eCOGRA Dispute Mediation Stats for 2009By: Adam Richards, Friday January 15th 2010
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eCOGRA is not only an inspection and certification agency. It also engages in resolution of disputes between players and online gaming operators. Tex Rees is the Fair Gaming Advocate at eCOGRA who is responsible for disputes mediation. Rees has just released the statistics for the disputes received and resolved in the year 2009. Comparisons with the previous year of 2008 have also been provided.
In the year 2009 the total number of dispute mediation requests received by eCOGRA was 826. eCOGRA only engages in dispute resolution pertaining to the gaming operators that it has certified as safe and fair. 83 of the requests pertained to other gaming operators and hence were not considered. Also 115 requests were considered invalid because they did not provide the requisite information needed to engage in dispute resolution. Hence the valid requests received numbered at 628. The corresponding number for 2008 was 550. There was an increase of about 14% in the number of requests received. This increase could be attributed to the growth in the online gambling industry and to the increased awareness of dispute resolution possibilities by the players.
The number of disputes resolved in favor of the players in 2009 was 303, which constituted 48% of the valid disputes. In 2008 49% of the valid disputes were resolved in favor of the players. Though the percentage has fallen by 1%, this fall is not statistically significant. However the fact that more than half the disputes are being resolved in favor of the gambling operators shows that the players are not fully aware of the terms and conditions or are not complying with them. It could also show that some players are raising disputes frivolously. Hence there is a need to spread the awareness of reading the terms and conditions carefully and complying with them.
eCOGRA is also classified the valid dispute requests received under different categories. 46% of the disputes related to cash ins, 22% of the disputes related to bonuses, 19% of the disputes related to locked accounts and 13% of the disputes related to other issues. There was a slight change in the exact percentages of the various categories as compared to the previous year. However the hierarchy of the categories remained the same.
eCOGRA issues certificates to online casinos stating that they are a safe and fair site to wager at. In order to uphold the integrity of this certificate eCOGRA ensures that all disputes raised by players are adequately addressed by the online casinos. Commenting about the dispute resolution in 2009, Rees said, "Once again I found operators quick to respond and fully cooperative in addressing the mediated disputes."
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