Last week we made mention in our BLOG of a couple of things that have gotten players into trouble with their gambling houses. And one player, who admitted that he read the BLOG, did not heed our advice and now has a bigger problem. So, we thought it might be useful to outline the top thing NOT to say to an online sportsbook, Internet casino or poker room should a payout problem arise.
Quite often players in the U.S. have trouble getting their money sent in a timely fashion once a request has been put in and accepted. This can happen at just about any outfit offshore, and usually is a just a one-time issue. However, too many players get frustrated and starting popping off at the next available clerk once a payout does not arrive as planned.
The #1 thing NOT to say is that you are thinking of making a charge back on your credit card deposits. Do not even mention the words ‘charge’ and ‘back’ in the same sentence. The word (or words) ‘chargeback’ instantly will get a player into trouble. Even if you are not planning to do the dirty deed, DO NOT mention a charge back. Unfortunately, this week’s case proves this point.
A player called us because he had not received a bank wire from Bodog, who in the past had been very reliable for him with payouts. The player claimed that the wire did not arrive in his account, while Bodog said it had been delivered. This player went round and round with the sportsbook giant and finally resorted to calling OSGA. Once we got involved the wheels started moving. But unfortunately, these types of problems do take some time to sort out. The player got more and more frustrated. Bodog insisted that it was sent. The player got bank records and letters saying it was not sent to his account. Bodog still insisted it was sent to him. Finally, through our involvement, Bodog’s processing company began to make an extra effort to find the wire.
Meanwhile, the player got more furious and more steamed with each passing day. This week he decided to make the ‘chargeback’ threat. And it was a veiled threat at that. He said, “A lawyer friend suggested that I charge back my deposit,” when he was inquiring if there were any updates with the clerk who was handling his issue. The warning bells went off and within a few hours the players’ account was closed.
Credit card charge backs are such a big problem that the mere utterance of the words makes an offshore outfit react or overreact, and not in a positive way. The problem is that too many chargebacks will cause VISA or MasterCard to drop the processing company and thus the gambling house has to find a new credit card processor. This not only affects the book or casino, it affects all of the players at that place and the industry itself. Many new books are not even taking credit cards and most places have lost the ability to accept credit cards at one time during the last few years. We spoke with one operator who recently launched a new shop in Costa Rica. “I am not taking credit cards at this time, it’s just too much of a headache. Credit cards cause nothing but problems,” we were told.
In addition, the sportsbook or casino has a further problem if a chargeback is made – they never collect that player’s deposit money. Years ago when these problems began to surface regularly we, of course, got involved with many disputes. At the time one operator told us that he could NOT pay the player in question because of the threat of a chargeback. Why? “Because, if I pay the guy and then he charges back, I lose twice.” Puzzled, we inquired further. “I lose twice because (one) the player beat me and got paid and then I lose again because I can’t collect his deposit money.”
In recent years, frustrated players have made charging back on a deposit part of their modus opperandi. As soon as a problem occurs, the easiest thing for a player to do to recoup his money is to charge back. However, players need to be aware that this behavior is now being tracked. There is a list, a big list. And the list is being shared amongst all of the major players in the gambling community. One player was recently shut down within hours after depositing at one of the franchises of Sportsbook.com. Of course, we inquired as to why this player was shut down, with bets pending. Here Sportsbook ran him through the list and found a chargeback from 7 years ago! According to the management at Sportsbook.com, “We caught his account within 2 hours of being created and no actioned all wagers, then credited back the initial deposit.”
This is what all of the sportsbooks, casinos and poker rooms are doing now once a player utters ‘charge back’. If a player threatens to reverse his deposits, the gambling house will cut the alleged offender off at the pass and refund all cards used to deposit, closing the account and keeping all monies. This is the knee-jerk reaction that operators have been forced into in the face of mounting losses and repeat offenders. And once a player says ‘charge back’ our hands are pretty much tied in trying to achieve any type of positive resolution.
Players should remember that if they are playing a reputable house (rated Elite or Premier) they should not sweat whether or not they are going to be paid; maybe ‘when’, but not ‘if’. Quite often complaint resolution takes far longer than anyone wants and due to the murky world of money processing, missing wires and delayed checks are particularly frustrating. Players should use the chargeback only as a last resort, as a virtual ace-in-the-hole to use after all other means of resolution have been exhausted.
Saying chargeback is like going ‘all in’. It’s a last ditch effort to get the money sitting in the pot. And who goes all in announcing what is in their hand? You would get creamed doing that. And most players who utter the word charge and back together end up getting screwed too.