12 July, 2021

Education, education, education

Tim Poole speaks to Daniel Dolejsi, Social Media and Community Manager at Casino Guru, about the affiliate's aims to educate the industry

Can you explain to us what the Casino Guru Academy is?
Of course. The Casino Guru Academy is basically an e-learning platform that offers free courses related to online casinos and the iGaming industry. The courses are meant for current or future iGaming professionals, i.e. people that work or hope to work in the industry.
Once all the courses are ready, the Academy will provide comprehensive learning materials, covering the main areas important for people working in online gambling.
For now, the Academy offers an initial course focused on the essentials of iGaming customer support, as this is the most common entry-level position in the industry. The course starts with an introduction to online gambling and customer support, and then focuses on the main types of issues customer support representatives in online casinos deal with as part of their job. We also cover the hiring and onboarding process, to help candidates maximise their chances of getting hired, as well as performing well once they get the job.

Why did Casino Guru feel the need to start this project?
It all has to do with our values. We feel strongly about a fair and moral approach to gambling, as well as keeping players as safe as possible. Unfortunately, it doesnt seem to be an industry standard, and we would like to help make things better.
When dealing with player complaints on a relatively large scale, we noticed that players keep experiencing similar types of issues. These are often caused by unfair terms and conditions, and casino employees that dont really understand how things work in the industry or why they work like that.
Basically, we started to see specific pressure points which, if desired, could be easily removed by improving customer service standards or changing the casinos attitude to players, their safety, and terms fairness.
It might be difficult to spot these details in a corporate environment, and I imagine they are easily missed when setting up operational rules and standards at a new casino without experienced management.
We hope that our knowledge, presented in the form of easy-to-follow courses, will be beneficial for everyone involved. Aspiring candidates will gain a competitive advantage in the hiring process, casinos will gain more knowledgeable employees, and players will be able to enjoy a safer gambling experience. At least thats the hope.

Do you feel you genuinely have enough expertise to offer online casinos?
We are quite confident about the level of knowledge and experience we have amassed over the years, especially in terms of knowing what works for players globally. We helped successfully resolve more than 1,500 complaints of players dissatisfied with how they are being treated by online casinos, and we also know the tricks that players are using when trying to get an advantage over the casino.
Additionally, its fair to say that casino employees, especially those working at entry-level positions, often arent too familiar with how things work in online gambling. They are following the rules set out for them by their employer, but they dont understand the deeper connections between individual parts of the system. We feel like we can help them connect the dots and understand why things work the way they do.
That said, we definitely dont think we have the answer to everything. Thats why we are doing our best to create our courses in cooperation with other industry professionals, collecting their feedback and improvement ideas. We believe that sharing knowledge and views from different perspectives helps build the most comprehensive learning materials.

Are there lots of things missing that online casino staff dont know already?
From our experience, the level and maturity of player treatment in online gambling is very uneven. As progressive of an industry as online gambling is, it can still happen that technical developments outpace the sharing of best practices. There are dozens of new casinos created every month, some of them emerging from areas with very little experience of remote gambling. Its definitely not easy for them to find out how to set good standards for how to treat customers and what is fair and what isnt.
And, for the most part, this also goes hand in hand with regulatory requirements lagging behind in some areas.
That said, its not the case for emerging markets only. Training newcomers and preparing them for their job is a difficult and time-consuming task, and there is not always enough time for it. Especially when it comes to growing companies that need to quickly hire new employees to keep up with an increasing number of players. But dont get me wrong. There are many companies doing an outstanding job in customer service, often building their entire strategies on what their customers actually want or need. We have much to learn from each other - its the only way to raise the standards and create a better online gambling ecosystem for everyone. And thats definitely what the Casino Guru Academy wants to achieve.

What kind of complaints have you received about players being mistreated by casinos?
We currently receive more than 400 complaints per month. Most of these are related to pending withdrawals and violations of bonus terms and conditions. But there are also many complaints related to other areas, most notably verification procedures and responsible gambling.
Many of these complaints end up rejected, as players often simply stop responding and we have no way of helping them if they dont cooperate. And many complaints also get resolved by themselves, as players can be impatient and submit a complaint instead of waiting a few more hours or days for the casino to take action.
About 10% of cases are much more complex and complicated. These require our complaint team to extensively communicate with the involved parties to find out what really happened and how to deal with it. These cases take up the most effort and time, but they are also the most rewarding if we do manage to resolve them successfully.

How can you address the lack of knowledge among new employees in the industry?
Well, thats what the Academy is here for. We want to provide collaborative, evidence- and experience-driven learning materials that have the ability to fill the gaps, help people do their jobs better, and aid companies in following or even improving the industrys standards.
Our goal is to make online gambling better, and hopefully the Academy will be one of the tools that helps us make it happen.

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