eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) has issued their first quarterly disputes report for 2008, revealing both good and concerning news. The good news is that the average number of complaints was down from 2007. However, at no fault to any one online casino or eCOGRA, the number of invalid dispute complaints was up considerably.
According to eCOGRA's dispute mediator, Tex Rees, there were 171 total dispute complaints made my players in the first quarter, which was well down from the 2008 average of 195 per quarter. Of these complaints, 27 were dismissed because they did not involve eCOGRA approved online casinos. An additional 17 disputes were thrown out for their lack of sufficient information to make a claim or for being downright fraudulent claims.
Not to encourage bad behavior, but for anyone who is not familiar with player fraud, let's just say it's not that uncommon, especially concerning free bonus money. All online casino bonuses are governed by certain terms and conditions. All online casinos across the board only permit one player per household to be eligible for a single account and welcome bonus (reload bonuses and ongoing promotions are still available).
What some players attempt to do is open multiple accounts under different names, use different credit cards etc. to try and get around this condition. This is bonus abuse, and it is something that warrants an online casino to freeze and close a player's account, which after being undertaken, often prompts cries of bloody murder by disgruntled players knowing they have done wrong or did not read the terms and conditions of the bonus.
Going back to eCOGRA's first quarterly report of 2008, there were 34 dispute complaints (27% of all disputes) that fell into this category. All in all, this brings the total number of valid disputes down to 127, amounting to 10.6 valid disputes per week regarding all eCOGRA certified online casinos adorned with the Safe and Fair Seal. This amounts to an average of .26 disputes per casino. According to Rees, nearly half of all disputes were successfully mediated in the favor of the player.