Let’s assume that you signed up, played in a casino, and got quite lucky. Now you want to collect your winnings and the casino doesn’t want to pay up. What’s going on?
First of all, hopefully you at least read through the terms and conditions for the site. This is absolutely key before playing anywhere. Over 60% of the cases that are legitimately heard by an authority and argued turn out in the casino’s favor because the player did NOT read all the way through the T&Cs; of the site.
Remember that when you register to play in a casino you are entering into a binding agreement with the casino. You are saying that you agree to play by those rules (whatever they are and regardless of how reasonable or unreasonable they are) and the casino, in turn, states that they will allow you to gamble your money on their games and if you win, they will pay you. If you make even a small infraction of the rules, you have effectively voided this contract. The casino then no longer has any obligation to give you your winnings. Many of the more reputable ones will at least return your deposit- but not always.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s assume that you are quite positive you broke no casino rules and played fairly. The casino still isn’t paying out your winnings. What do you do next?
- Contact customer support. E-mail them, chat with online, call them- every method that you have for contact, tale advantage of it. E-mails and live chat may not be especially effective at first, as you will be dealing with a customer service agent first, and they may or may not be able to help you. However, we recommend these methods because they provide verifiable evidence of your conversations. Set your chat application to save all chats beforehand. Now, if they give you information about your withdrawal, you will have the dated chat to refer to as evidence of what the CS agent has told you, should the need to contact them again in the future about your transaction be required.
In fact, just to be on the safe side, take screen captures of the terms of service and anything else that you think may help you in your case. It is uncommon, but not unknown, for a casino to change the T&Cs; after a big win to reflect changes that confirm a reason for not paying you. Meaning, you were totally within the rules of the site prior to your big win, and suddenly the rules have been changed so that now, there’s a reason for them to not give you your money.
Of course, this is one of the reasons you should only play at a secure, reputable casino (but that’s already been established). Many times, the agent can help or refer you to upper management and the situation can be resolved privately. It may be a problem with your banking method, with certain documentation, or simply a mistake in data entry on their part. If repeated consults with the cs agents or management do not resolve the issue, proceed to step 2.
- The first thing you can do if customer support and the casino manager is unresponsive is file a complaint with the licensing jurisdiction of the casino. Sometimes the process for resolving complaints entirely through the system is long and drawn out. The complaint departments in some districts are notably slow, and you are not likely to see any action for some time. However, we recommend this as a action because it enters your complaint onto an official record- both for your benefit and the benefit of the licensing agent. Too many complaints can trigger an investigation of the casino in question, and may result (eventually) in them being de-licensed.
- The next step is to contact your bank, eWallet service, or financial institutions to see if there are any problems on their end. Alternatively, they may be able to contact the casino and get an answer regarding your situation easier than you can. The eWallet service provides something valuable to the casino, and it is worthwhile to the casino to make sure that there are no future problems in processing funds from other users with that service.
- The final avenue you have in terms of getting your money is to post in online forums and mention your problem. Other gamblers can offer helpful tips and may even have had their own issues with that particular casino. They can offer insights you could only come by the hard way on your own. It’s also the case many times that the casino will have an agent or associate that posts on the forum and interacts with the players there. Contacting this agent personally (and in a professional, polite manner) can set the wheels in motion toward resolving your issue. You can also seek out a gambling-advocate site that mediates between the player and the casino. These are often helpful in getting the answers you require. If nothing else, posting online in several different places can alert other players to the possible problems of playing in that casino.
Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of not being paid, these tips will guide you toward figuring out what went wrong. With any luck, though, you’ll never have to go through this process. Remember: the best way to avoid these kinds of frustrations in the first place is to play at only regulated, fair casinos and to thoroughly read the terms and conditions (and follow them!).
I’m Jason Rockwell. When I’m not winning playing online poker, I enjoy writing about my love of the game. Thanks for visiting!