Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

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micmacg
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Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by micmacg » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:34 pm

Hi,

I searched the forum and couldn't find any other examples of this, but my girlfriend and I who share a computer have just had both of our accounts at Stakers.com closed and all of the balances confiscated due to what they are calling 'Multiple Accounting / Collusion'.

Stakers have said that they have evidence from a cookie file that both of our accounts were accessed using the same computer and this is reason enough to confiscate the money (about £4,200).

Funnily enough they say that the cookie file was from January 2019, but have only taken the decision to close the accounts in May 2019 once one of the accounts returned a small profit.

Does anyone have any history of challenging a decision like this through the courts? If so how successful was it? Surely it would be considered an unfair T&C that two separate people aren't allowed to use the same computer to access their accounts.

The exact term they have quoted both of us is:
116. Stakers reserves the right to refuse or limit Bets from any person, for any reason and without prior explanation as well as the right to refuse registration on its website. In cases of apparent violation of any rule(s) by the customer or any other wrongdoing, We reserve the right to close an existing account and a refund on any existing Bets will be paid.

Despite this suggestion of a refund on existing bets, Stakers have confiscated all balances.

I have read the leaflet J4P compiled about consumer rights and the part which relates to small claims court which specifically talks about multiple accounts, would this 'cookie file' from January 2019 count as 'conclusive proof' that someone else was using the account? Or would it simply be evidence of two separate people using the same PC?

Thanks for reading this.

Jimmy Justice
Site Admin
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:16 am

Re: Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by Jimmy Justice » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:35 am

Hi,

Thank you for your post.

We've had a number of cases like this and the most common outcome is that all deposits are returned.

What follows is purely based on your post and nothing else. I don't have Stakers' side of the story.

Dependent on the betting patterns on each account it should be fairly easy to tell if one person has been running both accounts or if they are genuine separate accounts.

There is no reason why two people can't have an account each at one address or use the same e-device to gamble, but there are T&Cs that forbid dual use of offers from the same postal address, IP address, etc. So, again this comes down to the betting patterns on the accounts.

The T&Cs you refer to about confiscating all the money probably won't stand up in a UK court of law and Stakers will know this. What next, can only be your choice, as you are the only person that knows exactly what has occurred. If you think the betting history will prove that there was no account collusion I would try their ADR first, which is e-Cogra. In the case of e-Cogra our feedback seems to be that if there is any doubt who's in the wrong they will find for Stakers.

If you go down the small claims route, despite it being very unlikely, you and your wife need to ask yourselves, would we testify in court against Stakers? Like I've stated our experience is that it won't come to this, but you never know. No court process is to be taken lightly.

As you have our leaflet you are aware of all your options. If you haven't already sent an official letter of complaint to their CEO this is required before you do any of the aforementioned. Belwo is a template for you to edit.

I hope this helps?

JJ

Subject line: Withholding my monies without good reason


Your full address
Tel No
Email
Date

(insert name), CEO
(insert company)
(insert full address, including postcode)


Dear

Withholding my monies without good reason

My wife and I opened online accounts with (enter name of company) on (enter date); the usernames are (insert username).

On (insert date & year) I received an email informing me that (enter name of company) where keeping all the funds in the accounts as we had colluded and broken terms and conditions.

I’ve contacted your customer services on a number of occasions and they were very unhelpful. As I don’t understand why this has happened and nobody will provide evidence to me I feel our money has been stolen.

As I see it, it’s quite simple; under UK consumer law a company cannot accuse a customer of contract abuse without providing clear, easily understandable evidence for what is being claimed. At present (enter name of company) hasn’t provided any evidence, your company has simply relied on repeating unfair terms and conditions (T&Cs) that state (enter name of company) can be the sole ‘judge and jury’ of what is supposed to have happened. Once again, this is illegal under UK consumer law.

As of May 25th 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applicable in the UK, so I will also use my legal rights to force (enter name of company) to provide me with all personal data you hold about us. If this does not contain evidence of us doing anything wrong (I haven’t) you will have to pay me immediately.

If matters are not settled or evidence is not provided in the next 7-days of why you are demanding more and more documents from me I will be using all the gambling dispute processes available to me, including the UK small claims court.

I would also remind of this recent ruling by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/n ... safer.aspx

It’s not in the interest of either party to prolong this dispute; time is money, so I would request that you instruct your staff to allow us to withdraw our money or ask them to provide evidence to conclusively prove that we have no right to our money for whatever reason (enter name of company) is prepared to make up. If it is the latter, I remind you again that (enter name of company) cannot be ‘judge and jury’.

I look forward to hearing from you urgently or whoever you delegate the task to.


Yours sincerely,

(insert your name) (insert your username)

micmacg
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Re: Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by micmacg » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:29 am

Thanks very much for the reply, it's extremely helpful.

The betting patterns on the accounts have some similarities but are certainly not identical - I have just compared the bet histories and it's about a 30-40% match. The two accounts aren't registered at the same address, but they were both logged into using the same PC in the same month.

To be honest I don't think I would waste my time submitting a dispute to e-Cogra again. I submitted a dispute I had 100% confidence in winning to them previously and they sided with the operator and I am still working on getting my money from that case (Probably worth posting in here also because it is a disgrace).

The template letter to the CEO mentions using GDPR to request all of my personal data held from the operator. We have both already submitted subject access requests for our personal data which resulted in being able to see the account balances/betting histories as well as device and IP address data.

Something interesting to note here, although I'm not sure how much it will help my case, is that Stakers seem to have retrospectively changed one of their T&Cs that they are quoting to me. In my previous post I mentioned the term 116 which was originally quoted to me:

"116. Stakers reserves the right to refuse or limit Bets from any person, for any reason and without prior explanation as well as the right to refuse registration on its website. In cases of apparent violation of any rule(s) by the customer or any other wrongdoing, We reserve the right to close an existing account and a refund on any existing Bets will be paid."

Stakers have since emailed me using an updated version of this term (115):

"115. Stakers reserves the right to refuse or limit Bets from any person, for any reason and without prior explanation as well as the right to refuse registration on its website. In cases of violation of these terms by the customer, including but not limited to fraud, use of another individual’s identity or identity documents, or opening multiple accounts, We reserve the right to close an account immediately. In this situation, the breach will be investigated and the customer may be required to provide identity documentation to verify their identity. Until the customer provides identity documentation to verify their identity, the customer’s account will be suspended and no further deposits or withdrawals will be permitted. If it transpires that these terms have been breached, any unsettled Bets remaining open on the account will be cancelled and the account will be closed."

The two terms have different numbers because they have updated some other T&Cs. I have to mention that since I have not had access to my account I have not accepted any new T&Cs, and the new term they are quoting certainly seems to have more harsh wording around their right to close the account/keep the money.

This isn't the first time Stakers have tried editing their T&Cs to help themselves - they previously have voided bets in running (which were certain to win) and created a new term giving the right to do so:

"116.2. Stakers reserves the right to cancel any bets at own discretion before the event is settled and a refund on any existing Bets will be paid."

Although after some pressure from the GC this term was removed and the bets in question were paid.

I'm going to submit a letter of complaint to the CEO today using your template and seek some legal advice in the meantime. I'll update this post if/when things get moving.

Thanks again for the response.

Jimmy Justice
Site Admin
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:16 am

Re: Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by Jimmy Justice » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:03 am

Hi,

Many thanks for this extensive reply and please do submit the other dispute you've mentioned.

There are many things to note in your post the primary one being that you seem quite able to fight your 'own corner' - great stuff - keep fighting. Of course, we will still help if needed.

It's worth confirming, if you were wondering that their new T&C does not apply to you; this is worth pointing out to them at some point.

Please do keep us updated!

Thanks again,

JJ

micmacg
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm

Re: Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by micmacg » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:31 pm

Just to update this, after I emailed Stakers asking when they updated Term 115 to it's current wording and what date I accepted this new Term as part of an updated Terms & Conditions. Stakers eventually admitted that I had never accepted this term and that they were retrospectively attempting to use it as justification for confiscating the funds in my account.
Stakers Term 115 Not Accepted (2).JPG
Stakers Term 115 Not Accepted (2).JPG (57.42 KiB) Viewed 51 times
They seem to have since rescinded their reliance on this term and are instead quoting me terms 146 and 146 which I had originally accepted when I opened my account. A screenshot of these two terms is attached to this post, I'd be interested to hear if anyone thinks these are 'fair' Terms & Conditions? Or do they seem to provide the operator with the power to decide at their own discretion what constitutes abuse - allowing them to apply these terms at their will to steal people's money?
Stakers Terms 145 & 146 (2).JPG
Stakers Terms 145 & 146 (2).JPG (114.5 KiB) Viewed 51 times

Jimmy Justice
Site Admin
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:16 am

Re: Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by Jimmy Justice » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:54 am

I can't see 146 (2) , but 145 a) due to the wording at 145 would be unenforceable in law as it provides all power to the service supplier. You can't be investigator, prosecutor and judge under consumer law.

JJ

micmacg
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm

Re: Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by micmacg » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:38 am

Apologies, the picture should have been titled Terms 144 and 145. It gets a little confusing as they keep changing the numbering of their T&Cs.

Jimmy Justice
Site Admin
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:16 am

Re: Account Closed and Money Confiscated due to 'Multiple Accounting'

Post by Jimmy Justice » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:26 am

Thanks.

I have little problem with 144 except f. 145 is the term that makes the contract worthless in law.

JJ

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