eCOGRA Dispute Resolution ReportBy: Joan Peppin, Thursday February 3rd 2011
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Every year the London based independent player protection and standards body eCOGRA releases statistics for the disputes resolved at the online gambling sites accredited by it. This report is released by the Fair Gaming Advocate of the organization who is currently Tex Rees. Rees has just released the report for the year 2010, which is available at the web site of eCOGRA.
A total of 846 disputes were submitted online to eCOGRA throughout 2010, an increase of 10 percent over the 826 complaints submitted in 2009. Since the Fair Gaming Advocate does not address complaints made by online gambling sites that do not carry eCOGRA's approval, 67 complaints were rejected up front. A further 125 were found to be invalid. These complaints were fraudulent, non-specific, abusive or anonymous in nature. Hence in 2010 eCOGRA received 654 valid disputes. The valid disputes received in 2009 were 628 in number. One reason for the increase in number of disputes was the increase in the number of players and transactions at online gambling sites. In fact the following statistic shows that these numbers are not a major cause for concern. On an average an eCOGRA approved gambling site submitted only 0.38 disputes per month in the year 2010. This value for 2009 was 0.37.
The eCOGRA report breaks down the complaints into set categories. 44% concerned cash-in problems, 25% concerned bonus issues, 19% concerned locked accounts and 12% were categorized as others. This included issues like software fairness, responsible gambling and spamming allegations. Rees went on to state that in 2010 43% of disputes were resolved in favour of the player. Since 2004 eCOGRA has handled almost 4,500 disputes and resolved 49% in favour of the player.
Rees explained and justified the percent fall in the disputes that went in favour of the player by referring to a syndicated fraud. She said, "The small decrease in the percentage of disputes resolved in favour of the player, and a corresponding increase in allegations of unjust bonus disqualification have been proved through detailed investigation to be connected. A fraudulent player syndicate was caught out by sophisticated security systems, resulting in its members submitting allegations which subsequently proved to be false, but had to be painstakingly followed up." Rees however did not divulge the location and modus operandi adopted by the swindlers for security reasons. But she did confirm that the cheats had been caught and blocked.
eCOGRA's approval system covers online casinos, online poker rooms, online bingo halls, sports betting sites, mobile casinos, live dealer casinos and even affiliate programs. Since 2003 eCOGRA has approved the operations of over 150 online gaming operators and software providers.
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