Online Casinos, Gambling, Poker and Sports Betting Magazine

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Calling A Spade A Spade

The best decisions consumers ever make are those based on facts, not impulses manipulated by fancy marketing.

For three years that is precisely what Gambling Grumbles has helped the online gamer do; decide where to play based on facts. While thousands have submitted Grumbles and received one-on-one assistance, still thousands more have benefited by reading the case summaries published on the site.

Julie Sidwell, Administrator of Gambling Grumbles, provides a few examples of articles found on the site and tells us, “It is an honest pleasure helping people resolve disputes and repair miscommunications. But what we truly find amazing are the letters we receive from people that have never submitted a Grumble or asked for help of any kind, they write to thank us because they were just about to play at a casino and read the Grumble Board first, they want us to know they appreciate the headache we helped them avoid.”

There are as many types of complaints and resolutions as there are people, but in general there are three categories of conclusions. The apologetic casino truly sorry for the over-sight, the player that either didn’t read or didn’t understand the terms and is a tad embarrassed, and the casino that knows they’re in the wrong, they know they owe the money and simply don’t care. We won’t likely hear back from that group, but fortunately it is a very small percentage of the industry and not very common.

Most cases stem from a lack of communication and can be resolved with a bit of time and effort. So the next time you find yourself frustrated with your online casino, before you start firing off angry e-mails, hop over to Gambling.com, click on Gambling Grumbles and tell us about your situation.

Case Example Number One:

Identity Crisis

Paul asked for our help after attempting a $200 cash-in at Winners Playground, again, and again, and again.

Yep! Three times he requested his cash-in and three times it was returned to his casino account rather than processed and paid. Not once during the approximate three weeks this continued did he receive a notice from the casino explaining the problem, so he finally wrote to them. Still he received no information.

He tried again and this time found the account locked so he phoned the casino. Now he was told that because his account had been locked they could provide no information. Perhaps this meant he would now need to wait for a manager, but Paul was not going to wait around to find out, he wrote to us the moment he completed the phone call. "I've reached the point, after becoming more and more distrusting of online casinos, of swearing them off all together. I would appreciate your help."

At first blush the casino informed us they believed Paul had several accounts, which would naturally be against every rule in the book and would explain the cold shoulder treatment. However the manager did explain that this was just "at a glance" and she would need to wait for her security manager to return to be certain. We were promised further information shortly.

True to her word we did hear more, and this, we liked... "We made a mistake with this account and would truly like to apologize to Paul for all the inconvenience and delays. We will process his transaction right away and will certainly add an apology bonus to his account."

As luck would have it there was a Paul with the same last name who had truly opened several accounts so it was a logical assumption this was one of them. It's a good thing Winners Playground took the time to double check the situation as it could have grown into quite a mess.

We heard from Paul before we had the opportunity to contact him, "Two days after filing my Grumble I received a phone call from Winner's Playground. The man was very apologetic. He said they had confused me with another player with the same name. He said they had applied the $200 to my credit card and they also added a generous bonus to my account to make amends. I've always felt rather helpless out here, when I've run into a problem with a casino. It's great to have a means of taking some

action and having an advocate like Gambling Grumbles. Thank you very, very much."

Case Example Number Two:

Sanity Reigns At Crazy Vegas

The Antonia we first met was obviously one angry lady, "I am really angry and upset with them, because they did not even give me the courtesy of a reply to any of my e-mails and I do feel cheated. I would truly appreciate any help you could give me with this."

Long story short, based on a match purchase offer she registered, purchased $50 and began to play, expecting the $50 bonus within three hours. It did not arrive in that time frame.

"I finally sent them an e-mail asking for my bonus. Two hours later I received an e-mail stating that I was locked out of the casino because their cash provider had said I was a high risk."

She continued, "I have a couple of problems with this - first why would they let me register, purchase credits, play and then decide that I am a high risk"? To further the point she asked why this can't be discovered during the registration process, before someone registers and plays.

What we do know is running these checks on everyone that begins to play at a casino would be a very cumbersome, time-consuming and frustrating process for the player and from a staffing and administrative point of view, most likely impossible for the casino. As most who have played online for a while know all too well, until only recently no one ever learned of these high-risk lockouts until the player requested their first cash-in and the paperwork began, so this appears already to be an improvement.

"Second, I sent them several e-mails asking them to at least let me have my bonus, and that I would not purchase any more credits in their casino after I played my bonus money, and then they could lock me out of their casino." The idea of staying long enough to play a bonus would never work, as the lockout means that the player would be ineligible for any cash-in, so it would be a futile exercise, not to mention frustrating if a big win were realized.

"I have yet to receive an e-mail from them, nor any further explanation as to what made me a high risk. I disputed a large amount of charges that were made to my credit card last year, which after an investigation was resolved in my favor. The reason I knew it was not me making those charges was because I was out of town when they were made. However, they did not even ask me for my side of the story. In my opinion, I am being labeled a high risk because I would not let someone cheat me. Now I am really upset with them because of the lack of a reply."

As always however, there are two-sides to the story. Crazy Vegas was quick with their reply, we received the complaint on the 7th, forwarded it the 8th, and on the 9th received the response.

"This player registered and made a purchase. Only on synchronization to the gaming server (about every 30 minutes), are player’s details checked by us and our processor. ProcCyber found this player to have numerous chargebacks (some very recent were included) and therefore they immediately locked this account. We have already this morning refunded the player back the $50 to her credit card."

They did seem a bit surprised by the claims of ignored e-mails and included copies of their correspondence.

• Saturday, September 07, 2002 10:13 AM: "Hello, I purchased $50.00 in your casino. Your promotion said 100% bonus within three hours. It has been over three hours already. Please advise when the bonus will be put in my casino account. Thank you very much."• Saturday, September 07, 2002 1:54 PM: "Hello, Why would you lock me out of the casino? I bought $50.00 and according to your promotion you were supposed to credit the casino account with $50.00. I have not done anything that requires being locked of the casino. Please explain. Thank you." • Saturday, September 07, 2002 4:24 PM: "Dear Antonia, We regret to inform you that your account has been locked. The reason that your account has been locked is because our E-cash processor (ProcCyber Services) has identified you as a high risk player. If you need any further information regarding your account please contact us. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused. Kind Regards, Crazy Vegas Casino"• Monday, September 09, 2002 7:48 AM: "Dear Antonia, We have refunded $50 back to your credit card. If there are any questions please don't hesitate calling. Kind Regards, Crazy Vegas Casino"

Antonia was quite honest in a follow up note explaining that when she filed her grumble she was extremely angry.

We have included such detail to illustrate the fact it would be near impossible for any casino to respond in a more expeditious, fair or professional manner.
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