We all know gambling can be riotous fun, but it can also quickly turn into a nightmare if you find yourself in the middle of an online casino dispute.
Online gambling disputes are often a nasty bit of business and range from simple terms and conditions violations to outright criminal scams, with the most common issue being online casino withdrawal problems.
Imagine that – you’ve struck a massive jackpot and suddenly the casino just refuses to dish out your rightful winnings!
To help you deal with these kinds of nightmare scenarios, we’ve put together the best tips and tricks to resolve or, better yet, altogether avoid online gambling disputes.
Online Casino Withdrawal Problems – Why Casinos Refuse to Pay Out
To get started, let’s go over the usual suspects when it comes to online casino withdrawal problems.
If you’re experiencing this problem right now, chances one of the following scenarios is to blame:
#1. Incorrect/false information
One of the biggest reasons for online casino withdrawal problems is providing incorrect or falsified information. Whether you make a simple typo when entering details or you choose to intentionally fabricate some details, online casinos can use this to legally withhold your winnings. So, always make sure to enter information carefully and honestly.
#2. Duplicate Accounts
Duplicate accounts are usually a big no-no for most casinos, so if you do create more than one, you’ll likely end up in a nasty online casino dispute. The solution? Just don’t do it. If you’re experiencing a problem with your account, contact customer services to resolve the issue instead of just starting fresh with a new account.
#3. Missing Verification Documents
Many (if not most) legit casinos require proper verification to register customers and make payments. If any of these important documents are missing, the casino cannot verify you and has the perfect excuse to confiscate your winnings. Don’t let this happen to you – always double-check your documents!
#4. Bonus Terms and Conditions Violations
We always advise you to read the terms and conditions of bonuses and special rewards extra carefully – and this is why! These kinds of casino promotions often come with a long list of convoluted rules and conditions that can sometimes be difficult to understand or worse, read all the way to the end. Don’t let the fine print steal your winnings!
#5. Incorrect Credit Card or Bank Details
It goes without saying that you should be extra careful when providing your card or bank details. After all, you want to make sure you get the money. You might end up with a pretty tricky online casino withdrawal problem if your winnings get sent to someone else by mistake and, in some cases, you might not be able to get it back.
This one is a real no-brainer. You cheat, you don’t get your money (at least if you’re caught). Not only will cheating get you into an online casino dispute, but it will also get you banned and possibly land you in legal trouble as well. It’s just not worth it.
For some effective and, more importantly, legal strategies to help you win, read our guide about fish in poker and how you can use them to your advantage to win big.
If you’ve been playing online casino games for any amount of time, you’re probably painfully aware of the strict country restrictions most sites have. Though it can be frustrating to find an awesome casino only to discover that you can’t access the site from your country, using a VPN won’t solve your problem.
Online casinos have a good reason for these restrictions (trust us, they wouldn’t turn down customers over nothing). Basically, they have to do with laws and jurisdictions. So even if you use a VPN, you won’t be covered by the laws that govern these casinos.
#8. Bonus Isn’t Wagered
If you ever find yourself going googly-eyed over some of the amazing, too-good-to-be-true bonuses, remember – there is more to them than meets the eye. In almost all cases (with very few exceptions), you need to wager at least a certain portion of your bonus before you’re allowed to touch any of your winnings.
#9. The Player Is a Minor
We all know that you need to be 18+ to gamble. If you lie about your age in the hopes of winning big, you’re in for an online casino dispute instead. Casinos aren’t legally permitted to cater to underage players – therefore, they really couldn’t pay you even if they wanted to.
#10. Fraudulent Casino
Though the majority of online casinos are legit and totally safe to play at, there are some rogue ones you need to watch out for. The internet is crawling with scammers and hackers hoping to steal your money, so you’ve got to be extra vigilant when it comes to making payments or giving out sensitive personal information. To start off, make sure the casino is properly licensed and regulated by a relevant authority.
If you’re looking for a legit casino you can trust with your money, check out our list of the best high stakes online casinos.
How to Resolve Disputes with Online Casinos – 4 Practical Tips
Now that we’ve covered the most common reasons why players experience online casino withdrawal problems, you might be wondering what you can do as a player to ensure that you receive your rightful winnings when YOU want them.
The following tips should help if you ever find yourself in an online casino dispute:
Tip #1. Use Trusted Online Casinos
We’ve already gone through how important it is to use trusted online casinos, but we really can’t stress this point enough. The number one most effective, fool-proof way to avoid online gambling disputes is to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate, fully certified, and regulated casino.
Even if you’ve made some kind of mistake or there is a misunderstanding, most reputable casinos will work with you to resolve any issues and provide proper guidance to avoid similar problems in the future.
Tip #2. Keep Your Own Records
At any point that you contact an online casino representative regarding a withdrawal problem, your best mode of communication is emailing. By using electronic communication, you will ensure that you have a copy of all the correspondence between you – something that might prove invaluable to any subsequent claims you may need to make.
Tip #3. Always Try To Speak To Someone In a High Position
Whenever you are trying to settle an online casino dispute through its customer service, (and, incidentally, this piece of advice relates to all types of business too), ask to speak to someone in a higher position.
If the person you are dealing with is unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction, ask for a manager. In this one instance, it’s ok to be a Karen. You have our permission.
Whether you’re dealing with someone who has little experience or with someone who is simply having a bad day and taking it out on you, you’re always within your right to escalate the issue to someone with more experience and authority.
Tip #4. Involve a Third-Party If Necessary
In case you have tried and failed to have your complaint addressed to your satisfaction and feel as if you are banging your head against a brick wall, then our advice for your next port-of-call is to seek help from a third-party specialist.
The first place to start is by contacting the source that originally directed you to that particular online casino. This could be promotional e-mails, affiliate websites, forums, etc.
If, for example, your source was a third-party website, then your best bet would be to contact the webmaster directly. Odds are they are well-versed in the industry and enjoy a good business relationship with that particular casino, which automatically makes them a great choice to be your spokesperson. After all, they too have a reputation to uphold and will not want to give the impression that they direct their customers to ‘rogue casinos’.
Use Online Gambling Dispute Services
That brings us to the next part. If all else fails, seek professional help! Here are some of the most trusted and reliable experts when it comes to online casino disputes:
Created in the early part of this decade, eCOGRA (eCommerce & Online Gaming Regulation & Assurance) was established by the software developers Microgaming and Cassava with the aim of functioning as a regulatory body for what is still a largely unregulated business.
Only casinos that meet eCOGRA’s stringent regulations are offered the company’s prestigious seal of approval. This seal will usually appear somewhere on the home page, say “Play It Safe” and mean that the casino is a safe bet to lay on. Beware, however, as some fraudulent casinos might use a fake seal to try to fool you.
Online casinos belonging to the eCOGRA group will have a Player Dispute Form available somewhere on their site, which can be filled in and submitted to their company. Once submitted, eCOGRA will do everything in its power to reach a satisfactory resolution to the online casino dispute.
#2. The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS)
IBAS is an ADR (alternative dispute resolution) service that specialises in resolving gambling disputes between licensed gambling operators and their customers. It is approved by the Gambling Commission – the UK Government’s public body responsible for gambling.
We provide the full lowdown on everything you need to know about this casino dispute resolution service in our comprehensive Independent Betting Adjudication Service FAQ.
#3. Gambling Portal and Webmasters Association GPWA
The GPWA is the company that runs the world-renowned “The Players Corner” forum. That’s where online gamblers can give voice to any problems they experienced with an online casino and receive advice from other players or business people in the industry.
Because of GPWA’s large customer base, you will almost certainly find someone that either has a contact within the particular casino that you are having difficulties with or may even act on your behalf to help you resolve your online gambling dispute.
Online Casino Safety Rules – How to Avoid Having Online Casino Disputes in the First Place
If you ask us, the best way to approach online casino disputes is to avoid them in the first place.
Here are some tips to keep yourself out of trouble where gambling is involved:
Make sure that you only play at casinos that use recognized gaming software from the most popular, reliable operators, such as Microgaming, Playtech, or RealTime Gaming (search internet review sites for other reputable firms).
Make sure that you only open one account per online casino, unless the site explicitly says that it is acceptable to have more than one. If you do open multiple accounts and get discovered, it can lead to some common online casino withdrawal problems such as transaction delays or even the loss of your winnings.
A very good way of determining whether a casino is trustworthy is to send their customer service a few questions regarding various issues you may have. You can judge a lot by the speed at which they communicate and the comprehensiveness of their answers. The way in which the company deals with your online gambling dispute will often be indicative of the type of organization you are dealing with.
If you do find yourself in the middle of an online casino dispute, make sure that you communicate your problem effectively. There’s no need to be rude or aggressive. Generally speaking, the more reasonable you are in your approach towards them, the more likely the casino is to deal with your issue promptly and efficiently.
Before playing at any casino, make sure that you read their terms and conditions very carefully. Similarly, prior to playing any of their games, ensure that you know the specific casino rules in regards to that game. These rules and regulations should be easy to locate.
When browsing for a potential online casino, pay attention to the graphics, appearance, and sound quality. Ask yourself – does the site look professional?
The amount of money that a casino invests in making its site look nice speaks volumes regarding its intentions. If they are planning to stick around then they will have made the effort to make their site look good.
Never try to accumulate multiple bonuses from the same casino, as this can lead to online casino withdrawal problems. The casino can use this as an excuse to refrain from paying you or delay any payments that it owes you, as most casinos usually expect you to play a certain amount of money before withdrawing any winnings you have earned from a bonus.
Keep your own records. Casinos will usually keep a log of all the games that you play, how much you have deposited, and how much you have won on each game played. It is good practice to also keep your own record. This way, you can cross-reference between the two and ensure that they are accurate in their record keeping. Also, make sure to keep a log of your user name and password in a safe place.
Always remember that you are gambling to have fun, not to make money. There is never a sure-fire way to win, so you should never rely on gambling as a source of revenue. If you do, you are likely to find yourself in financial difficulties. Although there are exceptions to this rule, they are usually rare.
Make sure that you know rules 1-9 by heart.
Online Casino Withdrawal Problems FAQ
#1. What to do if an Online Casino Refuses to Pay Out?
If you find yourself in the middle of an online casino dispute, don’t panic. There are several steps you can follow to get what’s yours:
- First, you should contact the casino customer service to find out what has caused the issue and to present any evidence you have to support your claim.
- If that does not lead to a suitable outcome, you can contact the source that directed you to the casino. This can be an affiliate website, forum, or something of a similar nature. They will often be able to help you reach a resolution.
- If all else fails, employ an online gambling dispute service such as eCOGRA.
#2. Can I Sue if an Online Casino Refuses to Pay Out?
Yes, you can sue for almost anything, including online casino disputes. However, we advise against this as it can be very expensive and time-consuming. Trust us, you don’t want to end up in a drawn-out case that drains your pockets – casinos have deeper ones.
#3. Can Online Casinos Hold Your Winnings?
The answer is both yes and no. Casinos can’t withhold your winnings indefinitely, as they are legally obligated to pay out what they owe. However, they can hold the money for a certain period of time – usually between 3 to10 days for “processing purposes”. This is often an excuse to use your money for a little while longer to generate more income for the casino and give you the chance to keep playing and possibly lose the sum altogether.
In the worst-case scenario, they can confiscate your winnings if they find you in breach of their terms and conditions. So make sure you always read those very carefully!
#4. Who Regulates Online Casinos?
Online casinos are regulated by whichever authority they are licensed by, which is usually either their government or jurisdiction, a security testing company, or a software testing company. Whichever it is, you should always make sure the casino you are playing at is properly licensed and regulated.
#5. Why Does an Online Casino Refuse to Pay Me?
There are many reasons why you might experience online casino withdrawal problems. Simple mistakes are usually to blame. For example, there might be a mistake in the information you provided or you misunderstood the terms of a bonus you received. Sometimes, however, it can be due to fraudulent activity (either on the casino’s or player’s side).
With all of these safety tips in mind, check out some of our favorite games and dive right into the fun!