Gambling Ombudsman – New Industry Standard is Here
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the EU-based trade association, has recently called upon the UK government to establish a gambling ombudsman to deal with customer complaints.
The initiative is part of a wider sector reform in the UK. There, ministers are currently reviewing the country’s 2005 Gambling Act (the issues of advertising and bonuses, stake limits, speed, and prizes), which will finish at the end of 2021.
Although UK – specific at the moment, it is the signal of a Europe-wide regulatory trend that will soon become reality throughout the continent.
EOGL welcomes the initiative to establish this institutional role within the industry. We are confident this will enhance the industry’s determination to optimize customer protection standards.
The role of Gambling Ombudsman
The plan is that the ombudsman would be mandatory for all current and future licensed betting and gaming operators to sign up at and actively collaborate with this body in the UK.
Once in force, the gambling ombudsman will have the interest of customers in the first place, who would have an independent entity to go in case of irregular treatment by the operator.
The gambling ombudsman would be a balance between consumer freedom and harm prevention. They would ensure customers have protection in both the land-based and online sectors.
Under a similar proposal, an ombudsman would handle customer protection and affordability whereas Gambling Commission would continue overseeing license suitability and compliance issues. Such a body could help to make the relationship between clients and the gambling industry more efficient.
The creation of an ombudsman for the gambling industry was the topic of a variety of campaigners and interest groups, with the government currently carrying out a review of gambling legislation. A Gambling Ombudsman could put the future of current dispute resolution bodies, such as the Independent Betting Adjudication Service, in doubt.