As one might expect from a largely unregulated industry there are a lot of myths in the public and private spheres. Gambling Is Illegal; Online Gambling Is Tax Free; Any licensing jurisdiction is a good one; etc etc. All bogus yet all widely believed to be true and that is a shame because these myths often lead players to believe they are powerless and/or have far fewer rights than they actually do. And that often boils down to players getting cheated simply because they don't know what rights and freedoms they really do have.
I'm going to kick of this series off articles with one of the most misunderstood pieces of legislation there is right now, the UK's Data Protection Act (aka "the DPA").
For years we've been fighting this battle: player's want us to help them with a complaint, the casino cites the DPA as the reason they cannot discuss the player's issue, and the bottom line is that the player (often) has no choice but to let either the casino or the casino's designated representative decide what, if anything, will be done about the player's issue.
Aside from being fundamentally unfair and self-serving this common interpretation of the DPA is also 100% wrong. The DPA was never intended as a dodge for casinos (or anyone else) to hide from player complaints and the player's wishes to have someone represent them and their interests. But try telling that to a casino's legal people who claim the DPA makes their "talk to the hand" position on player complaints legitimate: nowhere fast is where you'll get. We know because we've tried many, many times over the past several years.
Well now things are about to change because there is finally an official voice that has made the meaning of the DPA crystal clear insofar as third-party discussions are concerned. They are ICO.org.uk, "The UK’s independent authority set up [by the UK government] to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals." And this is what they say regarding a player's wish that a casino discuss their case with a third party which the player has chosen to represent them (formally classified as a "subject access request"):
Players have the right to bring their complaints before a third party for arbitration and the DPA should not be misused by anyone as an excuse for blocking that process.