Most poker disputes received by IBAS concern either the terms of tournaments or the confiscation of funds by a poker operator.
We recognise that the terms of some poker tournaments can be confusing, either because they are conducted over a series of levels or stages, or because of the different currencies used to operate multi-national poker websites
If a customer complains that he or she has not received the correct returns for what they have achieved, we will explore how the terms of the tournament were displayed and whether we consider that they were set out in a manner that the ‘average consumer’ of online poker products would be likely to understand.
We would urge any customer who was unsure about how the prize structure of a tournament works to seek clarification from their poker website by contacting the site’s customer service support.
Most poker websites operate a policy that permits them to cancel any games and, in some cases, confiscate funds if there is reasonable evidence that poker games are being used to pass funds from one party to another in suspicious circumstances.
In these cases the Panel will study the evidence provided by the website operator and may request to see independent analysis of the gameplay. We recognise that allegations of crime, potentially involving the passing of stolen funds, need to be taken seriously, but we also believe that customer accounts cannot be frozen without reasonable evidence of improper activity existing.
We may decline to consider or to issue an adjudication on a dispute where it is alleged that a crime has been committed and where we believe that another agency, such as the police, or a court would be better placed to explore the allegations.