Casino Disputes: What Can Gamblers Do? [Betting Strategy Tips]
Amateur or new online gamblers will tell you that their worst nightmare is losing out on a huge win by the slimmest of margins.
Every poker player can remember their worst beats, just as every blackjack fan remembers that drunk neighbor who “stole their queen” and ruined their night!
More experienced players, though, know that there’s something worse than those painful losses. True disaster strikes only after a massive payout is seemingly awarded… but when it comes time to collect those winnings, things get delayed. And delayed. And delayed.
This is the worst-case scenario known as the casino dispute.
After all, if a casino doesn’t want to pay out your winnings, to whom can you appeal your case? Vegas has its Nevada Gaming Control Board, but there’s no centralized licensing body or regulator in the world of online gambling!
(Depending on your perspective, this might be either the best or the worst part of the industry. But we digress.)
What is a player to do in a situation like this?
We’ll get to that answer, but first, let’s look at the best strategies for skipping this song and dance routine altogether!
How to Avoid Disputes in the First Place
There are two big things players can do make disputes far less likely to occur in the first place. The first may sound obvious, but it’s not always as simple as it seems!
Only play at trusted casinos!
It sounds simple, right? Of course you would never risk your hard-earned bankroll with an online casino of ill repute! But of course, bad actors don’t exactly advertise these things!
So how can you be sure you’re only laying wagers at a respected lobby?
Well, our list of best casinos is a great place to start. Our team, along with those of our sister sites, goes to great lengths to make sure players have the best information available about where (and where not) to play.
Generally speaking though, it pays rich dividends to do that extra bit of research before making an initial deposit at a new casino. The international gambling community is vast, and there’s a lot of information to be had out there. Although no one loves to press pause and do some extra reading when it’s time to play, this practice can do wonders for your bankroll over time. Find out how long the company has been in business, who they partner with, which organizations certify them, and how well their customer service is rated. (Strong customer service, along with dedicated reps, are usually a great sign.) This will go a long way.
The second piece of key advice?
Read the T&C’s!
Terms and Conditions
There is probably not a single human being alive in the world who enjoys reading the ‘terms and conditions’ sections on websites.
After all, they are purposefully written and structured to actively discourage reading them! These are written by lawyers who are being paid to protect the casino… and the fewer guests read them, the more protected the house will be!
Nonetheless, any dispute (whether moderated by a third party or otherwise) will go directly to the T&C’s. If you agree to them, you must abide by them!
More to the point, gaining that information before beginning your play session can help you to avoid disputes.
Oftentimes the deciding factor is a small detail, such as how and when you (or even in which currency!) make your deposit; when certain bonuses begin and end; withdrawal limits over days or weeks; sometimes even a minimum amount of time or total bets required before requesting a payout. There may be nothing to be done about this after the fact, but forewarned is forearmed!
With that said, what should you do in the event of the dispute?
Almost always, the first step should contacting the support team of the casino directly. Be polite, calm, and non-threatening (no matter how upset you may be), and remember to use simple language, as not all support staff are working in their native language. And remember to state clearly what you’d like to see happen next as to the problem in question!
If that first step doesn’t settle things, don’t hesitate to (respectfully) ask to speak to the representative’s supervisor.
Oftentimes, support managers have much, much more experience than the newer hires who answer the phones. Continue asking for someone higher up on the ladder until you a) run out of possibilities or b) someone says loud and clear that they will not help you.
Should that be the case, it’s time to take a beat and gather your resources. This means screen shots of the gaming screen itself, records of communications between you and the casino customer service team, and copies of the terms and conditions. Make notes, organize the info, and spend time with it so that you can quickly point out specific areas that might be relevant to your request!
(A side note: this is the reason that it’s wise to get in the habit of taking screenshots when big wins are awarded, as well as making every effort to communicate with customer service staff in writing – via email or chat – so that you can make records of this as well.)
At this point, it’s time to look into third party support.
There are dispute resolution service centers out there. If you can’t find one willing to help, though, it might be time to turn to a gambler’s last resort in this situation… a gaming lawyer.
When to Lawyer Up
If none of the above has worked and if the casino in question is located in a jurisdiction where legal action is possible (many are not, and this is not an accident), then it may be time to reach out to a lawyer.
Before doing so, though, make sure that the sum of money you stand to win is worth the expense of retaining counsel. Especially as international law is usually involved in these cases, they can expensive fast!