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BitStarz Casino - Refusing 1.15 BTC withdrawal claiming cashback bonus is a no deposit bonus, again


Complaint Info

Disputed casino

BitStarz Casino
Posted on October 30, 2017

Bitstarz.com refuses to pay me my winnings of 1.155 btc stating that any winnings from the loyalty bonus that is given out every Friday is capped at 25 mBTC since it is not tied directly to a deposit, even though the loyalty bonus is based on the amount deposited throughout the week or from the previous cashout. They basically stole my 1.155 btc and replaced it with 0.1 btc stating that it was more than the maximum withdrawal amount that is associated with "free" bonuses because I was a "loyal" player and that if I was unsatisfied with this result then I have the option to opt out of the bonuses and play with my own money.

Even when attempting to withdraw the 0.1 btc I got an email saying:-

"As the maximum withdrawal amount from Friday loyalty bonus is 0.025 BTC, we cancelled your withdrawal and removed the excess money from your account. You can now make a new withdrawal. Good luck!"

I've read through their ToS several times prior to them taking my winnings, however, there is nothing that directly links the loyalty bonus to the ToS "free" bonus rules. I even have an email from one of their VIP Managers that explicitly states that their Friday loyalty bonus is a 15% cashback bonus given out every Friday, and since it's 15% of all my deposits for the week it is clearly not a free bonus. Bitstarz even admits that cashback bonuses are not held to the same terms as a free deposit bonus in a previous complaint by user J K here on AskGambler.

And in this thread for a previous mistake that was exactly the same for 4.4 btc :- https:­//w­ww.a­sk­gam­ble­rs.c­om­/ca­sin­o-c­omp­lai­nts­/bi­tst­arz­-co­m-s­tol­e-m­y-w­innings
(Earlier this month)

This was paid out in the end by Bitstarz Management and acknowledged was a mistake.

Any reasonable person would assume that the loyalty bonus isn't a free deposit bonus (as you need to deposit to earn it) and clearly Bitstarz is just using that section of their ToS to scam players out of legit winnings.

Based on the fact that the VIP Manager explicitly stated that the Loyalty Bonus I receive every Friday is a 15% cashback bonus instead of a free deposit bonus that they are currently claiming should be enough justification to show that they are trying to scam me of my legitimate winnings by selectively applying their ToS terms to a bonus that they have previously stated should not be subjected to those terms. I would like Bitstarz to actually pay me my legit winnings of 1.155 btc since I've met their wagering requirements and have not violated their bonus ToS.

Posted on October 30, 2017

Some updates to the complaint above (as some of the information in it is incorrect - that's what I get for copying the text of a similar complaint against this Casino).

Here is a summary of the facts:-
1) Bitstarz sends me the attached email notifying my qualification for a 'Friday Loyalty Bonus'
2) I play and meet all wagering requirements of said bonus and attempt to withdraw my winnings of 1.15 BTC
3) Bitstarz declines my withdrawal and confiscates my winnings, stating a Term of Service around Bonus Maximum Withdrawal amounts.
4) I point out that the Terms of Service does not state the 'Friday Loyalty Bonus' is subject to the same Bonus Maximum Withdrawal amounts (in fact, its was not mentioned ANYWHERE)
5) They update the Terms of Service (to explicitly state Friday Loyalty Bonus) , and continue to deny my cashout.

Screenshots of discussions with support and Terms of Service prior to update are attached.

I don't think a casino should be able to retroactively update a misleading/unclear or incorrect Term of Service as a tool to deny a players winnings, especially if its literally in the hours following denying one. Very unusual behaviour. I feel you should take responsibility for your own legalese.

After speaking further with Nick (Head of Casino who sends out the Friday Bonus emails), we have arrived at an impasse. The gist of which is below.

Nick (Bitstarz Head of Casino) position:-

"Just because terms are unclear to some people, it doesn't mean the terms are wrong. People can wish to interpret rules all they like, however, we tried to make them simpler to ensure everyone understands them. I think this is a good start.

That bonus was not based on 10% of your losses in the week, wherever you've read that, it's not correct. VIP players have cashback deals, but as
you're not on a VIP deal, you do not have a cashback bonus, and therefore it's a free gift."

My position:-
1) I have/had no way of knowing this (and by that I mean the claim is dubious, the amount of bonus credited was actually exactly 10% of my losses). If the qualifying factor is the need for it to be explicitly stated, then I guess its a requirement for things to be explicitly stated only when it benefits the Casino (such as not stating the limits on this particular bonus).

My response to the above email from Nick:-
Hi Nick,

You are in fact responsible for how players (or in the legal definition, a 'reasonable person') interpret these terms and conditions, as with your promotional information (I call to your attention emails you have sent me with subject headings like the following)
"Golden opportunity to win big with your loyalty bonus!"

Also I think the very premise of what I have been saying from our first conversation has been that you are behaving unethically by being intentionally unclear to ensure continued business and selectively applying your Terms to avoid paying players who actually win big.

As a matter of curiousity - How exactly did you arrive at the amount you gave to me as a loyalty bonus? Was it different to other players, and why.


I invite Nick/Bitstarz to respond.

Posted on October 31, 2017

Dear all,

Allow us to present our side of the argument here.

First of all, I think it's unfortunately that there has been so much confusion surrounding the Loyalty Bonus lately. It has been in place since the beginning of BitStarz, and we have never received so many complaints about it before. We believe there has been additional confusion to boot due to the fact that we have paid out players who have complained in the past here, which can mislead players to think that we will always revert our original decision.

First of all, the Loyalty Bonus is a concept we came up with in order to review players in the week and perhaps credit them a reward for various reasons and at our own discretion, that's why it's not mentioned anywhere on the site. It's an additional perk to give to our players and can be based on a number of different factors, given by our Head of Casino and Loyalty or our VIP Manager if the player falls into that category. What we base this bonus on varies quite a bit as well.

If a player is a VIP, he or she normally has a VIP deal which has been communicated between that person and the VIP Manager, in that case the bonus is normally not a free gift as it is based on the losses or turnover by the player. This means it is exempt from the max cashout rule. Which was the case of the other two complaints that was resolved here at AskGamblers.

In this case, the player is NOT a VIP player, and has not a VIP deal that has been communicated with the VIP Manager, I would know as I am the VIP Lead at BitStarz. This means that the player does not have a VIP deal based on losses, even though it was unfortunately communicated by our latest addition to our Customer Support Staff, James. For that, I am very sorry, and I apologize.

In the light of the previous complaints here (and I am sure the AG Team here can vouch for this), we agreed to change our terms to specifically point out that the Loyalty Bonus was included in the max cashout (with exception of the VIPs). Unfortunately there seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding where the player seems to think that we edited it to lure him out of his winnings, which is not the case.

The simplification of the terms doesn't mean that the previous term didn't cover the above aspects, we were simply making it easier for everyone to understand in order to avoid confusion. Just because terms can be slightly hard to grasp, it doesn't mean that they don't apply. In essence, as the player is not a VIP player and did not have his Loyalty Bonus based on losses (despite what our Junior Support Agent was mentioning), the first term of our bonus terms and conditions do apply here. We'd also like to point out that we did indeed give the player a break and gave him 0.1 BTC instead of 0.025 BTC per the terms as an exception, which I personally believe is more than fair, considering this is free cash money.

Kind Regards,

Olle Dickson
VIP Manager

Posted on October 31, 2017

Hi Olle,

Thanks for replying.

There's a few problems I have with your response, namely the following pieces of information you have communicated:-

[Referring to the bonus I received] - "What we base this bonus on varies quite a bit as well. "
[In regards to actions you have taken since] - "We agreed to change our terms to specifically point out that the Loyalty Bonus was included in the max cashout (with exception of the VIPs)."
[Regarding your decision] "In essence, as the player is not a VIP player and did not have his Loyalty Bonus based on losses (despite what our Junior Support Agent was mentioning)"

You still have not defended the point I am making (as I set it out above):- "I have/had no way of knowing this. If the qualifying factor is the need for it to be explicitly stated, then I guess its a requirement for things to be explicitly stated only when it benefits the Casino (such as not stating the limits on this particular bonus)."

The information for the AG community and the public really boils down to this statement:

Was there the opportunity for Bitstarz management to apply a bonus to my account with no specific terms regarding maximum withdrawal, and then choose to apply one for the specific purpose of denying or limiting a withdrawal.

The answer is yes.

Given this, what is to stop your casino from retroactively deciding that the term 'bonus free spins' actually includes the 'bonus free spin feature' of a slot game and that therefore the same terms you have mention therefore apply, and deny some other players withdrawal request?

Furthermore, in your response you seem to indicate that you feel the terms and conditions that you set out for players can be supplemented with additional information (that is not made available to players) that may greatly impact a players ability to claim winnings, even if your own support are not aware.

At what point will you actually accept liability for the terms and conditions (and their wording) that you publish?

Posted on November 1, 2017

Hi there,

Absolutely no problem, my goal is always to try to lay things out as objectively and straight forward as possible.

In terms of the Loyalty Bonus not being mentioned in the terms and conditions prior to this, it doesn’t mean that there’s no rules that come with it. At BitStarz, we have a lot of different bonuses that we spontaneously give out to our players, and it would be impossible to mention each and every one of them by name in our terms and conditions. Therefore, they have to be mentioned on a category basis, just as we mention that the term in question incorporates bonuses that come with no deposit.

For example, if we decide to give you 10 dollars in bonus money for Halloween as a spontaneous gift, that would fall into the category of a “No Deposit Bonus”. This term is widely used among casinos and includes all bonuses that are not related to you doing anything to specifically get it, I have included a couple of examples here:

Example from Grand Ivy Casino:

(i) The Grand Ivy Casino reserves the right to limit winnings and withdrawals from all forms of no deposit bonuses / free spins / free bets added to a customer’s account up to the value of £100.

Example from 21 Casino:


Once more, for the bonus category in question, which is a no deposit bonus, that you received, it falls under the same term that we have. Stating that a bonus that was received without a deposit comes with a max cashout.

With all this being said, the term applied prior to us adding “Loyalty Bonus” to the term, we were simply trying to make it less confusing as there has been a lot of questions surrounding this bonus lately. Simplifying something doesn’t mean that the previous rules did not apply, it’s the same rules, written in an easier to understand fashion.

Kind Regards,

Olle Dickson
VIP Manager

Posted on November 1, 2017

Hi Olle,

I can appreciate what you have said but there is a problem in the precedent you are trying to establish. Namely the specific wording in the examples you have given _clearly_ state:-


All forms, is all forms - there is clarity for players there.

In your communications however, you do not mention it specifically, nor include that any terms apply in your promotional email (which I note you do for other types of bonuses in other promotional material.)

I think a better precedent to reference is this one here from one of the other occurrences where you in fact DO pay the player the full amount:-


The reason this is important is the screenshot from it provided by the player clearly shows the *exact* same 'category' of bonus - with the *exact* same text as the bonus applied to my account.

Now before you again mention the VIP status for that players situation I want to point out to you that it is at this point plainly obvious Bitstarz has acted in 'Bad Faith' in my regards to my situation.

The requirement you are asserting [Explicit, direct offer of VIP player status] is quite obviously _choosing_ to not enforce a term for players that would benefit the casino if retained, or otherwise harm the casino if you challenged them (the way you are choosing to challenge me). The confusion it causes for your internal support staff is great evidence of this: They are not aware of the private email you use to hand select the players that you know fall into the category above.

So In summary:-
It is communicated the same way, with the same name, without accompanying terms or conditions, and without reference in the terms and conditions. It has precedent in favour of the player, with the only requirement being that you acknowledge losing the player affects your revenue and hand select them for this.

You have made an exceptional case for demonstrating Bitstarz acting in bad faith.

Please pay my 1.05 BTC of winnings.

Thanks Olle,

Posted on November 1, 2017

Hi there,

Thank you for your reply.

Our terms have always stated the following:

"The maximum winnings that will be paid out resulting from a free bonus or free spins without deposit", which I believe is nothing that you're disputing. Hence this means exactly what it says, and includes the bonuses that are free bonus that are not related to a deposit. That's the bonus you received, hence the max cashout rule applied. "A" and "All" means exactly the same thing in this regard.

For the second part, you just answered your own question. It's exactly because that player was a VIP player that he got to keep his reward. He had a cashback deal that was communicated with yours truly, which means it's based on the deposits, and therefore our term of a max cashout did not apply. That's exactly what distinguishes your situation from his. We realized our mistake, apologized to the player and paid out in full, for the reason that I think that anyone who makes mistakes should own up to it and make amends.

In your case, this term does apply, as demonstrated in the previous messages here. You don't have a VIP deal, hence the bonus received falls in to the "bonus without deposit category" as it wasn't based on deposits, and that's exactly why the funds were deducted. Furthermore, we actually gave you 3x the maximum cashout amount on top as a goodwill, which in my opinion is a clear indication that despite enforcing the rule, we still made a huge exception and acted in good faith.

Kind Regards,

Olle Dickson
VIP Manager

Posted on November 1, 2017

AskGamblers Complaints Team consider the explanation provided on behalf BitStarz Casino management in regards of this complaint to be fair and justified enough and therefore, we confirm the decision taken by the casino to pay to player an amount which is less then the originally requested withdrawal amount to be in line with the relevant terms and conditions and namely: 

1a.The maximum winnings that will be paid out resulting from a free bonus or free spins without deposit (eg. the 20 free spins upon registration, Wednesday Free Spins Drops, Second Chance Spins, Friday Loyalty Bonus (exception VIP players who have specifically been set on a VIP Cashback Deal as part of their Friday Loyalty Bonus)) will be 100 EUR/USD/CAD/AUD, 1,000 SEK/NOK or 6 000 RUB. Max winnings for GBP is £50 (even if the amount of winnings accrued by you utilizing this bonus is in excess of this amount). In regards to BTC players, the maximum winnings that will be paid out resulting from a free bonus or free spins without deposit will be 25 mBTC. Any winnings exceeding this amount will be forfeited.

We would also like to clarify that if there is another case similar to this particular complaint then it must be this one here 
due to the identical situation where player is NOT considered to be a VIP BitStarz customer and therefore, not entitled to have their winnings derived from the Firday Loyalty bonus to be considered as an exception of the aforementioned bonus rule. 

In case of a disagreement with the decision taken by the AskGamblers Complaints Team, we reming player that further assistance on the matter could be requested from the relevant regulatory body.

The case is being officially closed now.

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