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AstralBet Casino - Did not close account after exclusion email

UNRESOLVED
Posted on December 27, 2018.

On Nov 24 I asked Astralbet to close my account via chat and was told they couldn’t. Because I recognized I had a problem, I wrote to their rewards and support email again asking they close my account immediately (adding I wanted it done without being asked again “why” and I included my name, birthdate and address — from my account t email)

My account was not closed, and with my problem, I continued to gamble somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 CDN.

I wrote again a month later when the problem was at its worst and they have now finally closed my account (with the same information as initially). I have all the emails confirming my requests.

I believe I should be entitled to a full refund of all funds gambled between nov 24 and dec 25 as this is a serious violation of the terms and service.

Posted on December 31, 2018.

Hello,


As per the communication sent via e-mail on Friday, the case was escalated and reviewed by our Management, in order to ensure that the steps taken by our representatives complied with procedures and responsible gambling policies.

After a thorough investigation, we have found the following:

- the Account Closure request did not include any mention of problem gambling, both via chat and e-mail
- as advised by our Customer Support Team, an Account Manager reached out on the next business day after the request was made, offering to assist with the process and asking for feedback as part of our efforts to improve players' experience in the Casino
- we received no reply to this communication, and no contact was made towards the Casino between the 24th of November and the 25th of December; during this period, however, two special deposit offers advertised through the chat were explicitly accepted

Based on these facts, we consider the deposits to have been made in good faith and we find no grounds for a possible refund. This decision, along with further details, were also communicated to the player via e-mail.

For any further details, we are at your disposal.

Thank you,

GoWild Casino

Posted on December 31, 2018.

Thank you for replying, but to me, this is not acceptable at all. While I don’t dispute the facts presented by Astralbet, I would like to reiterate the following.

1. I did ask via chat to close my account because unlike all other casinos (where I have also self excluded) I was unable to do so in a simple and efficient way. I probably did say “I don’t want to play here anymore” - problem gambling is embarrassing and an addiction. The last thing you want to do, when you’re trying to desperately get out of a bad situation (and cannot anonymously/easily cancel you account) is explain it to a chat representative that is trying to give you more free credits. Astralbet — I give you full permission to post and share my entire chat request to see how forceful I was in attempting to have my account closed (for others who will be considering gambling with you company / to see your practices)

2. I immediately said that waiting a few days was not acceptable and instead wrote to Astralbet rewards and support emails (the emails listed to contact to close accounts)

3. In my email, I explicitly said that I want my account closed ASAP and that I do not want to confirm again. What part of that message is not clear? How can any responsible gambling company receive a request like this and in response a) not reply directly to this email (* see below), b) not immediate close email and c) leave an account open for over a month. Once again, here is the exact language of my email request:
###
I want my account t closed ASAP. I tried via chat and was told I couldn’t there. This is a very poor experience.

Please close immediately - this is my formal request — I do not want to have to confirm again
###

4. In terms of Astralbet’s next business day reply:

a) it’s true, looking back through my inbox, an email was sent to me

b) the email WAS NOT sent in my reply (or in thread to my email) but appears to be in reference to my original chat request. I did not see this, as I had asked not to be contacted to confirm and had provided everything necissary to close my account.

c) in the generic email, they do not state they will not close my account, or address that I asked for it to be immediately closed without the need to confirm. Instead, they just - in past tense - “what happened to make you consider this option”,

(Message attached)

5. Of course I continued to keep accepting bonuses. I have a problem and continued to fall deeper and deeper into a hole. If a chat poppped up with a bonus, and I was already gambling past my limit in an account I had asked to be closed, of course I’d click to accept.

To recap:

Astralbet does not have automated exclude or account closer.
So, I:

1. Tried to find a link, but it didn’t exist.
2. Asked to close my account in chat, but was told it was the weekend and couldn’t
3. Immediately wrote, asked for immediat closure AND included my name, address and DOB
4. Astralbet responded two days later, did not close my account, and asked for “feedback”

Is this an acceptable “responsible gaming practice”?

Even if I did everything according to what they consider validate, it would have taken my 1 chat, 1 email by me, 2 business days wait and the another response to simply say “yes, I really really do want you to close my account” in order for it to be closed.

That is unreasonable. Every provider must offer a simple way to close an account, and if chat, email, personal info isn’t enough - that’s crazy.

Posted on December 31, 2018.

I added a lot of text above, but thought I’d summarize in the simplest way possible.

1. Player requested, via chat account closure.

2. Player also emailed support asking for immediate closure, not to have to “confirm” the request AND included KYC/personal information for identity verification as per terms.

3. Casino did not close account, but instead wrote a separate email asking “come on, are you sure..? “ (paraphrasing)

4. Player did not respond to this email as they had already requested closure and provided confirmation information.

5. Casino did not close account. Casino did not reach out again to customer. Casino did continue to send emails, offers, etc.

6. Player continued gambling despite addiction and request for closure.

7. Player finally re-emails and asks for closure. (This time, and email was enough as the account was closed)

8. Casino believes they have done nothing wrong. They feel a customer must request closure via chat, then email, then another email (despite the customer saying they want immediate closure / providing name, address and DOB in initial requests)

9. Player believes account should have been closed immediately as they asked in accordance with casinos own T&C and standard MGA licensing.

Posted on January 4, 2019.

Hello,


Thank you for your reply.

Gambling issues-related account closure requests are always handled with priority, as per our procedures; nevertheless, cases of account closure requests which are linked to the casino experience itself and do not point towards problematic gambling are approached by our staff by communicating with our players in order to understand what we can do to provide better service. We strongly rely on the player’s feedback in order to establish which sort of situation we are facing, therefore the reasoning given is paramount and may dictate the type of approach that we will take.

In this case, our staff repeatedly attempted to understand whether we are facing a problem-gambling related situation; the responses received (“i am done and dont want to play here anymore.”” No , I want to close it - thats all. “) pointed towards a possible issue in the Casino.

Furthermore, information regarding the account closure process and timelines was clearly and transparently given as soon as the request was presented. The contact e-mail of the Rewards Team was also provided, while the agent clearly communicated the fact that contact will be made as soon as the Team will be in the office, on the next business day.

On the next business day, first thing in the morning, an Account Manager reached out regarding the request; considering the reasoning received, the Account Manager asked for a confirmation of whether the request still stands and attempted to understand which specific aspect of the casino experience led to the request. As also mentioned in the communication that day, the Account Manager was available and easily reachable via e-mail. No response was received; otherwise, the Account Manager was ready to continue guiding through the process. Furthermore, on any mention of problem gambling, the account would have been closed with priority.

In line with this, we do need to point out that the reason for which the request made on the 25th of December led to immediate restriction of real-money transactions and, subsequently, permanent closure of the account was precisely the fact that this was a problem-gambling related request. We do not take such matters lightly, nor do we step back from our responsibility towards maintaining a safe gambling environment. Nonetheless, when encountering account closure requests that do not point towards problem gambling, our approach centres around improving the Casino experience in accordance with the feedback received, which our team of Account Managers attempts to gather by openly discussing any issue encountered by our customers along the way.

As always, we will continue to review and improve our procedures and policies, ensuring that we are complying with the industry standards. Nevertheless, the facts of this matter remain unchanged – a request for account closure was made, with no mention towards problem gambling; our staff provided complete and precise information regarding the account closure steps and timelines; the steps and timelines communicated were fully respected, contact was made towards completing the process; our staff then received no response, therefore the process could not be completed. Based on these facts, we consider the transactions to have been made in good faith, and find no grounds for a possible refund.


Best regards,

AstralBet Casino

Posted on January 5, 2019.

There isn’t much more I can add to this:

BY THEIR OWN ADDMISSION:

1. I asked via chat for my account to be closed (Astralbet did nothing / I was given the email address of the rewards team to close my account)

2. I wrote to rewards & support again asking for my account to be closed; to be safe, I provided my full name, mailing address and date of birth along with the request and plainly stated “This is my formal request — I do not want to have to confirm again”

3. Astralbet (and parent company GoWild Casino) again did not close my account.

4. An Astralbet representative emailed in a new thread asking me to confirm again (despite my request not to).

5. No further action, no follow up emails and no account closure was done by Astralbet.

They fee they have done nothing wrong and are focussing on problem gambling. However, even without that I believe they are in the wrong. I asked twice, provided the necessary information and stated I did not want to confirm again -/ however they took no action, asked for a 3rd confirmation and yet did not close my account or follow up.

There’s not much more to add. I’ll leave it to AskGamblers to decide what if anything is left to do.

Regardless of out outcome, I will continuing warning players about illegal and shady actions by Astralbet and GoWild Casino, and I will continue looking for resolution through their licensing provider (MGA) and other avenues as needed.

This is something anyone considering playing with Astralbet and/or GoWild Casino should be aware of. Despite repeated requests, the Casino will not respect basic account requests and will feel justified in their actions and to take as much money from problem gamblers as possible.

Astralbet and GoWild Casino are dangerous.

AskGamblers
Posted on January 6, 2019.

Dear AstralBet Casino,

Based on your own Term #3.7.

You may close your Player Account, including a Dormant Account, at any time and we will return to you any and all funds from your account subject to the deduction of relevant withdrawal charges and other applicable fees. In order to close your account, you must first cancel any bets that you have made that remain outstanding.

please be informed that AskGamblers Casino Complaints Team is still awaiting valid explanation of the fact that player's explicit request for account closure has not been handled accordingly despite player's very clear message. 

Thank you for your cooperation.

Posted on January 8, 2019.

Hello,

First of all, we would like to make it clear that our casino takes responsible gaming very seriously.

We would like to point out that our staff repeatedly enquired regarding the reasoning behind the request, looking to identify whether this was a case of problematic gambling, and that the player’s request was addressed appropriately considering the reasoning communicated.

With the initial request our team received there was not even slight indication for a potential gambling problem, this is why our team wanted to get in touch with the customer to verify the reason for the potential closure.

Once it was inferred that this case was not linked to a gambling problem (as per the responses received), the player was clearly informed regarding the steps and timelines of the Account Closure process in such a case – namely, the fact that he would be contacted as soon as possible in order to assist with the process. Our staff also provided a clear timeline for this contact (“as today and tomorrow are weekend days in GMT, they'll contact you immediately once they return to work”), timeline which was effectively respected by our staff, and contact was made first thing in the morning (before 8 AM GMT) on the next business day. The contact itself included yet another enquiry meant to identify a potential case of problematic gambling, nevertheless no response was received.

To sum up, the lack of response to this contact, combined with the fact that, based on what was communicated to our Staff, this request was not a case of problem gambling, led to the process not being completed. As can be seen, as soon as a mention of problem gambling was made, our staff acted on the spot and restricted the player’s account from real-money transactions, safely guiding him towards the completion of the process.

Thank you for your understanding,

AstralBet Casino

Posted on January 8, 2019.

You are ignoring the core fact of the complaint.

1. (Fact we agree upon) I asked via chat to close my account and was told that a representative would be in touch because the chat agent could not close the account.

Note: if you share the chat transcript, everyone can see that wasn’t acceptable to me and I ask for a faster way / an email I can use to close my account.

2. (Ignored fact) To avoid any delays - because I wanted my account closed immediately - I wrote to the support and reward team IMMEDIATELY following the chat requesting closure, stating that I want it done immediately and without the need to confirm again AND I provided the industry / T&C required details of my name, email, address and DOB.

This act should have sufficed the requirement for the casino to close my account without any further action. I have shared this email as proof.

You are ignoring this fact and focusing on the fact that you wrote separately to me, in response to the chat, and then did nothing.

Please explain why the original message, sent via email, with direct instructions and KYC information was not actioned.

AskGamblers
Posted on January 12, 2019.

Dear AstralBet Casino,

AskGamblers Casino Complaints Team believe that you as the casino operator unfortunately failed to act in accordance with best common responsible gambling practices and close player's account as per his explicit request. You could have easily closed the account and then proceed further clarifying with the player whether his request is referring to gambling related issues or not.

Based on the above, our stance on the matter is that player is entitled to full refund of the deposits made after the account closure request.


Posted on January 12, 2019.

Hello,

Thank you for your response.

We would like to stress, once more, that responsible gambling and the safety of our players are paramount principles in our casino.

In order to ensure this, while also maintaining good practices and continuously optimizing the casino experience we offer, the entirety of our staff operates in accordance with pre-established internal procedures. These dictate, step by step, the actions that should be carried out, with exact instructions to be followed depending on the circumstances and information provided. Furthermore, all procedures are carefully drafted and constantly evaluated to ensure compliance with the obligations we have as a licenced entity.

We regret to understand that in this particular instance the player was dissatisfied with the handling of the request. While we will continue the constant re-evaluation processes of all procedures, as it is our practice, and we will be taking into consideration the feedback received, we do consider this case to have been handled accordingly.

We invite the player to contact us directly for any additional clarifications at any time via suppor­[email protected]­str­alb­et.com.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

AstralBet Casino

Posted on January 13, 2019.

Well, I think it is clear that both I, and the team at AskGamblers believe Astralbet / GoWild is at fault in this situation. It is extremely disturbing that a casino would so blatantly ignore repeated customer requests to close an account (regardless of whether gambling issues were st play)

Astralbet appear to have no interest in accepting responsibility or correcting the situation.

I hope this thread will serve as a WARNING to any and all player who consider gambling with Astralbet, GoWild or any of their related casinos. They DO NOT respect responsible gaming les, they ignore player requests and they will not take any responsibility even when confronted with facts that are clear to all others.

I’d like to thank the team st AskGamblers for your assistance and fairness. It’s a shame that the casino cannot have the same standards. I hope you continue to blacklist this casino and warn future players about registering / depositing any funds with Astralbet or GoWild.

For my part, I have filled a complaint with MGA and will spread the story abd experience with every / any casino review site that will allow it. If we can’t get a Astralbet to admit such a simple and obvious lapse in judgement / process, perhaps we can get them to make changes by impacting their bottom line by reducing the number of people that gamble with them.

Thank you all for reading and helping.

AskGamblers
Posted on January 14, 2019.

Unfortunately, considering that both parties involved in this dispute did not reach to a mutual agreement and that player already confirmed that s/he have submitted formal complaint in front of the relevant regulatory body, AskGamblers Complaints Team have no other option but to close this complaint as Unresolved.

As soon as AskGamblers Complaints Team is being notified about the regulator's final decision on the case, we will comply and mark this complaint accordingly.

AskGamblers
Posted on July 26, 2019.

This complaint has been reopened as per AstralBet Casino request and AskGamblers Complaints Team would like to give it one more try and help both parties involved into the dispute reaching to a satisfactory resolution.

AskGamblers
Posted on July 26, 2019.

Dear all,

Please let us know if there's some update regarding this case.

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