Beware Borgata’s Deceptive Promotion

BorgataIf you’re one of the many New Jersey residents who is has signed up for online gambling, you might be getting what appears to be an attractive promotion from  Only respond if you’re a slots player.

I received this friendly ad in my email in box very early Sunday morning:

Deposit $50, and get an additional $51 FREE. That’s $101 to play with!
Dip into the treasury this Presidents’ Day. Lincoln is on the $5 bill, and Washington is on the $1 bill, and those are your lucky numbers! When you deposit $50 into your account, you’ll get $51 more, on us. So get playing!
Here’s how it works:
• Sign in to your account, go to the Cashier tab, and make a deposit of $50 or more using code PRESIDENTS.
• Your $51 bonus cash will be ready to use right away.
• Start playing!
Click below to sign in and get started.

            Best of Luck,

Just the day before I had decided to lay off playing blackjack for a while. Far from my high roller, I requested a check for $150 and left about $60 in my account which was gone pretty quickly. This email drew me back in. I made the $50 deposit.

But the extra $51 did not show up in my account.   Adrianna, the online customer service rep on the grave yard shift was very nice.  She apologized and said there had been an error.  The promotion did not go into effect until the 17th and I would have to wait.  I should not play in the meantime, because if the balance of $50 was not in the account on Monday, I would not get the bonus.

I made it very clear that I was not happy about that and that Borgata should honor its word.  Adrianna blamed “the system.”  When that didn’t satisfy me, she said she would send a request to the promotions team to escalate the bonus.  In between our banter, I received unrelated messages from Adrianna. “Yes, but the hand needs to be played till the end, meaning to reach showdown, unfortunately both did not”  Adrianna was obviously handling more than one customer complaint at 4am.  “Just a windown switch error,” she typed a moment later.  She was apologetic.  Made it clear, despite the distractions, that she wanted me to be a happy customer but that it was beyond her control. She said she turned it over to a team that was present, working 24/7 and that it would be resolved.  So, I left my $50 in the account and went back to bed.

Five hours later the $51 bonus was still not in my account. Chandana was now the lucky online customer service rep dealer with an insistent customer.  She (I assume) was apologetic, repeated the advice not to play until I received the bonus. When I told her I was unhappy, would take my business elsewhere and let the world know about my experience, she told me the money was in my account.  That was probably a coincidence. Maybe not.  My balance read $101 and I was happy. Pretty quickly I bet it up on the blackjack tables to $187. But then I noticed only $136 was available to play!  I lost $45 and withdrew $91, leaving the $51 bonus which apparently wasn’t available to play or withdraw.

Krum, I couldn’t guess the gender, was on duty now.  Krum informed me that the bonus could only be played on slots!  The email didn’t say that!  I guess I really didn’t have much of a beef since I won $41 with the $50 I deposited and withdrew the money, but if I couldn’t play, arguing with Krum and getting material for this piece would be fun for a few minutes.  Krum was apologetic for the inconvenience yet argumentative before finally asking that I send the email I responded to so another team could open an investigation. Krum wouldn’t say how long the investigation would take, but he got me off the chat so he/she could go handle a windown switch error or a showdown.

Tonight the $51 was still in my account as “real money” but I couldn’t play blackjack with it. I was offered $500 in fake money to play, which didn’t interested me.  If I turned that $500 into $1500 I would be angry and tempted to deposit $500 in real money which I can’t afford and would likely lose.

Sophia as on duty now.  She must be a law student.  I was at fault because I didn’t read the terms and conditions.   We argued.  She insisted Borgata did everything right. I insisted that their advertising was deceptive.  She sent me to the bonus page.  I told her it says I would get “cash” and that my balance showed “real money” of $51. “It is “cash” “real money” she insisted.  “So let me play the game I want to play,” I snapped back.   “What about Krum’s investigation?” I asked.  She backed off for a minute, came on strong again, and then asked that I patiently wait until the investigation was complete.  She couldn’t say how long that would take.  She then started to defend the deceptive advertising practices of her employer again and ended our chat when I told her she was drinking the Kool-Aid.

Maybe I’ll be able to play blackjack with the $51 bonus tomorrow.  I’m not betting on it.

Don’t take the Presidents’ Day promo from Borgata unless you’re slots player.


Posted: February 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Atlantic City, Internet Gambling | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Beware Borgata’s Deceptive Promotion”

  1. Bob English said at 8:03 am on February 17th, 2014:

    Other AC promos ads have also been very misleading including the Revels “You Can’t Lose” promo…….the small fine print was on the tv screen for exactly one second when advertised….