Cosmik Casino - 2500 Euro win revoked and refund declined

RESOLVED
User
posted on December 4, 2014.

Dear Sir/Madam,
I begin my complaint with an extract from a review I read on Cosmik casino:

At the end of the day it’s all about the fun you had playing and the care provided, and I have only good things to say about them both. It will be a fantastic experience and in my opinion well worth taking a spin at.

Well you can imagine how quickly my delight at winning 2500 Euro on a scratch card turned to utter dismay when I was told that my win had been revoked for “irregular play.” A further email from Cosmik elaborated this as being:

• Placing total bets equal to or greater than 30% of the value of the bonus credited to the player account, prior to the wager requirement for that bonus having been met.
• Placing total bets equal to or greater than 30% of the value of the deposit.
• Using the double-up feature to increase bet values. “Total bets” is defined as the sum of individual bets (lines, chips, hands, etc.) within a round, i.e., the total bet amount when clicking the “spin” or “play” or equivalent button

Kind Regards,
Verification Team



I contested this ruling on the ground that I never bet more than 30% of my account deposits. The only time I made a substantial bet (100 pounds at most) was after I had won 2500 – which I contend to be a deposit in my account and therefore clears me of any breach. I arrive at the view of the winnings as a deposit through the ordinary definition of the word: “a sum of money palced into an account.” The winnings were indeed placed into my account and I gambled on the assumption that the account was available to be to gamble. In terms of the conventions of online gambling, many online casinos will direct gamblers to “reversing a withdrawal” if they attempt to make a deposit while awaiting a pending withdrawal (ie. of winnings). In short, Cosmik offer no grounds for why I shouldn't assume a “win” to be a deposit into my account – for, if it isn’t, then how can it be withdrawn. I cannot withdraw something if it hasn't in the first place been deposited into my account.


• Thus, before the effective deposit of my winnings into my account I never bet more than 30% of my deposit. I have attached a game history to show this (over some 3000 bets on slots and blackjack tables)

• Secondly, there is no suggestion of fraud or suspicious play - Jeff the account manager said in an email to me that no one at the casino believes i was acting suspiciously or fraudalently at any time. I insert a copy of the email from Jeff, Cosmik’s well-known accounts manager, below

Hi,

Sorry to be late getting back to you.
I have put your case this afternoon to the management of the cosmik.
I am also waiting to hear what they have to say on the matter.
There is no point me going into the in's and outs of things. But i can assure you, that nobody in the casino, thought or thinks you were doing anything fraudulent.

Regards

Jeff

Does this not beg the question? No suggestion at all of any dodgy gambling and yet the winnings have been revoked? Does this not arouse some suspicion about the purpose of the fabled paragragh 103 or 30% rule as some call it?
If Jeff’s acknowledgement of my sincerity raised some eybrows, the the advice from Cosmik’s own customer support officer suggests that there is a history of “using” this clause against ordinary gamblers. Matthais advised me to fight against decisions from “accounting.” Why would a customer support clerk counsel against their own accounting department? I insert the relevant conversation below.

Me: I apologise if i have been terse. I feel like i have walked into a nightmare
Matthias: ‪hang on, I'm looking for his email‬‬
Me: thank you
Matthias: ‪not at all, I can absolutely understand you and I sometimes feel like we have to fight against decisions from accounting‬‬
Matthias: ‪you can reach Jeff at [email protected]
Me: Thanks
Matthias: ‪I apologize for this experience Daniel‬‬
Me: Hope your night is better than mine
Me: Cheers
Matthias: ‪cheers Daniel‬‬


• Thirdly, when I asked the customer service representative – in this case Amelie - whether i was eligible to play Blackjack after my winnings had been revoked she responded, "of course," suggesting that she herself was either: a) unaware of this clause or b) deliberately obscure and not forthcoming to gamblers about the existence of such a clause. I attach below a copy of that conversation:

• Me: Amelie am i allowed to play on blackjack?
• Amelie: ‪of course, why not?‬‬
• Me: because the minimum bet is more than 30% of what i have deposited from my credit card
• Amelie: ‪well in this case not, unfortunately :(‬‬
• Me: Ok.
• Me: Cheers
• Me: Have a good night
• Amelie: ‪cheers, Daniel‬‬
• Amelie: ‪thx, you too :)‬‬

• Fourthly, my win was advertised extensively on the website for a number of days including after my winnings had been revoked. Mathais said that the advertisement could not be removed manually – in which case other gamblers have been deliberately mislead and a notice should be placed on the website correcting the false advertising. Why is it that they can manually revoke my winnings but not withdraw an advertisement which is falsely luring gamblers to believe that people are winning”big” on their site?


• Further, Cosmik refunded me only one of my deposits despite cancelling all my wins. The initial two deposits of 20 pounds were never refunded. The refund that they gave was into my gambling account and not back to my credit card even though they knew I couldn’t withdraw the amount because it was less than 100 pounds. In effect, they were locking my money into their website, knowing full well that I have no choice but to gamble it again and hoping I might win over a 100 pounds to withdraw it. But more pressingly, this raises a contradiction in their own interpretation of rule 103 or the 30% rule:
If Cosmik regard the transfer of 20 pounds/24 euros into my account as a deposit or reestablishing a deposit, then surely the transfer of a 2500 win from Cosmik into that same account is a deposit, too. If I am only person who can deposit into my account, then the money should have been returned directly to my credit card and I should be the one to enact or make a deposit – something which Cosmik claims they cannot do-ie. make a deposit).

Quite Clearly, by Cosmik’s own reasoning, there was a 2500 euro deposit into my account when I won the money, so in fact I never breached the Casino rule by gambling 100 pounds on blackjack after that deposit was made.
By way of conclusion, I return to the original « glowing » review that i read about Cosmik on the Reviewed Casinos website.

At the end of the day it’s all about the fun you had playing and the care provided, and I have only good things to say about them both. It will be a fantastic experience and in my opinion well worth taking a spin at.

Does this sound like fun? And providing care? Or a fanstatstic experience? In fact, given that Jeff acknowledged that no accusation of foul or fraudulent play was being made against me, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is just another instance of a bully beating up on the smallest kid in the yard. There is nothing I can do. But I hope I have been heard!

posted on December 5, 2014.

Hi lamby1971,

We will look into the matter.

Kind Regards,

Cosmik Support Team

User
posted on December 5, 2014.

Unfortunately, the authors of this website have misunderstood my complaint. I am disputing the revocation of the the 2500 euro win as my complaint says. I am not happy just to seek a refund of the 40 pounds i deposited. In fact, after reading through the relevant Maltese remote gaming legislation, it is my belief that Cosmik have breached the law in revoking my win. I outline the case below as I outlined it tot he Cosmik Accounts Manager Jeff in my email to him

I refer to the the relevant legislation governing remote/online gambling in Malta - Lotteries and Other Games Act, 2001. Specifically, I draw attention to the Third Schedule of the Act where clause 6e states:

The gaming system must be able to display for each game the following information on the current page or on a page directly accessible from the current page via a hyperlink:
. (a) the name of the game;
. (b) restrictions on play;
. (c) instructions on how to play, including a pay-table for all prizes and special features;
. (d) the player’s current account balance;
. (e) unit and total bets permitted;
. (f) the rules of the game.

I believe that Cosmik breached this clause my failing to inform me of the total bets I was permitted to make; that is, if I was not allowed to bet more than 30% of my deposit then this should have been clearly displayed, especially given the ramifications of such a breach (the cancellation of all wins in the player’s account regardless of the corresponding bet sizes).

posted on December 5, 2014.

Dear lamby1971,

Thank you for expressing your complaint in such a clear manner. The issue has been raised, but it might take until after the weekend until we get an answer.

Kind Regards,

Cosmik Support Team

User
posted on December 6, 2014.

I look forward to your reply.

KInd Regards,

Lamby1971

posted on December 7, 2014.

Hi lamby1971,

Thank you for explaining your issues in detail. We have also reviewed the emails you sent us, and will respond to all the issues here.

As stated in paragraph 103 of our Terms & Conditions, the casino "reserves the right to withhold any withdrawals and/or confiscate all winnings and bonuses for irregular play" which includes, inter alia, “Placing total bets equal to or greater than 30% of the value of the deposit.”

You argue that your bets didn't break the 30% clause because (a) you consider the amount you won to be a deposit, or (b) that the rule should be based on total deposits made. (In the complaint above, you say that your total deposit amount should include your 2500 win, and in the email you sent you say it should be based on your total deposit amount (60 GBP). However, neither of these arguments apply. Firstly, winnings are simply not the same as deposits, and secondly the wording of "Placing total bets equal to or greater than 30% of the value of the deposit" clearly refers to a single deposit, hence the singular noun "deposit".

You have asked customer support whether you're allowed to play on blackjack. The customer service representative told you that you are allowed to play, which was correct. Our blackjack tables start at minimum wagers of € 0.05 for the Micro Blackjack table and € 1 for regular blackjack tables, both low enough to play with a minimum deposit without breaking the 30% clause.

In your correspondence with your account manager you have further stated that you did not sign any new Terms & Conditions when you were notified that the games you were looking to play are in a different jurisdiction than Malta. However, Paragraph 16 of our Terms & Conditions clearly states that "All Games played on the Internet Site are duly subject to the rules as specified in these T&Cs." The set of Terms & Conditions you had already accepted apply to all games, irrespective of jurisdiction, and no additional set of Terms & Conditions was necessary.

Finally you argue that our games are not in accordance with clause 6e of the Lotteries and other Games Act of 2001. We would like to point out that all our games are provided by regulated software providers, and meet the standards and requirements of the relevant governing bodies.

Best Regards,

Cosmik Support Team

User
posted on December 7, 2014.

Thank you for your reply.

Firstly, you have not said how your game complies with regulation 6e cited in the act. You can defer responsibility for compliance with the act to the software providers since your company has created specific and atypical regulations that do not conform with to industry norms.

Secondly, the application of your ruling is inconsistent as other gamblers have noted. Whether one wins or loses is irrelevant - all bets should be invalidated and deposits returned to gamblers who have contravened the regulation.

Thirdly, you have not stated or argued why a "winning" is categorically different to a deposit. It is not a valid legal argument to say "because I/we say so." The definition must be grounded in your application or what the ordinary man in the street perceives to be the sense of the word. As such, I would argue your own actions contradict your attempt to limit the term, for if you can refund a deposit into my gaming account then a winning surely has the same status ( ie. a transfer from Conan into my account is a deposit for all intents and purposes). If your definition was in fact true then you would have refunded the deposit to my credit card in the first instance.

There are other breaches I could cite and will in due course but since it is apparent that there is no likelihood of compromise between your Cosmik and myself, I think it best that this case be put to the relevant authorities -in the first instance, the LGA - for a more definitive ruling on interpretations of the wording of your T and Cs.

I thank Askgamblers for giving me the opportunity to put my case on their website.

Regards,

Lamby1971

User
posted on December 7, 2014.

ADDENDUM - can in the first paragraph should read "cannot." That's is you CANNOT defer legal responsibility.

Apologies for my error.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Lambert

User
posted on December 7, 2014.

As aan appendix to the great Cosmik saga, they have changed the format of their T and Cs today - 7/12/2014. Is this because you previous versions did not match the EU directives on commerce?

I am glad I have been of some service to you Cosmik.

Regards,
Lamby1971

posted on December 11, 2014.

Hi Lamby1971,

Can you specify which clause in the EU directives on commerce you're referring to?

Best,

Cosmik Support Team

User
posted on December 11, 2014.

You have rectified the relevant directive as of 7/10/2014. I noticed that you guys have quite a few complains against you. Must keep you busy.

Cheers

User
posted on December 11, 2014.

ADDENDUM: that should read as of December. - 7/12/2014

posted on December 14, 2014.

Again, we'd like to reiterate that we comply with the relevant regulations.

Best,

Cosmik Support Team

User
posted on December 17, 2014.

2 I contend that Cosmik casino breached clause 1b by adopting a regulation that gave it an extraordinary house advantage beyond that reasonably specified by legislation
(From: Third Schedule Regulation 25)
The gaming system must:
1 (a) faithfully follow the game rules published by the operator; and
. (b) provide over time no more than the expected house advantage to the operator.
Thirdly, and most conspicuously, Cosmik Casino FAILED TO PROVIDE on the CURRENT PAGE OR A PAGE DIRECTLY ACCESSIBLE on gaming system as stated by the legislation any restrictions on play as stated in clause 6b of regulation 25
6. The gaming system must be able to display for each game the following information on the current page or on a page directly accessible from the current page via a hyperlink:
. (a) the name of the game;
. (b) restrictions on play;
. (c) instructions on how to play, including a pay-table for all prizes and special features;
. (d) the player’s current account balance;
. (e) unit and total bets permitted;
. (f) the rules of the game.
.


Specifically, I believe that Cosmik breached this clause my failing to inform me of the total bets I was permitted to make; that is, if I was not allowed to bet more than 30% of my deposit then this should have been clearly displayed, especially given the ramifications of such a breach (the cancellation of all wins in the player’s account regardless of the corresponding bet sizes).
.

posted on December 18, 2014.

You were informed of the total bets you were allowed to make when you agreed to our Terms & Conditions and registered an account on our site. Once again we'd like to repeat that our games were reviewed and approved by the relevant authorities.

Best,

Cosmik Support Team

User
posted on December 18, 2014.

The legislation clearly states that this information should be displayed for each game or at least be directly accessible from the gaming system. I reiterate the clause below:

6. The gaming system must be able to display for each game the following information on the current page or on a page directly accessible from the current page via a hyperlink:
. (a) the name of the game;
. (b) restrictions on play;
. (c) instructions on how to play, including a pay-table for all prizes and special features;
. (d) the player’s current account balance;
. (e) unit and total bets permitted;
. (f) the rules of the game.

I think we will have to agree to disagree and wait until the LGA (Malta) adjudicate on my contention; along with some other breaches that I contend you have made. It is a shame that you were unwilling to resolve this in an amicable manner.

Cheers

Lamby1971

AskGamblers
posted on December 22, 2014.

We have received evidences clearly showing that player indeed breached the so called "30% bet rule" of the Cosmik Casino Terms&Conditions. Whether having such rule is fair or not is not subject of this complaint and that is why we consider this case as closed and resolved.