We take bets on lotteries, but don’t like paying out

Initial email received:


I came across you from an article I found on the Guardian website and I was really hoping you could help me and give me a little bit of advice please.

I’m having a problem with ********* in paying my winnings. I’m not a big gambler or a casino person and the only thing I know about horses is that they have 4 legs. I play the Irish lottery once a week through ********* and that’s all. I’m not a dodgy person and I don’t have any adverse gambling or credit history. By chance 11 days ago I won on 4 numbers and won £19k but I’ve had nothing but problems with trying to get my winnings from them.

My deposits were really low at £30 a week (£15 on a Saturday and £15 on a Friday) so I don’t think I even really pose a laundering threat.

Their answers are vague and their reasonings vary between each adviser I speak to (sometimes they say it’s because they have a PayPal technical issue, sometimes it’s because it’s a big payout and takes a bit longer to process and now today they’ve said it needs more investigation). I feel like I’m deliberately being delayed and starting to think I won’t see what is due to me.

I’ve followed their complaints procedure and asked them three times for it to be escalated to their business team and to get a case number and they avoid it. I’ve asked them approximately 5 times for a timeframe stating that if I even had that I would be patient but they can’t provide that either. They just say that they’re not sure how long and can’t give a timeframe.

I had email confirmation from them 5 days ago to say that my ID had been accepted and that my account was verified so assumed that the money would then be transferred but again nothing. Vague answers when I chase them, etc. Nothing that they could possibly red flag either… my account addresses tally to my PayPal account, the names are the same, all my contact details are correct.

In my eyes there is nothing that should be stopping them. In your experience do you think I will see my winnings and what should I do next? It’s starting to get me quite stressed now (daft, I know).

Thanks for your time and for reading.

J4P’s response:


Thank you for your email.

What you are experiencing is pretty common in the gambling industry these days and disgusting. On the assumption that you have provided full details of everything that has happened you will get your money eventually. I’m also assuming you live in the UK or Ireland.

I’ve attached our advisory leaflet, which outlines your options. Do not bother with customer services anymore. I would recommend that you either contact ********’s CEO by letter or email or use ‘Resolver’ immediately (see relevant pages in the leaflet).

If you need any help with what you write, please ask. We are more than willing to comment on what people wish to send. It’s important you are forceful without being abusive.

I hope this helps?

14 days later:


Did you manage to make any progress with *********? I would be very interested to know. Please do let me know, either way.

Thank you.

Same day:


Thanks so much for your response and reassurance! It was really
appreciated! And yes, I did eventually, but only just with lots of pushing
and shoving. I really can’t believe how stubborn they were being. They had
zero sway as I was verified, low risk, full of ID, etc and their only
reason each time was that, “These things take time.” Anyway, after
threatening with further action and starting the procedures they finally
caved in.

Once again, thank you!

Same day:


Delighted for you, make sure you don’t give the money back to them. I hope you enjoy whatever you spend your winnings on!

J4P thoughts:

This case is a classic example of one of the regular injustices that the online gambling industry is involved in, e.g. not paying out for no good reason.

Quite correctly the industry has responsibilities concerning ‘Know your Customer’ and individual companies can get into trouble for not following incredibly flexible guidelines provided by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).  Many sections of the industry have taken advantage of this flexibility and have been warned by the CEO at the UKGC to stop using this flexibility to withhold perfectly fair winnings.

As we always admit we rarely have access to all the evidence in cases we help with, but based on what we knew about this case it seemed that this was a blatant attempt to withhold winnings for no good reason.  The concluding action by ********* probably confirms this, e.g. they paid as soon as they knew the customer had some knowledge of their consumer rights and how to go about getting them.

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