Canadian Players: Here’s What You Should Do If You Have a Dispute with a Canadian Online Casino
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Canadian Players: Here’s What You Should Do If You Have a Dispute with a Canadian Online Casino

Canadian Players: Here’s What You Should Do If You Have a Dispute with a Canadian Online Casino

There are plenty of fun, reputable, and safe Canadian online casinos. In fact, you will find that the majority of them are. However, there are Canadian online casinos that aren’t as reputable. These online casinos may not have the proper security protocols in place to keep your money and your personal information safe from cybercriminals or they may intentionally try and defraud you out of money.

Even when you play at a reputable online casino, there is still a chance that some type of mistake can be made or something goes wrong that you feel damaged in some way and needs to be fixed. In either case, whether the issue seems intentional or not, you may need to dispute something that happens at a Canadian online casino.

The best thing you can do about a dispute with a Canadian online casino is to educate yourself so your relationship with a casino never gets to that point. If you do find yourself in that situation though, we will go through what you can do, who you can contact, and what you should have before starting the process.

We will also look at how to take the final step in the dispute process if all other methods fail and also discuss an underlying problem that may cause disputes with casinos. Here are the most important things that Canadian players should know about what to do if you have a dispute with a Canadian online casino. 

How Canadian Players Can Prevent Disputes Before They Start

No one wants to have a dispute with an online casino. Online casino gaming should be a fun and exciting pastime, not a stressful one. The good news is, the vast majority of online gamblers never have a dispute with a Canadian online casino. Most players have good experiences that keep them coming back for more whenever they want to play some online slots or other popular online casino games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, scratch cards, bingo, and more. 

The main reason that this is the case is that most Canadian players do their research before they start playing at an online casino. By doing a little searching around the internet and doing a little investigating on the casino’s site before you start playing, you can drastically reduce the possibility of having a dispute down the line. Here is how you can do that.

Read the casino reviews

Not surprisingly, the best place to start researching an online casino is online. Reading reviews is a crucial first step in finding the best Canadian online casino for you. You can start finding reviews of Canadian online casinos at Online Casino Gems. These reviews are honest and comprehensive but it always makes sense to read reviews on multiple sites.

Reading multiple reviews is important because it allows you to get a holistic picture of what people are saying and the experiences they have with an online casino. Untrustworthy online casinos can easily create or pay for a positive online review. If you only find this type of review, you can get tricked into using a site that you will end up having a dispute with.

On the other hand, it is incredibly difficult (near impossible) for an untrustworthy site to make sure that every review of their site is positive. The truth finds a way to get out about these sites and, if you spend a little extra time reading a few different reviews, you will likely find what people are really saying about the casino.

When reading negative reviews, it is important to understand what the reviews are saying. Every online casino is likely to have some negative online reviews. It comes with the territory. If users are saying that they have trouble getting money out or experienced some sort of fraudulent or bait and switch issue, those are major red flags. If users complain about the games not being fair or the site or app crashing in the middle of a game, those may be user errors or just sour grapes.

Reading the reviews has other benefits as well in addition to finding out how many people have had disputes with the outlet. There are popular online casinos that do not allow users from Canada and reading the reviews will allow you to find this out early in the process. Many sites won’t tell you that they do not allow players from your area until after they collect your personal information so finding this out in the reviews is always a good thing. 

The other great thing that reading the reviews will help with is finding out the pros and cons of a site before you play. These reviews will tell you what games the online casino offers, the varieties of payments they accept and give out, and which sites have the best first deposit bonuses. In addition to the trustworthiness of the casino, finding out about the site as a whole is another big benefit of reading multiple reviews.

Read the Terms and Conditions

After you read the reviews and think that you have found a site you like, your research isn’t done yet. Once you get on the online casino’s page, you want to carefully read the terms and conditions page. This is something that very few people do but, when it comes to online casinos, more people need to.

This page (or pages) spells out everything that both you and the site are allowed to do. If you agree to these terms and conditions, start playing, and are burned by a rule that is clearly spelled out on the terms and conditions page, you may not have a leg to stand on in your dispute no matter how unfair it seems.

You want to read as much of these pages as you can (even though we know this part of online gambling is no fun!) to ensure you understand how the site works. A few things to pay particular attention to include withdrawal schedules, limits, and restrictions, and what types of payment methods and currency they accept and allow withdrawals in.

Welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, and other free plays and free spins are the other areas where players often get into disputes with Canadian online casinos about. A bonus offer may seem amazing but, in many cases, they are not quite what they seem. These bonuses often have minimum play-through requirements or limits.

On some sites, you may find that winnings from bonuses and free plays aren’t withdrawable at all. While this may not seem fair and can cause a dispute once discovered, it is on the player to find these things out. When these rules are clearly spelled out in the terms and conditions of the casino, there is nothing much you can do if this burns you. 

Common Online Casino Disputes

If you have researched the online casino thoroughly and read through the site’s terms and conditions, there is a good chance you can avoid a dispute altogether. The truth is though, even with this pre-work and with reputable online casinos, you may still have a dispute with the site. Most disputes with Canadian online casinos fall into one of several main categories.

Monetary

This is the most one of the most common and often most problematic disputes that people have with online casinos. This can include issues like a site not issuing a withdrawal because of “verification issues”. There can also be missing deposits, declined transactions, delayed withdrawals, and double charges on your payment method. 

Promotions and Bonuses

As mentioned above, it is so important to read the terms of the bonuses and promotions a site is offering. Many times, they are not as beneficial as they seem. That said, there are times when issues come up that aren’t addressed in the terms and conditions. This can include not receiving your bonus when you deposit to losing the bonus or bonus winnings even if you’ve met all the required conditions.

Technology

It is important to remember that online casinos are technology companies as much as they are casinos. Hosting and supporting online gambling is a complicated technical process and, from time to time, the technology can fail or cause problems. Some players may have specific glitches or crashes that affect the outcome of the play. There can also sometimes be tech or software issues that lead to a monetary problem (see above) so these two categories are sometimes related.

Casino Issues

Any other dispute you have with the casino as a whole may fall under this category. An example would be If you aren’t able to open an account even if you believe you meet all the conditions. Casino issues can also include negative treatment or online abuse from other players or customer service staff or any other issue with the support you receive from customer service. 

Who can Canadian Players Contact if They Need to Resolve a Dispute?

When you find yourself in a dispute with a Canadian online casino there are several steps you can take to resolve it. This starts with the most basic step – which is also often the most effective – all the way up to legal action. Here are the outlets to contact in the event of a dispute.

Who Should You Contact First?

The first step in any dispute with a Canadian online casino is to contact the site’s customer service. This is the fastest and most effective way to get your dispute resolved. While it doesn’t always work, especially if you are dealing with a dishonest casino operator, it should still be the first step. At the very least, you should receive more information about why you are having your problem.

Even if customer service is unresponsive, it is still good to send your concerns as you can use their lack of response later on in the dispute resolution process.

The reality of the situation is that most online casinos, especially reputable ones, will be able to resolve your dispute one way or the other in the customer service process. They will either be able to fix the issue in your favor if something has gone wrong or show you where your misunderstanding occurred if you are in violation of the terms and conditions in some way.  

Good Canadian online casinos will have customer support available 24/7 to address user complaints and disputes. At the very least, most will have an email where you can send your disputes. Lots of online casinos will offer live chat or telephone customer service options as well. This allows you to interact with the customer service team in the way you feel most comfortable doing so.

These customer service teams should be experts on the terms and conditions of the site and should easily be able to address your concerns and rectify the situation if needed. The world of online gambling is a competitive one and the best sites are very protective of their reputation and online reviews. This is why they will often prioritize good customer service on their site.

These teams are incentivized to resolve your dispute in a way you feel good about. Even if you don’t come out on top, they want you to walk away from the interaction satisfied that your dispute was taken seriously and dealt with properly. They don’t want negative reviews.

What if Customer Service Can’t or Won’t Resolve Your Dispute?

Just because many sites will resolve your disputes with their customer service teams doesn’t mean that all of them will. If the site is a reputable one or you simply believe that your dispute is seething that they are unwilling or unequipped to handle you may need to escalate the dispute to a higher body. Before you take legal routes, there is another option that will be easier for you and cost less money. That is alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

ADR is a process short of litigation that can help two party’s mediate disputes. This process can often can often be quicker and easier than traditional legal avenues. In Canada, there are several resources you can avail yourself of in order to find an ADR route that will work for you. Here are several institutions you can look into.

ADR Institute of Canada, Inc.

234 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 407,

Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K5

Phone: 416-487-4733

Toll-free number: 1-877-475-4353

General inquiry email: admin@adric.ca

Website

 

Canadian Gaming Association

P.O. Box 43563 Leaside

Toronto, Ontario  M4G 4G8

Phone: 416.304.7800

General inquiry email: info@canadiangaming.ca

Website

 

The Canadian Bar Association

66 Slater St., Suite 1200

Ottawa, ON K1P 5H1

Phone: 613-237-2925 or 613-237-1988

Toll-free number: 1-800-267-8860

General inquiry email: info@cba.org

Website

 

Taking a Canadian Gambling Outlet to Court

After you have exhausted all other options –which we strongly suggest you do – the last step for someone in a dispute with a Canadian online casino is to take them to court. This is a very serious step that can cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. You need to make sure you are fully committed to the case before you do it.

We are not legal experts and, in no way are we giving legal advice, but there are a few things you should do before you pursue legal action. The first step is to understand how the Canadian justice system works to help you decide how and where you will pursue your claim. You also want to find an attorney who understands how online casinos operate and the actions that can be taken against them. To find an attorney, you can search your local area in Canada or you can use a free resource like the Canadian Bar Association’s Find-A-Lawyer service. 

The rest of your legal action should be determined by the legal professional you choose to work with. In many cases, you may be able to get a free consultation with a lawyer before you officially hire them so that they can tell you what they think about the merits of your case against the Canadian online casino you are disputing.

What Canadian Players Can Do to Cover Themselves

When you find yourself in a situation where you have a dispute with a Canadian online casino, there are a few things you want to make sure you do. Again, this is not legal advice in any way, simply a few best practices that may help you obtain the outcome you are looking for in a dispute with an online casino. Following these practices can help you be more prepared when pursuing your dispute with a customer service rep, in an ADR situation, or even during a court case.

Know the Specific Nature of Your Dispute

It is important to understand and be able to relate the specifics of your dispute to whomever you are speaking with. It isn’t enough just to say, “I can’t withdraw my winning”, “I didn’t get my bonus”, or “I had a bad customer service experience”. You need to be able to articulate the specific.

These specifics – referencing the examples above – include things like, you made a deposit and never received a matching deposit bonus or your account balance shows $100.00 but you cannot get it out of the site and into your account. If you had a negative experience with another player or a representative of the online casino, you should be able to say what happened, when it happened, and exactly who is involved. In this situation, you can reference specific player screen names or customer service employee IDs.

Take Screenshots

Like the kids say these days, “pics or it didn’t happen”. This may be a young person cliché but, in the world of online casino disputes, it rings true. Because the casino is run on technology and software that you don’t own, you cannot necessarily rely on being able to go back to stored information to make your case. If you are dealing with a shady online casino, they may be able to change information on the back end to dispute your point. 

Taking screenshots of everything you do on the site can help verify the information you provide customer service or in an ADR or legal situation. As with knowing the specifics, the more detail you can show through screenshots, the better case you will have to present.

Also, if you feel that you have not violated the terms and conditions in any way or if you feel the site has, make sure you screenshot and highlight the relevant passages. There is no better way to prove your point than to show that a site is in violation of its own policies. It is certainly what the site will try to show about you in many situations.

Stay Polite and Respectful

The last best practice that will help you cover yourself in a dispute with a Canadian online casino is to be polite and respectful throughout the entire process no matter how frustrating it is. These disputes can be incredibly frustrating, especially when money is involved. You need to keep your cool throughout the process though or you can undermine your side of the dispute.

If you start with verbal or written abuse directed towards the site’s customer service team – even if it seems like they truly deserve your ire – you can hurt your chances of a positive resolution. If you act abusively towards anyone at the site, you not only undermine your case, you may actually violate terms and conditions that can negate your case as well.

As difficult as it can be, the best way to make sure you have the upper hand in any dispute resolution is to stay calm, collected, and respectful throughout the process. The last thing you want is for your temper to be the reason you aren’t successful in having your dispute resolved in a way you are happy with.

What Canadian Players Can Do if They Have a Gambling Problem

One more note about disputes with Canadian online casinos. If you are intentionally playing in disreputable online casinos or part of your dispute comes from the fact that you are losing more money than you can afford to lose, you may be a problem gambler. Studies have shown that over 1/3 of Canadian casino revenues comes from problem gamblers. Only 10-15% of these people will ever seek help on their own though.

If you think you may have a problem with gambling addiction there are places you can contact for help. The Canada Safety Council has a helpful list of problem gambling hotlines in each Canadian province. You can also go to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction’s gambling page for more information.

Conclusion

Most online casino players can go for years, or even their entire online gambling tenure, without having a dispute with a Canadian online casino. The majority of Canadian online casinos are safe and reputable and will provide players with an all-around enjoyable experience. All that said, there may come a time when you have a dispute with an online casino. 

The first thing to remember is that disputes are not inevitable. They happen far more often when you deal with untrustworthy online casinos. To find out if a casino you want to play in has a reputation for fair or unfair practices, you need to read multiple reviews. Once you’ve done that, you want to read the terms and conditions of the site thoroughly before you agree to them and find yourself bound by them.

When you start plating on a site, it is good to know the most common types of disputes so you can watch out for them. These common types are monetary, promotions and bonuses, technology, and casino issue disputes. If you have a problem in one of these areas, you may need to pursue your dispute.

To pursue your dispute, you want to start with customer service as most disputes can be successfully solved within the site. If you are not satisfied with the result or the way the dispute is handled, you may want to look for an alternative dispute resolution. Finally, if all else fails, you can take legal action against the site in the Canadian court system.

No matter how and where you choose to pursue your dispute, there are a few things to keep in mind to give yourself a better chance of resolving the problem in your favor. You should gather all the specifics of your dispute, take screenshots of all the relevant information you can, and, above all, keep your cool and be polite and respectful to maintain the high ground. 

Last, but certainly not least, whether the dispute stems from being a problem gambler or not, if you feel that you may have an issue with gambling addiction, you should seek help. There are many resources in Canada that you can use to get help in this situation.


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