Procedure for submitting a complaint
Last updated - 16th of February 2021
All players should read our Guide to the Casino Complaint Process before submitting a complaint.
The below complaint procedure can also be provided via email or as a printed hard copy that can be mailed to either parties physical address.
An Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service is an impartial 3rd party that seeks to provides consumers an affordable alternative to legal action where they have a complaint against a trader, whether within their own country or across boarders.
Use of our complaint service is 100% free of charge to complainants (and operators).
Submission of a complaint to this service does not in any way preclude your right to seek legal redress through court proceedings.
You can submit a complaint using the form on this page, via email at [email protected] or via post at ThePOGG.com, PO BOX 2089, Livingston, EH54 0GF. Please note that complaints have to go through the form on this page unless we approve an alternative management method. Alternative management methods will result in delays beyond those that will occur via our standard management process.
Officially we can only act as an ADR service for operators holding a Malta Gaming Authority license who have agreed to use our service to meet their license requirements. You can find a list of operators that we currently represent in this capacity here.
Outside of our official role as an ADR for MGA licensed operators who have opted to engage with our service, we are happy to mediate complaints against any operator. This is done outside of our official role. Please note: Unless an MGA licensed operator has specifically agreed to utilise our ADR service, any complaint we manage against them will be managed in an unofficial capacity.
For complaints managed under our ADR remit that are for the value of €5000 or less our rulings are considered legally binding.
For complaints managed under our ADR remit that are for the value of €5000.01 or more, rulings are only considered legally binding if the trader agrees in advance of discussion of the complaint to view the ruling as legally binding.
For complaints managed outside of our ADR remit, rulings are non-binding in nature.
Both parties will be required to provide explicit written acceptance of their agreement to ThePOGG.com's role as mediator for the purposes of resolving the disputed issue.
There is no requirement to obtain 3rd party or legal advice to use this service. However we can engage with a 3rd party representative if we receive permission from the relevant party to do so.
Once a complaint has been submitted, our Dispute Resolution Official (ADR Official) will review the submission and provide an initial response. It can take up to a week to provide this initial response.
The initial response will either request further information, feed back to you on the legitimacy of your claim or inform you of our intention to contact the operator.
Currently supporting documentation can be accepted via email to [email protected] or can be submitted via post to the address detailed above. If the relevant file is to large to be communicated over email, you should inform ThePOGG.com's Dispute Resolution Official who will make necessary arrangements to provide an alternative electronic file sharing service.
Depending on the nature of the dispute, there may be several requests made for different documents or information as evidence is reviewed. At any stage during this process both parties can be asked to comment and provide their opinion on any aspect of the complaint and evidence submitted by the other party.
For complaints managed under our ADR remit Once the Dispute Resolution Official has received the complete complaint file (that being all information relevant and necessary to make a ruling) both parties will be informed and ruling will be provided within 90 days. In exceptional cases where the dispute is of a particularly complex nature it may take longer than 90 days to reach a ruling. In those situation both parties will be informed in advance and the expected length of delay will be communicated. These are the standards required by the EU ADR Directive.
Complainants should be aware that we consider the "complete complaint file" to mean "all information required to reach a full and informed conclusion on the case".
Beyond the EU ADR Directive, it is our internal policy to always strive to resolve cases within 90 days of initial review and publication. While we endeavour to meet this target, it should be made clear that our primary objective in all cases is to return funds to players if/where that is the appropriate outcome. We will not arbitrarily close complaints that pass the 90 day target where we feel there is still reasonable opportunity for further action to result in the complainant receive appropriate redress.
For complaints not managed under our ADR remit, we strive to meet the same standards that we hold while managing complaints under the ADR remit. However users should be aware that complaints against operators that have no or very weak regulation are likely to take longer to resolve, if any resolution is possible.
Over the year of October 2017 to September 2018 the average length of time complaints submitted to this service took to conclude was 36.1 days.
The longest standing complaint managed during this period took 340 days to resolve.
The shortest standing complaint managed during this period was closed 3 days after approval.
At any stage during the review process either party may choose to withdraw from the mediation process. The consequences of withdrawal will be termination of discussion of the complaint. Where the player terminates the mediation process the complaint report will reflect this fact and show a status favourable to the operator. Where the operator chooses to withdraw from the complaint process, or declines to provide ThePOGG.com permission to review the complaint, the complaint report will reflect this fact and will usually reflect a status favourable to the player.
If the reason that you are looking to withdraw your complaint is that you have managed to resolve it without our intervention, please let us know and the complaint will be closed as Resolved.
We will accept complaints against any online gambling operator that are of a transactional nature.
Will reserve the right to decline complaints under the following circumstances:
Please note that where you are contesting losses based on an operator not holding a valid license this is not considered a transactional dispute.
We do not consider claims for compensation.
We do not manage complaints where you are contesting that payments made to an operator were taken without your permission. These rightly have to be managed by your payment provider and the relevant legal authority in your jurisdiction.
Our service manages complaints in the English language. Where complaints are submitted in other languages we will endeavour to use translation tools and services to assist the complainant, but cannot guarantee that available translations will be of a standard that will allow reasonable management of the issue.
If you are receiving an error message when submitting your complaint please clear your browser cache and try again.
Please be aware that when submitting a complaint you cannot use any of the following symbols for site security reasons; < > ' " = * &. If you use these symbols we will only receive a partial complaint and this will slow down the complaint management process.
Some players ask about the impartiality of our service as they can see that we advertise and actively recommend some of the operators we manage complaints for (mostly where they have not received the ruling that they wanted). This is a reasonable question that that should be answered as fully as possible.
No matter how a dispute mediation service is run there are always going to be costs involved. Money is always going to have to change hands. However, within this sector at least, it is generally accepted that the consumer should not foot the bill for mediation. This has resulted in three basic models for complaint management:
- Regulators directly mange complaints – the regulator charges a license fees and part of that goes to fund staffing to manage player complaints.
- Fee based ADR services – these groups negotiate contracts with operators to manage complaints for the operator. They are paid either on a per complaint basis or via a contracted quarterly/bi-annually/annually fee.
- Advertising based ADR services – this is the model we run on. We do not charge the operator directly for complaint management and instead generate revenue by referring players to the operators.
Setting aside the Regulator based model – which has its own challenges in maintaining impartiality – let’s discuss the two ADR models in terms of impartiality.
For the fee based ADR service, where they provide a ruling to an operator client that the client does not like, they risk that client switching to an alternative ADR service and losing 100% of any fees they charge the client.
For the advertising based ADR service the risks of loss are of a different nature. Where an operator client was unhappy with one of our rulings and opted to transfer to an alternative ADR service the review status of the operator with this service would be reconsidered, resulting in their rating dropping and us sending significantly diminished or no further traffic to them. This would mean that we would we see reduced income with this operator from this point on. However, every operator that was rated below would then step up a place, meaning that rather than losing out on revenue we would simply earn it with a different group.
This does not mean that there would be no loss of revenue for us. The nature of affiliate contracts is that we are generally paid in “lifetime revenue share”, meaning that we get a percentage of the any revenue the operator receives from a referred player for the lifetime of that referred player. So if an operator chose to revoke their affiliate contract with us at the same time they revoked their ADR agreement, we would lose out on revenue generated by the historic traffic we had referred. This however is offset by two factors:
i) High player dropout rates – brand loyalty in this industry is very low. The vast majority of players will never make more than a couple of deposits. The vast majority of revenue is generated shortly after sign-up. This means that the loss of the historic revenue is small compared with redirecting new referrals to other programs as already discussed.
ii) Minimum Activity Quotas – we ensure that any operator that receives high placement with our service does not include terms within their affiliate contract that would allow them to cancel the contract simply on the basis that we have stopped referring traffic to them. This means that where we were to stop sending traffic off the back of a complaint issue, in most cases we should continue to receive payment for historic traffic.
The above factors have the consequence that operator using our ADR service have very limited capacity to exert financial pressure on this service to obtain the rulings that they want. We are certainly not exposed to the complete loss of revenue from a client cancelling their ADR contract with ourselves that fee based ADR services are.
We feel that the advertising based ADR service model offers the best of all worlds for all parties involved. Multiple regulatory agencies have also reviewed the structure of our complaint management service and concluded that it satisfactorily demonstrated the independence necessary to appropriately undertake managing player disputes.
Alongside the inherent benefits of this complaint management system being able to intervene in player complaints not only offers a unique level of protection for the players that frequent our site, but gives us unparalleled incite into the gambling sites that are well managed. This allows us to make informed recommendations about the best online casinos and provide detailed casino reviews. This also allows us to let players know about new online casinos that are running on reputable and well managed licenses.