Handling Online Casino DisputesBy: Rick Balding, Tuesday June 9th 2009
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When you are getting started at online gambling, the understanding of how to resolve disputes is probably the last thing on your mind. Even regular players often carry a "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" kind of attitude as far as online casino disputes are concerned. But it helps to have basic ideas about how online casino disputes should be handled, so that if at all that occasion arises, you are able to think straight and act in your own best interest.
The first thing that you should do when you perceive that you have been wronged is to recheck the casino terms and conditions and ensure that you are not at fault. It can be very disconcerting to dispute an act of omission or commission of the online casino only to find out that you have not checked or understood the rules. Once you are sure that the casino is perpetuating a wrongdoing the first thing you must do is to make a detailed master note of the entire episode. This note must include details like times and dates, amounts, games involved, casino rules and any other detail that you feel may be relevant. It is important to create a master fact sheet so that if the dispute resolution goes to third parties you are certain that you will not provide inconsistent or incorrect information.
Most online casinos provide customer support through a live chat. Log in to the live chat and inform the casino staff member online that you wish to dispute an action of the casino. The detailed note should be communicated to the casino staff. If it is not possible to communicate this through the live chat mechanism it should be done by e-mail or fax. You can then again follow up on live chat to ascertain what view the online casino takes. Save a copy of all communication made through live chat. If the casino support and the casino management do not provide a satisfactory resolution you have to move to the next step.
This involves taking the dispute to the adjudicator if the online casino has appointed one. Usually the name of the adjudicator can be found in the terms and conditions. If the online casino carries the eCOGRA seal then eCOGRA acts as an adjudicator. Another possible adjudicator can be the authority of the gaming jurisdiction in which the casino has been licensed. It is essential to go to the adjudicator with complete information. Sketchy and inconsistent information is likely to put the adjudicator off and he may not take as much interest in the matter. You will have to give the adjudicator sometime to get the casino's version of the events and make a considered decision. In case there is no adjudicator available then you can take your dispute to a reputed watchdog portal like Casinomeister.
Some people advocate taking the dispute to public message boards. These are two edged swords and can work either way unless you are careful. There are plenty of online casino players who use public message boards to nurse grudges and you may be branded with them and loose your credibility with the online casino fraternity.
Whereas it is always good to know how to handle online casino disputes, it is even better to avoid disputes in the first place. Therefore no effort should be spared in selecting a reputed online casino. This will minimize the likelihood of a dispute taking place.
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