Casinomeister® is a certified ADR in the EU
We have been processing complaints regarding online casinos since the late 20th century. It is now that we’ve decided to crank this up a notch and become certified arbitrators in the EU – to include the UK.
So we are now certified by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which means we are recognized as official arbitrators, and that players can be certain that their issue will be handled professionally, ethically, and fairly – which is actually our standard operating procedure since our first complaint.
Bryan Bailey is an Associate Member of this organization. You can peruse his profile here.
About the CIArb:
London is widely recognized as a world center for international dispute resolution and the CIArb — the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators — is one of several internationally-recognized arbitration institutes based there. Others include the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR, cedr.com), and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA, lcia.org).
The CIArb was originally known as The Institute of Arbitrators and was founded in 1915. Its aim was “to raise the status of Arbitration to the dignity of a distinct and recognized position as one of the learned professions”. Membership in the early years was between three and four hundred.
Between 1975 and 1986, the CIArb was merged with another world leader in international arbitration, the London Court of Arbitration (founded in the 1890s). After the merge, the London Court went on to become the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and in 1990 the CIArb became a charitable body. Their main objective is to promote and facilitate the determination of disputes by arbitration and alternative means of dispute resolution, other than resolution by the courts.
“Membership currently stands at approximately fourteen thousand individuals, half of which are overseas. During the 1980s the increase in membership numbers led to the creation of branches in the UK and overseas, so that members who wished to play an active part in the Institute’s affairs would be able to do so. There are now a growing number of branches across all six continents.” (ciarb.org/about/history)
As readers probably know the UKGC requires the casinos they license to name a specific dispute resolution body — an ADR — to handle player disputes in those cases where the player and the casino cannot settle the dispute themselves.
In the early days, there appeared to be enough problems with that process — including onerous demands on the ADRs to disclose personal details and initial indications that player facing sites like Casinomeister were not welcome to participate — that we decided to opt out for the time being. Thanks to the hard work of ThePogg — he worked for several months with the UKGC people — that all changed earlier this year when ThePogg was named as the first player-facing ADR to be accredited by the UKGC. That signalled to anyone watching that the UKGC was willing to work with player-facing sites like ours; our interest in the UKGC process increased considerably from that point on.
There are three important things to note here regarding the UKGC rules for ADRs:
- Casinos are not prohibited from discussing player cases with other third parties. In other words if a player brings an issue to us via the PAB process, for example, it is entirely up to the casino to decide if they wish to discuss the issue with us or not: nothing in the UKGC rules prohibits them from doing so. Any casino that says they can’t talk to us because of “licensing restrictions” is either misinformed or inventing excuses. However, once the player has engaged the casino’s ADR the matter is in the ADR’s hands and there’s probably not a lot Casinomeister can do for the player (in that particular dispute) from there on.
- The determination made by the ADR is typically non-binding meaning neither the player nor the casino are required by law to follow the ADR’s ruling. However the UKGC does say they expect the casino to respect the ADR’s ruling in cases where the disputed amounts total £10,000 or less. Players should be aware that if the casino ignores the ADR’s ruling and the disputed amount is less than £10,000 then the casino is in violation of the UKGC’s rules and the player is fully justified in reporting the casino to the UKGC.
- The ADR process is pretty much the player’s last chance at arbitration. After that the next step would be to take their case to the courts. A number of prominent casinos have told us that that is how they view the ADR process, as the player’s last step before legal action.
Being an accredited ADR by the UKGC means they are recognized by the UKGC as being qualified to hear and rule on a player’s case. That said, dispute Arbitration is an important and international service which is recognized by governments around the world, largely driven by the need to settle disputes in international trade and construction contracts. The UK has long been a world leader in dispute arbitration — the first English arbitration laws were written in the late 1600s — and several of the oldest and most respected arbitration institutes are based in London to formally train and certify internationally recognized arbitrators. These include the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR, cedr.com), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA, lcia.org), and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb, ciarb.org).
As of 1 August 2016, Casinomeister is listed as an applicant for their recognized ADRs of the UKGC.
What the PAB (Player Arbitration) is:
- It’s free.
- It’s a way for players and affiliates to have their problems seen by the right person(s).
- It’s private and discreet.
- It’s effective and respected.
What the PAB is not:
- It’s not a way to make casinos pay.
- It’s not a public announcement service.
- It’s not a tool to blackmail or coerce casinos into capitulation.
What makes the PAB service different than other “complaint” services?
We are not limited to certain software providers, licensing jurisdictions, casino groups, or any other impediments – we can handle any complaint for anyone. Casinomeister has been a respected business since 1998, and we have contacts ranging from front-line supervisors – to owner/operators – to software providers and representatives of licensing jurisdictions. Many of these people we have met in person – sometimes frequently. In essence, we have the ability to contact the right people, and to give the right advice when advice is needed.
On the right column of this page, you will notice the current PABs. Please note that very few of these are being discussed publicly since the PAB service is a private affair. It’s between us, the aggrieved, and casino operator. This is what makes the process so effective – it’s serious business. There is an extensive FAQ on the PAB service here.
How to Submit a Complaint
In order to submit claims via Casinomeister’s “Players’ Arbitration” (PAB), one must be a member of Casinomeister’s forum. Signing up is easy, you can do this here.
- Check if the casino is a member of our forum: I-Gaming Contacts. If they are, please let them know that you are having difficulties at one of their casino properties.
- If the casino is a member of the coveted Rogue Section – you are probably SOL. Please search this section (using the search option) for the casino in question. In most cases, complaining about a casino in the rogue section is a futile endeavor.
- If you choose to publicize your complaint in the public fora, we reserve the right to disregard the PAB. Making complaints a public issue will usually derail most arbitrations. If you have already posted a public complaint before submitting a PAB, no worries. We are mostly concerned about this while the PAB is ongoing.
- Most importantly, if you choose to submit a PAB, please read our extensive FAQ for this FREE service. This is required reading. Thanks!
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