ThePOGG.com, or to give its full name, The Players Online Gambling Guide was founded by Duncan Garvie in February 2011. At the genesis of this project the online gambling industry was still immature and largely unregulated, with the few island state based regulatory authorities taking little in the way of a proactive role to ensure that operators treated players fairly. ThePOGG was founded with the intention of offering players authoritative information on which gambling organisations were treating players fairly and to support players where disputes arose.
While the industry has changed substantially in the years since ThePOGG was founded, ThePOGG has grown and adapted to these changes and continues to offer a high quality service that connects with hundreds of thousands of users every year.
You can find business information about this site on the UK Government run Companies House.
Some of what ThePOGG offers:
While there are a number of online communities that offer to assist players when they experience problems with gambling operators, ThePOGG is the only such service to be approved to manage consumer disputes for any regulatory system. At various points ThePOGG has managed complaints for licensees of the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority and the Jersey Gambling Commission.
Why does this matter? Unlike the other self-appointed watchdog services, ThePOGG has not only engaged with the regulators named above, but our team and processes have been reviewed by these regulatory authorities to assess our competence. We are professionally recognized as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.
The regulatory authorities that we have engaged with have required professional standards and reflective practice that make up standards entirely absent in those groups that approach complaint mediation from a less formal/professional position and has led to our Dispute Official obtaining qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Alongside this, where other gambling communities look to assist players, they do so informally. Effectively, they rely on the good will of the gambling operator to get players paid. Where the operator decides not to cooperate there is nothing that the community can do to remedy the situation. As our ADR service acts in an official capacity, we have legally binding contracts in place that give us legal authority to make rulings on disputes. These require the operators for whom we occupy the role of ADR to abide by the decisions we make. Where they fail to do so the matter can be taken to both the courts and the relevant regulatory authority.
All of the casino operators you find highlighted in the prominent positions across the site utilize our ADR service. This means that these operators legally have to discuss complaints with our team when they arise. It also means that the gambling operator has to abide by our decision on the complaint. No other gambling community can offer the players engaging with their site this level of protection.
Beyond those operators who utilize our ADR service formally, with very few exceptions, we will only recommend operators who will informally cooperate in the management of disputes as/when they come in. The few exceptions to that rule are made for those operators who will only engage with another ADR service, but who support our responsible gambling sister charity BetBloker.
Given the above players can trust that the operators promoted on ThePOGG are required to meet far higher standards than those of any other gambling community.
Our company ethos is rooted in the core concepts of ‘fair play’. Our goal is to provide high quality information to allow our users to make educated and informed decisions about where they play. When players make better decisions about where they play, complaints are less frequent and we have a lower complaint workload.
ThePOGG remains one of only a handful of gambling affiliate sites that is independently owned, and not part of the mega-networks that now dominate the industry. This ensures that we can make decisions that focus on the best interests of our readership, rather than the best interests of shareholders that invariably end up being maximizing profits.
In 2017 ThePOGG launched the BetBlocker service.
BetBlocker is a free tool that helps users manage their gambling responsibly, whether they just need to cut down during periods of vulnerability or need to stop entirely. Users download the app onto their internet capable device and select the type of exclusion they would like. Once activated the app will prevent the device from accessing tens of thousands of online gambling sites.
BetBlocker was conceived as a way for ThePOGG to help those players who submitted complaints to our ADR service and who were clearly experiencing addiction issue. At this time, our team reviewed the market and found that all available blocking softwares were fee based. Logically it is clear that one of the consequences of gambling addiction is a deficit of available funds. Asking gambling addicts to pay for help is asking them for a resource that they simply do not have and by placing a price barrier between the addict and help it is guaranteed that those that are most in need of the help are least likely to be able to access it.
BetBlocker was initially launched as a non-commercial venture on a separate site – we did not want gambling addicts coming to a site advertising gambling to get support – that was funded and run by ThePOGG. By 2019 the service had grown significantly in popularity and it was no longer financially sustainable for the business to continue the upkeep of the service. At this point BetBlocker was registered as a charity and subsequently was recognized by the UKGC as an appropriate recipient of licensees RET contrabutions.
The writing team for ThePOGG.com is made-up of the following individuals: