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eSports company doesn’t want to pay me my winnings and blocked my account Consumer Fraud

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by InfiniteOcean, Jun 20, 2022.

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  1. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Hello,

    First, thank you for your time.

    How can I make an eSports company pay me my balance? I live in the U.S. and they are located in another country, but their TOS states:

    Governing Law
    1. These terms shall be governed by the laws of the state of Delaware, USA, without regards to conflict of law principles. You hereby consent to the exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue of the state and federal courts of Delaware, USA.”
    Some facts and highlights:
    • It’s a skill-based bingo game (not the gambling kind). Players pay entry fees to enter a tournament, winner takes the main cash prize and the company keeps percentage of total entries. So I wasn’t playing against the house, but against other players.
    • I played dozens eSports games and got payouts from multiple companies (still getting).
    • When I just started playing this company’s game, they banned me twice (it never happened to me before) and said their system automatically blocks accounts if it thinks you’re cheating. They would unblock me (almost) right away after me contacting the support. My guess is I was new player for them but was constantly winning right away (due to experience I already had).
    • My first cash withdrawal with earnings (winnings) was around $20 and they transferred that to my bank with no problems or real delays.
    • My second withdrawal was $140+ and I had to go through identity verification process (successfully) and never got the money even after waiting 14 days (support said if longer than 14 days contact us again). And you can’t withdraw again until your previous withdrawal is processed.
    • Sometime between the 2nd withdrawal and 14 days mark I discovered that some players are cheating using the company’s unofficial own rules which I wasn’t aware of earlier and none of other similar companies have: if player can’t complete their game upon entering the tournament (paused the game and forgot, lost internet connection, phone died, etc), their entry fee is refunded and they are removed from the tournament and next player takes their place. So players were getting out of the tournament with no consequences if they didn’t get high enough score or messed up their game. So I contacted support about that. They said, “Funny you noticed,”, but basically, that’s our rule, but thanks for the feedback. I kept sending them screenshots proving it. Finally they said other players complained about same players I reported and they said they’ll change that rule. So they admitted to knowing about the cheating.
    • The same day my account is banned again. This time I have $320+ in there that I want to get out and just leave now. They owe me total $460+. In a polite way, I told them give me my money that I won despite all the cheating going on and I am gone, don’t make me write bad reviews and contact Better Business Bureau (before I knew they’re not US based). They said give us till Monday morning (which is 6 days since last contact), we’re reviewing your account. It’s Monday afternoon, they’re still dragging it out with “still reviewing your account” and “will get back to you soon”.
    • They advertise everywhere (including their website) that they are all about fair competition. I think it’s a crime called Deceptive Trade Practices.
    • I have screenshots of everything. I can’t afford an attorney.
    My main questions:
    1. Where can I complain/file a report? What kind of lawyer would specialize in this area?
    2. Also if I can’t do that, how can I ruin their reputation and tell everybody what happened to me? (I don’t have Facebook)
    3. How can I let them know I will report them somewhere and write bad reviews everywhere if they don’t follow through?

    In my opinion, they could potentially be sued for 1. Money they owe me. 2. Money I could have made after they blocked me. 3. Criminal charges for Deceptive Trade Practices. 4. Emotional distress.


    Thank you so much for reading.
     
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    File a lawsuit (although, for $460, even a small claims lawsuit isn't likely worthwhile).

    I doubt any lawyers specialize in this area.

    Not a legal question.

    Really?

    Anyone can sue anyone for anything. 2 and 4 could not possibly succeed in the circumstances you described. As far as #3, while certain conduct may both be criminal and give rise to civil liability, nothing in your post suggests that any crime was committed.

    You can contact the fair trade commission if you really want to. They may or may not do anything. Beyond that, probably best just to move along.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It would be practically impossible to make a foreign entity pay you the disputed $460.

    Sure, you could sue it.

    You might even obtain a judgment.

    Collecting a judgment from someone living next door to you is very difficult.

    In your case, its practically impossible.

    Your defendant is located in a nation outside of the USA.

    As Kenny Rogers sang, "You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold' em."
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Keep telling yourself that.

    You engaged in illegal gambling with a foreign scammer, and you're surprised that you got scammed out of your money?
     
  5. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I didn’t do anything illegal (in my state). Plus it wasn’t gambling. Look up Skillz, they’re legit and same type of company. I didn’t know they were scammers, they have 12K 4.8 star reviews. And I didn’t know their location until after they started giving me trouble.
    Are you a lawyer?
     
  6. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. That was very insightful.
     
  7. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you so much for opinion. Good to know.
     
  8. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have one additional question:

    Is it a good idea to threaten them with reporting to Delaware court system or Federal Trade Commission to help them decide?
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Scammers don't care if you tell mommy, pappy, or even granny.

    Scammers will do anything to get your money.

    Once your money reaches her/his sweaty paws, you'll never see it again.


    Threatening a scammer only emboldens her/his efforts.
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    A "bingo" game is, by definition, not a game of skill.
     
  11. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    Yeah, it is like Black Friday for online poker players.

    Online gaming is pretty much a scam anyway you cut it.
     
    Zigner likes this.
  12. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Call it what you like, the feds see this as gambling. The only legal internet gambling right now is sports betting (don't get me started). Regardless of what the terms say, if neither you nor the corporation is domiciled in Delaware, or the action occured there, Delaware courts have no jurisdiction.

    Further, you have no rights to have anybody criminally prosecuted. It is society that is harmed by criminal activity, and the state prosecutes. It's not a perp vs. victim thing.
     
  13. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. I see.
     
  14. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It’s not traditional bingo. You and your opponent get same board, same numbers coming out, in the same order. It has “twists” on top of that. You get various “power-ups” (again: same ones and in the same order as your opponent), but when and how you use them plus how fast you are - determines your score.
    You were supposed to look this up yourself before commenting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
  15. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I’m still unsure if it’s a scam company. I think they’re engaging in dishonest (slash criminal) practices when they feel like it. They have LinkdIn, FB, Apple Store reviews. Majority were good reviews, with some bad ones mixed in.
     
  16. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I don't know the actual company, so I had nothing to look up. In any case, your recourse lies in the terms of service that you agreed to. Have you reviewed that in full?
     
  17. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    About the company: I was referring to my comments to previous commenters, because I assumed the earlier comments are looked at before people post their own.
    About TOS: I have to re-read it because it’s a little all over the place, but it says no trial, but arbitration and maybe judge only/no jury is allowed through Delaware.
     
  18. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Where are you located?
     
  19. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I live in Florida. But that shouldn’t matter. They’re foreign but their ToS states - do your legal claims in Delaware, USA. It says that more than once.
     
  20. InfiniteOcean

    InfiniteOcean Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So to summarize: since their terms and website state they ensure fair play and then they were aware of cheating and weren’t doing anything about it, I am entitled to my earnings/winnings. We both enter the TOS agreement when I started using their platform, and they broke the agreement.
    So my idea now is to email (per their TOS) them an official letter from me, stating they broke the agreement, I have screenshots of everything, give me my money and I’ll leave you alone.
    I just need a template for the letter. I am not an attorney.
     

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