What Can I Do if a Casino Refuses to Pay Me in the UK?
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What Can I Do if a Casino Refuses to Pay Me in the UK?

What Can I Do if a Casino Refuses to Pay Me in the UK?

We all know that casinos want the house to win. However, at a certain level, that's not completely true. Casinos want their customers to win, just not too much. Otherwise, most people would give up, and never come back. That goes for both traditional and online casinos.

First, you must understand, the odds are always in favor of the house, and stacked against the player. The truth is, for every winner who cashes in, more losers are going home with empty pockets. Second, when there's a big winner, it's great advertising. It generates both hope and excitement among gamblers, spurring more visitors to visit the casino. It feeds into the dream of becoming an overnight millionaire.

While licensed and registered casinos do pay their winners, sometimes, they can’t pay. Often, there are very good reasons why a casino can't payout on a slot machine. Fortunately, there are just a few people who thought they won big, only to find out they were really losers.


Legitimate Reasons Why Casinos Can't Payout

Even if you win at a traditional casino or betting shop, there are very legitimate reasons why a casino won't pay out your winnings. Moreover, these reasons would be your fault, not the casinos.

First of all, don't forget your ID. The casino must run an ID check for several reasons, including possible money laundering and identity theft. If you don’t have a valid ID on you, the casino can’t run an ID check. Thus, you won’t get your payout. If this happens, usually the casino will give you an unclaimed payout receipt; usually, you'll have 90 days to cash it in for your winnings.

Second, if you're gambling in some US states, if a winner's name appears in the Gambling Intercept Payment System, the casino might not payout. The Gambling Intercept Payment System is a database of people who have legal monetary judgments or owe child support. For those who owe such money, the state will seize the winnings and apply it to what the gambler owes. In the UK, the issue is a little sketchy; there have been a few lawsuits, and so far, gambling income is not applied to back child support payments.

The third reason that a casino might not payout is a slot machine malfunction; unfortunately, someone can win hundreds of thousands, or even millions, when in fact, they haven't won a thing.

The fact is, this is a known possibility, and there are warnings posted on the slot machines. Moreover, the casinos and slot machine companies have the legal system and an army of lawyers to backs this up. If the slot machine experiences a glitch, the casino does not have to payout. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often, but when it does, the player can feel like the casino is cheating them.


Two Unfortunate Americans Thought They Had Become Multi-Millionaires

Hopefully, a slot machine will never malfunction on you, but remember, the law is on the side of the casino. It doesn’t seem fair that the casinos are responsible for maintaining the slot machines, and then profit when they break. But that's the way it is.

We couldn't find a UK incident of a malfunctioning slot machine mistakenly leading someone to believe they were overnight millionaires; perhaps in this country, the machines are better maintained. But, there are at least two high-profile incidents from across the pond that highlight the possibility.


New Yorker Katrina Bookman Thought She Won Almost $43 million

To show the sort of incredible slot machine malfunction that a casino won’t pay for, let's look at Katrina Bookman. The unfortunate Ms. Bookman was playing a Sphinx slot machine at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York. After a few spins, it appeared she had won nearly $43 million. You can imagine the absolute joy she must have felt. She immediately began dreaming about opening a barbershop for her son, and giving back to her community.

She immediately verified her win by taking a selfie next to the machine, showing a cash win of $42,949,672.76. But, when she tried to cash in for $42,949,672.76, she was only offered her $2.25 back with a free steak dinner. Imagine her devastation and deep feelings of disappointment.

The casino refused to pay her the fabulous win, because they said the slot machine had malfunctioned. The malfunction was verified by the New York State Gaming Commission, which also verified that Bookman was entitled to nothing. In fact, the Gaming Commission said the casino wasn't obliged to refund her $2.25 or offer a free steak dinner.

While this feels very unfair, it falls well within the law. Alan Ripka, Ms. Bookman’s lawyer, is suing the casino for $6,500, the maximum amount posted on the Sphinx slot machine. Ripka argues that the casino’s negligence contributed to the machine's malfunction.

The New York Gaming Commission immediately pulled the Sphinx slot machine off the casino floor for repair. Within days, it was back. Sadly, all Ms. Bookman got out of all the excitement was a free steak dinner.


Veronica Castillo Loses Out on $8.35 million

Veronica Castillo of Oregon was playing at the Lucky Eagle Casino with her mother in neighboring Washington State. While playing Jurassic Riches slot machines beside her mom, Castillo's slot machine said that she won $8.35 million.

However, Castillo quickly went from heart-pounding excitement to heart-sinking disappointment, when the casino only paid out $80.35. That's less than her $100 stake.

While the casino sent the machine back to the manufacturer, the Washington State Gambling Commission said that the Jurassic Riches game was not regulated by the agency.

The machine manufacturer, Rocket Gaming Systems, conducted a forensic analysis to determine why the display malfunctioned, by adding zeros. The maximum jackpot Jurassic Riches should pay is $20,000, with a maximum bet on all lines. But the biggest jackpot that Castillo could have won was $6,000, based on her credits and number of lines.

Like Ms. Bookman in New York, Castillo explored her legal options. But the fact that there was apparently a machine error means that she is unlikely to collect $8.35 million.


Your Options If a Slot Machine Malfunctions on You

Unfortunately, if a casino doesn't pay out because of a slot machine malfunction, there are not a lot of legal options. While casinos like paying out winners, that doesn’t mean casinos want to pay out big money. Furthermore, casinos have high-priced lawyers who know every detail of the law. If they won't pay you, it's likely the law is on their side.

That means, if your slot machine says you've won a ton of money, and the casino says no you didn't, end of the story. While you can lawyer up and call the press, you'll probably still lose. The fact is, the casinos already have a good legal defense. By posting notices on the slot machines, that absolves them of the responsibility of malfunctioning machines.

To make matters worse, modern slot machines are based on software, not mechanical wheels. When software bugs happen, that further absolves the casino of negligence.

While it can be hard for a lawyer to win such cases, you should talk to a lawyer if this happens to you. Also, remain calm, and keep all of the records that you can. Use your cellphone to take a photo or video of the machine screen and your winning ticket.

Also, definitely consider taking the casino's offer. It’s tough ending up with a steak dinner instead of $43 million, but the casino has offered you something. You can, of course, try to negotiate more. But in the end, the casino has bigger lawyers than you.


Casinos are Basically Good

While to a degree, casinos traffic in vice, they’re generally pretty fair. In gambling towns like Leeds, where there are 17 casinos, competition tends to keep casinos honest. Each casino wants to do right by their customers, so they'll keep coming back.

However, casinos are in business to make money. Casinos wouldn't stay in business if they just hand out free money. They know the law, they follow the law, and they won't pay out millions if they don't have to. Sorry, but that's the cold, hard truth.

Fortunately, slot machine malfunctions happen very rarely. All slot machines and games in a licensed and regulated casino should also be individually licensed and regulated. The fact is, the level of testing and control that goes into gaming software ensures errors happen infrequently.

However, if a small error in favor of the bettor does happen, it’s more likely that a casino will payout. It's a good way to avoid bad publicity.

Remain calm if you're on the losing end of an error, and try to work it out with the casino. But remember, the casino holds all of the chips, and your best bet is to simply get anything. Being level-headed and being reasonable is your best way to do that.


What if an Online Casino Fails to Payout?

Imagine winning big at an online casino and then trying to withdraw your winnings, but the casino doesn't let you. There can be several reasons why this could happen.

Winning is always exciting at an online casino, especially when you cash them out all of that extra money. Naturally, it's very upsetting if the payout doesn't come through.

Most of the time, there's a legitimate reason why the online casino is refusing to pay. However, in rare cases, refusing a payout is baseless, and the casino is actually trying to cheat. That is most likely to happen with an unlicensed, unregulated offshore casino.

Hopefully, you'll have a positive experience playing at an online casino; that is more likely if you only play only with a reputable, licensed, and regulated operator.

First of all, if you want to withdraw funds from an online casino, the payment request must first be processed. Sometimes, the payout request is declined. For example, this could be due to a software glitch or misunderstood bonus money terms and conditions.

In some cases, there are real, legitimate reasons why the casino refuses a payment.

This could be because you've opened more than one player account or the casino suspects that you cheated to win. This could also be because of a game malfunction or software bug that lets you win.

The fact is, casinos monitor the players and their gambling habits, scanning for suspicious activity. If suspicious activity is detected, the winnings are nullified.

Let's look at a few possible causes for failure to pay out, and ways to protect yourself from a disreputable casino.


The Top 10 reasons why an online casino won't payout

The following are the most common reasons why a payout might be blocked.

  1. You opened an account with false information.
  2. Creating multiple accounts.
  3. Failed to send verification documents.
  4. You violated the terms and conditions.
  5. Using someone else's credit card to deposit funds
  6. You cheated
  7. Signing in with a VPN
  8. Your bonus hasn't been exhausted
  9. Not old enough to legally gamble
  10. The casino is fraudulent

Now, let's go into more detail on each of these reasons.


Misunderstood bonus terms and conditions is the most common reason for failed payouts

In many cases, a refused payout results from the customer misunderstanding the online casino's terms and conditions. For example, when playing with bonus money, you can't cash out your winnings without satisfying the terms and conditions.

In fact, often there is a specific number of times you must play before you can withdraw your winnings. Also, generally, you must play during a specified time period to avoid the casino canceling the bonus. For example, if you deposit £30 and receive a 100% deposit bonus, you'll get a £30 bonus. If the requirement is x20, you need to bet (£30×20) for £600 before you can cash out.

Bonus money terms and conditions can be confusing, so, be sure to completely read and understand the bonus terms and conditions. In fact, read all of the website's terms and conditions.


Your winnings were the result of a progressive jackpot 

Slot games with progressive jackpot  are very attractive, but also something of a trap. Unfortunately, there are progressive winnings that are not included in your withdrawal limit. That means, before you play a game with a progressive jackpot, make sure those winning will be included in your withdrawal limit.

The best way to find out if your progressive jackpot can be withdrawn is to send an email to customer service. While this can seem like a waste of time, at least you'll know for sure. However, online casinos usually post their withdrawal terms and conditions on the website. The conditions can even include the payment method. For example, progressive jackpot winnings might be paid in installments. However, due to an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, some online casinos have removed this restriction.


Software glitches

Generally, payment software makes allowances for small glitches. But like all things associated with computers, sometimes things go wrong. These glitches can happen at the best online casinos from time to time.

If you're unfortunate enough to encounter a computer glitch during a withdrawal, remain calm. Simply clear your browser, and try again later. Also, take screenshots of your account balance, and make note of any error messages. If the problem continues, contact customer support.


You opened more than one player account

Some players register more than once to try and get more free deposit bonuses or free spins. However, the terms and conditions prohibit this. As a result, if and when the casino finds out, you'll likely lose your winnings.

Also, sometimes a registered user forgets their login credentials and decides to open a new account. The option if you can't remember your login is to contact customer service; they might be able to reset your password using your details. As with all login credentials, it's a good idea to write it down somewhere secure.

The fact is, fraud, money-laundering gambling addiction is rampant today. One way the casinos try to prevent this is by only allowing one active account per IP address.


You used someone else's credit card to fund your account

Even if you used someone else's card with their permission, the casino can mistake that for identity theft or money laundering. If someone wants to give you money to gamble, have them transfer that money into your bank account. From there, transfer the funds to your online casino account. Or, your friend can buy you a Ukash voucher. Just log into your casino account, type in the 19-digit Ukash number. The funds will be instantly transferred to your account. 


You registered under a fake name

Due to the nature of gambling, online casinos require that you use your real name and details. They work hard to prevent fraud, identity theft, and money-laundering on their platforms. Signing up with false details is definitely a red flag; it will be easy to assume anyone signing up under a fake name is up to no good. If you sign up with false details, expect to lose your money.


You failed to send your verification documents

When you open an online gambling account, the casino needs to verify your identity to:

  1. to make sure you're old enough to gamble 
  2. confirm your identity
  3. see it you are self-excluded from gambling 

The company needs to protect both you and itself from fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.


You are too young to gamble legally

You must be at least 18 years of age to legally gamble in the UK. That's the law. Not only must you adhere to the law, but the casinos must too. That's why they ask for verification documents, and prohibit signing up under fake names and using others credit cards.  

If you are not old enough to legally gamble, don't sign up at an online casino. You risk losing your money. 


Using a VPN (virtual private network) to access the site

Many people today routinely use VPNs to surf the web, for a variety of reasons. A virtual private network can route you through another country, making it look like you're gambling illegally.

The fact is, when it comes to gambling online, companies track IP addresses to verify that you're in the country. To gamble online in the UK, you need to physically be in the country.

Also, if it appears you are outside the country when you attempt to withdraw money, the casino's system might think you're a hacker. They will stop the withdrawal, to protect you.


You Cheated

Back in the Old West, card sharks and cheats were usually run out of town, or worse, publicly hung. But today, the casino will simply withhold your funds, cancel your account, and ban you.

While finding a way to cheat might be tempting, sooner or later, it will catch up with you. Online casinos have sophisticated algorithms to detect cheating. The casino attempts to play fair, and so should you.


The online casino is fraudulent

Of course, refusal to pay out could mean that the casino is disreputable, and actually trying to cheat its players. They could withhold a withdrawal using a flimsy excuse or simply cancel it. It's extremely important to only play in licensed online casinos, licensed and registered in the UK or Malta. This is because these casinos have robust player protection in place, and audit the platform regularly. UK casinos that do not follow the rules eventually will lose their license.

Our website features only fully licensed and reputable online casinos with a good reputation.

Never play at an offshore casino that is not licensed and registered by the UK Gambling Commission. You don't really know who operates a casino in a foreign country, and some of them are operated by criminals. Criminal cartels and foreign mafias not only will steal your money, but they may also steal your identity; punching in your credit card information in an offshore casino is risky business. There will be no way to retrieve your money, and no legal recourse.

Not only that, you'll be contributing to potentially heinous crimes, such as human trafficking. The fact is, criminal cartels run a variety of shady operations, and not all are as seemingly harmless as gambling. The bottom line is, stick with online casinos that are licensed and registered with the Gambling Commission.


The most common complaints about online casinos

There are always people who complain about everything, and online casinos are no exception. They not only complain that the casino is trying to cheat them out of their payouts, but also about other things. A lot of the time, the complaints turn out to be unwarranted. That's because the players themselves are in the wrong. For example, they have not read or understood the general terms and conditions or haven't fulfilled the bonus conditions. Or, they may have behaved in a way that appeared fraudulent to the casino's algorithms.

Here are a few examples of unwarranted complaints from casino users:

I used my friend's credit card to deposit money into my account. Now, the casino won't send me my payout.

Casino terms and conditions do not allow a player to deposit funds with someone else's credit cards. This rule is to help prevent fraud, money laundering, and identity theft. To do so may nullify your winnings. Only use your own cards!

I have multiple player accounts at the same casino and now they don't want to pay me.

The casino's terms and conditions prohibit any one player from opening more than one account. Additional accounts will be closed and any winnings deemed void.

I deposited €100 and didn't win anything! I think this casino is fraudulent.

The fact is, gambling in a casino means that you can lose your money. However, this doesn't mean that the casino is a fraud. Gambling anywhere means that you are prepared to lose money. If you don't want to lose money, don't gamble. 

The casino didn't finish processing my payout in two days.

Every online casino has a time-frame for processing withdrawals. They sometimes need extra time to verify a player's identity. Also, requesting a payout over the weekend can delay a payout. You also need to factor in the processing times of the payment providers, such as your back, Skrill and PayPal. Depending on the payment method you choose, that can add a few days to the processing time of your payout. For example, bank transfers can take several weekdays to process.


Final Thoughts

If an online casino does not pay you, gives you excuses, or more importantly, ignores your or doesn't attempt to fix the issue, you can file a complaint with the UK Gambling Commission. 

A reputable casino that is licensed in the UK must provide their license information somewhere on the website. You can usually find the UKGC logo at the bottom of the page. Click on it, to find the license information. If you have concerns or complaints about a gambling website, you can visit the Gambling Commission website


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