Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I've been blacklisted

McCarthy: 'Are you now, or have you ever been...'I've been blacklisted, and it's not why you'd expect.

As background, realize that Casino King, Casino Las Vegas, Swiss Casino, 50 Star Casino, and Magic Box Casino are all affilliated casinos.

I started at Casino King, and on June 12, lost $100. I then played at Casino Las Vegas, and ended up +$303, with a balance of $533 ($303 + $100 deposit + $130 bonus). I attempted to make a withdrawal of $533, expecting that the $130 sticky bonus would be removed, and I'd get $403. Instead, I immediately got an error message indicating that I hadn't met the wagering requirements. I contacted online support, who said I'd need to e-mail casino support. I did, and waited 24 hours for a response, which never came.

My "comp points bonus" was at 252 points, indicating that they thought I was at $2520 in wagers, short $240 of the $2760. I should have waited to confirm, but instead played another $240, ending up ahead another $7 (bad RulesLawyer, expected loss of -$2). I attempted a withdrawal again, which gave the error message.

I phoned up Casino Las Vegas, and discovered (after much trial and error) that my cell phone wouldn't connect to their toll-free number, but my landline would. In the process, I attempted withdrawls two more times. I finally spoke to the customer service rep, who checked and said that I had indeed met the wagering requirements, and should now be able to make a withdrawal. I tried again to make a full withdrawal ($541 now), and got the wagering requirements message, and a message that my account was locked. I e-mailed them back, asking for assistance.

Meanwhile, I created an account at Swiss Casino, and played around on their play money tables, waiting for the floor manager to make a bonus offer or for another bonus offer to show up in my mailbox. After two hours, no offer came, so I hopped back over to the real money tables to make a deposit. I attempted to log in, and got a message that my account was locked. I e-mailed support to ask why, and got a pretty generic message:

Our administration system is completely automated and has automatically closed your casino account.

The reason for this may be due to a number of reasons including (but not limited to) the following:

1. Previous activity in the gaming industry and/or affiliated casinos

2. Previous activity with regards to banking and/or credit card systems

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused, but our system will not be able to maintain your account. We are unable to further assist you, and we thank you for your initial interest in our casino.

Have a good day!

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Swiss Casino Support Team. We are available 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week.

(I like that contradiction: "We are unable to further assist you... please do not hesitate to contact us.")

Swiss' terms and conditions state that if a player is ever locked out of an affilliate's site, they are ineligible to play at Swiss. The five affiliated casinos all have similar terms.

My guess is that I triggered a security lock at Casino Las Vegas with my multiple failed withdrawals, which cascaded to their affiliates. Whether the lockout at Swiss is permanent, I don't know, but if it is, then that security lock will also cascade, making me ineligible to play at 50 Star and Magic Box.

(I received a response from Casino Las Vegas to my withdrawal question this morning, telling me to try withdrawing $411, which would be the withdrawal excluding the bonus. My account wasn't locked, and the withdrawal succeeded.)

Adding to the frustration, my $302 withdrawal from American Grand (attempted last Thursday) never showed up (they say it should take four days), and when I checked last night, it was back in my account. I called them up, and they said I was about $3000 short of the $9000 wagering requirements, thanks for calling, have a nice... but I interrupted before they could get me off the line, and pointed out that ($100 deposit + $200 non-sticky bonus) * 20 = $6000 WR, and not $9000 WR. The phone rep fell all over himself apologizing (calling me "ma'am" several times in the process; grrrr), and confirmed that I could make a full withdrawal. I did, and now need to wait another four days for the money to show up.

Casino Las Vegas: Playing when I shouldn't: +$7
Something-out-of-nothing to date: $1,450

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