Player’s Winnings Frozen at Several Bingo Sites

A long running dispute between some online bingo players and bingo sites moderated by Cassava is in the news again. A recent report says that players are being banned for life for withdrawing winnings at several sites including some of the top names in the internet bingo industry. Players are being banned for no reason and the unwritten rules have many internet bingo players confused and angry. Players whose only offense was withdrawing substantial sums from their accounts have been banned from a long list of popular bingo sites.

The problem emerged last year and was reported by one well known bingo blog. In the blog post one player accuses Cassava of banning ‘unprofitable’ players. According to Bingo Dave, the blogger, said that there had been a marked increase in the number of people banned from Cassava moderated sites. In the post Dave describes his experiences. Dave said his account was first blocked for ‘security reasons.’ That difficulty was resolved after Dave sent ID to the site and his account was unfrozen. Later Dave took advantages of bingo bonuses that the sites had emailed him, won and withdrew his winnings. In a few weeks his account was permanently frozen.

Dave was accused of registering multiple accounts but pointed out that there was no rule against having a single account at several Cassava sites. He was then accused of ‘bonus abuse.’ The only bonuses Dave had used were the promotions that had been emailed to him. This is the response Dave got from the security team:

“Please be reminded that the Company reserves the right to cancel your account for any reason whatsoever at any time without notice to you and any balance in your account at the time of such cancellation will be credited to your credit card and/or sent to you by check. It also states that the company also has the right in its unfettered discretion, to void any winnings and confiscate any balance in your Bingo account in the circumstances listed in the terms and conditions registered on the site.
David, your account was blocked because it is believe that you breached the Terms and Conditions which you agreed to upon signing up your accounts, where it states that if it is believe that a user is abusing or attempting to abuse a bonus or other promotion, or is likely to benefit through abuse or lack of good faith from a gaming policy adopted by us, then we may in our sole discretion, deny any bonus or promotion, or rescind any policy in respect of that user, either temporarily or permanently block that user’s account.”
The response left Dave confused and angry. In a recent blog post one poker website says that so far cassava is withholding £83,000 pounds of prize money won by players legitimately. There have been numerous complaints and many believe the bans are profit motivated. Cassava manages 90 internet bingo sites and observers say that the abuse is widespread.  Why would any internet bingo operator advertise bonuses and promotions if they are going to make up obscure rules to prevent players from withdrawing their winnings? Hopefully this problem will be resolved soon.