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The Gambling Commission, which regulates all betting and gaming in the UK, has delivered a damning verdict on the gambling industry’s procedures for resolving complaints and disputes and warned that operators must act now to halt a sharp decline in the number of customers who believe gambling “is fair and can be trusted”.

The commission’s findings were published a year after the introduction of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme for the gambling industry. The first step for any gambler in a dispute with an operator is to raise it with the company which accepted the bet. But, if the issue cannot be resolved, the customer can pursue it further with one of 11 ADR providers approved by the commission.

In a report – Complaints Processes in the Gambling Industry – to assess how the scheme is working, the commission says the amount and quality of information supplied to customers about dispute resolution varies widely from company to company and that information supplied to the commission is “not always accurate”, as is required by an operator’s licence.