What to do when a casino site refuses to pay out

Published on the 2021-06-08

While this is quite rare in the industry, there are occasions where this does happen and as a result, it can cause no end of frustration for the player. There is likely nothing worse than winning a big jackpot prize and then finding out that the online casino that you won it at will not pay out for whatever reason. 

There are steps that you can take though to firstly reduce this risk, but then fight the decision if this happens to you. Let’s take a look at this process.

Make sure the casino site is licensed

One way to mitigate this risk is to make sure that the casino site that you have signed up to is regulated by a licensing body such as the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission), MGA (Malta Gaming Authority), or GGC (Gibraltar Gambling Commission), or others, such as Curacao. This is easy to find out, because the online casino will have information that tells you this, while it may also have the relevant logo in the footer. In addition, some online casinos are regulated by more than one gambling authority as well, which lends even more to its credibility.

When an online casino has a license, it means that it is subject to the governance of that particular regulator and as a result, is required to adhere to the legislation that it has in place, for the protection of the player (such as SSL encryption). These regulators then check these casino sites on a regular basis to make sure that it is following the rules.

If you play at a casino site that is licensed, it means that you are protecting yourself from anything underhand, such as fraud. Here at Divine Jackpot, we only recommend online casinos that are licensed to NetEnt jackpot slots.

Make sure you have completed the registration process

One of the simplest reasons for an online casino not to pay out on winnings is because it does not have all of your necessary details, which are an important part of the sign up process. 

Depending on their particular regulator, all online casinos are required to carry out in-depth KYC (Know Your Customer) checks on new players so that they can prove that a player is who they say they are and which also helps to prevent fraud. One of these important checks is source of funds, which many players are reluctant to provide and which raises a lot of red flags.

There have been cases in the past where players have used credit cards that do not belong to them in order to make deposits and as a result, online casinos have been fined by regulators for not looking into their players. So, if you have won a large amount and are still waiting for it, make sure that you have fully completed the registration stage. This could even be something as simple as verifying your account with a picture of your driving license or passport.

Contact customer service

If you can be sure that all of the above is correct, then the next step to take is to get in touch with the customer service team of that casino site. The majority of online casinos have 24-hour live chat support, which is easy to use via a mobile device. When you get through to a customer service agent, politely explain your problem without being aggressive because this can make matters worse.

All customer service agents are obligated to look into every complaint that is made, in accordance with procedures laid out by their relevant gambling commissions, and as a result of this, they will investigate the matter. More often than not, this won’t be a quick fix and they will ask for your best contact details so that they can get back to you with an update, or it could be that they need to refer this to another department at the online casino who have the tools available to look into your player portfolio. 

Again, remain polite should this be the case, especially if it is a large amount because it could well be the online casino’s policy to look into every big win to make sure that it has been won legitimately.

ADR Providers

An ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) provider is an independent company that looks into all disputes in the online gambling industry and which are regulated and approved by their respective gambling commission. Every online casino operator has its own ADR provider and they can refer their customers to these, should they wish to take a matter further. 

If you have got to the point where after an internal investigation by the online casino, they are still refusing to pay out on a big win, then they will refer you to their ADR provider should you wish to take the matter further. Or, you can choose your own ADR provider. 

The best thing to do is put all of the information about the nature of your complaint (not being paid out by a casino site), as well as any records of dialogue that you have had with the online casino, into an email and you will be contacted within the space of a few days. 

An ADR provider is obligated to look further into the nature of your complaint, though being completely independent is required to get both sides of the story before reaching a decision. Of note, also, an ADR provider also has the option to turn away complaints, if they feel that these are unrealistic, or the player has not made an effort to try to resolve this with the online casino prior to contacting them.

The relevant gambling regulator keeps a close eye on the ADR providers to make sure that they are operating in a fair manner, so if you do feel that this is not the case, then you can also get in touch with the relevant regulator as well.

View ADR in the UK

Court case

If you have been successful this far, then the chances are that unless there is something seriously wrong with the online casino and they are involved in a cover-up or criminal activity, then your chances are really slim. However, if you feel that you have a case and have not been satisfied with the progress that has been made so far, then you can refer this to the courts. 

This though can be a costly option and it may not be worth the legal fees, especially if these are more than the potential payout. In this scenario, it really more often than not comes down to gut feeling. Court cases for an online casino refusing to pay out on a player’s winnings though are virtually unheard of.