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Betway 'scandal' resolved

Recently Twitter lit up with allegations of the new Champion Chase sponsor Betway refusing to pay a punter his winnings. The punter in question won a couple of his early bets on a new account and then wanted to withdraw his winnings. Possibly suspicious that the punter was betting for someone else, Betway asked for KYC (Know Your Customer) details to verify the identity of the punter - as they are required to do as part of their licensing conditions.

This is where it went awry. The customer, a student who had changed address several times over the summer, as uni students in particular are prone to (been there, done that), sought to expedite the process by doing a little cut and pasting of one scanned document (not illegal, just silly), rather than just being open and explaining the situation. Also understandable if you've ever wanted to get a mobile phone account or similar where a credit check is required. Betway audit staff noticed the irregularity and then the problems began. Rather than starting a conversation with the punter, they demanded more documentation which he submitted. All genuine documents however one of them contained a typo in the post code (probably easily done if you keep changing addresses, but again, not the fault of the bookmaker). Betway staff then pulled down the shutters and refused to discuss the case any further with the customer. Winnings confiscated, deposit to be returned, go away, no further correspondence to be entered into. All the while never telling the customer why. A fairly shambolic set of rules essentially allowing the firm to do whatever they want didn't help either.

Twitter went nuts and it's not hard to see why. Both sides were at fault - the punter for his naivety in editing an identifying document and Betway for digging their own hole with terrible communications. A new Head of PR, the experienced Alan Alger, conveniently walked into this in his first week in the job and was able to resolve the situation through mediation. The customer admitted his fault, Betway admitted their communication on the issue was poor and would pay out once that single issue was resolved. Their rules are now under a 'very thorough review'. Case is now closed.

Moral of the story - customers shouldn't muck around with ID documents and bookmakers shouldn't close up shop when customers have genuine grievances.

Betway aren't thieves, they just don't like making it easy for punters who raise red flags. Most bookies will do that...

Comments

  1. Glad to see it was resolved and usually it is just inept staff that let these matter go too far.
    Although a long time ago and they claim to have changed, Betway have a murky past of angle shooting and general scam tactics. See: http://www.sportsbettingonline.net/scam-sportsbooks/betway/ - I always have hesitation with these sites and its pretty easy to say you have changed.

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