions (20 January 2007), it states 2. The Casino is restricted to individuals of legal age as determined in the jurisdiction in which the individual resides. You cannot play under any circumstances if you are not at least eighteen years of age.
Again the casino responded that they believe that 21 is the legal limit in California.
Up until October 2006, Real Time Gaming casinos had a dispute resolution center run by Montana Overseas. RTG casinos were to abide by any decisions that Montana made concerning player disputes. It seems to me that in August 2006, Crystal Palace did not fully respond a decision that Montana had made.
This player was locked out of his accounts while owed approximately $11,000. From the following emails, it appears that Crystal Palace failed to follow through with Montana’s findings.
The Problem: Back in April is when I submitted my complaint to Montana, and it looks like in August is when they gave the casino their last chance to respond to their final findings and rectify it internally, and then it looks like in October they gave them another last chance. I copied and pasted the entire Montana Dispute log if you want to read it.Dispute #3555
Status: Final Findings
Gaming Provider: Crystal Palace
10/27/2006 12:53:15 (Dispute Team) [Final Findings] ** SUPRESSED FROM MEMBER **
We have re-submitted the final findings to the operator, and will update you as soon as we hear from the casino.
The Player Dispute Team
8/18/2006 19:18:27 (Dispute Team) [Final Findings] ** SUPRESSED FROM MEMBER **
Final findings have been sent to the operator. This is the operator’s last opportunity to respond against our ruling, or to resolve this claim internally.
The Player Dispute Team
6/16/2006 17:38:46 (Dispute Team) [Initial Findings] ** SUPRESSED FROM MEMBER **
Initial findings have been sent to the operator. The operator has the opportunity to respond to these initial findings before final findings are issued.
The Player Dispute Team
6/11/2006 12:8:21 (Player) [Under Review]
Thanks for getting back to me. I apologize that my update was confusing. No, I have not been paid 8 grand from the 11 grand that was in my account when Crystal Palace locked it. I had been paid 8 grand from a prior game, so obviously I passed their audit just a few days prior to winning 11 grand and being locked out. And the update I posted to you shows they had confirmed that I have one account. I started asking them alot of questions after reading some very bad press at www.casinomeister.com. Many people said once they tried to withdraw more than what they had deposited then Crystal Palace locked their account. I had deposited more then $12,500 and with this withdrawl I would have been paid more than what I had deposited. My bank transaction history shows all this. I only had requested 8 grand in withdrawls when Crystal Palace locked my account. I had left 3 grand in my account to play with. This totaling an eleven thousand dollar claim.