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|Thr 5th June 2015 - Bad bets, broken promises and toothless tigers...|
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4th June 2015
Good afternoon, friends,
In this issue of Punters’ Verdict….
Bad debts, broken promises and toothless tigers….
The 666bet situation rumbles on. And what a mess it is.
When the Gambling Commission suspended the firm’s continuation license earlier this year, Metro Play Limited (the company that controls 666bet) were perfectly able to continue settling customer bets and to facilitate withdrawals.
This they failed to do – and the Gambling Commission were not able to compel them to do so (this tiger has no teeth, folks).
The upshot is that plenty of customers were left owed money and with no way of getting their hands on it.
Last month Metro Play Ltd blamed the delays on not being able to get in contact with customers and, via a statement issued through the Gambling Commission, the company informed customers that payments would be made via Skrill and that outstanding requests for withdrawal of funds should be made by 24th May 2015.
Customers continued to report difficulties in making withdrawal requests. Others reported they had still not been paid out. Customers are also reported difficulties contacting Metro Play. A promised customer support resource had not been provided by the company.
On Friday (29th May) the Gambling Commission said Metro Play’s Chairman (also major shareholder) had been in touch to tell them he plans to make additional funds available to enable payments to customers.
The Commission were also led to understand that customers will no longer be able to access their accounts and make withdrawal requests via the bet666 website.
This hasn’t happened as of Wednesday 3rd June.
We are not, thankfully, a 666bet customer so we cannot comment on whether or not this has happened. But we suspect not.
We have seen no sign on the email address and assume the promised contact has not occurred.
In other words, if you’re a 666bet customer then you are on your own….
If there is one lesson to take from this debacle it is this: don’t keep more than you need to on deposit with bookmakers for any longer than you need to.
If the bookmaker experiences problems there is little to compel him to pay you out and nobody out there who is going to help you to get him to do the right thing….
Fred Done – acting the goat with the Tote….
We had cause to mention Fred Done a couple of weeks back. He isn’t making enough money out of bookmaking and has been trying to make ends meet by flogging high-interest payday loans to staff members he employs on minimum wage. Nice guy.
Long-term readers – and I appreciate how many loyalists we have in the audience – will recall that we had Fred Done in our sights way back in June 2011 when he’d been gifted the Tote by a semi-detached chancellor, Gordon Brown. And we paid him another visit in October 2012 when he’d had over a year to show us how he planned to run what had been a national institution.
After that we lost interest. Spending too much time focused on the actions and exploits of one Frederick Done can severely depress a man. But it’s about time we had an update of some sort and luckily a Verdict reader, NS, provided it in the form of a letter recently published in the Racing Post – which I duplicate below….
‘Dear Sir, Am I the only person who feels that Betfred has not made much effort to improve or promote the Tote since it bought it for £265 million four years ago?
I have not noticed a single new idea since then. Some of the pools are laughably small. In many of the betting shops in which I have attempted to place exacta and trifecta bets the terminals often refuse to accept the bets.
Perhaps the most blatant example of Befred's attitude towards the Tote is that the screens in its shops do not even show the dividends. When I asked the Tote for an explanation why, I received the following reply:
“The dividends are shown on the results pages that the shop staff have access to. These screens are usually located behind the counter in our shops. The shop staff will be able to give you the dividend if you request this information from them.
Unfortunately it is not possible for us to display every dividend that is declared for every race etc. as this would be too much information to display alongside the current betting for events which have yet to run.”
The second paragraph is clearly codswallop. If William Hill, Corals and other betting shops can show Tote dividends on their screens surely the Tote itself should be capable of doing the same. My overall impression is that Betfred and its management don't give a XXXX.’
On the Grapevine….
What we hear and what we see in the betting industry this week….
I'll be back with the Verdict next week.