- After 888 Casino’s record fine, how do players stay safe online?
- What options are available to online gamblers with concerns?
In the wake of 888 Casino getting a whopping £7.8 million penalty from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for failing to protect self-excluded customers, a lot of users may be asking ‘how do I know that a casino is safe and fair?’.
Fortunately, as dramatic as the sums involved are in the 888 debacle, it is an exceptional event and far from a regular occurrence.
Online casinos work hard to stay in line with governmental regulations.
Choosing a licensed casino will ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to ensure player safety.
Furthermore, when things do go wrong for whatever, reason, there are ways to go about protecting yourself and receive the appropriate help.
Look for regulated sites
The first and most important step in protecting yourself while gambling online is choosing a casino with clear licensing information.
A good online casino will be licensed in one or more countries, by bodies like the UKGC, Alderney Gambling Control Commission or Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. This means that the site’s practises and books are monitored and regulated by an official governmental body.
The 888 fine makes it clear that these bodies are not paper tigers; they can slap companies with multimillion fines if they aren’t happy. While the issue with 888 Casino appears to have been more of an oversight than a lack of ethics, any failure to protect players is clearly taken seriously.
Players can also get peace of mind from any site that uses a body like eCOGRA. This independent group works to ensure safety and fairness among all sites that are members. Other organisations like the iTech Labs exist to certify the technical fairness and randomness of online casinos.
Importantly, players should also check the options for self-exclusion, reality checks and deposit limits, which are all part of preventing problem gambling.
What to do if you have doubts
Should you ever suspect that things are wrong with your chosen casino- usually in the case of a bet not placing properly due to technical difficulties- then all is not lost.
The first thing to do is contact the site itself and their support team. Email or live chat are a good choice for writing out a complaint in very clear words, plus you can keep a record.
Only if the site’s response is unsatisfactory, but they have been given a chance to reply, then you can take other steps.
There is a free online tool called Resolver for getting assistance with making complaints, or you can directly approach alternative dispute resolution (ADR) groups like ADR Group, eCOGRA, IBAS and ProMediate, all of which are approved by the UKGC.
Many casinos have a favourite choice already, which will expedite the process, but you are not beholden to their preference.
The casino industry is regulated very tightly in countries like the UK, so problems are usually resolved and typically just technical in nature. Issues on the scale of 888 Casino’s failure to prevent excluded customers from playing are extremely rare.
Always use a licensed casino and you should rarely have any cause for concern. Don’t forget that bodies like Gamble Aware also exist to prevent overspending issues.
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