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How not to treat your iGaming customers (or how to destroy reputation)

May 6, 2012

This blog will center around some of the – IMO – weird ways I found a few companies in the iGaming industry have been acting and treating their customers lately. I don’t have anything against the mentioned companies – they are solely chosen based on recent events, which is the reason I had the thoughts below…

I hope someone can come up with positive stories and share them in a comment below.

Generally I think companies should remember that their reputation is one of their largest assets and thus should act according to it. I’m pretty sure heavy advertising can’t make up for bad player treatment – I mean, would you rush to play at a reopened Full Til Poker, if you saw Howard Lederer in a TV-ad saying that everything was all good now?

Purple Lounge shutting down?

On April 27th PurpleLounge.com (PL) was shut down for all players due to poor results and shady accounting by Media Corp (The owner). Shutting down an iGaming site is something that happens from time to time, but the way it was done left all the PL players hanging out there.

When PL was closed none of the players received any information about it – When visiting the website, the players were met by a short statement that a statement would be made shortly. That left players without a way of contacting PL and without access to their funds. After months of reportedly stalling payouts it is no wonder that players fear for their money.

Media Corp claimed to be ”in the process of considering a number of options”, but considering how they treated their customers, it’s my best guess that their top priority is to get rid of PL as soon as possibly. It is not likely that someone will step in and purchase a brand that now is best known for cutting their players from all access to funds and any information for several weeks.
Personally I’m sure we wont see PL opening for action again. Who would play at a site that may or may not have the funds to secure everybody’s payout and who treats their customers like that?

I wouldn’t…

Nothing new from Purple Lounge as pr. May 6th

Unibet cancels Bet24s promotions

Last week showed an odd decision by Unibet after their acquisition of Bet24 was completed. In a mail to Bet24s Danish customers that later in May their accounts would be transferred to/merged with their Unibet account and promising great promotions on Unibet as a result of the change.

The mail from Bet24/Unibet

They also link to a release on Bet24s website. So far, so good and pretty standard procedure.

However, what Unibet/Bet24 mentions in the e-mail and the release on their website is the following:

  1. All bonuses will expire by May 14th
  2. All tournament tickets expires by May 14th
  3. No news about the loyalty program
  4. All bets that are not settled by May 21st will be canceled and the wager amount will be transferred back to players account.

To be honest, I don’t know whether these points are standard procedure in a situation like this. What it looks like to me is basicly that they are taking promised value from players (loss of bonus and tournament tickets) – and still expecting them to transfer to Unibet by promising good promotions. And I think we all know what promotions means – Good offers but you have to play extra to free bonuses etc. for payouts. And the promotions mentioned were not even specific.

I was also quite surprised on the decision to cancel all bets by May 14th. Whether it would be profitable for the company to do so or not, I don’t know, but I assume that the “house” generally has an edge when it comes to bets, so they’ll probably loose a bit on this maneuver. But what about the players who were winning on eg. long term bets on leagues etc? They will loose for certain and it didn’t take long for the issue to rise in a thread at the largest Danish poker forum with the title: Unibet purchases Bet24 – are they trying to cheat me? by a well known poker player. He claims that he has made bets on the best danish League for DKK 19,000 (app. €2,500) and looked forward to winning an amount between DKK 40,000 and 140,000 (€5,300 – 18,700), why he was pretty shocked by the news.

Thread cliffs:

  • Profiles saying that they are closing their Unibet account based on this
  • Bet24s support confirms that the bets will be canceled
  • Discussions whether it is because they are due to loose a large amount

At some point Unibet (I’m sure they realised they’ve made a mistake) joins the discussion and changes the date the bets has to be settled by until after the end of the Danish league. The Danish Marketing coordinator from Unibet also claims that there is no way that Unibet can transfer the bets from Bet24 to Unibet if they are not completed by the new deadline.

The new deadline doesn’t change anything. Some bets are still going to be canceled because apparently Unibet cannot set up the bet manually in their system or find any other solution tothis issue than canceling the bets.

This way of treating players are in my opinion unbelievable and in no way gives players any reason to trust the company thus destroying the reputation of the company – in this case to key players such as high raking poker players and bettors. One would think that Unibet would be more professional than that – especially considering the large amount of money Unibet are spending in promotion in Denmark, which includes lots of TV-advertising and large sponsorships of two of the top three clubs in the Danish Football League (Superligaen)

Conclusion

These two cases does not only hurt the reputation of the single companies but also the industry in general. Unibet was awarded a gaming license in Denmark this January and is known as an international iGaming company, and if people cannot trust the major players in the industry – then who can you trust?

It will be very interesting what the Danish Gaming Authority will have to say in this case but it definitely raise some questions:

  • When can a player be certain that the bet is valid?
  • Why should players trust any iGaming company?
  • Should this be possible with the new gaming legislation in Denmark?
  • When will the iGaming industry mature and realise it’s not the wild west days of the beginning of the century?

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Agree or disagree – please feel free to leave a comment below and/or share it on your favourite social network

/Morten

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One Comment
  1. What was prior an issue, which was just mentioned on a poker forum is now also news in the largest Danish newspaper (Jyllandsposten) http://spn.dk/spilpoker/spil/article2770479.ece and in Ekstrabladet, which website is the most visited Danish website: http://ekstrabladet.dk/sport/betting/spil-nyheder/article1755066.ece

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