The Keystone State’s online gambling sector has recently launched and while this is certainly a great development for the state, there are bound to be a few issues that will need to be sorted out especially with regards to consumer protection. To that effect, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Monday issued a press release that detailed how online gaming patrons will go about the process of reporting non-criminal violations of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act which details most of the complaints and disputes that may arise. Criminal violations, on the other hand, will be referred to the state’s police for investigation.
In the press release, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reminded the public of the availability of online forms that they can use to help them resolve issues related to violations. According to the state’s gambling laws, the state regulator is required to investigate all potential non-criminal violations as well as the accompanying gambling regulations.
Defining Complaints and Disputes
The state gaming control board has provided distinct definitions for both complaints and disputes. Complaints, according to the PGCB, “do not involve money or items of value” while disputes are violations that involve “a specific amount of cash or merchandise“. Even so, there is no discernible difference in the process that is applied when alerting the gaming control board of both types of issues.
This online gaming complaint process will apply to online slots, online table games, online sports betting as well as fantasy sports contests. The same is expected to go for online poker once it finally takes off in the state in the near future. For people who do not gamble online, the gaming control board has implemented a similar process that applies to sports betting, land-based casinos games as well as Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs).
Now, in order to register their online gaming complaint or dispute, the players will be required to first make their complaint with their online gambling operator after which they will receive a ticket or complaint number which is required by the PCGB as a reference for their investigation. To initiate the complaint process, the player will be required to access the Interactive Gaming / ONLINE Sportsbook / Fantasy Contest Patron Dispute/Complaint Form and fill out the following information:
- Personal contact information (name, address, phone number, etc.)
- Online application used
- The player’s screen name
- Approximate date and time of the incident
- The ticket/complaint number
- A summary of the incident including any statements made to the operator or witnesses
The complaints or disputes can be filed within 30 days of the occurrence of a dispute or complaint with players having the option of filing directly with a PGCB Casino Compliance Representative at any of the state’s casinos. To protect the operators the regulator has also included penalties for false complaints.