How to Solve Disputes

A quick swipe through online casino players’ forums, casino audit sites and governmental consumer protection agencies will reveal that disputes between casinos and players are far from uncommon. This type of conflicts results in a great deal of frustration for players. The cause can be lack of information and advice on how to approach the situation. Thus, developed a guide that will help you avoid dispute and a step by step guide on how to solve conflicts. The guide will cover aspects such as:
  • Screen online casinos before signing up
  • Significant aspects to note in an operator's terms and condition and testing the customer support
  • Start the dispute with a casino with their British support team according to their complaint handling protocol
  • Contacting a UK Gambling Commission approved dispute resolution organisation chosen by the casino is a path to resolution
  • Choose the ADR that is the most appropriate for your case
  • Do your homework in terms of what are your rights according to the UK consumer law
  • Be patient and don’t underestimate the costs associated with the mediation even though filling for one is free
  • Take your case to court but make sure you have a good case before you proceed to contact the Citizen Advice for a detailed analysis of your case

How to avoid disputes with online casinos?

There are a multitude of online casino out there and finding a trustworthy casino is the first and most essential step in avoiding the frustration a hustle of disputes with online casinos. Putting a bit of effort in to researching the reputation of the casino on forums, review site and checking out casino blacklists, testing the Customer support for responsiveness, join player forums and engage in conversations regarding payouts and casinos reputation with them. Also, if possible, we recommend you to test the casino by playing free spins and always read the terms and conditions as they differ from casino to casino even in the same category of deposit bonuses. Reading a casino's terms and conditions carefully before you make any deposits or agree to the terms will surely help you avoid casinos with predatory bonuses. It’s noteworthy that once you agree to the T&C, you are bound by them, and any issues you might have will be solved accordingly. Moreover, other than the general terms, every single casino has a separate set of T&C linked to promotions, tournaments and VIP bonuses.  Such terms and conditions often overwrite the general terms and conditions you initially went through.

How to handle casino disputes?

Step 1 – Reach out to the support team

If you find yourself in the unfortunate case of a dispute with an online casino take into account that it's in the casino's interest to solve such issues and avoid awful review, as this is the primary channel by which they acquire new players. With this in mind, the first step to a resolution is reaching out to the casino's support team. Take some time to research and go through the casino's T&C once again before approaching them. At first, you should eend the support team the section in the terms and conditions that relates to the dispute. After that, you must request feedback and advice on how to handle the situation. Furthermore, you need to give them all the details regarding the issue with dates, transactions amount, and anything else that can help solve your case. As mentioned earlier most online casinos care a lot about their reputation online as it represents their primary means of acquiring players. Consequently, they would rather stick to their complaints procedures and launch an investigation instead of gambling with their reputation. However, if you are dissatisfied with the investigation and the outcome, you can move further with the complaint and contact dispute mediation institution like ADRg, CEDR and IPCA that can handle the case for you.

Step 2 – Yet another path. Contact an alternative dispute resolution(ADR) party

Are you not happy with the outcome and the way the casino handled your complaint? Then you can move one step further with your complaint and contact an external party that can look deeper into the issue. Every casino is obligated by the UK Gambling Commission to provide you with at least one alternative resolution bodies such as Citizens Advice, ADRg, CEDR, ECOGRA, IPCA and many others. On average, solving such issues takes about 90 days after the mediators contact the operator on behalf of the player. However, this might differ on a case to case basis depending on the complexity of the dispute. While initiating a conversation and starting a claim with and ADR is free of charge for you, there might be expenses related to seeking information to support your case. Even if contacting an ADR is what the UK Gambling commission recommends, there are further steps you can take if you are not happy with the results and outcome of the work an ADR did for you. Thus, you have the option to take the case to court.

Step 3 – Taking your dispute to court

Get informed about your rights and under which claims you should sue the casino before proceeding with this.  Generally, disputes between operators and players fall under the UK Consumer Rights act from 2015 because when you complete any financial transaction as an individual you are initiating a contract with business according to UK law. Therefore your claim and protection falls under the UK consumer law act. The UK Gambling Commission has two essential requirements from operators when issuing a new licence which are fairness and transparency. By fairness, the UK licence issuer means also, but not only to the way casinos handle disputes with their players and the casino's ability to find an objective and impartial solution to the issues raised by players. Transparency, on the other hand, refers to the ease by which a player can find the information it needs to make a conscious and legitimised decision to play at an online casino, by this, we mean updated terms and conditions, bonus terms, ease to find correct information about their support team and how to proceed in case of a dispute. However, before you proceed to court, we kindly advise you to reach out to Citizens Advice and seek objective guidance on the relevance of the case and chances to win. List of Alternative Dispute Resolution Providers approved by the UK Gambling Commission

·      ADRg

One of the oldest dispute resolution providers in the UK market is the ADRg express which has as main focus the resolution of disputes in the online environment. Their approach is based on them having the right technology to provide hosting of virtual mediation services and trained staff that can handle the complexity of such cases. As mentioned earlier costs may occur in mediation although taking a step in this direction is free, some added expenses related to procuring the necessary documents to open such a claim. Worth noting is that ADRg splits claim into three distinct categories: £5000 or less, £5000 to £15000, £15000 or more. Yet, they specialise in smaller claims under £15000 even though their panel members can handle complaints of any sizes. You can reach ADRg at the following: Email: Phone: +44 (0)203 600 50 50 Email: Opening hours: Monday – Thursday: 09:00 am – 05:30 pm, Friday: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm Address: International Dispute Resolution Centre, 70 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1EU

·      Bacta ADR Service

Specialised dispute resolution entity in solving conflicts between customers and operators in the gambling industry. The company operates only in English language and complains submissions can only be processed in that respective language. Your claims can be submitted online and will be handled promptly. On the website Bacta, ADR Service provides a complete list of the operators that are registered for their services. Find the full list here Contact Bacta ADR Service here: Website: Email: Address: Bacta ADR Service,29-30 Ely Place. London, EC1N 6TD

·      Centre for Effective Dispute Resolutions (CEDR)

Founded in 1990 the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolutions or CEDR is an alternative dispute resolution body based in London. It’s organised as a non- profit organisation, and it does not have gambling as its core business, with their focus being on commercial disputes in general. However, CEDR is the world's most significant conflict resolution and management group, and they have vast international experience with more than 50 different jurisdictions worldwide. Contact the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolutions here: Website: Email: info@cedr .com Address: International Dispute Resolution Centre, 70 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1EU, United Kingdom

·      eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA)

It’s a London based internationally approved agency that conducts testing, certifications, player protection and develops standards for the Igaming industry. The body is also a leading international and approved testing agency and certification body, focusing on the certification of online gaming software and the audit of Information Security Management Systems. Furthermore, they also specialise in conflict resolution between online casinos and their customers. The organisations objective is to achieve player protection, fair gaming and responsible conduct by operators, software providers and other relevant service providers. eCOGRA provides players with a detailed guide on how to proceed with disputes with an eCOGRA approved site. After you go through their policy and regulations sections, they provide you with a dispute form that takes about two weeks to go through after filing in the complaint. Contact eCOGRA here: Website: Email: Address: 2/F Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6BD, United Kingdom

·      Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS)

Acts as an impartial adjudicator on disputes that arise and haven’t been solved by the casino's customer service internally. They act as a neutral party in the process meant to find a solution to the opened claim by a player towards an operator. IBAS is an organisation endorsed by the Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office and the approval of the trade associations. Founded back in 2007, the decision was made due to the lack of professional assistance in the betting industry. However, the entity has as main focus betting and not online casinos, so if you have a conflict with an operator that offers both this might be the best place for you to seek help and advice. Contact IBAS here: Website: Email: Phone: +44 (0)20 7347 5883 Address: PO Box 62639, London, EC3P 3AS

·      Lindsays

Founded by two 22 years’ old’s over 200 years ago in Edinburg and with collaborations lasting for tens of year, we would say this legal advice institution has an unspotted reputation. While the main focus of the company is the law or legal advice, the company's size offered the possibility of developing teams dedicated to several sectors among which gambling. When it comes to disputes, they pride themselves with the alternative and creative solutions that they come up with to support their clients. Contact Lindsays here: Website: Email: Phone: +44 (0)131 229 1212 Address: Caledonian Exchange, 19a Canning Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8HE

·      Joel Goldman

Joel comes from a more commercial setup rather than the legal setup, and it has as one of its main focuses gambling disputes settlements. They provide on their website accurate information about how the process looks like and what the customers should expect as well as a detailed procedure for mediation processes filled with information regarding the documents and information you need to provide the mediator to increase the success chances of the claim. Contact Joel Goldman here: Website: Email: Phone: +44 (0)20 7079 8603 Address: Floral Suite, 17 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8PS, London

·      Independent Panel for Casino and Bingo Arbitration (IPCA)

IPCA is an organisation focused strictly on the British gambling sector and disputes related to it. The organisation's website offers detailed information on how to avoid conflicts and also how to solve casino disputes on your own. Contact the independent panel for Casino and Bingo Arbitration Website: Email: Phone:  +44 (0)20 7932 0751 Address: Carlyle House, 235 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1EJ

·      Pro Mediate

Oriented towards all forms of mediation Pro Mediate is also certified by the Gambling Commission for the arbitration of the gambling-related dispute. Their website provides a multitude of information in the form of study cases of claims they have handled, paperwork and the possibility to make an appointment with a mediator online directly and discuss your case in detail before opening a claim against an operator. Contact Pro Mediate here: Website: Email: Phone: +44 (0)7824 704826 Address: Brow Farm, Top Road Frodsham, WA6 6SP

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