In A Regulated Gaming Market, Complaining Can Be A Good Thing

Written By Kevin Shelly on August 7, 2019 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024

Got a gaming complaint to beef about in Pennsylvania?

Think your cashout is taking too long? Is there an inexplicable technical glitch? Do the rules treat all bettors equally?

Unlike with the neighborhood bookie, there are government forms for those sorts of allegations when a patron wagers with a state-licensed gaming operation. It’s a commonplace issue in regulated environments, and one of the best reasons to only play on regulated sites.

For instance, regulators in nearby New Jersey heard complaints about the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship in January. The contest drew heat after some contestants had a chance to bet on a game.

More recently, customers griped at the slow pace of payouts on PayPal.

In Pennsylvania, there are two forms to choose from. One is for land-based sportsbook and casino concerns. The other is for online gambling complaints. Both are available on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) website.

With the forms, Pennsylvania patrons who have a complaint or a dispute with a licensed gaming entity may request that the PCGB investigate through the online forms. However, patrons betting at a casino can also file a complaint in person with a Gaming Control Board Casino Compliance Representative at the gambling facility.

Running down the PGCB complaint process

Let’s start with the basics: The definitions of a complaint versus a dispute.

  • A complaint is a difference of opinion between the licensed gaming entity and the patron, which does not involve money or items of value.
  • A dispute is a claim for a specific amount of cash or merchandise.

Patrons who have a complaint or a dispute with a licensed gaming entity may request that the PCGB investigate.

As the board’s reminder states:

“All patron complaints and disputes are taken very seriously by the board with each complaint assigned a case number and an investigator.”

The Gaming Control Board is tasked with investigating all allegations of non-criminal complaints and disputes made by patrons. Any criminal violations alleged by a patron go to the Pennsylvania State Police for investigation.

The fine print: There are complaint and dispute procedures

In order to file a complaint or dispute involving PA interactive gaming, the patron must first file a complaint or dispute with the provider as an initial step.

That’s critical since the PGCB’s interactive form requires filling in a complaint number generated by the interactive gaming provider when you contact them.

Timeline for disputes and complaints

To file either a complaint or a dispute, you must report the incident within 30 calendar days.

The information is confidential. A  patron who files a complaint will receive notification of the PCBG’s receipt by email.

And questions or comments regarding gaming disputes or complaints can be directed to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at [email protected].

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Written by
Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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