Sometimes disputes occur and things just don’t pan out as planned, even when you’re gambling at one of the most secure and best-rated NJ casinos. Maybe you’ve got an issue with a “lost” deposit, your winnings weren’t paid out, or there’s a problem with your bonus offer.
Or perhaps the casino has suspended, blocked, or closed down your account in what you perceive is an unjust move. Whether you have a dispute with a regulated NJ gambling site or one of Atlantic City casinos, you’ll be glad to know there are multiple ways you can use to approach and resolve the dispute, including working with the casino operator or the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE).
In this guide, we’ll provide you with a series of conflict resolution avenues, general advice, and tips on how to solve your disputes amicably with a casino in New Jersey.
How to Avoid Disputes with Casinos in New Jersey in the First Place
Cases of disputes with legitimate gambling sites in New Jersey are usually rare but not zero. All state-licensed casinos, sportsbooks, poker sites, racetracks, and DFS operators must use every means at their disposal to resolve disputes with players. That’s because they are required by the law to do so, otherwise, they will lose their operating license from the NJDGE, get suspended, or fined a hefty penalty.
For the most part, the casino operator can and usually does resolve most player disputes. If they don’t, you can let an arbitrator like NJDGE or Casino Control Commission step in to guarantee a fair resolution. But why enter into a lengthy and often costly dispute when you can prevent it in the first place?
– Stick to regulated and licensed NJ casinos
All land-based gambling destinations in New Jersey are governed by the NJDGE rules and regulations that make dispute resolution clear, easy, and likely to be successful. Unfortunately, if the casino you are dealing with is unregulated or doesn’t have a gambling license from the NJDGE, you have little or no chance of getting a fair hearing and/or resolution.
There numerous websites and dispute resolution services that can speak to the casino on your behalf, but the rate of success when disputing unlicensed gambling sites is often dismal, if not laughable. Even if you eventually get justice, this may take way too much time, resources, and tears for the problems to be resolved.
– Play at only safe, reliable, and trustworthy casinos
This is another no-brainer move that won’t fail each and every time. Again, all DGE-licensed NJ casinos are deemed trustworthy and safe. They must go through a rigorous audit process before they can secure an operating license. And if they are found guilty of violating any of the state gambling laws and rules, including not paying players, they will get punished dearly.
Some non-cooperating casinos have been fined humongous penalty fees, while others have had their operations ceased or suspended. In any case, regulated NJ casinos have a good reason to toe the line and be fair to gamblers. However, if you play at an unreliable gambling site, the chances are good that your disputes and pleas will fall on deaf ears.
So, how do you spot a fake or an unreliable online casino?
Do your research: First, you need to read trustworthy, unbiased online casino reviews. A solid review will tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of any gambling site you are interested in. For example, these extensive online casino reviews tell you what makes each gambling site reliable and unique, including their game selection, banking options, security features, availability of a gambling license, player rating, ease of player dispute resolutions, and so on.
You shouldn’t stop your research there. Do more homework on the winning history, dispute resolution track record, and speed of payouts. You should be able to get most of these details by listening to what other players have to say on social media, gambling forums, or via email.
Check out funding and banking options: Winning big at an NJ casino should bring lots of joy to any gambler. But before you break out the bubbly, things can quickly go south if the site makes it hard for you to cash out your winnings. So, when gauging whether a site is reliable or not, focus your lenses more on their banking methods, evaluating the security, speed, and ease of processing.
Most fake casinos make the withdrawal procedure needlessly complicated. You’ll feel that the cashout procedure is more like a hurdle than an otherwise smooth process. They also offer very few withdrawal options, making your life as a gambler even more difficult and unworthwhile.
Pay attention to trust and security signals: Gambling sites usually handle funds on your behalf and you have to trust them with your financial info and sensitive personal data. That said, the best casinos usually use leading-edge security measures, state of art security software, and other features to safeguard your data and privacy online.
Lack of an NJDGE license is usually a telltale sign of an unreliable casino. You must also check for an audit certificate from trustworthy third-party testing labs like eCOGRA.
Review their games and gaming software: Rogue casinos usually offer an unsatisfactory player experience, which is why you’ll see a lot of complaints, negative reviews, and disputes around them. Watch out for unfair RTP percentages and rigged gambling software. Thankfully, there’s a good selection of excellent NJ poker sites, online sportsbooks, online casinos, DFS sites, and horse racing platforms. All that you have to do is check the supplier of their software and gaming engine.
Poor customer service is a no-no: A great casino must handle customer issues in an expedient, transparent, and fair manner. Unresponsive or lack of customer support is typically the first fishy sign of a bad casino. The same is also true of casinos that neglect or fail to address player complaints and disputes.
Take a cue from other players: If a particular casino seems to attract a lot of angst from players, it must be unreliable and untrustworthy. Check player reviews on sites like Askgamblers, Google reviews, and so on. If there are too many bad or negative reviews for your taste, you’d be better off signing up with a different NJ casino that’s rated favorably by real gamblers.
– Read carefully through terms & conditions attached to bonuses and promos
Most online casinos in the New Jersey gambling market offer a wide variety of lucrative promotions and enticing bonuses, the vast majority of which are great for both new customers and existing players. Welcome bonuses set the mood, cashback offers serve as a consolation, reload bonuses help stretch your deposits, and free spins make playing casino slots much more enjoyable and worthwhile.
You can use these bonus offers to build your bankroll, test out a casino, or simply get your online gambling up and running. But as with any freebie, casino bonuses come with a raft of highly restrictive terms and conditions. You must take an incisive look at the T&C’s tied to these promos and bonuses, to make sure that you understand what you are getting yourself into from right of out the gate.
For instance, most casino bonuses come with a wagering requirement. This implies that you must wager the bonus (plus deposit amount) a given number of times before you’re able to cash out and withdraw your payout. Well, err on the side of caution and avoid bonuses that come with unreasonably high wagering requirements.
If you must bet your bonus, of say $200, 100 times to be able to cash out, then there’s no point in redeeming the offer. Even more ridiculous, some casinos may require that you meet this playthrough in 48 hours or less than a week. That’s balderdash, and it’s usually one of the most common reasons for player disputes.
Other conditions to keep in mind before claiming a casino bonus include the validity period, cash-out limit, eligible games, withdrawal restriction, and other flimsy terms. If you don’t read them carefully, you may end up forfeiting your winnings or having to go through a lengthy dispute process.
Now, your efforts to prevent a dispute weren’t successful, and you’re here — what to do next?
What is Your First Step in Resolving a Casino Dispute in New Jersey?
There are many reasons to lodge a complaint or dispute with an NJ casino. The casino may have failed to pay out your winnings, the casino has suspended your gambling account, or you have a problem with a bonus.
No matter the reason, you should start your dispute by getting in touch with the casino’s customer support. 100% of all trustworthy casinos in New Jersey have a customer service team available around the clock or for at least 12 hours a day. In fact, most player disputes are resolved swiftly and amicably by customer support and casino management. And it usually never gets past this stage.
All casinos regulated and licensed by the NJDGE must have procedures and policies in place for accepting, processing, and resolving player disputes and complaints. They must ensure that each dispute is handled in an open, transparent, and fair manner.
These legitimate gambling sites must give players accessible and clear info on how to start and lodge a complaint. According to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, they must state the timeline the casino will take to respond, as well as give information about how the player can escalate the dispute and have the complaint resolved elsewhere if they aren’t satisfied.
So, the first course of action when you have a complaint with an NJ casino is to first contact the support team through available channels. That’s because customer support and dispute resolution teams at most NJ casinos are properly trained and knowledgeable on how to handle a variety of player problems and complaints.
More often than not, you will realize that the player issue will be sorted out without having to lodge a formal dispute with the NJDGE. This especially the case if the complaint has to do with delayed or missing funds, bonus issues, account suspension, unsuccessful deposits, or inability to log into one’s account.
So, how do you get in touch with support to make a complaint?
- First, we highly suggest that you gather as much supporting evidence as possible to make sure your complaint will hold water. For instance, you should consider taking several different screenshots that could aid the support team in understanding and resolving your issues.
- Next, make sure that you have all your account details handy. The customer support may need a few details to verify your identity and ascertain your complaint.
- Go ahead and visit the casino’s website from your mobile or desktop browser. You can also access customer support right from your mobile app for Android and iOS. At least this is the case for Borgata Online Casino.
- Navigate to the support page. It’s usually labeled “My Support”, “Help”, “Complaints”, or simply “Support.” This should be found among the top-level links on the navigation menu.
- The page will provide you with a list of ways to contact customer support teams. They’ll be convenient contact-us form, live chat feature, email, or telephone support.
Simply pop the live chat feature, which is usually the fastest and most effective way to reach support. If the live chat feature is inactive, you can try email or telephone support to start working on resolving the issues. And that should be about it for most player complaints. This support and complaint reporting process may be a little different from one gambling site to the next.
Player Options for Contacting Casino Support in New Jersey
Most NJ online casinos, poker sites, sportsbooks, and other gambling sites offer one or more of the following 3 ways of contacting support:
- Live Chat: This is usually the most direct, quickest, and most responsive way to contact support. You’ll be able to chat with a live support rep, chat-bot, or use a built-in social media messenger. You should be able to get a good response in minutes
- Email: Getting in touch with support via email is still one of the most viable options. You shouldn’t expect to get a response right away, though. Replies can take up an average of 24 hours.
- Telephone: You can talk to an on-call agent on the phone. This is usually possible during the casino’s working hours.
Many trusted NJ online casinos, including Borgata Casino, BetMGM, 888 Casino, and Virgin Casino offer 24/7 email, phone, and live chat support. Getting in touch with the casino’s support team should be your first point of call every time you’ve got an issue or burning complaint. Make sure to exhaust all support solutions before you turn your complaint into an official DGE dispute.
What If Support Has Failed to Resolve your Complaint?
If the customer support team is unable to address your complaint, the casino is unresponsive, or downright refuses to resolve your issue, then sadly it would be time to seek outside dispute resolution.
If this happens or you are dissatisfied with the way the support handled the issue, you will find it easy to file a formal dispute with the casino first. For instance, if you want Borgata Casino to still look into your case, you can lodge a formal dispute via the official casino email with the subject line: “Dispute” or “Complaint.”
In the email body, you should recount what led to the dispute and jot down a list of solutions and steps the support team has taken so far to address the dispute. Once again, you may find it more useful to include some email/chat logs, screenshots, and other documents that will speed up the resolution.
If all else fails, it’s time to lodge a formal dispute with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Under the Casino Control Act, a player dispute should be filed with the DGE if all “reasonable means have been exhausted” by the casino.
Note that all online dispute forms lodged with the DGE must be accompanied by a list of responses and original complaints you made with the gambling site. Technically, you must have documented evidence that you have a viable dispute and that you tried all means to resolve with the casino but failed to reach an agreement.
Before you can break out the big guns (aka file a dispute with DGE), you must first get a response from the casino in question. That means the casino support must either admit that they can’t resolve the issue or fail to do so.
Filing an Official Dispute Complaint with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
Once you have exhausted all other reasonable dispute resolution means with the casino permit holder (read: the NJ gambling site), you can now file a dispute form with the DGE. The DGE’s internet gaming dispute and inquires form can be downloaded from the official page.
This is a simple and straightforward form. The official page for internet gaming disputes has more information about how to go about the resolution process. Make sure to accompany the form with the original complaint filed with the casino license holder. If you have any questions or need help with filling the dispute form, you can always get in touch with the DGE via phone @ (609) 984-0909 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What If You Aren’t Satisfied with the Decision Taken by DGE?
It happens. Sometimes you may feel that the DGE sided with the casino or the dispute wasn’t settled to your satisfaction by the oversight body. If that happens — which we must admit is extremely rare, you still have the right to appeal the decision or final action taken by the DGE.
Per N.J.S.A. 5:12-63(b), you can appeal any determination or final action taken in your dispute by the NJDGE. You may enlist the help of an attorney, but this isn’t required. The appeal means that your case will be reexamined by the Casino Control Commission (CCC).
You’ll have up to 20 days from the date you receive notification of the right to appeal from the Casino Control Commission to fill out and file the Appeal Request form with the CCC. You can send the form electronically via email, fax, or mail to the Hearings and Appeals Unit of the Casino Control Commission.
For more information about the hearing and your right to appeal DGE’s decision, visit Commission’s website, call @ 609.441.3758, or email: email@example.com. Note that you’re prohibited from filing an appeal if you settled with the DGE on the dispute.
What happens if a regulated gambling site shuts down in New Jersey?
You’ll be happy to know that the Division of Gaming Enforcement has put in place several player fund protection measures and guidelines for licensed and regulated casinos. This regulation was designed to make sure that players never lose their funds even if an online casino closes down.
How so? As part of getting an operating license, each NJ online casino must open a separate bank account from all other operating accounts within the Garden state. This player fund protection account will hold all the funds that equal the total of all withdrawable account balances.
In order to stay in compliance, the casino operators must file a statement each month showing that the player protection funds are safeguarded. That means if a gambling site in New Jersey shuts down today, players can rest assured that there’s enough money to clear their wagering account balances.
This is the case of what happened when Ultimate Gaming (a joint venture between Ultimate Poker and UCasino) closed down its online gambling operations back in 2014. The gambling site’s fate was anything but sealed when its land-based partner, the Trump Taj Mahal, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.