Is It Getting Harder To Get Your (Online) Gambling Money?


I posed that question last week after I had been reading about gamblers complaining about bounced checks and being told it was going to take longer to get their money

Here are some responses. I have withheld names from these submissions for obvious reasons.

Reply #1:
"I am an avid online gambler who had cashed checks from Zip Payments without any problem up until the most recent check I deposited, which was on July 1st. I went to Puerto Rico, spent the money, since I assumed it had cleared like always, only to return and see my account was overdrawn. And the interesting part is I had deposited another check from Zip Payments only about a week earlier and had no problem, This is causing a great distress in my life since I am a full time college student who relies on my handicapping ability to provide me spending money while I am still in school."

Reply #2:
"I know you are looking for stories to support your theory that the government has shut down gambling payments to US residents. However, I have a story about making deposits and withdrawals right through my major USA bank. As of yesterday, I was processing deposits and withdrawals through my bank... as do most all gamblers inside the USA. This issue is all about personal freedom. The government has no right under the Constitution to tell me what I can or can't do with my money."

Reply #3:
"I've always been a regular viewer of CNBC and based on what I do for a living I was very happy to see a reputable network cover this story. I am an inactive CPA and play poker (primarily online) for a living...At the end of the day, this is an indirect effect of the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act a few years ago, which legally hasn't changed anything yet, but seems to be motivating the DOJ to crack down on sports gambling, which often gets lumped in with other forms of gambling like poker. It continues to affect professional poker players negatively and threaten the health of the games, even if the games don't get completely shut down."

Reply #4:
"Without exception, every one of those sites takes significantly longer than they did pre-UIGEA. Whereas Neteller and Paypal were almost instantaneous, my “expectation” now is at least 30 calendar days. My last check from Bodog took almost 45 days. The previous one was 30 days and the ones before that were right about 10-15 days. But, I have also found that most sites are actively working to find new ways to get money to its customers. The challenges seem to be on the banking side. For example, I have received multiple checks from Bodog and up until the last one, every check was from a different bank. That tells me that they are having trouble with their US banks. There is one site that actually is attempting to make it look like you are on their payroll. They send you a debit card and then process your “payroll” check when you withdraw. Then, you go to an ATM and get the money. All of these seem to be creative ways to work around a silly law that is almost unenforceable. So, in conclusion, this is a billion dollar business, and therefore, because of that, these sites will find ways to make sure their customers get paid. It might be a bit shady, but their business life depends on keeping a fairly spotless record."

Since the major sports book I named in the last post was Bodog, I thought it was only fair to tackle this issue with Alwyn Morris, CEO of Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, which has the North American License to Bodog.

Darren: I've received a couple of complaints regarding a delay in the processing of checks for people who want to withdraw from their Bodog account. Is this accurate?

Alwyn Morris: Yes. There is currently an increased delay in the time between customer payout request and receipt. As is stated on the website, players can expect an estimated check processing time of 40 business days to receipt.

Darren: What is the reason for this?

Alwyn Morris: As you know, all operators outsource payment processing functions to third parties and these payment processors are subject to logistical as well as regulatory constraints within the various jurisdictions in which they operate. It does, from time to time, occur that a processor either chooses to stop doing business in one or more jurisdictions, or temporarily loses the ability to process for a wide variety of reasons. When that occurs, there is a delay while Morris Mohawk Gaming Group re-routes our customers' payouts to a different processor.

Darren: How much does this have to do with Morris Mohawk and how much does this have to do with payment systems shutting down?

Alwyn Morris: Delays in receipt of checks by players at the moment are simply a function of the constraints these payment processors are experiencing; they are frustrating for both Morris Mohawk Gaming Group and our customers, but it is in no way indicative of Morris Mohawk Gaming Group's solvency or internal processes. Every player has and will always be paid. This is our absolute commitment. Indeed, assuming proper Know-Your-Client documentation is on file and fraud screenings are cleared, every payment request -- checks included -- are processed by Morris Mohawk Gaming Group within 24 hours. The period between Morris Mohawk Gaming Group processing these payouts and the funds or check being received is simply a function of the payment processor limitations. Morris Mohawk Gaming Group conducts continuous reviews of its current providers to optimize payout times, as well as reviews new options as they become available.

Darren: You purchased the U.S. license for Bodog. How would you describe the challenges in the U.S. market regarding being able to do business and is this what you expected?

Alwyn Morris: Both before and after the agreement was effected with Bodog, Morris Mohawk Gaming Group was aware that the business would face evolving challenges within each market in which it participated. We have and will continue to assess new methods and opportunities to improve current processes on an ongoing basis to ensure that our customer experience is second to none. While customers are understandably frustrated by these delays, we believe that the best way to ensure the long-term success of the business in a changing landscape is to ensure that our customer experience is unparalleled and we earn our customers trust and loyalty every day. Our customers are quite sophisticated and many of them understand these constraints. Our commitment to our players is unwavering, and we are a nimble organization that strives to be nothing less than the best customer experience online -- no customer need ever question the trust that they have placed in us, and our players will always be paid. Period.

Questions? Comments?