Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
ADR Policies and Procedures for Assistance
The eCOGRA Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’) Service is an impartial mediation service, specialising in the field of online gambling disputes. eCOGRA is approved by the Great Britain Gambling Commission in accordance with The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 and by the MCCAA as an ADR service provider in Malta. We accept disputes that arise between registered sites that hold an operating licence from the Great Britain Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, and eCOGRA approved sites and their players (‘Player’). We are pleased to offer our assistance free of charge to these Players, subject to a fixed monthly fee from license holders (‘Operator’), provided the below measures are followed:
- Players must ensure the site is included on our list of approved websites found on the dispute form.
- Players must ensure that they have followed the operator’s internal complaints procedure and that all reasonable attempts have been made to negotiate a solution with the operator before submitting an ADR dispute form.
- eCOGRA reserves the right to refuse to mediate a dispute at any time if:
– the dispute is deemed to be frivolous or vexatious;
– the dispute does not relate to the outcome of a gambling transaction such as game results, betting results, account management, application of bonus offers or misleading terms and conditions;
– more than one year has passed since the conclusion of the Operator’s internal complaints procedure;
– the dispute is being or has been considered by another approved ADR provider, regulator or a court;
– dealing with the dispute would seriously impair the effective operation of eCOGRA;
– the dispute is currently being investigated by a third party; or
– either the Player or the Operator attempts to intimidate, threaten or exert any undue external pressure on the ADR process.
- Players must include a concise, clear and to the point summary of the circumstances of their dispute in the ADR dispute form which will allow eCOGRA to provide an effective service. Superfluous, nonessential and redundant correspondence will only serve to impede progress.
- There is no need for the Player to initially include copies of correspondence to/from the Operator with the ADR dispute form, this information will be requested by eCOGRA on acceptance of the dispute.
- Players may submit a written instruction to eCOGRA to cease the mediation at any time.
- eCOGRA reserves the right to share the evidence provided by either the Player or the Operator with the other party, to allow them to respond to points raised. eCOGRA may decide to share only extracts of the evidence it deems to be relevant to the dispute or exclude evidence it considers may result in the sharing of personal data or information belonging to third parties who have not agreed to participate in the process. Both the Player and the Operator are entitled to request copies of the evidence provided by the other party, which shall be provided subject to due consideration of any data protection or other regulatory or legislative restrictions that may apply to it.
- Once a dispute has been referred to eCOGRA, the Player and the Operator should refrain from contacting each other and discussing the dispute. All communication should be channelled through eCOGRA.
- eCOGRA will within three weeks of receiving the dispute inform the Player and the Operator, together with the reason, should eCOGRA decide to refuse the dispute.
- Once a dispute has been accepted by eCOGRA and the information that makes up the ‘Complete Case File’ (relevant information relating to the dispute, excluding any additional comment made by parties to the dispute on the arguments, evidence, documents and facts put forward by the other party to the dispute) has been received by eCOGRA, both parties will receive a Complete Case File notification.
- eCOGRA will provide updates on the progress of the dispute at least every 30 days and make every effort to conclude the ADR process within 90 days of issuing the Complete Case File notification. Where a dispute is highly complex, eCOGRA may extend this period by informing both parties of the extension and expected completion date.
- In all cases, the ADR process will be conducted in the English language and translation software used where required.
- eCOGRA will not enter into any verbal communication with the Player at any time.
- eCOGRA will use its reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute through reference to the Operator’s terms and conditions and a process of non-binding mediation between the Player and Operator. The process will follow eCOGRA’s standard practice which may be varied by eCOGRA at any time at its discretion. The process does not restrict a Player’s right to bring proceedings against the Operator in any court of competent jurisdiction before or following eCOGRA’s proposed resolution of the dispute. The proposed resolution may be different from an outcome determined by a court applying legal rules.
- Players may seek independent advice or be represented or assisted by a third party at any stage of the ADR process.
- Players and Operators will be responsible for all their own costs and any expenses incurred in relation to any dispute mediated by eCOGRA.
- eCOGRA may, at its absolute discretion, consider awarding compensation to a player if it establishes that an Operator’s actions have caused the player considerable distress or inconvenience.
- Players and Operators are required to keep the details of disputes and resulting decisions confidential. This confidentiality does not apply to information requested by the regulator or in the course of legal proceedings.
- eCOGRA will first issue a Preliminary Resolution Report and players have the opportunity to submit any further evidence in defence of their position within 7 days. eCOGRA will reconsider the outcome of a dispute if sufficient new evidence is provided by the Player within 30 days of the final outcome being communicated to both parties.
- By using the eCOGRA ADR Service, the Player agrees that that there is no entitlement to claim in respect of the process or its outcome. Accordingly, eCOGRA accepts no liability for any loss, damage, loss of opportunity or inconvenience arising from any dispute between a Player and an Operator, the failure of a party to comply with the process and/or any agreement reached between the parties, the ADR process itself, or the conduct of eCOGRA in relation to the dispute.
- eCOGRA takes complaints seriously. Complaints about the ADR Service, not about the dispute outcome or decision, should be addressed via an email to Complaints (firstname.lastname@example.org). Upon receipt of a complaint, eCOGRA will investigate the matter and deal with the complaint fairly and promptly. The person responsible for submitting the complaint will be kept informed of the results of the investigation and the outcome determined.
The ADR Service team includes Cleavant Krauser, Yogesh Govender and Gregg Joubert, all accredited mediators and full-time employees of eCOGRA. The department is overseen by Douwe Bijkersma, Chief Delivery Officer.