Bookmaker Complaints UK 2021

How To Make A Complaint Against A Bookmaker in UK?

The world of betting can be a complex place. The sheer number of wagers that are placed every day at any given bookie is huge. This means that occasionally things do go wrong. When such things occur, you need to feel that you have some right of redress. This is why it is important to know what to do if you ever have a complaint to make against a bookmaker.

When it comes to bookmaker complaints UK punters have a range of options at their disposal. We’ll take a closer look at those options here. By the time you have finished reading this article you should have a pretty good idea about how to make a complaint against a bookmaker in UK.

Bookmaker Complaints: Important Facts

  • The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) exists to help punters with complaints
  • Other bodies such as UKGC and Advertising Standards Agency can also help
  • When complaining you need to have your facts in order first
  • Social media can be a useful method to use to complain

How to Make A Complaint Against A Bookmaker in UK: 5 Key Points

For bookmaker complaints UK residents have a number of options available to them. Your first port of call should always be the customer service team of the bookmaker against whom you have a complaint. You can contact customer services by a range of methods. The best bookies will have a 24-hour phone line available. Others have live chat available all round the clock. If you have a serious complaint, it is a good idea to put it in writing in an email.

Here are five key factors to consider when you are readying yourself to make a complaint against a bookie in the UK.

Get Your Facts in Order

The first thing to make sure that you get absolutely right if you have a complaint is what happened. If you do not know exactly what happened and when you will have a problem backing up your complaint. This does not mean that you have to launch a huge investigation into everything surrounding your situation, but it does mean making careful notes and collecting evidence. Screen shots are very useful pieces of evidence to collect to back up bookmaker complaints UK punters are making. You should screen shot anything that is likely to be relevant to your complaint. You should also keep any correspondence that you might have entered into as a result of the complaint, so don’t delete emails that might be necessary for the complaint.

Having accurate evidence available is really important if you want your complaint resolved speedily and satisfactorily. If your evidence is inaccurate or incomplete it can cause issues, not least in that your complaint will probably take longer to resolve. You can also look foolish if you complain and your evidence is inaccurate. It can undermine your whole argument. When making bookmaker complaints UK residents should always ensure that their evidence is complete, clear and accurate.

Contact the Bookie

Once you have made clear notes and collected evidence, you can contact the bookmaker. How you do this depends on the nature of your complaint. In most cases, using live chat, if it is available, is a good first option. This is especially useful for complaints that are not of a particularly serious nature. You can often find that if you have a trivial complaint, using live chat can see it resolved almost instantaneously.

Of course, not all complaints are so simple in nature. For more complex bookmaker complaints UK residents may find that they need to speak to someone in person. This is where using the telephone is a better option. You often find that over the course of a telephone conversation the issue is actually simpler than you first thought. A friendly conversation can also see you receive more in the way of compensatory offers from the bookie when your complaint is resolved.

You may need to put your complaint in writing. This is likely to be true if your complaint is of a more complex nature. Putting things in writing can help clarify your points and make your argument stronger. It can also be a good way of ensuring that the bookie is provided with all the evidence. If your complaint is not resolved after using any of these methods of communication, you may have to contact one of the industry’s regulatory bodies.


The Independent Betting Adjudication Service is a trade body that exists to help resolve complaints and other issues in the British gambling industry. If your complaint is deadlocked and appears to be heading nowhere you can contact IBAS for some assistance. They are an adjudication service that consists of a panel of experts from the betting industry who have an expert knowledge of both the industry and legal framework that surrounds betting in this country.

IBAS will scrutinise the terms and conditions offered by the bookmaker, and evaluate your complaint based on law and compliance with UK Gambling Commission regulations. All good bookies are registered with IBAS as a matter of course. We would recommend that you do not open accounts with bookies who are not registered with IBAS. The IBAS panel can make a ruling on a case that is binding for all parties but will also not affect any legal proceedings that are taking place.

If IBAS cannot resolve your complaint to your satisfaction there are other bodies that can possibly provide some assistance. You may need to use one of these bodies if your complaint is against a bookmaker that is not registered with IBAS.

Other Bodies Can Help

As well as IBAS, there are other bodies that can help you resolve your complaint against a bookmaker. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is the regulatory body that oversees the gambling industry in Britain and Northern Ireland. You should contact the UKGC if you feel that a bookie has contravened the terms of its licensing agreement, as this is the body that awards licences to operators.

When making bookmaker complaints UK residents might also find it useful to contact the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). This is the body that monitors advertising campaigns. They will often rule in favour of the consumer, even if that consumer has contravened the terms of an offer. This is because they are very strict on how bookmakers advertise their services. Any slight contravention of a regulation, or even the spirit of the law, can see the ASA rule against a bookie.

Consider Social Media

Another way of making bookmaker complaints UK punters can use is social media. Not only can you use social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to contact bookmakers directly, you can also make your complaints public. If a bookie has continually ignored your issue, or dealt with it in an unsatisfactory way, it can be useful to post about your situation publicly on social media. You should tag the bookmaker in your post and make sure it has a public audience. This kind of public attention can bring a swift resolution to your issue. No company enjoys its mistakes being publicly pointed out, and this can often bring good results in terms of any compensation that you might be offered.

Of course, you need to make sure that you have all of your facts absolutely correct and have supporting evidence before you make a complaint public on social media. If anything is incorrect, or you make an inaccurate claim about the bookie, you can be in trouble yourself. While social media is a very useful addition to the ranks of methods by which you can make bookmaker complaints UK punters should use it as a last resort.

Check out’s Other Betting Guides

Now that they are familiar with making bookmaker complaints UK bettors might find it useful to check out some of our other guides here at You can find useful information about combined betting, and guides on how to read betting odds and how betting exchanges work. We also have an accumulator betting guide, a system bet guide, and much more besides. There’s no doubt about it: you can find a host of useful tips, guides and other articles here at!


As you can see, making a complaint against a bookmaker is not something to be frightened of. There are a number of bodies that can help you if you have a dispute. As long as you have your facts right, though, and approach them in a reasonable and thoughtful manner, UK bookmakers will respond positively to any issues you may raise with them. When it comes to bookmaker complaints UK punters are usually treated very fairly.

So if something does go wrong when you are betting, there is no need to despair. Keep a cool head, make accurate notes about what has happened, gather evidence and remember that there are professional bodies whose purpose is to keep companies like bookmakers honest.

When the time comes for you to find a new bookmaker, we would also recommend you check our list of blacklisted bookmakers so you know the operators to avoid, as well as our bookmaker reviews. We’d hope that this will help you find a suitable new provider, so your future should hopefully be free of having to make any further bookmaker complaints.

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