The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) wants players in the state to know that there is a process in place for them to try to resolve disputes and lodge complaints related to online gaming.
In an effort to spread the word, the PGCB issued a press release on Monday with details on how patrons can report non-criminal violations of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (the Act) which includes most complaints and disputes that players may have. Criminal complaints made to the PGCB will be referred for investigation to the Pennsylvania State Police.
While the PGCB differentiates between complaints and disputes, with the former being an incident that “does not involve money or items of value” and the latter involving “a specific amount of cash or merchandise,” there appears to be no difference in the process to alert the PGCB.
The online gaming complaint process applies to online casino games (including slots and table games), online sports betting, and fantasy sports contests. The process will also apply to online poker once the games actually go live in Pennsylvania. A similar process is in place for complaints and disputes related to land-based gaming including casino games, sports wagers and Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs).
The PGCB is required by law to investigate all potential violations of the Act, and an investigator and case number will be assigned to every reported incident.
Requirements to File a Complaint or Dispute with the PGCB
In order for players to register their online gaming complaint or dispute with the state gaming regulator, they must first make the complaint with the igaming operator. Upon registering their complaint, patrons will receive a ticket or complaint number. This number is required to refer the incident to the PGCB for investigation.
Once the incident has been registered with the online casino, sportsbook or fantasy game provider and a number has been obtained, the player can fill out an online form to initiate the complaint proceedings through the gaming regulator.
The Interactive Gaming / ONLINE Sportsbook / Fantasy Contest Patron Dispute/Complaint Form asks the filer to provide 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
Players have 30 days from the time the incident takes place to file their complaint/dispute with the PGCB. Players also have the option of filing their complaint directly with a PGCB Casino Compliance Representative at any of the Pennsylvania casinos.
After a complaint is filed, the PGCB will acknowledge receipt of the complaint form by sending an email to the person making the complaint. All information provided as part of the PGCB igaming complaint process is considered confidential.
Penalties for False Complaints
While the PGCB is making it easy for players to register a dispute or complaint, engaging in the complaint process should be taken seriously.
Any person that intentionally or willfully makes “false statements or intentional misrepresentations” may be subject to penalties relating to “perjury, false swearing and unsworn falsifications.”
If you have any questions or comments about registering an online gaming dispute/complaints, you can contact the PGCB at [email protected].