The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has joined other industry stakeholders in calling on the UK Government to create a Gambling Ombudsman to address customer complaints.
Although there is an existing framework for handling players’ concerns and grievances, the standards body feels that the establishment of the ombudsman would go a long way in improving the process and making it more efficient.
Relaying the association’s position on the issue, BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said:
‘’We hope that the Government will look favorably on our calls for a Gambling Ombudsman to be established as soon as possible following the conclusion of the Gambling Review, which we strongly support.”
“The BGC and its members recognize the need for further change in our industry and a new Gambling Ombudsman would be a step forward in customer redress – I’m proud to be giving it our backing.”
The Betting and Gaming Council is an association representing all licensed operators in the UK, both in the land-based and online sectors. According to the group, the proposal is evidence of the association’s determination to drive up standards in the regulated UK market.
Besides calling for the creation of a new gambling ombudsman, the Council has also said that it is willing to partner with the Government in establishing a framework for the department. This would entail discussing what the ombudsman would look like and how it would execute its duties.
For a start, the group has proposed that the department could mirror similar outfits like the energy ombudsman, and suggested that the Government should make it mandatory for all licensed betting and gaming operators in the United Kingdom to register with it.
Another proposal is that all existing dispute resolution providers should be disbanded upon the establishment of the new ombudsman in order to smoothen and streamline the process. The group has also suggested that the department should be funded entirely by proceeds from regulated UK gambling market, although it will be independent of the industry.
However, the BGC has reiterated that the ombudsman will neither take over the duties of the Gambling Commission nor replace it. Instead, the jurisdiction of the department will be clearly defined to ensure that it does not get involved in disputes touching on regulatory matters.
Flutter UK & Ireland has come out in support of the Betting and Gaming Council’s proposal through a statement from its Chief Executive Conor Grant.
Backing the proposal to include an Ombudsman in the Gambling Act Review, the Executive said that the company is not only committed to delivering great entertainment to players, but also ensuring that its operations support practices that make gambling safer for its customers.
According to the operator, true commitment to prioritizing customers also means ensuring that they have an independent body to run to if they have complaints.
Flutter UK & Ireland is the company behind Betfair, Paddy Power, and Sky Bet.
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