A statement from the firm said: “We have made arrangements to enable our customers to withdraw outstanding balances from their accounts with www.metroplay.com and www.666bet.com. All withdrawal requests made since the websites were reinstated are being processed. These will be paid as quickly as possible although it may take longer than the normal three to five day period to process them, as each payment requires manual approval.
“Customers who have not yet made a withdrawal request have until 24 May 2015 to request a withdrawal, although refunds will be made beyond this period. Requests submitted after this time will not be processed.”
The UK’s regulator, the Gambling Commission has issued it’s own statement advising players caught up in the operator’s mess that those who don’t make the date will have to chase up their debts separately. It commented: “As with any other commercial transaction such as buying consumer goods or entertainment, consumers enter into a contract with the operator when placing a bet. We understand that Metro Play Limited are doing all they can to honour their debts, but once the deadline has passed customers will have the normal legal remedies for debt recovery in the courts, under the terms and conditions of their contract with the operator. The Commission does not in any way guarantee funds deposited by consumers or prizes due.”
666Bet has now enabled customers to get their funds returned by they must have a Skrill account in order to make a withdrawal. It also had an excuse over why the process was taking so long: “All www.666bet.com customers with a pending transaction should now have this as an available balance in their account and will be able to make a withdrawal request. There had been a technical problem with pending withdrawals; mainly where customers had requested a withdrawal immediately before our licence was suspended, but had not had the requested funds transferred to them before our website went down. These required a manual procedure to roll them back and with only skeleton staff available, it took time to deal with them all.”
The Gambling Commission has also done its own justifying, with irate punters questioning why Metro Play obtained a licence in the first place. The regulator said: “666Bet.com and Metroplay.com are operated by Metro Play Limited, which is a company incorporated in Alderney. When the change in law requiring overseas based operators to obtain a Gambling Commission licence came into effect, in November 2014, they continued trading with British customers on the basis of a continuation licence. Metro Play Limited already held a licence from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC). As a result, the Commission was required to issue a continuation licence, while we considered the application for a full operating licence.
“Before we were able to complete the process of assessing the application for a full operating licence, we were forced to suspend Metro Play Limited’s continuation licence. The suspension followed the arrest of one of their key directors and the suspension of Metro Play Limited’s AGCC licence. We made it clear in the suspension notice that the suspension of the continuation licence did not prevent the repayment of customers’ balances. ”