Cynical online gamblers who have seen it all before are all too familiar with the slow-pay excuse “it’s a software glitch,” but in a finding by the Malta regulator this week that appears to have been the case regarding Bet After Bet.com.
The Times of Malta, reporting on a case involving the company which led to an investigation by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, said that the delays had since been overcome and the firm was meeting its obligations.
The LGA’s involvement followed a number of slow-pay complaints by players, and warnings regarding the website on various information portals, some claiming that known amounts outstanding were around Euro 24 000.
BetAfterBet denied the allegations and blamed a glitch in its systems for the backlog. The company, which holds two LGA licences, was registered in Malta in July last year, The Times reports. It has a head office in Valletta and a mailing address in Sliema, but does not employ staff in Malta, maintaining only a key official on the Mediterranean island.
“As is normal procedure to investigate player complaints, the LGA initiated investigations on Bonobet Ltd [the parent company] to ascertain the nature of player complaints; the initial findings of the investigations confirmed that Bonobet Ltd encountered payment difficulties,” the LGA told The Times Business.
“Bonobet Ltd has assured that the payment process of players has already been initiated and that the process shall be concluded within the next few weeks.”
Adding to the encouraging outcome was the news that the LGA would continue monitoring the company “without prejudice to any further action that the Lotteries and Gaming Authority may deem necessary.”
The Times reports that BetAfterBet.com raised concerns regarding payment across the Internet for several weeks. The website offers no phone number for customer support but claims it can be reached via live chat and e-mail. But over the past few days, the “live” chat has been offline.
Responding to a Times enquiry on the issue, an unsigned email from the website avered: “Betafterbet is far from a scam. We are operators who had a glitch in our systems that has hurt us financially; our mistake and we have to pay for it. We are committed to our clients and to paying them what is due. We are in communication with the LGA on this.”
In another example of the importance of properly calculated bonus offers, the company revealed that it had offered players a bonus on first deposit which would be converted to cash based on certain parameters being met.
“The bonus was completely miscalculated by the systems with players being credited in their accounts with money they had not yet converted from bonus to ‘real money’,” the company revealed.
“We now have had to analyse all bets placed to ensure players get what is due to them and have started to effect payments. While the delay to pay players is regrettable, we can assure you that all players will be paid what is due to them. There may be slight delays as we are still analysing all transactions. We have communicated to this to all our players.”
Around 330 remote gaming companies are registered in Malta, estimated to constitute 10 percent of the global industry. An LGA spokesperson said the regulator has withdrawn tens of licences and monitors operations within the industry closely, particularly following complaints made to its Player Support unit.