Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board lets players know it’s on their side

(STL.News) – Pennsylvania has become the latest state to launch online gambling, allowing players to take a chance in the comfort of their own home, switching the felt top for the laptop.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has therefore launched a process that allows players who feel they’ve been treated unfairly to raise a complaint via the same (online medium).

In a press release issued early in August this year, the PGCB informed members of the public that they have an online channel through which to raise concerns and make complaints, should they feel that their treatment by an online gambling provider has been lacking.  In it, they state:

“The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (“PGCB”) is reminding the public of the availability of online forms that would allow consumers to file complaints and disputes for both land-based and interactive gaming.”

This is good news, not only from the point of view of consistency and progress but also for those players who may have mobility issues or be rendered housebound.

Keystone State residents, aged 21 and up, have been able to play slots and other casino favorites since mid-July.  However, online poker is yet to launch but is expected to be added to the library of online games on offer later in 2019.  It seems that online poker’s delayed launch can most likely be attributed to the complexity of the game and the fact that it sees individuals competing with one another, “peer to peer,” as opposed to against “the house” – like in slots or table-based games.  This article outlines the rules of poker and how to play in more detail.

Doug Harbach, the spokesman for the PGCB, confirmed as much when he told the Philadelphia Enquirer that online poker would be launched later than other games as it is “more complicated.”

It’s also thought that the simpler slots and table games generate more tax revenue for the state.

The new online gambling complaint procedure relates to:

  • Online casino games (e.g., slots, etc.)
  • Fantasy team games
  • Online live sports betting
  • Online poker (when live)

The PGCB will be required to investigate every complaint or dispute reported via the online channel, and an investigating officer and case number will be allocated to every potential violation of the Pennsylvania Racehorse Development and Gaming Act.

How to Make a Complaint

Should a player feel they’ve been treated unfairly or unlawfully, the first step is to notify the online game’s operator of the complaint or dispute?  This step is necessary in order to obtain a complaint reference, which is instrumental in order to refer the complaint or dispute onward to the PGCB.

The player should then navigate to the Interactive Gaming / ONLINE Sportsbook / Fantasy Contest Patron Dispute / Complaint Form (available on the Gaming Control Board website) and register the issue there.

  • Reporting players will be obliged to provide the following information in order to proceed:
  • Personal info (name, address, etc.)
  • Online gaming platform used.
  • Player’s gaming (screen) name
  • Date and time of the issue
  • The complaint reference provided by the gaming platform
  • A summary of the issue

There is a time limit of 30 days between the cause of the complaint and its submission, and it’s important to note that an online issue doesn’t have to be reported electronically.  If a player would rather report the issue in person, then they can speak to a PGCB Casino Compliance Representative at any of the state’s casinos.

Once submitted, the complainant will receive an acknowledgment from the PGCB, and complainants can rest assured that any information transmitted at outset or later in the process is confidential.

For a comprehensive list of Pennsylvania’s online casinos (and those soon to go live), visit the Play Pennsylvania website.