«Who Is in Charge of Online Casinos?
One of the questions frequently asked by people who get interested in gambling online is: Who is in charge of all those casinos? (Not in the sense of who owns/runs them, but who is the authority that casinos are accountable to). Regular gamblers more often ask another question: Who do we claim complaints to? This article answers these questions, dwells on responsibilities of the Internet casinos, and explains your chances to successfully dispute an unfair decision made by the casino. This article covers large, famous casinos with high quality software and licensing.
So, every trustworthy Internet casino is a property belonging to some certain juridical person. Information on the juridical person (name, address) is usually written either at the bottom of the main page of the casino or in the section ‘About Us’ and such. It indicates that the activity of the gambling facility and its company is regulated by laws of the country where the company was registered. Actually, this is of little use to players. This only means that if you one day decide to bring a lawsuit against the casino, you will be expected to take your case to court of the country (more likely offshore) where the casino is registered.
Of course, pleading your cause abroad will cost you lots of money. More than that, your chances for victory are close to zero. The problem is that the terms and conditions of the casino (accepted by you automatically during registration) include a disclaimer stating that all management’s decisions are final while in most countries, as a rule, there are no special laws on controlling online casinos. Eventually you will be considered a subject of common civil law and, since you agreed to their term, you will have little or no chance for success, unless you were outrageously cheated by the casino. If you see this sort of disclaimer, you should not avoid gambling in the casino, because this is merely a way in which casinos protect themselves from fraud. Typical casinos do not misuse their rights and do not abuse this sort of disclaimer. Typical casinos having a good record will not cheat gamblers, a good reputation of the casino in the gaming community being a matter of the utmost importance. The threat of losing its good name is not the only casino’s motivator. The licensing organization also acts on behalf of gamblers.
In the countries where online gambling is legalized there are governmental regulating authorities licensing online casinos. Practically all licensed casinos have an icon of the licensing authority (usually serving as a link to a special page proving that the casino obtained its licensing). Surely, not every licensing organization is of equal use to the player. There are authorities where licensing is only a formality and is of little help (such as Belize or Costa Rica). There are those where licensing is a serious document that is not so simple to obtain, because the company, its owners, casino software and the casino itself go through a thorough verification, including RNG testing (Random Number Generator). In order to obtain this licensing might cost from a few tens to up to hundreds thousand dollars. The list of the most trustworthy licensing authorities includes Kahnawake in Canada and several European jurisdictions: Gibraltar, Malta, the Isle of Man, Alderney and Britain, followed by the Netherlands Antilles and Curacao. If any problems arise, a player can contact the licensing organization (by clicking on the link on the site, finding contacts and emailing). It’s often disillusioning for most regular players to realize that licensing authorities reluctantly reply and unwilling to come into conflict with the casino. Licensing is rarely cancelled. Usually it is withdrawn when the casino is next door to bankruptcy.
However, if a conflict occurs, it’s advisable to try and threaten the casino with its licensing authority. You might also know that the number of online casinos that run on their own software is rather limited. The majority of them use software by an independent software provider. On the one hand it’s profitable for software owners to have as many clients as possible, but, on the other hand, notorious casinos using their software cannot be of interest to them. That’s the reason why major software providers to some extent keep an eye on their clients. Sometimes games are delivered and played directly from the software developer’s servers and not from the casino’s servers. Your prospects to get support from the software developer are rather bleak yet it is worth contacting them and asking for their help anyways. The software provider’s icon can be found at the bottom of the main page of the casino. In most cases this is the only external measure, but some casinos on an absolutely voluntary basis apply further measures and more demanding responsibilities.
Another most commonly applied measure is an additional testing of the RNG by an independent laboratory. Sometimes you will see the lab’s icon with a link to test results next to the licensing authority’s icon. Actually, this certificate is of no use to the player and it has been mentioned in this article for gamblers to get a general idea. ECOGRA (e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is capable of providing great assistance if the casino is its member. Nearly all casinos with downloadable Microgaming software are on the list of this organization. Casinos joining this organization sign a demanding protocol, they also go through testing for payout percentage (results are later reported). If problems arise, the organization will deal with complaints. Annually ECOGRA draws up a report on their work results. Usually they receive up to a thousand complaints, half of which are resolved in favour of players! In case you face any kind of issues with casinos that run on Microgaming, visit ECOGRA site, check the casino’s membership, click on Dispute, and claim your complaint. Your chances for success are great! ECOGRA icon can be seen on the sites of its members. Finally, another measure applied by casinos on a voluntary basis is accreditation on casinomeister.com, one of the longest-living and most respected gambling portals and forums. To be accredited, casinos must have their representative on the forum. Also, casinos must not have unresolved claims from players. If the casino is on the list of recommended casinos, a player can first approach the representative on the forum. If this measure does not help, he can claim his complaint (Pitch a Bitch) which will be further dealt with by both the casino and a representative of casinomeister who usually tend to protect legal rights of the customers.
Although membership on the accredited list is free of charge, being excluded from it equals gaining bad reputation and loss of good name which is very undesirable for any casino. Read reviews, gamble in trustworthy casinos, study bonus rules to avoid problems and misunderstandings. Even if problems arise, remember, that the larger the casino, the better your chances to succeed in resolving your problems in your favour. Good luck and trouble free gambling!