Jun
11
2008

Bodog Life = Bodog Strife

This post has been a little time in the offing; I’ve been giving Bodog Life a chance to reconsider their decision on this matter. It has come to a point now where it is very clear that they are not going to. This problem is not exclusive to me, the same thing has happened to my best mate Hui and his involves a lot more money and I’m assuming that there must be others that have been crucified in this manner. A few weeks ago I woke up and logged onto my Bodog account only to find that there was $1,551 missing, I checked my email and there was no explanation for it. A day or two later I got an email from Bodog Financial Services department that read as follows…

Dear Mr. xxxxx
Account: xxxxxx

After a thorough review of your account, we have concluded you to be involved in abusing programs associated with your registered eWallet. We as a site allow clients to use these depositing options for convenience and easy access, which is why we as a business elect to absorb the depositing fees. However, in review of your account we have found you are not interested in wagering with the deposits, but instead wish to receive higher status and gain additional privileges with the eWallet on file.

Please be advised of the following eWallet Terms of Agreement:

?Bodog will cover eWallet transfer fees when your transfer is initiated on the Bodog site and when the funds are used in your Bodog account (unless otherwise specified on the deposit page). If you have had little or no activity between deposit and withdrawal you may be charged a fee that will be limited to the actual costs incurred to process the deposit.?

As such, we will be deducting from your Bodog account the fees we have incurred in processing your transactions for the past 30 days worth of deposit abuse. At this time, the amount outstanding and thus deducted totals $1,551. Please be advised, future abuse will also have the same result.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and should you wish to discuss this matter further please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards,

Bodog Investigations

Apparently, they believe that I was depositing and withdrawing at their site merely to abuse Neteller’s cash back promo that was running in May. This is simply untrue, and their assertion that I had little to no activity on my account between deposits and withdrawals is false. I bet multiple of thousands at their casino (losing money in the process), I played hours of poker and placed multiples of three figure sports bets. Not only that, I have been a registered a loyal customer of Bodog since late 2004. It is actually the site that built my poker bankroll and a place I have put in a tonne of play. The only reason I ever stopped playing there on a regular basis was that they only allow you to open and play three tables of poker at once.

I view their actions as little more than stealing money from my account. It IS written in their terms that they reserve the right to pass e-wallet fees onto their customers, but as I said I feel that is heavy handed in this instance as I did actually place bets on their site and have a history of doing so. I was never given any warning that they felt my activity wasn’t fulfilling their minimum play requirements. Logically, if they think I’m not putting in enough play they should tell me sooner rather than waiting for it to go on for a month then retrospectively charging me, shouldn’t they? If they are having issues with Neteller’s promotion that really isn’t my problem, they should take that up with them and not me.

Obviously I have been trying to challenge this and have been finding it very difficult basically because I have no readily available means of recourse against an offshore company. I have spoken to a guy called Carson who I assume is the head of their Finance department; he has made it clear that they won’t be reversing their decision. Thus, I made it clear to him that I am going to tell every single person I know in the casino, poker and sports betting industries about this story. I think that it is important that people are made aware of this case and tread carefully where Bodog is concerned in the future. The last year or two they have struck me as a brand that is way out of touch with the consumer and this just further backs up my opinion. I’m resigned to having lost $1,551 to these guys, more money than most people take home each week, but I will live.

Now for the real joke of this whole situation… As I mentioned at the top, this problem isn’t exclusive to me, it also happened to my best mate Hui and on a much larger scale. Hui is a high stakes gambler, who frequently wagers $200+ on hands of blackjack online and takes some pretty big swings.

He had $70,000+ sitting in his Bodog Life account when he logged in one day to find that his account had been locked. Bodog had accused him of money laundering! For those of you who don’t know, money laundering is moving funds around so as to distort the source of that money. Basically something that organised criminals engage in to cover the source of their funds. To accuse someone of engaging in criminal activities is something quite serious, particularly when that person is completely innocent. Hui is just a regular 22 year old guy from Sydney, Australia. He works hard at his job and he comes home at night to unwind by gambling online. He has been a Bodog customer for a long time, frequenting their casino and betting large amounts; they really should have no reason to believe that he is suddenly using his account to launder money.

Hui was cleared a few days later when he sent in a few ID documents to Bodog and after many many phone calls. They never apologised for making the accusation against him and for the stress of having his account locked with so much money in it. When they eventually did unlock his account, they decided to take approximately $10,000 off him for the same ‘e-wallet abuse’ as me. A little more sizeable that the money that they took from me in arrears, and they have even less of a case for taking it. Hui lost about $20,000 at their casino in May…

When he requested that they provide him with details of how much he had deposited, withdrawn and wagered for the month, they told him that was against Caribbean privacy laws. Yet, they were quite happy to publish one of his winning sessions on the news feed of their official web site. He wanted this information so he could publish it to show everyone just how much of a joke this whole thing really is. Clearly, they don’t want that information released as it would be highly damaging to their brand and reputation.

http://beat.bodoglife.com/casino/jacks-or-better-sees-online-casinos-biggest-weekend-payout-82578.html

In fact, Hui contends he wagered about $3.5 million on blackjack in May, averaging a $400 bet per hand… hardly what you would call ‘little to no activity’. The Financial Department head, Carson, gave this example to Hui… he deposited $10000 to his Bodog account, took $1000 in chips to the casino, bet $500 a hand and won 20 hands in a row. He then said that this would only be considered $500 worth of wagering because he had only risked $500 of his own money…So from Carson’s point of view Hui had wagered 5% of his deposit, when in any sane person’s definition of wagering at an online casino Hui had actually wagered $10,000 in that brief session. If this is how Bodog assess the amount that their clients are risking before slapping them with e-wallet fees, it is little wonder that Hui, I and probably numerous others have been pulled up like this…

So to sum up Hui’s situation, he lost about $21,000 at their casino in May before they locked his account (as far as he can tell as they won’t give him the official number). He was then accused of money laundering, had his account locked with $70,000+ in it for 3 days. Once he was cleared of that after numerous international phone calls and much stress, they thought it necessary to take $10,000 in retrospect for ‘e-wallet fees’. An absolute joke when they stipulate that it was for ‘little to no activity between deposit and withdrawal’ when the bloke had wagered 3.5million at the casino for the month… Unbelievable really… 3.5 million wagered on blackjack, which has a 0.5% housed edge, would result in an expected loss to the casino of about $17,500…. It hardly seems like anyone wanting to abuse an e-wallet promotion would be betting $400 a hand and aiming to lose $17,500 in expected value putting in cover play at casino…

Hui has it a lot worse than me, I didn’t really lose that much money at the site as I was wagering. Hui’s situation is compounded by the fact that he dropped a 20k bundle playing their. He really does deserve to have his $10,000 in ‘e-wallet fees’ money returned to him. There is absolutely no justification for taking that much money from someone who has lost and wagered so much for the month.

Tell everybody you know about this story, steer well clear of Bodog. If you want to help out, please email pr@bodog.com telling them how outraged you are after reading this. I’m sure it won’t be long before they start taking notice and maybe reconsider their treatment of me and especially Hui. Thanks for reading everyone.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

4 Comments + Add Comment

  • I should email them from my work email address – if you get my drift… it could even be localised. Ask me how 😉

  • Fuck man that is nasty I like how the used the Caribbean law joke as an excuse as well. You should tell the world about this. Publish it on every major forum no-one should be screwed like this. As if a company based in the Caribbean would case about money laundering. They are the ones who opened a casino they are doing the laundering if anything. I hope you and Hui get your cash back Good luck

  • I’ve always thought bodog was shady. I had a time where i accidently put down my checking account number down wrong by 1 number and they let me play for 2 weeks and then confiscated the $700 worth of profit i made, for ‘giving a false account number’.

    Your experience with their support sounds like my experience. They won’t listen to you, if you break the rule, they never bend on the consquence. (a great way to keep customers imo).

    I hope you figure it out and for what its worth, i sent them an e-mail.

    -DR

  • Hui got a response from this Carson guy…

    For the past 30 days worth of activity, your average bet was $534.16. You have wagered approx. $3.2M in the Casino software, and are currently up $7,397.01.
    >
    > You have deposited $290,600 and only elected to risk $97,000 – approx. 33% of your deposited amount. Most notably being May 16th, May 22nd, May 23rd, May 25th where you used less than 10% of your deposited totals.

    Now given that we know that Carson’s definition of risk is…

    The Financial Department head, Carson, gave this example to Hui… he deposited $10000 to his Bodog account, took $1000 in chips to the casino, bet $500 a hand and won 20 hands in a row. He then said that this would only be considered $500 worth of wagering because he had only risked $500 of his own money…

    When anyone in their right mind in the gambling community would consider 3.2 million in bets and 290,600 deposited as 11x turnover on deposits. The figure that Hui was up $7,397.01 surprised him, I think he probably won a lot early in the month and then dropped large bundles at the end which skewed his perspective. even so 3.2 mill wagered on blackjack alone is -$16000 EV and I’m certain the he played slots and other games too, which would further worsen his expected value figure, so obviously he ran like a god and is now being punished for it???

Leave a comment

I Play At PokerStars

Click below to sign-up!

Categories