How To Settle A Dispute With A US Licensed Casino
How To Settle A Dispute With A US Licensed Casino
Online casinos are fun, exciting and if you happen to have the odds in your favor, they can provide you with some extra pocket money. However, there are also casinos online that are, shall we say, a bit on the sketchy side. It isn’t always all that easy to determine how legitimate an online casino is just by looking at their website. And the thought of getting ripped off in one way or another is probably the furthest thing from your mind as you play slots or poker at an online casino. But then something happens that makes you start to wonder. Maybe you have grounds for a dispute but are not too sure how to go about it. In this article, we will go over possible scenarios that could cause you to question the integrity of the online casino and outline what your options are to settle the problem.
Let’s Talk About Licensing
Online casinos are a lot like land-based casinos in the United States. They need to be licensed to operate online and depending on where you live in the US, some online casinos may only be licensed to operate in your state. Typically, if the online casino is located within the US and licensed to operate in your area, it is considered a legal online casino. But then many other online casinos are easily accessed but are not located within the United States. The internet provides worldwide access and online casinos that are located in places like Malta or the Isle of Man are considered “offshore” casinos. Technically, these are illegal for US gamblers to visit, but welcome US players with open arms. They accept American currency, let you open an account, and provide you with amazing sign-up, first-deposit, and in-game bonuses. Every so often, an offshore casino disappears and there is not much you can do about it even if you had money sitting in your account to be paid out. This is why you should be spending your online gambling activity at a properly licensed online casino. To determine if the casino you are visiting is licensed to operate where you live, visit their website and locate the licensing information. A legitimate online casino will have this information posted so it can be inspected.
The Three Main Types of Complaints
Even if you have chosen a legitimate online casino that has the correct licensing in place for your jurisdiction, you may encounter a problem that you feel warrants a complaint. Of all the possible ways that an online casino can end up on the receiving end of a dispute, there are just three common types of complaints. They are: You think the games at that casino are fixed, You did not receive the bonus you expected or, You tried to withdraw money but the casino will not pay you. As you can see, these are three very different situations and each has a specific path to resolution. Let’s break them down further.
1 - You Think The Games At The Casino Are Fixed
Okay, this is worth a closer look. First off, it is highly unlikely that the casino is cheating. That is unless you happen to be playing blackjack, slots or whatever at one of the rare online casinos that have a history of being on the shady side. Considering that most casinos view cheating as counterproductive, they are not going to go down that road. An online casino that earns a reputation based on cheating will lose more business than it will gain and that’s the counterproductive part.
Secondly, the games available at most online casinos come from reputable game providers. This means that the software that makes the game do whatever it does is not controlled by the online casino. Considering that the online casino earns money from the games they offer, it is highly unlikely that the casino is going to fiddle around with the software. Plus, the game providers would know if the software was altered in any way from how it was created.
And thirdly, online casinos don’t need to cheat. That’s because the odds are against you the moment you register your online gambling account. That’s because the casino games all have a House Edge built into them that ensures the casino wins more on average than you will. The RTP (Return To Player) percentage varies from game to game, which you can find on the casino website, but it always leans in favor of the casino, so they don’t need to cheat.
How To Resolve This Issue
This is where you need to do your homework. It means that you will have to be able to prove without a doubt that the casino cheated you and you do that by gathering very detailed records. The details should include the cards that were dealt, roulette numbers that hit over the past one hundred rounds, or the dice that were rolled. A step-by-step outline of the game that you played, with screenshots, if possible, may give you the evidence you need to back your claim.
2 - You Did Not Receive The Bonus You Expected
Ah, yes…the bonuses. There is something very special about an online casino bonus. In simple terms, your average bonus is not very easy to earn. That is because the online casino will place so many requirements and limits on them that it is very difficult to earn any of the bonuses. Sure, you’ll get the odd one, but the major bonuses are typically impossible to qualify for regardless of what requirements you meet and what game you are playing.
How To Resolve This Issue
This one has a very simple solution. All you have to do is read the fine print at the website of the online casino. The details there will help you to determine whether or not you did qualify for the bonus. If you are convinced that you earned the bonus, write the casino and ask why you didn’t receive it. Be sure to quote the terms of the bonus offer and outline what requirements you met. They may side with you or they may not see it as you do.
3 - You Tried To Withdraw Money But The Casino Will Not Pay You
This is probably the most common complaint regarding online casinos. Typically, this issue is related to offshore online casinos that US banks will not deal with. So, you may be faced with having the casino mail you a check and that will involve an international postal service which could result in a longer wait than you would like. Sometimes those checks go missing and you won’t see your payout at all. But that is one of the risks of playing at an offshore online casino.
How To Resolve This Issue
Probably your best bet is to open a cryptocurrency Bitcoin account and request your withdrawals in Bitcoin. Don’t be too surprised if the casino jumps at doing this as cryptocurrency transactions are faster and easier for them to deal with. If you prefer to not enter the crypto world, you are going to have to wait. Online casinos that are located outside of the US sometimes have problems finding banks and payment processors that will accommodate American players.
But What If These Three Processes Don’t Work?
Well, that can happen. You’ve written to the casino and still haven’t heard back and several weeks have passed. Well, there is still something you can do that may be of some help. The most logical thing to do when you get to this point is to write the licensing authority. Reputable online casinos are properly licensed which means they are legal to operate in the state you live in. By contacting the licensing authority, you may see some results. As you can imagine, the licensing authority has heard every possible complaint about online casinos and will likely act fast to resolve your issue. However, if the casino you have an issue with is an offshore casino, then you are pretty much out of luck. That is unless you are prepared to hire a lawyer and since playing at offshore casinos is technically illegal, your case will be dismissed and you will be out even more money due to legal fees.
Contact Customer Service
Provided that the online casino you have an issue with has a customer service department (often called Customer Support) this can be your first direct point of contact if you choose to skip writing or emailing the casino. On the casino website, you should be able to find contact information such as email and mailing addresses and phone numbers. When you call Customer Support you must do so once you have calmed down and can clearly explain the situation. Yelling, screaming, and demanding action is not going to help your case even if it seems justified at the time.
1 - Be Clear In Your Explanation
Remember, before you get into any details that the person on the other end of the phone line may not live in the United States. This means there may be a slight language barrier. You can get around this by using small words and avoiding getting too complicated in your explanation. If you do not feel that you are getting anywhere, remain calm and request to speak to a supervisor or some other authority figure. Typically, support centers are operated by people who are good at customer service with other workers who just answer phones and take down information. Explain your situation calmly.
2 - Provide Adequate Proof
If your issue is related to missing bonuses, be prepared to identify where in the Terms and Conditions your issue can be addressed. Also, indicate that you have screenshots and detailed notes on the step-by-step play action that led up to where you believe you qualify for a bonus. Naturally, don’t say you have screenshots unless you do. Also, don’t threaten legal action or any other activity as the person you are talking to at this point is probably the only person who can be of any help to you in resolving this issue. Be nice, respectful, and listen carefully to what you are being told.
3 - Accept The Results
There is no guarantee that you will see the bonus that you have complained about not receiving regardless of how much proof you can produce. However, don’t be surprised if the online casino customer support department offers you something in return. It may not be the bonus you were expecting, but as an act of good faith, the casino may offer you something to help you deal with this loss. It could be a partial bonus or some other incentive that will likely be of much less value than the original bonus you were trying to get. Your best response to this is to thank the supervisor and drop the matter.
How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off Online
Well, how can you prevent yourself from getting into the position where you have a dispute with an online casino? If you have read this far, you already know the answer. You can avoid all kinds of problems by registering your online gambling account at an online casino that has a verified website and is licensed to operate gambling activities in your state. But there are also some other things you should look for that will help you to determine the level of integrity of the casino you are considering becoming a member of. Here is a breakdown of those things.
1 - License
We’ve said this a few times already, but it bears repeating as it is the most important factor to consider. A legitimate online casino will have a license from your state governing body and that information (which may include the license number) will be prominently displayed on the casino website.
2 - Terms and Conditions
Before you join a casino website or claim a bonus, it is a good idea to review the Terms and Conditions. If they are not clear or sound confusing, this could be a clue tipping you off to further problems. The Terms and Conditions should clearly explain all you need to know about the workings of the casino.
3 - Gaming Service Providers
Online casinos do not create their games. Instead, they use games from third-party providers. Arrangements vary from casino to casino and from game to game and provider to provider but layout usage agreements. Reliable game providers include Playtech, NetEnt, Play'n Go, Evolution Gaming, etc.
4 - Website Operators
Another important consideration is who the website operator happens to be. There are several reputable US online casino website operators and if the site you are using is connected to one of them, you should not have a problem. Some good operators include 888 Holdings, Progress Play, Aspire Global, etc.
5 - Identity Verification
If the online casino you are registering at does not require you to verify your identity, don’t go any further. Mandatory identity verification protects both you and the casino from fraud and underage gamblers. ID typically requested may include a driver’s license, passport, bank statement, or utility bill.
6 - Limits On Accounts
One sign that will tell you that you are at a reputable online casino site is the limitations placed on accounts. Verified casinos normally only permit a single account per person/household/phone number/email address. This restriction ensures that only the verified player uses the gaming account.
7 - Smart Gambling Options
Speaking of limits, the best online casinos implement what is termed as responsible gambling options. These may include such things as limits on the number and size of deposits that can be made, time-outs, and self-exclusion to permit players to take a break from the online casino when needed.
8 - Website Appearance
If you have ever visited a website that had elements to it that caused you concern, then you will understand why the appearance of an online casino is so important. The graphics should work properly, the interface should be user-friendly with appropriate language and sections that are organized well.
9 - Customer Support
One way to tell the good from the bad when it comes to selecting an online casino is the customer support they offer. If it is professional and responds quickly to your questions or concerns, then you will know that this is a casino website with integrity and is interested in resolving your issues.
What Makes Offshore Online Casinos So Attractive When They Are Technically Illegal
The problem with offshore online casinos is that the average internet gambler may not be aware of the fact that the casino site they are playing at is not US-based. It sort of makes sense. When you go online, how many websites do you visit during a session where you check to see where the website originates? You probably don’t do it at all and the average internet user will be the same. So, visiting offshore casino websites would seem to be a normal activity. Plus, the differences between offshore casinos and US-based casinos are very obvious, only if you are seeking to find those differences. To a gambler looking for a great place to play online, the differences will stand out but the gambler won’t generally associate the differences as being related to being an offshore entity.
The Benefits Of Offshore Casinos
Okay, we don’t suggest you purposely start gambling at offshore casinos, but it is important for you to know what features are used to attract new players and are promoted as being beneficial. Here is a look at the most common offshore casino offerings that are meant to hook you into wanting to join them.
Offshore online casinos feature a lot more casino games than your average legal online casino in the US. Not only are there many different games, but there are also several of the same game available so you are sure to find something available to play regardless of the time of day or night.
Games Not Found Elsewhere
Another attractive feature promoted by offshore casinos is the fact that you will find game titles and themes of games that are not available at your local land-based casino. This is an important difference that gets played up a lot to make US land-based casinos appear inferior in comparison.
Offshore online casinos provide you with the tools to customize your experience. This can be anything from the skins used in certain rooms or games to the profile you create. Some offshore casinos permit you to create a user name and avatar to represent you when online.
Always Ready To Play
The internet never shuts down which means business takes place 24/7. This is one of the key factors in the success of offshore online casinos. They never close and can accommodate players from all over the world playing whenever they want to play.
Live Dealer Games
Offshore online casinos provide something called “live dealer rooms” and these rooms contain a “real'' dealer (often just a bot using artificial intelligence) that enhances gameplay and closely mimics the same excitement and gameplay as you would experience in a land-based casino.
We’ve mentioned bonuses a few times already. But what you will find with offshore casinos is that the bonuses they offer are quite insane. Ranging from deposit bonuses to sign-up bonuses and referral bonuses, there is no shortage of types of bonuses offered that no other casino would consider offering.
Offshore casinos like it when you play a long time. The longer you play per session, the more loyalty rewards you earn. This is essentially a trick to get you to bet more of your money the longer you stay online. The loyalty concept is a popular trick used at offshore casinos.
RTP Is Better
The Return To Player (RTP) percentage is always better at online games than at land-based casinos. Only at offshore online casinos, they make a bigger deal about it. You can check the RTP figures at any online casino as they should be posted with each game or in the Terms and Conditions.
If you have a dispute with an online casino, the chances are that it happens to be with an offshore casino. Legal online casinos operating in the US do not conduct shady business practices and work hard to rectify issues when they occur. Offshore sites are technically illegal for Americans to access and that makes them risky to play at. But that doesn’t stop a lot of US players from participating and several suffer the consequences of registering their online gambling account at one of these questionable sites. Will you succeed with a claim against an offshore site? Probably not. The best way to avoid that situation is to stay away from online casino sites you cannot verify as being legitimate.
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