While online casinos go out of their way to look after players, from time to time they do drop the ball and you may need to submit a complaint against an online casino.
The good news is that in order to be awarded a licence by the UK Gambling Commission, online casinos must have a clear complaints procedure in place.
This can differ from casino to casino, but broadly speaking you will be required to take the same steps in order to log a complaint and have the issue resolved.
The initial investigation into your complaint will be carried out by the casino itself, but if you are unhappy with the resolution proposed there are other options available to you.
Below, we talk you through the steps you must take to log a compliant with an online casino and what to do if you feel they have not resolved the issue satisfactorily.
THE MOST COMMON ONLINE CASINO COMPLAINTS:
There are several reasons why you might want to submit a complaint against an online casino. These are the most common.
Terms and conditions
This is one of the most common complaints made by players.
Online casinos will have extensive terms and conditions that lay out what you can expect from them and what they expect from you.
These are often lengthy documents that can be difficult to read and understand, and this is where player confusion can come in.
The UK Gambling Commission is aware of this, and is taking steps to ensure that online casino sites make their terms and conditions as clear and simple as possible.
Most complaints come from terms and conditions attached to welcome packages, bonuses and promotions, and in particular any wagering requirements that may be attached.
The problem, of course, is that by signing up to the online casino and taking the bonus you are agreeing to the casino’s terms and conditions.
This is why it is important that you read terms and conditions carefully before opening an account and wagering.
At Find My UK Casino, we read the terms and conditions of all the UK online casinos we review and recommend, and highlight anything that may be cause for concern.
Slow withdrawal times
You have probably noticed that online casinos are quick to deposit your money, but take a little longer to process withdrawals.
The best online casino sites will process withdrawal transactions in a matter of hours, but some can drag their feet when it comes to paying out to their players.
There can be legitimate reasons for slow withdrawals – a big win might need to be verified, your ID documents may not have been processed or it could be a Bank Holiday weekend.
In most cases, however, the casino is simply not taking the necessary steps to process your withdrawal straight away.
Logging a complaint is usually the gentle encouragement an online casino needs to ensure your withdrawal is processed promptly.
ID verification, or “know your customer” as it is also referred to, is the process you must go through to prove you are who you say you are when opening an online casino account.
It is a key requirement of the UK Gambling Commission to prevent underage gambling and is something online casinos take very seriously.
Complaints often come from delays in documents being verified, or from operators requiring additional documents in order to verify a player’s identification.
We always recommend being patient when it comes to passing KYC checks; online casinos must be thorough and if you are an honest player you will have no problem having your ID verified.
Technical errors and glitches
Online casinos are powered by some of the most advanced technologies and platforms in the world, but they occasionally suffer technical errors and glitches.
This can interrupt gameplay and even void a win.
While you may believe you are well within your rights to complain, most casinos will have a clause in their T&Cs that says they are not liable for any errors or glitches.
You can still log a complaint about a technical glitch, and the best online casinos will compensate you in some way if this does occur.
As a player, you have the right to self-exclude from an online casino site. This means you will no longer be able to log into your account for a set period of time.
It also means that operators can no longer send you marketing collateral such as emails, text messages and letters/fliers.
If you do self-exclude and find that you can still access your account, this is certainly grounds to complain to the online casino.
Likewise, if you receive any marketing collateral during the period where you have opted to self-exclude then you should log a compliant with the online casino.
STEP BY STEP: HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
Contact the online casino directly through customer support and submit your complaint in writing. Email is the best method as it provides a clear record of your correspondence.
You should ensure the following information is clearly included in your email:
- Account username
- First name and surname
- Your contact details
You then need to provide a detailed explanation of your compliant. Note any specific dates and times relating to your complaint and attach any supporting evidence.
You can ask for the casino to acknowledge receipt of your complaint and to estimate how long it will take for them to carry out their investigation and propose a solution.
Once the casino has received your email it will conduct an internal investigation into your complaint. This will usually take several days.
If you feel your complaint is not being handled satisfactorily or that the investigation is not being carried out in a timely manner, you can ask for it to be escalated to a manager.
Once the casino has concluded its investigation, it will come back to you with a proposed resolution. If you are happy, that will be the end of the matter.
If you are not happy with the resolution proposed, you can then contact an Alternative Dispute Resolution body which will carry out a second investigation into your complaint.
These online casinos are highly rated for customer support
HOW TO USE AN ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION BODY
An Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body is an independent third party that assess your complaint and the casino’s response with the intention of brokering an agreement.
They will mediate between you and the casino with the aim of reaching a solution that is agreed upon by both parties.
ADRs are free to use but you must have first been through the online casino’s internal complaints process before one can be engaged.
The following ADRs have been approved by the UK Gambling Commission:
If you are not satisfied with the service you have received from an ADR, you can log a complaint by following their own internal complaints procedure.
You can also notify the UK Gambling Commission. The regulator says it will use this information to “make sure the provider is following the procedures they are supposed to.”
However, you will not receive an update from the regulator regarding the outcome of any investigation it may conduct into one of its approved ADRs.
TAKING YOUR CLAIM TO COURT:
The ADR’s decision is not final, and you also have the option of taking your complaint to court. Before you do, however, think about the following:
The cost of engaging a legal team to fight your case will likely be high. This cost may not be recovered if you do not win your case.
Also consider the emotional stress of going through the court process and whether it is actually worth it.
While an ADR ruling is not binding on the consumer, it is binding on the online casino operator up to the value of £10,000.
If the case exceeds that amount the operator is free to take the matter to court.
In our experience, there are very few cases where an operator has failed to adhere to an ADR ruling, regardless of its value.
HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT AN ONLINE CASINO ADVERT:
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is responsible for upholding advertising standards across all media channels including TV, radio, print, online and even social media.
If you believe you have received a misleading advert from an online casino and wish to make a compliant, the ASA is the best place to do this.
An advert can be misleading if it contains a bonus or promotion that does not have clear terms and conditions, including any wagering requirements.
The ASA also penalises online casino brands whose adverts appeal to underage or vulnerable players.
You will not receive compensation from the ASA if you complain about a misleading ad and your compliant is upheld (this means that advert has breached the ASA's code), but the operator may have the advert banned and be hit with a monetary fine.
THE UK GAMBLING COMMISSION ONLY HANDLES CERTAIN COMPLAINTS:
While the UK Gambling Commission is responsible for licensing online casino operators and monitoring them to ensure they play by the rules, they do not handle customer complaints.
That said, if you believe an online casino operator has behaved in a way that breaches the terms of its licence you can report it to the Commission.
This may include accepting players that are under the age of 18 or issues regarding money laundering and fraud.
OTHER AVENUES OF COMPLAINT:
In the event that you fail to resolve your complaint with an online casino or an ADR, you can also look to the press and social media to air your concerns.
Flick through most of the UK tabloid newspapers and you will find several stories featuring disgruntled players who claim an online casino has failed to pay out on a big win.
While these stories garner attention, and can push an online casino into taking your complaint more seriously, they should be considered as a last resort, if at all.
The UK Gambling Commission has gone to great lengths to ensure a proper and effective complaints procedure is in place at all UK-licensed online casinos and here at Find My UK Casino we believe this process should be adhered to.
The same applies to social media.
While there is no harm in communicating with an online casino’s customer support team via Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even WhatsApp or Instant Messenger if available, email is always the best channel through which to log a complaint.
TOP TIPS FOR MAKING A COMPLAINT TO AN ONLINE CASINO:
Make sure you have a clear picture of your situation and the complaint you wish to make.
Read the casino’s terms and conditions very carefully to understand if you can make a complaint.
Record and save copies of all correspondence – this is why email is the best way of logging a complaint.
Gather as much information as possible to support your compliant including dates, times and screen shots.
Remain calm when dealing with customer support staff – they have a job to do and will not tolerate rude or abusive behaviour.
If you would like help with making a complaint to an online casino, contact the Find My UK Casino team here.