with an online casino
are you're reading this because you didn't pick the best
casino. You probably chose
one whose payouts aren't audited, or which is on a blacklist
(either ours or someone else's). You almost certainly didn't
choose the only one we recommend, Bodog,
because complaints about them are exceedingly rare. If any
of these are the case, then chalk this up to experience: be
careful which casino you choose next time. It's a hell of a
lot easier to avoid picking a bad casino in the first place
than to try to get your money back once it's already gone.
You may yet be able to recover your money, but whether you
can or not, you'll know to be careful next time.
Of course, whether you picked a good or bad casino, right
now you're interested in resolving your dispute. Your
complaint probably falls into one of these areas:
- You think the casino's games are fixed.
- You didn't get a bonus you expected.
- You tried to make a withdrawal but the casino
won't pay you
You think the casino's games
It's highly unlikely that the casino is
cheating unless you're dealing with a casino that has
a history of cheating such as Casino
Bar. Most casinos don't cheat because they'd make
less money that way, because they'd never get any repeat
business -- not to mention that getting a bad reputation
in this business can easily kill an online operation. A
casino winds up making less money if it cheats, so
cheating is rare.
Also, almost all online casinos run software from
one of about a dozen reputable providers. The
software controls the game, so it would be hard for the
casino to fix the game even if they wanted to.
Finally, remember that the casino has no
need to cheat. The odds are already
against you. If you're the kind of player who plays until
your whole deposit is gone (and most players are), then
fixing the games is pointless: the casino will get all
your money sooner or later anyway.
Nevertheless, if you're convinced that a casino is
cheating, then send us detailed records of your
play and we'll try to see if anything looks amiss.
Detailed records means the cards that were dealt, dice
that were rolled, or roulette numbers that hit for at
least several dozen rounds. If you merely tell us how
much money you lost, or how many hands you lost we won't
be able to help you.
You didn't get a bonus you
Many online casinos make the bonuses really
difficult to qualify for. Usually you have to gamble
a minimum amount of money, and often certain games don't
count towards the play requirement. For example, at
Captain Cooks they ignore play on just about everything
-- Roulette, Craps, Baccarat, SicBo, Video Poker, and
Blackjack. (Gee, what else is left?)
So the first thing is to read the fine print on the
casino's website and determine whether you really did
qualify for the bonus. If you think you did, write to the
casino and ask them why you didn't, quoting the terms of
their bonus offer back to them. If they still disagree,
then see the section below about resolving disputes.
We hate to sound like a broken record, but this
is yet another reason to play only at Bodog.
They give a simple 10% bonus on the first deposit, and
you can play anything -- nothing is excluded.
You tried to make a withdrawal
but the casino won't pay you
This is probably the most common complaint
against an online casino. The problem is exacerbated
by the facts that the casino's bank is located offshore;
PayPal, Neteller, and U.S. credit cards won't deal with
casinos; and if the casino is mailing you a check then
you have to wait for an international mailing.
If at all possible, you should request withdrawals
through an online payment
service or a bank wire. Electronic methods should be
easier (and faster) for the casino to deal with.
If you're in the U.S., be
prepared to wait a while to receive your payout.
Due to a complicated legal climate, casinos have a
hard time finding banks and payment processors that will
handle payouts for U.S. players. As I write this (in Nov.
2008), Bodog players are currently waiting six
weeks for payouts.
Let's say you've read the above, you've
written to the casino without success, and you've
waited a reasonable amount of time for the issue
to be resolved, and it hasn't been. Now what do you do?
The odds are against you at this point. Online
gaming is largely unregulated, so there's not really
anyone you can complain to who has any authority to act.
That's why it's so important to pick a good casino in the
first place, because once you get into a position in
which you've got a problem, it may be too late. The only
good player advocate we know of is Casinomeister,
which tries to help resolve disputes as time permits.
We found a couple of other resolution-oriented
websites but as we write this (Jan.
2004) they haven't been updated in months or
If the casino is a member of the Interactive
Gaming Council then they've agreed to allow IGC
to try to help mediate disputes, although the casino has
no obligation to submit to mediation or arbitration. And
the casino isn't a member of IGC then of course this does
no good at all. But if the casino is an IGC member, it
couldn't hurt to take your complaint to the IGC.
has agreed to let us mediate disputes for readers who
opened an account after clicking over to them from my
site and couldn't resolve the problem on their own.
But it's unlikely that your problem is with them, because
nearly nobody has a problem with them. That's the primary
reason I recommend them exclusively in the first
Next, you can report your issue to websites which
maintain blacklists of bad casinos. They might not be
able to investigate your claim, but if they can, or if
they've received other complaints about the same casino,
then the website might at least add the casino to their
blacklist to warn other players away from them.
Finally, you can post your complaint on web-based
bulletin boards. There again nobody there will be
able to help you resolve your dispute, but you can at
least try to get the word out to warn other players away
from the casino. To be convincing you should include as
much detail as possible. Simply claiming that a casino is
dishonest without explaining why isn't very compelling.
Also, it's patronizing to tell other players not to play
at a casino; instead tell them about what happened to
you and let them make the decision as to
whether they want to avoid that casino or not.
At this point you might think this article wasn't very
helpful, because it didn't detail a solid way for you to
resolve your dispute. There's a reason for that: If you
have a problem with a casino and it's not Bodog,
then your options really are limited. If there were some
magic way to get your issue resolved then we'd list it, but
there's not, so we don't. Good luck.