Disputes Decrease in eCOGRA Online Casinos
By: R. Kingsley, Sunday September 7th 2008
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One of the biggest concerns of online casino players is that their payments will be blocked. This concern is greater among new players who have had little experience of playing online. Hence it should come as a relief to the online casino fraternity that there has been a decrease in the number of disputes in the period January 2008 to June 2008 as compared to the same period last year in eCOGRA certified online casinos.
eCOGRA is the acronym for eCommerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance. eCOGRA was founded in 2002 by Microgaming and 888.com as an independent and non-profit gaming standards authority and player protection body. Today eCOGRA is an industry leader in setting up fair and responsible gaming practices. Online casinos that seek its seal of approval have to satisfy eCOGRA's stringent requirements. One of the requirements is that eCOGRA's player advocacy department investigate all complaints against an approved site.
eCOGRA's report for the period January 2008 to June 2008 has been just released. This report, released by eCOGRA's Fair Gaming Advocate Tex Rees, publishes the statistics on player disputes and complaints with eCOGRA accredited casinos during this period. According to this report there was a 19% decrease in complaints as compared to the same six months last year. This is great news for online casino gamblers for two reasons. The first is that the year 2007 had shown a whopping 31% increase as compared to the year 2006. Therefore the reversal of the trend is all the more welcome. The second reason is that the online player base has increased significantly. Hence the reduced number of disputes taken in conjunction with the increased player base shows a drastic reduction in the complaints per player, which is perhaps a better indicator.
Coming to specifics, in all 346 complaints were registered with eCOGRA. 50 were not entertained because they were not against eCOGRA certified online casinos. Another 36 did not contain the required information and hence could not be investigated. Of the remaining 260 complaints 127 were resolved in favor of the player. Many of the remaining complaints revealed instances of player fraud. This is a big concern for the online casino industry because it creates hardships for the genuine players as well in terms of greater verification and more stringent online casino rules.
The two major heads under which the disputes were classified are bonus issues and account lock-outs. There were 58 bonus disputes and 44 account lock-out disputes. The reason for these disputes was found to be miscommunication between the player and the online casino or the player not reading the casinos terms and conditions. Another important parameter that the report indicates is the average number of valid disputes per approved site per month, which was 0.40. This was lower than the figure of 0.44 reported for the year 2007.
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