Bob Casino Complaint? Betamo Complaint? LeoVegas Complaint or Spinia Complaint? While playing online casino games, sometimes things can go wrong…
Many individuals enjoy placing a wager every now and then, be it at a land-based casino or an easily accessible online casino. However, sometimes things may not go as smoothly as planned. When playing, registering or withdrawing, an issue might arise. What happens then? In the terms and conditions of the (online) casino it is stated that a player has the right to make a complaint against an issue that has arisen, which will, of course, be evaluated by the (online) casino within the stated period of time. This article will showcase everything that you (as a player) have to take into account when filing a complaint. The article will start with some general information about (online) casino complaints before diving into more detail on the various reasons for making a complaint at a certain (online) casino.
What is a complaint?
Complaints are an important tool for improvement for any industry, seeing as this way the organization/business can make the needed improvements from costumer feedback. In the gambling industry, consumers also have the opportunity to make a complaint should they feel that the situation calls for this. Before we go into further detail on (online) casino complaints, let us first look at what is meant by a ‘complaint’?
In the general terms and conditions of a(n) (online) casino, consumers will come across two related terms. These two terms are ‘complaints’ and ‘disputes’. ‘Complaint’ refers to a complaint over any part of the licensed (online) casino’s conduct of the licensed activities, such as an issue with the outcome of a gambler’s wager or any concerns about the (online) casino’s manner of conducting the gambling business.
Disputes on the other hand are considered a subset of complaints. ‘Disputes’ are defined as any complaint about the result of a customer’s gaming transaction that is not satisfied at the initial stage of the operator’s complaints procedures. In conclusion, both complaints and disputes have one thing in common, namely the dissatisfaction of the consumer over a certain occurrence.
For what kinds of issues can I make an online casino complaint?
First and foremost, it is important to go through the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino, in order to find out whether the issue that has occurred is stated in the general terms and conditions. The reason for this is the fact that a complaint cannot be submitted for every random problem that an individual has encountered at the (online) casino.
If a player, for example cannot withdraw winnings from a bonus does this mean that he can (rightfully) make a complaint? Well, this depends heavily on the fact whether the player has satisfied all of the bonus terms and conditions, such as the wagering requirement for example. If he has satisfied the bonus terms and conditions, that the complaint will most likely be righteously made. This complaint reason will be discussed in further detail later in the article.
From the conducted research that was carried out for this article, it appears that individuals mostly make complaints about the following problems that they encounter at (online) casinos:
- IT issues
- Voiding/cancelling of a bet
- Bonus offers
- Closure of an account
- The withdrawal
- Terms and Conditions
- ID verification
The above stated reasons for complaint will be discussed in more detail later in this article in order to enable you (the reader) to have a better grasp of the situation that you might encounter in the future.
What is a rightful reason for an online casino complaint?
Consumers cannot make a complaint for every random problem that they encounter at a(n) (online) casino, as previously mentioned. They first need to check the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino, in order to find out whether the reason for complaint that they want to raise is stated in the general terms and conditions. In the general terms and conditions, it is stated in which cases a player can make a complaint.
For example, a player can make a complaint if he/she is experiencing some technical difficulties while playing a certain gambling game, such as a software glitch, miscalculation, or missing funds. Players are also allowed to make a complaint about a certain transaction issue or issues that they encounter with withdrawal. Furthermore, consumers can raise a complaint about a certain (online) casino bonus offer or promotion. In addition to the above-mentioned, player should keep in mind that it is of the utmost importance to firstly determine that there has been an actual error or mishandling on the part of the online casino; otherwise, they risk the possibility of their complaint being unsuccessful.
A violation of the general terms and conditions is not a rightful ground for a successful complaint. For this reason, players should firstly go through the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino in order to make sure that there has been an error and/or mishandling on the (online) casino’s part. In addition to this, players should also make sure that there has not been a violation of the general terms and conditions on their part.
What is not allowed when making an online complaint?
When making a complaint, individuals are not allowed to act as they wish, meaning that they a required to follow the code of conduct of the (online) casino. In general, the code of conduct forbids the consumer to use insulting language or behave violently towards the (online) casino employees. This can be a reason for not reviewing the complaint, as it can be read in a number of general terms and conditions of (online) casino.
How can I make a complaint at an online casino?
In the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino, it is stated how an individual can make a complaint at that online casino, but let us go through all of the steps that need to be taken when raising a complaint at a certain (online) casino.
Step 1: Check the general terms and conditions
As already stated on numerous occasions, it is for the complainer important to know whether their ground for a complaint is a rightful one. If the individual who wants to make a complaint is not in violation of the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino; otherwise, the complaint is not valid. The individual who makes the complaint thus needs to make sure that there has been an error or mishandling on the part of the (online) casino. In addition to this, it is also important to make the complaint as soon as possible.
Step 2: Check the general terms and conditions for contact information
After an individual has determined whether their reason for making a complaint is valid, then they can move on with the making of a complaint. The individual making the complaint will have to look at the general terms and conditions in order to find the contact information of the (online) casino. In the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino, it is stated how the (online) casino can be contacted in the case of a complaint. After the individual who wants to make a complaint has found the contact information, then he can decide on how to contact the (online) casino. Consumers usually have the possibility of contacting the (online) casino via telephone, e-mail and/or the customers service chat. It is preferable to make the complaint in writing, thus via e-mail or costumer service chat, in the case that there is proof (such as screenshots) that needs to be handed in with the complaint, in favour of the individual’s complaint, of course.
Step 3: Follow the (online) casino’s complaint policy
After determining on via which way to make the complaint (be it via e-mail, customer services chat or telephone), the individual is ready to make the complaint. Individuals are hereby required to follow the (online) casino’s complaint policy. They will have to provide the (online) casino with a good deal of information, such as information about the complaint, dates and personal information (name and preferred contact information for example) in order for the complaint to be carried out in accordance with the complaint policy. It is also important to taking into account the code of conduct, thus no insulting language (against costumer service employees).
Step 4: Wait for the response to the complaint
After making the complaint, individuals will have to wait a certain period of time after they get a response/solution to their complaint. In the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino, it is stated within which period of time the (online) casino has to resolve the complaint. The period of time for receiving a solution varies from casino to casino, meaning that an individual might get a response within a week or in other cases 8 weeks. Should you as the complainer not receive a response withing the given period of time, then it is wise to contact the (online) casino for further information about the filed complaint that you have made.
Step 5: Alternative Dispute Resolution or the Gambling Authority/Commission (in the case that an individual is not satisfied with the response/solution
Should an individual not be satisfied with the response/solution offered by the (online) casino, that they have the choice to escalate the matter by taking their complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or the Gambling Authority. A consumer should keep in mind that they cannot go to Alternative Dispute Resolution if they have not made a complaint via the (online) casino’s complaint process. Consumers are, however, allowed to make a complaint about a certain (online) casino to the Gambling Authority. This can be the case, for example, if the individual who makes a complaint is self-excluded but still receives promotions/offers from the (online) casino in question. (The aforementioned instance is against the law.)
Taking the complaint to the Alternative Dispute Resolution and/or the Gambling Authority/Commission
If the consumer is not satisfied with the way his/her complaint was handled then the consumer can choose to escalate the issue and go to an Alternative Dispute Resolution provider. An Alternative Dispute Resolution provider is not very common in most countries, but in the UK it is widely used. Furthermore, consumer should keep in mind that taking a complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution provider is only possible if the (online) casino has agreed to us such a provider. (Online) casinos sometimes decided not to deal with a different provider. Should the consumer choose to escalate the dispute to the Alternative Dispute Resolution, then the Alternative Dispute Resolution provider must allow both parties to express their views on the matter, which they will consider when making a decision.
In addition to this, the Alternative Dispute Resolution provider must also allow both parties to comment on the information that was provided. Within 90 days after receiving all of the documents, the Alternative Dispute Resolution provider is required to tell both parties the outcome of the dispute. However, consumers should keep in mind that exceptions to the time period can be made if the case is highly complex. In some instances, the Alternative Dispute Resolution provider may reject a complaint. This could, for example, be the case, if the consumer has not tried to resolve the matter with the (online) casino.
Not depending on the country, consumers generally have the possibility of filing a complaint with the Gambling Authority/Commission against a(n) (online) casino. However, consumers should keep in mid that the Gambling Authority/Commission does not resolve individual complaints/disputes, seeing as this is not part of their role. A consumer can usually file a complaint with the Gambling Authority/Commission against the (online) casino for unlawful conduct, such as sending bonus offers and/or promotions to someone who is self-excludend. (In the Netherlands, individuals can willingly or unwillingly be registered in the so-called CRUKS-register, that then does not allow these individuals to play gambling games for a certain period of time.) Consumers can also file a complaint against a(n) online casino in the case that said casino does not have a license, offers unlicensed gambling games or violates a certain (gambling) law.
The various complaint reasons
As previously mentioned, consumers have various reasons for filing a complaint against a certain (online) casino. In this section of the article, a number of grounds for complaints (by consumers) will be discussed.
Payment/ withdrawal difficulties
Consumers may sometimes encounter some difficulties when withdrawing funds from a certain (online casino). For example, the payment may be delayed, declined, or they might experience some problems with the verification. These are all instances in which the consumer can choose to make a complaint.
Dutch and UK law both state that winnings should not be withheld from players unfairly and for a longer than needed period of time. Consumer should also check the general terms and conditions of the (online) casino in order to find out within which period of time the withdrawal will take place. In addition to this, in the case of a bonus, the consumers should also check whether they have satisfied the bonus terms and conditions, otherwise the (online) casino will rightfully deny the payment/withdrawal.
Furthermore, the consumers should also check whether they went through the verification process and whether this was confirmed by the (online) casino. In most cases, the (online) casino will not pay out the player if he/she has not gone through the verification process. Thus, this too can bring some difficulties to the players when it comes to paying out their winnings. However, this type of issue is not very common in the Netherlands seeing as players are required to verify their identity as soon as they sign up at a(n) (online) casino; otherwise, they will not even be able to deposit money.
However, when going through the verification process, consumers should keep in mind that they are required to fill in THEIR personal information, and not the personal information of someone else. If for example an individual fills in their name but not their own banking details, then the (online) casino can refuse payment. The information that is provided to the (online) casino should thus match your own to a T. Additionally, if the online casino asks you to provide them with certain documents, then you should certainly do this or otherwise the verification process would not be successful.
In conclusion, should you encounter some difficulties with the payment (of winnings) then you should firstly check whether you have gone through the verification process correctly and whether the bonus terms and conditions are satisfied in the case of an active bonus. If there is no wrongdoing on your part, then you can proceed with the filing of a complaint.
Account related problems
In some instances, players might experience a problem with their account at an online casino. For example, the player’s account might be closed by the online casino. Online casinos can have a number of valid reasons to closes someone’s account. One of this being that a certain player has multiple accounts at their online casinos. Individuals are lawfully forbidden from having multiple accounts at the same online casino in order for money laundering to be avoided. Thus, online casinos have the right to close your second account because you are only allowed to have one per online casino.
Furthermore, online casinos also have the right to close the account of certain players. This can be the case if a minor has registered at the online casino, or in the case that individuals from certain countries register at the online casino. Online casinos have the right to exclude individuals from certain countries from registering at their casino. In addition to this, access to the online casino can be denied if the consumer is (physically) in another country, because of the local gambling laws.
Moreover, online casinos may also close the account of an individual in the case that they have breached the online casino’s general terms and conditions. For this reason, it is very important to familiarize yourself with the general terms and conditions. Not understanding the terms and conditions of the online casino will not be considered as a strong argument, seeing as you agreed to them when you signed up. However, online casinos cannot close the account of individuals on their own accord with a good reason. Should you think the online casino is doing this, then you can rightfully file a complaint.
In addition to the above stated, consumers may also experience account problems if they have not finished the verification process successfully. In most cases, the online casino will not allow players to continue playing if they have not gone through the verification process. Should you have however done everything correctly on your part, then you may certainly make a complaint.
Bonus related problems
In some cases, consumers may experience problems when an active bonus is in question, as previously mentioned. Bonuses always come with certain requirements that must be satisfied, as will be stated in the (bonus) terms and conditions of the (online) casino. A player who complains that his winnings from the bonus are not being paid out, while not having satisfied the wagering requirements, for example, cannot make a valid complaint.
In addition to this, (online) casinos generally only give out one bonus per player, household and/or IP-address. Players are thus not allowed to have more than one account at an online casino so that they can make use of the bonus offer twice. Individuals should also check with the others at their household whether they are used a bonus from the casino in question. If other housemates have used the bonus, then the (online) casino will not give you the bonus. Making a complaint for this matter will thus not be successful, seeing as bonus offers are very restricted, as illustrated by the example.
Furthermore, players from certain countries are restricted from receiving a specific bonus offer. However, should this be the case, then the (online) casino will state this in the general terms and conditions. Moreover, in the general terms and conditions, the (online) casinos state that in the case of a bonus, players may not place a bet larger than the predefined value. If the players go above the maximum bet, then the (online) casino is allowed to act accordingly. (They could for example void the bonus winnings.)
Thus, in the case of a(n) (active) bonus, it is for players important to do everything correctly on their part before going through with the complaint; otherwise, they run the risk of an unsuccessful complaint.
Where technology is involved, there might also be some problems that individuals might run into occasionally. For example, when playing at a(n) (online) casino, one might experience a software glitch which that leads to a wrong calculation. You as a player can of course not do anything about this, it is therefore important to contact the (online) casino as soon as possible (preferably with proof) in order to find out what is wrong with the software and also how this issue can be resolved.
When a software glitch occurs, players might also lose funds from their casino account. In this case, it is also important to contact the (online) casino as soon as possible in order to find out what the exact reason is for the missing funds. Should the casino not want to help out, then you can certainly file a complaint about the matter. Moreover, should a software glitch occur while an individual is playing a game, then they must be able to read that the consequences for them are in the general terms and conditions.
In addition to this, consumer might also experience some IT issues when signing up. In this case, it can also be very helpful to contact the casino. No one should be allowed access to the online casino if they meet all of the requirements. Furthermore, players may believe that a certain casino game is ‘rigged’, meaning the game’s software is unfair. Should you as a player find that a certain gambling game has an unfair software that puts players at a disadvantage, it will certainly be wise to file a complaint not only with the casino in question but also with the local Gambling Authority/Commission seeing as the role of this public body is to protect the consumers against unfair and unlawful practices.
Not understanding the general terms and conditions or certain games
(Online) casinos need to provide consumers not only with a clear explanation of the general terms and conditions, but also of all the different gambling games that they offer. It is however the responsibility of the players to make sure that they have a sufficient understanding of the general terms and conditions and of the gambling games. Should the player not understand the games or terms and conditions, then it is wise to contact the (online) casino before starting with playing. After being provided with additional information, should you still be of the opinion that the rules are still unclear, then you can definitely proceed with the complaint.
The receiving of marketing material
The gambling legislation forbids (online) casinos from advertising their gambling games to minors and other vulnerable groups, such as mentally impaired persons and individuals who are excluded from playing for a certain period of time (individuals who in the Netherlands are registered in the CRUKS-register). Furthermore, the advertising for games of chance cannot be misleading. In addition to this, starting with 2023, game of chance providers in the Netherlands will not be allowed to make untargeted advertising. This is advertised that can read a wide range of individuals, thus also those who are not at all interested in games of chance.
Should you thus encounter advertising that does not meet the requirements, then you can certainly file a complaint. It is also advisable to file a complaint with the local Gambling Authority/Commission, in order for them to be able to intervene as soon as possible and protect other consumers.
In addition to this, (online) casinos cannot send marketing material to individuals who are self-excluded/registered in the CRUKS-register. This is lawfully not allowed, thus should you still receive marketing material, such as bonuses or promotions, then you can proceed with making a complaint. It is also strongly advisable to make a complaint with the Gambling Authority/Commission, seeing as they will have to intervene and maybe fine the (online) casino in question because sending marketing material to self-excluded individuals is illegal in countries such as the Netherlands and the UK.
Moreover, individuals who are self-excluded are not even allowed to access the games at the (online) casinos. Should you be self-excluded and the (online) casino still allows you to play, then you can certainly make a complaint not only with the game of change provider in question but also the local Gambling Authority/Commission. This is an illegal activity that will undoubtedly have dire consequences for the (online) casino in question.
Voiding/cancellation of a bet
In some instances, (online) casinos have the right to void/cancel the bet of the players. This can be the case, for example, if the player did not place the bet within the set time limit, seeing as some (online) casinos only allow players to place bets within a limited amount of time depending on the gambling games that they participate in. Should you, however, feel as you have been treated unfairly, then you can, of course, make a complaint, although the success of the complaint will heavily be dependent on the situation at hand.
Final Remarks on complaining at online casino
As a player at a particular (online) casino, individuals, of course, have certain rights, one of these rights being that they cannot be treated unfairly. In the case of unfair treatment, (online) casinos have to grant consumers the possibility of submitting a complaint, so that the issue that the consumer has encountered can be resolved.
However, in order for the complaint to be successful, the individual who makes the complaint needs to first check whether they have done something wrong on their part. They can do this by carefully going through the general terms and conditions of the online casino in question. Should the error and/or mishandling happen on the side of the (online) casino, then the disadvantaged individual can certainly proceed with submitting a complaint while adhering to the complaint policy of the (online) casino in question. In addition to this, it is always wise to submit a complaint with appropriate proof in order to further strengthen your case.
In the case of illegal activities, it is also highly advisable to submit a complaint with the local Gambling Authority/Commission against the (online) casino. This way, the authorities can intervene in accordance with the local gambling laws and regulations.