Dealing a Fairer Hand – New ADR Rules for Gambling Operators
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced at the end of October 2019 new rules which are now in force to improve the way in which Gambling Operators identify and interact with customers who may be at risk of problem gambling.
New UKGC rules have been added to the existing Licencing Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) which also importantly raised the standard of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) required of the Operators.
Previously, Gambling Operators were not required by their licencing conditions to engage in independent ADR in the event of a customer complaint. However, under the new rules, Operators are obliged to engage independent ADR providers (free of charge to the customer making the complaint) who are accredited against a rigorous set of internal and external standards and regulations.
Engagement with the ADR process is required in certain circumstances where a customer makes a complaint about customer service, decision making, and governance; including, by extension, complaints surrounding the Operator’s failure to adhere to the Social Responsibility (SR) Code. However, it has historically been the case that many of the UKGC’s authorised ADR providers (including IBAS and eCOGRA) have not dealt with SR issues. Whether this remains the case is yet to be confirmed.
In addition to the improved ADR requirements, the new UKGC rules have imposed an additional burden upon Gambling Operators to interact with ‘customers at risk of, or experiencing harm’. Whilst unfortunately no set definition has been specified by the UKGC as to exactly when this provision would be engaged, this is certainly a step in the right direction for the protection of potentially vulnerable customers at risk of falling into problem gambling.
Whilst there are still significant gaps in the Licencing Conditions, and the Law itself surrounding the gambling industry, this approach from the UKGC is clearly a positive move towards protecting the rights of vulnerable customers against the betting operators.
The requirements on businesses to interact with customers at risk of or experiencing harm have been strengthened. The new requirements focus more on the outcomes of identifying and interacting with customers who may be at risk of or experiencing harms associated with gambling, as well as assessing the impact that a customer interaction has on an individual consumer and the effectiveness of businesses’ overall approach.
How can Ellis Jones help you?
Ellis Jones has a specialist betting and gaming disputes team to assist anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly by gambling firms and/or lost money as a result. We have experience of dealing with and resolving matters in a number of different ways, including submitting complaints to betting companies, and working with the Gambling Commission and other agencies. Please email Paul Kanolik, or William Fox Bregman on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01202 525333 to discuss your case and how we may be able to assist you in recovering your losses.