Tex Rees, the Fair Gaming Advocate at the independent player protection and standards body eCOGRA, has released the organisation's first quarter 2009 player disputes report. Rees also reported that total disputes handled in the full year 2008 period were down on the comparative 2007 number at 743 (2007: 783).
The main source of complaints at 73 or fifty percent of disputes involved cash-ins, well ahead of bonus issues which at 27 constituted only 19 percent of valid disputes. Locked account complaints in the quarter reached 30, or 27 percent, also exceeding bonus issues, and there were 15 complaints regarding miscellaneous issues.
Rees received a total of 197 complaints through eCOGRA's online channel in Q1 2009, rejecting 25 as involving non-eCOGRA accredited operations over which the protection body has no influence. Of the remaining 172, twenty seven complaints were generally abusive or non-specific in nature, rendering same incapable of enquiry.
Rees investigated and mediated the remaining 145 disputes, resolving 59 in favour of the player. An average of 15.1 complaints per week were dealt with within 72 hours by the Fair Gaming Advocate.
"It is interesting to note that the incidence of “locked account” complaints has increased by 4 percent and is greater than “bonus” queries for the first time," observed Rees. "The indications are that this is due to a growing number of cases where linked accounts were proved (a tactic used by players trying to abuse bonus promotions) and a greater number of fraudulent accounts were discovered."
The key performance statistic of average number of disputes per accredited operational site per month was again low at 0.36 - down on the average 0.39 recorded throughout 2008.
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