eCOGRA gives one to the players

The majority of disputes mediated by online gambling standards authority eCOGRA in the last four months were settled in favor of the player, the regulation body said in a Tuesday release.

Statistics gathered by eCOGRA show 54% of disputes from January to April 2007 were resolved to the player's advantage.

Of the 290 requests the body received for mediation, 252 were accepted. Others were rejected because their gambling sites fell outside eCOGRA's influence.

In 137 cases, the players were given the edge over the casinos and poker rooms - an increase in player-decided cases of 22% in that period, said spokeswoman Tex Rees.

eCOGRA also noted a decline in the number of irrelevant or rant complaints without sufficient information, she added.

"There was a 19% increase in the disputes received in this period compared to the last four months of 2006," said Rees, "which we believe is the result of an increased awareness of eCOGRA and the dispute mediation service, as well as new legal challenges affecting the industry."

The main issue for the first four months of 2007 was U.S. payment processing delays caused by the country's online gambling ban. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act saw an increase in the number of slow-pay complaints, which made up 44% of all valid disputes.

Most other disputes related to bonus abuse issues; the body considered 78 allegations of the practice

The 118 eCOGRA accredited online gambling sites each draw an average .53 dispute claims per month, up from .32 dispute claims per month in the last four months of 2006.

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