GRA's Role in Patron Disputes
One of the key roles of the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) is to ensure that gaming in the casinos is conducted honestly. Under Section 111 of the Casino Control Act 2006, GRA will investigate into the following types of patron disputes between a casino operator and a patron of the casino: -
- Disputes as to alleged winnings;
- Disputes as to alleged losses; or
- Disputes as to the manner in which a game is conducted.
Principles in Patron Dispute Resolution
If a casino operator fails to resolve a patron dispute relating to alleged winnings or losses, and/or the manner in which a game is conducted, the patron can request a GRA Inspector to investigate.
A GRA Inspector is empowered under the law to conduct investigations into a casino patron dispute to determine whether payment should be made.
The GRA Inspector will consider the following when investigating into a casino patron dispute:
Conduct of Game
Whether the casino operator had conducted the game in accordance with the Casino Control (Conduct of Gaming) Regulations and approved game rules. GRA
Inspectors may also consider other relevant information or documents, such as the casino operator’s house rules.
Voiding of a Game
Whether the casino operator had voided a game in accordance with the Casino Control (Conduct of Gaming) Regulations.
A casino operator may void a game in one or more of the following situations:
- malfunction, fault or interruption in the operation of any gaming machine or gaming equipment that affects the outcome of the game;
- force majeure event (e.g., flood in the casino);
- a casino operator knows or reasonably suspects that a patron is committing or has committed an offence that may affect the outcome of a game; and
- other circumstances as provided for in the approved game rules.
When a game is voided:
- All wagers will be refunded to patrons; and
- A casino operator may recover any winnings from affected patrons if patrons had been clearly informed of the circumstances under which, and the means by which, winnings will be recovered.
Verification of Wagers Placed
Whether wagers had been placed in accordance with the approved game rules.
Patrons would be entitled to their winnings only if they had placed wagers in accordance with the approved game rules.
For example, wagers must be placed before the Dealer signals the closing of wagers and announces, “No more bets”. Any attempts to place wagers after this will not be accepted by the casino, and patrons will not be entitled to any winnings arising from such wagers.
Ordering of Payment
A GRA Inspector may order payment to be made to either the patron or the casino operator only when the game outcome can be determined.
The amount of the payment will depend on the amount of wagers placed by the patron, game outcome and the payouts that should have been given based on the game outcome.
(1) Situations where game outcome can be determined
The correct game outcome will be determined in accordance with the game rules.
(2) Situations where game outcome cannot be determined
Examples where game outcome(s) cannot be clearly determined are as follows:
- The outcome of the game is affected due to a malfunction, fault or interruption in the operation of a gaming machine or gaming equipment. In such situations, the game will be voided under Regulation 15(1) of the Casino Control (Conduct of Gaming) Regulations;
- A foreign/damaged playing card is discovered during the round of play; or
- When a patron refuses to make a decision which he is required to make in the course of a game.
The GRA Inspector is not empowered to order other alternative remedies, such as allowing the patron to re-play a game, re-play a bonus round on a gaming machine, or receive other forms of compensation from a casino.
Besides having recourse to the patron dispute resolution process provided under the Casino Control Act 2006, a patron may choose to seek resolution of a dispute with a casino operator through other means, such as mediation, or by a civil suit in court.
Dispute Resolution Process
Find out more about the various stages of a Casino Patron Dispute below:
|Patron dispute arises as to alleged winnings, alleged losses or the manner in which a casino game is conducted. Patron raises the issue with the casino operator.|
|If there is no resolution of the patron dispute between the patron and the casino operator, the casino operator shall inform the patron of his right to request for a GRA Inspector to investigate into the dispute. The patron may, not later
than 7 days after he has been informed of his right, complete and submit a Casino Patron Dispute Form to GRA.|
|A GRA Inspector will investigate and determine whether payment should be made. If the patron or casino operator is dissatisfied with the decision of the GRA Inspector, the patron or casino operator may appeal to the Patron Dispute Committee
by completing and submitting a Reconsideration Form to the Patron Dispute Committee. Please refer to the Reconsideration Process.|
|The Patron Dispute Committee will reconsider the decision of the GRA Inspector and decide whether to confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the GRA Inspector. If the patron or casino operator is dissatisfied with the decision of the Patron
Dispute Committee, the patron or the casino operator may appeal to the GRA Board by completing and submitting an Appeal Form to GRA. Please refer to the Appeal Process.|
|GRA Board will confirm, vary, or reverse the decision of the Patron Dispute Committee. The decision of the GRA Board is final.|
Casino Patron Dispute Form
If you would like to request for a GRA inspector to investigate into a patron dispute between you and the casino operator, please complete and submit the Request for Investigation by a GRA Inspector Form. Please refer to the Investigation Process.
You are not required to pay any fees to file a casino patron dispute or to lodge an appeal.