How To Solve Gambling Disputes: What You Need To Know

How To Solve Gambling Disputes: What You Need To Know

There may come a period in your time playing at an online casino or gambling site where you may feel like you haven’t been treated fairly, or something has gone awry in regards to the service you’ve received. In such cases, you may wish to complain or dispute a decision an operator has made.

Gambling disputes are relatively common and the Gambling Commission has a number of laws, regulations and processes in place to ensure that every dispute is treated seriously and resolved in an orderly and satisfactory manner.

So, if you have a gripe with an online casino, here’s all you need to know, including the steps you need to take to make a dispute.

Knowing Your Rights: What You Can Complain About

The first thing to understand is exactly what you can complain about and the rules and regulations in place from the UK Gambling Commission (6.1.1 – Complaints and disputes) are in place to ensure that your dispute is treated in the right way by the operator you wish to make the complaint to.

The laws and regulations around gambling disputes

As part of that, licensees must put into effect appropriate policies and procedures for handling customer complaints, as well as having arrangements in place for customers to refer any dispute to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider.

Operators should have clear and accessible information on how to make a complaint, as well as the timescales from responding and escalation procedures, which can come into play after eight weeks of an unsolved dispute.

What you can dispute: The most common complaints

The disputes you can make can vary and are not limited. However, these are the most common types of complaints:

  • How much you have been paid
  • Whether you have won
  • The way payments were managed
  • Terms and conditions
  • Bonus offers
  • ID verification
  • Closure of your account
  • Voiding or cancelling bets
  • IT issues
  • Customer service issues
  • Being unable to withdraw winnings

Steps to Resolving a Gambling Dispute

Whether you have a dispute about one of the common complaints above, or anything else there is a set complaints process which has been set out by the UK Gambling Commission. All operators that are licensed and regulated in the UK must follow this process.

The complaints process is set out as follows…

Step One: Check the terms and conditions

Firstly, we recommend you check any terms and conditions that may be associated with your complaint. For example, if you’re unsure about why you can’t withdraw winnings or wish to dispute something bonus related, you may find the answer hidden away in the Ts and Cs.

Step Two: Contacting the gambling operator & follow the complaints procedure

Before escalating any complaint, you must first go through the gambling operator you have a complaint about. On their website there should be all the details you need for getting in touch in regards to disputes.

You should then follow their procedure, highlighting all the information about your complaint in a clear and concise manner. This includes adding information around dates, times, money, particular games and bonuses, as well as sharing any evidence you have.

This could include screenshots, emails, terms and conditions, transaction records and more. The more evidence you have to support your case, the better chance you have of success. Ensure you also keep copies of this documentation.

Alternatively, you can use Resolver, a service that allows you to raise complaints directly with gambling companies in a quick and easy way. You can find out more by visiting the Resolver website. It’s worth noting that not every gambling website will accept disputes from Resolver, so it is worth exploring this before complaining through this service.

Step Three: Wait for the response

Once you’ve submitted your dispute, it’s a case of waiting for the response. In line with the Gambling Commission’s regulations, casinos and gambling sites have up to eight weeks to resolve your complaint from the point they receive it.

Once the investigation is complete, they will inform you of the result. This will include all the information needed to escalate the dispute to a third party if you are not satisfied with the result.

Step Four: Not happy with the outcome? Refer your dispute to an ADR

If it is the case where you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the dispute, or the dispute hasn’t been settled, you can bring in a third party to investigate. An ADR is an independent mediator that will look to provide an outcome of the dispute.

You cannot take your complaint to an ADR without going through the internal complaints process first. To find out more about using third parties for disputes and the ADR providers available, click here.

Top Tips For Communicating a Gambling Dispute

Gambling disputes can often be complex, so it’s important to get the tone of your complaint right, as well as providing as much information as you can in order for it to be settled to a satisfactory level.

Of course, there are many reasons as to why you may be making a complaint with an operator, so there is no hard and fast way to be successful, it depends on the nature of the complaint and, after all, there is a chance you may also be wrong in your dispute. However, there are some key tips to take into any dispute that will help the matter be resolved more quickly and more effectively.

Be calm, polite and clear

There’s every chance you may be angry, upset and frustrated by the matter you are complaining about, but it’s important to be clear, calm and collected when going through the dispute process.

By offering an assertive and calm approach in your writing of a complaint, it will make more sense to the operator reading the complaint and make any back and forth communication much easier.

Include as much information as you can

Alongside the tone, you need to be as factually accurate as you can with your complaint. This is worth planning out before you begin to type out your dispute. A good idea for doing this is to open up a document and take the following steps:

  1. Note down all the dates on which something occurred related to your dispute.
  2. Fill out the details of events on each date.

This will then give you a clear timeline to work from and give your complaint an element of structure. It will also make it much easier to follow for the operator receiving your dispute.

Provide as much evidence as you can

Ultimately, any case and all the facts need to be backed up with evidence. Before submitting your complaint, collect all the evidence you can to complement your point. That could be things such as bank statements, terms and conditions, screenshots, emails, other forms of communication, Gambling Commission regulation, transaction records, as well as a range of other things.

Make sure you keep copies of these records and supply as much as you can, ensuring evidence is labelled if it’s backing up various points within your complaint. For example, you may wish to number evidence documents or clearly name them.

Proofread your dispute

Finally, make sure you proofread your dispute prior to sending it off to the operator. You want your complaint to look professional, be coherent and be right in the tone, as well as the likes of spelling and grammar.

All of the above will then give you the best possible platform to build your case and get a satisfactory result from the operator.