Kwiff Voiding Winning Bets & eCogra Ruling in Their Favour

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

Kwiff Voiding Winning Bets & eCogra Ruling in Their Favour

Post by micmacg » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:55 am

Hello,

Apologies for the long post but there is a lot of information to get through here, however I'll provide a short summary at the start if anyone wants to skip the details.

Summary:

On the 17th of December 2018 I placed a series of bets with Kwif on an FA Trophy match to be played on the 18th of December between Bedford Town and Aldershot Town.

Aldershot had some injury problems and were likely to be playing a rotated team for the game.

The bets were as follows:
  • £151.51 on Bedford to win at odds of 3.5
  • £200 on a double of Bedford to qualify in normal time and Liverpool Double Chance vs Wolves at odds of 3.44
  • £50 on Bedford to win by 3 goals or more at odds of 16.0
Bedford went on to win the match 7-0 and Liverpool beat Wolves 2-0 on the 21st of December which resulted in all three bets winning.

Rather than settle these bets as winners, Kwiff voided every selection on Bedford Town and emailed me saying that there had been a 'technical error' at 17:54 so all bets placed after this time were now void... despite my bets all being placed by 17:26 at the latest.

I brought this case to eCOGRA and they ruled in Kwiff's favour, citing the technical error as a reason to void the bets. eCOGRA also stated that Kwiff had the right to void the bets as there had been a 'material change in the match participants' which resulted in 'incorrect odds'.

I dispute this as the match was still officially played between Bedford Town FC and Aldershot Town FC, despite Aldershot fielding a rotated team due to injuries. eCOGRA informed me that their decision was final and if I was free to take up legal action if I wished.

Extended version with full quotes:

I contacted Kwiff customer support to ask why these had been voided and was told:
We experienced technical issues which made it possible to bet on this match when it
was not supposed to be offered.

This match was supposed to be removed at 17.54 GMT 17th and should then have re
opened at 14.56 GMT, but due to an technical issue we had open markets until 11.29
GMT 18th.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused by this, but as per our T&Cs and betting
rules we will cancel all bets placed during this time when the match was not supposed
to be offered. The term and condition I refer to is below:

E.2 kwiff reserves the right, at its own discretion, to declare a bet void, totally or
partly, if in kwiff’s view and solely at kwiff’s discretion any of the following
circumstances have occurred:
* bets have been offered, placed and/or accepted due to an error;
* bets placed while the App was encountering technical problems, that would
otherwise not have been accepted.

E.4 In case of any error, bets can be voided and the stake returned to the customer
regardless of whether they have been settled or not and regardless of whether they
have been kwiffed or not.
Kwiff claim to have had a technical issue at 17:54 on the 17th of December, however each of the three bets that I placed were placed before the time of this 'technical glitch' and so should not have been voided.

For reference, my bets were placed at 16:57, 17:11 and 17:26.

Of course, I disputed Kwiff's decision to void the bets and emailed them with my complaint, however they responded:
Your complaints has been reviewed and our decision stands. As our decision is final, if you would like to pursue this case, you will need to contact our Alternative Dispute Resolution Service which is eCOGRA.
So I compiled all of my evidence and filed an official dispute with eCOGRA and waited for their response.

eCOGRA's response stated the following:
  • 17th December an announcement was made by Aldershot Town FC stating that they have no choice but to field a team of academy players for the upcoming game due to an injury crisis.
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46595230
  • After the announcement Kwiff decided to immediately stop accepting bets for this game. Unfortunately, due to technical errors this was not done immediately.
  • Kwiff took the decision to void ALL bets on the event, regardless of whether the bets resulted in a win or a loss as the odds were unfair.
  • Based on the above we are confident that Kwiff acted in accordance with their terms and conditions as stated in clauses E and B below.
E.1 A bet can be declared void, and in such circumstance, the initial stake will be
returned.

E.2 kwiff reserves the right, at its own discretion, to declare a bet void, totally or partly, if in kwiff’s view and solely at kwiff’s discretion any of the following circumstances have
occurred:
- bets have been offered, placed and/or accepted due to an error;
- syndicate betting;
- influence betting;
- a result has been affected by criminal actions;
bets placed while the App was encountering technical problems, that would otherwise
not have been accepted.

E.4 In case of any error, bets can be voided, and the stake returned to the customer
regardless of whether they have been settled or not and regardless of whether they have
been kwiffed or not.

Our definition of “error” is as follows:
B.1 An” Error” is a mistake, misprint, misreading, misinterpretation, mishearing,
mistranslation, spelling mistake, technical hazard, registration error, transaction error,
manifest error, force majeure and/or similar. Examples of errors include, but are not
limited to:
- bets placed on events/offers that have already been decided;
- bets containing incorrect participants;
- bets accepted during technical problems that would otherwise not have been accepted;

- bets placed at odds that are materially different from those available in the general
market at the time the bet was placed;
- bets offered at odds which reflect an incorrect score or else;
- obviously incorrect odds at the time the bet was placed.
eCOGRA finished by saying:
We have found the terms and conditions to be easily accessible, clear, fair and transparent. We are confident that Kwiff acted in accordance with clause E and B of their terms and conditions as seen above.

These bets were void in accordance with the site's terms and conditions for errors, specifically clauses B and E. The odds were not removed due to an error when a material change was made to the participants (Aldershot Town FC fielding a team of academy players).
Initially Kwiff said that my bets should not have been accepted due to a 'technical error' which occurred half an hour after my bets were placed.

In their evidence to eCOGRA Kwiff gave no explanation for what this technical error was or how it would lead to bets being mistakenly accepted half an hour before the error occurs.

In their evidence to eCOGRA, Kwiff have claimed that there was a 'material change to the match participants' due to Aldershot fielding a rotated team, giving them the ability to void bets due to incorrect pricing.

I obviously dispute this decision, as the match was still officially played between Bedford Town FC and Aldershot Town FC. There was no incorrect listing of match participants, despite Aldershot fielding a weakened team.

Surely setting this sort of precedence would lead to all manner of bets being void at an operators discretion if they feel the team did not field their strongest 11 players on a given day?

I have since replied to eCOGRA complaining about their decision to side with the operator, however they will not re-visit their decision and have told me I am free to pursue this case using any legal means I deem necessary.

I am unsure why anyone would have any faith in eCOGRA as an ADR service if they fail to side with the customer on the most basic of cases such as this one.

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

Re: Kwiff Voiding Winning Bets & eCogra Ruling in Their Favour

Post by Jimmy Justice » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:57 am

Thank you for this; fascinating.

You are correct that it is a very dangerous precedent to set, but am I surprised; no.

There's a lot to go through, so I'm going to try and focus on one major factor that can be proven. Two out of your three bets were placed before the BBC article e-Cogra has cited was published, e.g. "For reference, my bets were placed at 16:57, 17:11 and 17:26." And the BBC webpage was published at 17:16 & 46 seconds. Of course, this doesn't prove that you and/or Kwiff didn't know about the player situation before this time, but it does suggest that e-Cogra has used some evidence that likely means two of your bets should definitely have stood based on the other arguments they have cited. In fact, it probably means all three should stand, because the only argument left is that you had 'inside' information. If you follow e-Cogra's logic many, many bets on horse racing would have to be voided.

My first reading is that this decision is strange and that the decision by e-Cogra justifies the use of terms and conditions that are clearly unfair as they provide Kwiff with total power, thus I would think very seriously about submitting a small claim. This should never be done lightly and only you can make the decision. It's a pity it may have to come to this, but our experience is that neither the company or e-Cogra will budge.

Our advisory leaflet and this url helps if you do decide to go ahead: https://justiceforpunters.org/complaini ... s-betting/ & https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money

JJ

micmacg
Supporter
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm

Re: Kwiff Voiding Winning Bets & eCogra Ruling in Their Favour

Post by micmacg » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:41 am

JJ,

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply.

Glad to hear someone else can see the sense in this case - I am still baffled by the e-Cogra decision to side with the operator but from what I've read about other cases involving them this is to be expected most of the time.

In your experience is it worthwhile paying for a solicitor to take the case and have them contact the operator before having the solicitor start a legal process against them, or is the same outcome achieved by individually following the small claims process that you linked?

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

Re: Kwiff Voiding Winning Bets & eCogra Ruling in Their Favour

Post by Jimmy Justice » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:15 am

I'm not qualified to provide legal advice, so all I can say is that people regularly do small claims themselves and achieve an out of court settlement. It can only be your choice whether to pay for a solicitor or not.

The process is not difficult, but it can drag on for ages dependent on how the gambling company approaches things. Some companies are quite fair and if they recognise there's a case will make an offer quite quickly; others can be very difficult using their lawyers to aggressively frighten people.

JJ

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