|The latest report by eCOGRA Fair Gaming Advocate Tex Rees reveals that relatively few disputes with the 44 Seal casinos have been filed and those that have been made have been quickly dealt with - the majority within benchmark-setting timeframes for the industry of less than forty eight hours. |
In the current report, the Advocate notes a total of 88 complaints had been received over the past year, although 14 of these were in respect of non-eCOGRA casinos.
Of the remaining 74, most have been lodged over the past three months, perhaps an indication of the growing profile of the organisation and the generous coverage of its activities by leading online gambling portals.
'Of the 74 disputes that we received for approved casinos, 80 percent are made up of bonus and cash-in queries, ' she reports. 'On the cash-in side most were concerns regarding what the player felt was slow payouts, but on investigation mainly turned out to be associated with slow response to requests for ID verification which were easily resolved.'
'There were 25 complaints on bonus issues, and many of these could be attributed to misunderstandings by either players or Support agents that were quickly ironed out. In the sixteen percent of cases where the casino was at fault the issues were immediately redressed, and follow-up action suggests that remedial measures were also introduced to avoid recurrences.
'Seal casinos are reporting increases in activity, and bearing in mind the massive volume of business transacted each month by these very popular casinos, the remarkably low level of problems seems to indicate that the eGAPs are being conscientiously applied.'
The success of the mediations is often reflected in some very positive player comments on public message boards.
The Advocate has a few words of advice for players and operators alike.
'Based on my experience in these mediations to date, my advice to players is to read the T&C's very carefully for each and every casino that they play at, as these can vary greatly from one to another. Players should also appreciate that the requests for verification documents are for their protection as well as the casino's and that this is one of the FATF's guidelines to help combat money laundering, not a ploy by legitimate casinos to slow payments. Players should also check their email filters, where there is a possibility that some responses from casinos are being trapped.'
Turning to operators, she said, 'It is essential that operators take great care to ensure that information about new promotions and/or changes to their T&C's have been thoroughly briefed and communicated to CSR's and the players. Simply by improving in this area, most complaints could be obviated.'
For full details please visit www.ecogra.org.
Issued by: Andrew Beveridge, CEO
Date: 14 October 2004
Telephone: +44 20 7887 1480
Note for Editors:
eCOGRA is a non-profit, non-partisan body with a full time staff in London, England. Founded by major online software and casino operator groups in 2002, the organisation spent some time researching the concept of regulation with experts throughout the world before formulating a practical set of requirements essential to fair and efficient gambling operations, together with an independent inspection and monitoring system for enforcement.
The first online casinos were accredited in early 2004, and since then a steady stream of online casinos has committed to the eCOGRA ideals and achieved Seal status.
Specialised eGAPs have recently been constructed for the booming poker industry, and it is anticipated that leading poker networks will soon join the eCOGRA initiative, too.
Approved casinos are identified by a seal, and commit to a set of professional operational practices which are independently enforced through inspection and monitoring by major international business groups. The infrastructure includes a Fair Gaming Advocate for any player disputes that cannot be resolved at casino level.