- All legitimate casinos are registered with online gaming regulators and licensing bodies.
- If you have a complaint that goes unanswered by the casino after attempts to contact them, you should contact the regulatory body they are licensed with.
- Collect all evidence and give them the full picture to ensure a smooth process. Any false information renders your complaint null and void.
- Common reasons for complaints include non-payment of bonus winnings, account closures, and failure to return the original deposit if the account has been closed.
Online Gaming Regulators and Licensing Bodies
For the online gambling industry to function properly, it is crucial to develop trust among the various bodies involved in transacting. Customers need to know they aren't being cheated, since the authorities are looking out for them. However, it is difficult to replicate the same level of trust that customers have in land-based casinos because they can't see how the results of their spins and hands are being determined.
This is why the regulation and licensing of online casino sites are crucial. Numerous authorities from various jurisdictions act on behalf of their governments all over the world. They take on the responsibility of ensuring that all operators provide fair, random, and safe games for all players - protecting them from fraud and abuse and ensuring that their funds are safe at all times. Nowadays, it is rare to find a casino that offers iGaming services without getting a licence in at least one of the main jurisdictions. These are:
United Kingdom Gambling Commission
The UK gambling commission is the country's main regulatory body for online gambling. It was established in 2005, following the Gambling Act passed earlier in the year. It has a reputation for being strict and is quick to deal with complaints. This regulator covers the varied forms of betting in the country and issues licence for operators. Another body handles sports betting.
Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
Also based in the UK, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission is the main control board for gaming in the Isle of Man. This jurisdiction is very popular amongst operators because it has tax-friendly regulations. The commission handles licensing and regulation and supports gaming operators with external testing.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Based in Canada, this is the largest regulatory body for online poker rooms, online casinos, and sportsbooks in North America.
Malta Gaming Authority
The MGA is the most popular regulatory body for online gaming in Europe. The MGA was formed in 2001 and was the first to cover online gambling. It continues to supervise gambling activity in many countries today. It has several functions: protecting minors (the legal gambling age is 18 in most countries), ensuring the security of player funds, and ensuring that gaming options meet all responsible gambling guidelines.
This body deals with gambling transaction disputes within Microgaming casinos only. It is an independent regulatory body based in the UK that concentrates on fair gaming, responsible operator conduct, and player protection.
What Constitutes a Complaint?
Below are some of the reasons for what constitutes a complaint at online casinos.
Non-payment of Winnings
This is the most common reason why customers complain. Keep in mind that once you've requested a withdrawal, there is a period of two days during which the casino takes the time to review the request. Sometimes, the casino cancels the request and may not clarify the problem - usually citing some violation of rules. They may ask you to contact customer service for further information in such a case.
Casinos hand out large chunks of free credits to their members from time to time. But they have rules in places like wagering requirements and time limits before you can truly win something. You have to invest some money and count on luck to win the bonus - but legit casinos always let you cash out. On the other hand, in some cases, you might get a message that says you have abused the promotion and your winnings have been cancelled despite you following the terms and conditions to the tee - you might be dealing with a fraudulent casino in this case.
Confiscated Account Balance
If your account has been closed for some reason, like genuine violations, you should always get your original deposits back. You can forget about the winnings and bonus credits, but regulatory bodies mandate that the original deposits be returned. If your casino fails to follow up on this, you have a reason to complain to the regulatory bodies and ask them to follow up.
This one is a mistake on the part of the player. Casinos do not allow players to make multiple accounts, nor do they allow them to claim multiple bonuses within one group of casinos. If this is your complaint, you're in the wrong.
How to Report Online Casinos
If you believe that an online casino has defrauded you, there are several steps that you can take to reach a resolution. You need to be clear about what has happened and have all the details on hand - the documents, everything you did, and whatever the casino did in response. Reporting a casino is a matter of due diligence, and you could lose the battle if you fail to back anything up with evidence. The regulatory bodies are fair in their dealings, but they have several checks and measures to verify everything in a dispute.
Firstly, if you are having problems at the casino, you should contact someone from the support team. You can easily do this by clicking on the menu in your account on the site and going to the customer support section. Share your situation with them in a cordial manner. Give details about the problem and tell them what you have done to resolve it. Do not delete the emails, and keep them safe in case you need them.
If you haven't received a reply, you should visit the terms and conditions of the website before jumping the gun and launching an investigation by approaching the licensing authority. Review the fine print and determine whether you have stuck to the straight path - for example, you have provided the correct ID, haven't caused trouble with other members of the staff, met the wagering requirements in case of a withdrawal issue with bonuses and promotions, fulfilled the correct deposit amount, haven't been disruptive in any way, etc. You want to be aware of all the facts and leave nothing up to chance. If you are in the clear, you can send a follow-up message to the customer service team. If they remain unresponsive and have nonchalant behaviour, it's time to get help from the online casino authority - they are quick to address the problem and take action. The licensing authority is mentioned at the bottom of the online casino web page.
You can contact them via email, or the second option is to fill out the contact form available in the 'support' section of most websites. If you drop an email, they will likely redirect you to the form. You may have to provide ID verification - this is often the norm in these cases.
The process is simple, fill out the form, and wait for a response. You will need to give the following details:
- Your first name and surname.
- Email address.
- Phone number.
- Country of residence.
- The gaming operator against whom you want to lodge a complaint.
- Your username on the account.
- The reason why you are contacting them.
- The game you were playing.
- The disputed amount.
- The date the incident took place.
- The time of the incident.
- A short description of your claims - the incident that has happened, whether it has to do with casino bonuses, deposit bonuses, withdrawals, the behaviour of the casino, etc.
This list is not exhaustive. The authority may need other things from you. The requirement varies from body to body. Upload all the proof and submit, and ask for a copy to be sent to your email.
Tips & Guidelines For Submitting A Complaint
Here are some tips and guidelines for submitting your complaint to an online casino.
Provide Proof and Details
To ensure that a quick decision is made, we advise you to provide all information, facts, and data upfront so that the team can help you with your issue quickly. If they have all the knowledge of the problem firsthand, they can reach an outcome and end the dispute quickly.
Claims require supporting documentation, and you must deliver it within a reasonable period. Do not provide fake information because doing so will end the process immediately. People who think they can get past the authority should remember that they have ways of verifying documents to ensure complete fairness.
Use Fair and Proper Language
The gaming authority understands that you are in a frustrating position and going through a lot, but that is no excuse to treat others unfairly. Use of foul, hateful, abusive, and inappropriate language will make your issue null and void, no matter how big of a payout you are missing out on. Do not write in caps lock; it is a surefire way to irritate the person taking care of your complaint. Simply put, if your behaviour is not up to par, you will put your money and payment at stake if your issue is legit.
Submitting Multiple Complaints
If you have submitted your complaint once, do not generate another link until someone from the team has responded to you. Multiple posts are considered spam and will bring the validity of your claims into question. The proper method is to submit one complaint and wait until someone responds. The bodies take some time, but they will respond to you. There is always a backlog of complaints from disgruntled customers - practice patience and give it some time.
No Private Information
Apart from ID verification documents, you should not share any private information with the gaming authority. This includes banking details, account balance, and your address. Someone will contact you directly from the team to open up a line of communication, and you can share the information there - with discretion.
Issues Have to be Casino Related
Not all authorities can deal with all the issues. Most only regulate table games, roulette, and poker - the traditional casino games. They might not be licensed to deal with sportsbooks or online bingo sites.
The Complaints Process
In general, the authorities respond to you within 48 hours. Sometimes, they might require a little more time, especially if the issue is slightly more complex than normal. They will contact the casino and give them a few days to respond to your issue. However, if the casino doesn't respond promptly, they will opt for alternative ways to contact them. If the casino still fails to respond after three attempts made via appropriate methods, the authority will guide you on how to proceed.
How do I choose an online casino?
Make sure they have a licence from a gambling authority. Check their bonuses, payment methods, and terms and conditions.
When should I contact the regulatory bodies to file a complaint?
You should only contact the licensing authority after you have contacted the casino and failed to get a response from them.
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