eCOGRA: Decisions often favor customers

eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) announced that its Fair Gaming Advocate released a report for 2007 that showed 68% of legitimate complaints handled by the office were settled in favor of the player.

eCOGRA oversees the online gambling activities of some 120 tier-one online casinos and poker rooms. Some of the poker sites it has approved include Pacific Poker and PokerRoom.

As part of its operations, eCOGRA makes available a dispute resolution service for players at sites that have been awarded the eCOGRA Safe and Fair seal.

Tex Reese is the Fair Gaming Advocate who handles the dispute resolution service. According to her report, a total of 783 complaints were received during 2007.

"The number of valid disputes received increased over the past year, and I believe this is a result of players becoming more aware of our mediation service and our ability to respond quickly in achieving a fair outcome," Rees said.

However, not all of those complaints were eligible for eCOGRA to deal with. The report notes that 93 of those complaints involved sites not covered by eCOGRA, and a further 45 were invalid by reason of insufficient information or irrelevant enquiry.

Of the 645 valid and legitimate complaints left, 68% were settled in favor of the player. The main complaints made to the Fair Gaming Advocate involved:

  • Payout problems (47%)
  • Bonus issues (28%)
  • Locked accounts (21%)
  • Miscellaneous issues (4%)

"Resolutions in favor of the player reached 68%, and there appear to have been fewer chancers submitting questionable complaints in 2007," Rees said. "I suspect that this is because there is a greater awareness that complaints will be thoroughly investigated in pursuit of a fair and unbiased resolution."

Rees also said it was reassuring to note that the average number of valid disputes per site per month was less than one-half of 1%.

"This is a clear indication that the approved operators, together with eCOGRA, are being effective in meeting the need for fair gaming, player protection and responsible operator behavior," she said. "Operators have responded in a fast and cooperative manner to those cases where I have requested information and explanations and have been quick to respect my findings in each case."

To that end, the Fair Gaming Advocate maintained an average response time of less than 72 hours on complaints in 2007.

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