UK Gambling Commission unveils new standards for complaints process

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From 31 October 2018, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) are introducing new standards for alternative dispute resolution (also known as ADR) providers in the gambling industry. An ADR is there to help consumers if they’re not happy with the result when you complain to a gambling business – and this service is free to use. Here, you can find out how to contact the ADR provider from the gambling business.

Gambling Commission unveils new standards

The gambling regulatory body hopes that these standards will help consumers to have confidence in the service that ADR providers give and to better understand what’s happening with your complaint during the process. Matt Halden, the Consumer Advocacy Specialist explains more;

“In our new standards, we expect ADR providers to:”

  • Consider as many complaints as possible, and let you know quickly if your complaint is one they can’t help with.
  • Tell you when they receive your complaint, and update you when they have all the information from the gambling business that they need to start looking at it
  • Keep you updated throughout the process so you know what stage your complaint has reached.
  • Make sure you know you have a right to ask to see any information from the gambling business about your complaint (unless this conflicts with other law or regulations)
  • Take into account your needs when they contact you, including any needs around accessibility.
  • Provide information about what happens at the end of the process, including whether you can appeal.
  • Have a process you can use if you need to complain about the service you have received from them.

The company also expect providers to publish information to help consumers have confidence in the process and their service, including the following information:

  • To show you how they are independent of the gambling business, including information about how they are funded.
  • about the service they provide, including their methods and timescales, and performance data to show how they are performing against targets

Handling complaints

“You must make sure your policies and procedures for accepting and handling complaints are fair, open and transparent. Your procedures must give customers clear and accessible information on how to make a complaint. They must also include the timescales you will take to respond, and information about how the customer can escalate the complaint if they are not satisfied.

From 31 October 2018 you must have arrangements in place for your customers to be able to refer any dispute to an ADR provider, if you have been unable to resolve the dispute within 8 weeks of receiving it.

You must also take account of any applicable learning or guidance that we publish, and change your policies and procedures as necessary.”

The UKGC be monitoring how ADR providers perform against the new standards, and they have threatened to take action if they don’t think a provider is meeting them.