How to Submit a Complaint Against an Online Casino
Most online players claim to only have good experiences with casino sites. Sometimes, though, a casino might misbehave, leaving you stranded. When this happens, you need to file a complaint. This guide will direct you on how to submit complaints, giving you the tips necessary for winning disputes.
Contacting Customer Care
In some cases, you can get your queries dealt with by simply contacting a casino’s customer care. Finding their contact details should be easy, as most casinos publicly display such information. You can use either of the following ways:
- Telephone numbers:
If your issue is urgent, call their designated line and talk to one of the site’s agent. Luckily, most reputable casinos these days have a 24/7 support line, meaning you can get solutions to any of your issues at any time of the day.
Sometimes your query may require physical evidence such as documents and screenshots. In this case, going with email is your best option. Here, you can explain your query in detail, adding any information that you feel may be useful to your case. The only problem, however, is that getting a reply may take some time. Consider it a trade-off – you get to explain your issue in detail and, in exchange, you get a late reply.
- FAQ section:
You might be surprised by the number of people who’ve had the same complaint as you. If you suspect you have a common complaint, visit the site’s FAQ section and get the answers you need. It’s advisable to start with this option before exploring the above alternatives.
You can’t solve all cases through customer care alone, especially if you’re battling an unlicensed casino. As heartbreaking as it is, sometimes you might make repeated complaints but receive zero replies for all your efforts. If this is the case, then it’s time to seek a third party.
Some community sites like AskGamblers can get your complaint to a larger audience, allowing you to expose a site before hundreds of other players. You can submit a complaint on anything from delayed payments, poor customer care, to excessive technology glitches.
Publicly voicing your complaints, may have its drawbacks, though. Some shoddy casinos may not take your exposé kindly. If you’re complaining about delayed payments, they may refuse to return your money. In the end, you may have more problems than you anticipated because as you’ve spoiled their business. But this only happens when you’re wagering with unlicensed casinos.
Reputable casinos care a lot about their reputation and may work tirelessly to resolve your problem, clearing their name in the process.
If you want to warn other players from falling into the same trap, then posting in online forums is the best option.
If you’ve exhausted the above methods and you’ve still not received the help you need, then you might want to seek a regulatory institution. Here’s the procedure to follow:
Find relevant authorities
Gambling has institutions that allow you to submit complaints and help you get answers to most of your queries. Such a body may include a gambling act or regulation board. Because these institutions vary from city to city, you might have to find one yourself. A simple search on Google can help you identify your city’s council. And if not, you can get one by asking your lawyer or any of your gambling friends.
To help you find some relevant authorities, we’ll list some of the most popular ones in the UK later, so you can file complaints with minimal hassle.
Knowing whether your complaint is legitimate
Some bodies don’t handle all player complaints. To know whether your case is legitimate or not, you’ll have to research.
In almost all popular regulation bodies, you’ll find a website that lists all legitimate complaints that it handles. Here, you might also discover how to file a complaint with the regulatory body. If the details aren’t detailed, you can look for answers in gambling forums. You might find a few people who’ve been through the same process.
Get a complaint form
A form helps you explain your complaint in details, without having to talk to a board’s agent directly. Obtaining the form is easy – you can get one directly from the board’s website. If they’ve not uploaded the form, you can contact them through the phone or email. And if both methods don’t work, you can ask your lawyer to get one on your behalf.
Fill out the form
The regulatory body will require you to fill out some general information in the form. Go a step further by adding any details that you feel may be relevant – exact times and dates, names, and any additional findings. This will allow your complaint to stand out from other generic submissions.
Send your form
After filling all details, attach any extra documents you find necessary. Then, send the form to the regulatory body’s designated address. You can get this address by navigating their site or researching for their location.
Other tips that might help you:
- Collect any evidence that might come in handy
- Have any identification documents in case they’re required
- Keep all records of your contact with the site
- Be prepared for any questions the regulatory body might have
Regulatory Bodies that Deal with Player Complaints
Formed a few years ago, eCOGRA helps resolve player-casino complaints. It was created by software suppliers Microgaming and Cassava to bring some regulation in the online gaming industry. Operators meeting eCOGRA’s strict requirements receive their seal of approval, “Play It Safe”. Casinos featuring this seal are trustworthy and take player disputes seriously.
Navigating eCOGRA casinos, you can find a dispute form to direct your complaints. After filling out the form, it’s submitted to the operator – after which you can wait for your issue to be resolved.
Alternative ADR Providers
Apart from eCOGRA, other ADR providers can help deal with most casino disputes. Some casinos display ADR providers on their websites, allowing you to submit your complaints easily. You can also ask for the details of a different ADR service, but the casino has to agree to it first.
Alternatively, you can try resolving the dispute in court, avoiding the ADR providers’ route. This method has its drawbacks, of course. For one it may take too much time if you’re looking for a faster solution. Secondly, it may be too expensive, forcing you to use more money than you’d have expected. Lastly, you don’t have any guarantees that you may win the case.
After submitting the complaint, the ADR provider allows you to forward any comments that may help the case in any way. To win the case, make sure you’ve submitted anything relevant to the dispute, even the smaller details that you might have neglected.
Typically, it takes a maximum of 3 months for ADR providers to inform both you and the casino on their decision. Sometimes, though, the case may be complicated for the providers, and they may be forced to make exceptions to this rule. The ADR provider should then notify both of you on when you can get a decision.
You should note, though, that ADR providers can dismiss cases under certain conditions. If your case contains loopholes, then you might not be lucky with ADR providers. Also, if you haven’t tried to solve the case with your operator, then they can turn you away. Finally, if you’re forwarding a complaint that’s not normally handled by the provider, then chances are high you might be booted out.
After going through the process and you’re not happy with the provider’s decision, you can choose to take the matter to court. But as mentioned earlier, approaching courts may be expensive. Given casinos have the money to battle you in court for a long time, you may admit defeat even before the case concludes.
UK Gambling Commission
Even though the Gambling Commission licences UK casinos and monitors them to make sure they follow the rules, they don’t deal with all player disputes.
There are, however, some player complaints that the commission takes very seriously. Any cases where an operator is believed to have violated the terms of its licence are given serious attention. If for example, a site allows any underage players to wager with them can receive serious punishment from the commission. Also, the UKGC can go as far as revoking a casino’s licence if found guilty of any money laundering and fraud cases.
Alternatively, you can report your ADR provider to the commission if you’re unsatisfied with their conduct. The commission then considers your complaint when deciding whether the provider meets their requirements or not. That said, the commission can not influence any ADR provider to make a certain decision when settling disputes.
Common Casino Disputes
Naturally, withdrawal problems are common in almost all casinos. They may include:
- Delayed withdrawals
- High withdrawal charges
- Lack of preferred withdrawal methods
They can be dealt with by a casino easily. Before airing the casino in a gambling forum and exposing them, you should first talk to their customer agents and try to settle the dispute. Casinos love their reputation and they wouldn’t appreciate any negative feedback on review sites. So talk to their management, and try to solve the issue.
Casinos withholding money
Sometimes, though, a casino may outright try to swindle you. Rogue casinos are known for not paying out players’ winnings and if they do, at a very late date. Having to wait for months to receive your winnings can be very frustrating. Worse yet, not receiving your money completely can leave you dejected.
Withholding money is a deliberate ploy by rogue casinos to get you to make more wagers while you’re waiting. They do this with the hope that you’ll lose your winnings so that you can deposit and lose even more. This strategy works, considering there’s a large number of rogue casinos in the market today.
So how can you spot these rogue casinos? The most obvious way is to look for a license. Most operators proudly display their licences on their websites. If a casino doesn’t have a license anywhere on its site, then you should run. Also, any rogue casino probably has a history of defrauding other customers too. Checking for a casino’s reputation in gambling forums can help you ascertain a casino’s legitimacy.
Technical glitches occur on every internet website, not just casino websites. Given most of these reputable casinos are powered by super-advanced technology, getting technical glitches in a gambling site is rare.
When they crop up, though, you might experience problems in your gameplay and delayed processes. Also, your wins might get voided, exhausting your entire bankroll. In most reputable casinos, these glitches are taken seriously. Such casinos keep records and often try to resolve issues quickly.
When you feel your casino isn’t dealing with your issues well enough, you can submit a complaint to them. Some casinos may compensate you for any losses during a glitch. Others compensate you to observe protocol. You can receive free spins, and all you have to do is ”opt-in” to start playing for free.
Losing your money to rogue casinos can be very disheartening. The above guide can help you file a complaint, and hopefully, get your money back or resolve your issue. Ultimately, the best way to avoid swindlers is to wager only in licensed casinos. That way, you’ll have a stress-free time playing your favourite games.