54% OF eCOGRA DISPUTES SETTLED IN FAVOUR OF THE PLAYER London,
29 May 2007 - The Fair Gaming Advocate at online gambling standards and
player protection authority eCOGRA has released the latest statistics
of disputes, covering the period January to April 2007 and showing that
54 percent of disputes over the period were settled in favour of the
Tex Rees says that of the 290 requests for mediation received by
her office, 252 were accepted, the balance being in respect of online
gambling venues outside eCOGRA`s sphere of influence.
`Of these valid disputes, the FGA office found in favour of the
player in 137 cases, or 54 percent of the disputes that involved `Safe
and Fair` seal casinos and poker rooms,` Rees said. `That`s an increase
in player-decided cases of 22 percent, suggesting a better `quality` of
complaint and we certainly noticed a decline in the number of
irrelevant or rant complaints that contain insufficient information to
be usefully considered.
`There was a 19% increase in the disputes received in this period
compared to the last four months of 2006, 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.`
Rees says that the main issue for the first 4 months of 2007 was US
payment processing delays caused by the changes to US legislation as a
result of the UIGEA. `There were higher than usual levels of slow-pay
complaints, with 44 percent of all valid disputes rooted in this area,`
she revealed. `However, from the number of disputes received in the
last few weeks it appears that this situation is pretty much coming
under control,` she commented.
The majority of other disputes were based on so-called “bonus
abuse” issues, which tend to be time consuming to resolve. The FGA
considered 78 allegations of unfair bonus abuse, or 31 percent of
complaints accepted. `The incidence of this category of dispute has
declined markedly following a professional policy note sent to all
`Safe and Fair` operations by eCOGRA`s independent directors in
mid-April,` Rees said.
The 118 eCOGRA accredited online gambling sites attract an average
of 0.53 dispute claims per month per site, up from 0.32 dispute claims
per month per site recorded in the last four months of 2006.
Rees said that interest in eCOGRA activities had resulted in a
three fold increase in traffic to the organisation`s website in the
past year and revealed that unique visits continued to climb. `We are
particularly pleased with this, as it indicates an increased awareness
of our organisation and its player protecting achievements.
`Significant effort continues to be made to provide the online
gambling public with useful information about eCOGRA and the
professional and responsible side of online gambling,` she said.
About the eCOGRA Disputes Resolution Service:
eCOGRA offers a free of charge, fast and efficient disputes
mediation service for online gamblers with a complaint about any `Safe
and Fair` online casino or poker room where the player has been unable
to achieve satisfaction at casino level. Complaints may be submitted
online at www.ecogra.org/disputes. Headed by Fair Gaming Advocate Tex
Rees, the department studies the detail of each case and assesses the
facts independently and without bias. Where necessary to resolve
issues, the FGA has direct access to operators and their managers, who
commit to high standards of professional conduct as part of their
accreditation from eCOGRA and permission to display the `Safe and Fair`
seal. « Back