IBAS reiterates calls to step up as UK ombudsman

Home » IBAS reiterates calls to step up as UK ombudsman

The UK’s Independent Betting Adjudication Service has reiterated its willingness to become the leading voice of a gambling industry ombudsman.

The proposal is one outlined in the UK’s white paper on gambling reform which looks to rework the country’s Gambling Act 2005 for the digital age.

The IBAS, which was set up in 1998, is already a provider of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which operators are required to offer their customers as per Gambling Commission regulations.

However, the IBAS has stressed again its desire to evolve into the country’s first gambling ombudsman. 

It said on the one-year anniversary of the publication of the white paper that it is “ready to partner with the government and industry stakeholders to achieve this vital goal.”

“We are ready to step into the ombudsman role with a robust consumer focused plan, pending the support of key stakeholders and agreement of an appropriate funding model,” it said.

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The IBAS said it “firmly believes our extensive knowledge and track record in handling consumer complaints establishes us as thought leaders in shaping the ombudsman’s framework,” having processed over 90,000 formal adjudications.

“The IBAS board, free from gambling operator influence, is dedicated to maintaining its independence while working collaboratively to establish a respected gambling ombudsman, ensuring that gambling consumers receive the support they deserve without undue delay,” it added.

The IBAS has also commented on a recent BBC article which revealed the Gambling Commission is set to meet football betting industry figures over claims that wrong results are being recorded.

The report highlighted discrepancies over the categorisation of certain in-game actions such as shots on target, which had then been relayed wrongly to bettors costing winning wagers.

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The IBAS said: “As the article accurately reported, disputes about the number of shots on target, tackles and saves are increasingly common. These bets are heavily marketed by bookmakers and they seem to be very popular with punters.

“At IBAS, we have made no secret of our frustration at this type of betting. There are so many matters of fact on which bets can be placed and settled with confidence.

“The majority of these football statistical betting markets rely on matters of opinion. From our experience, that makes avoidable disputes inevitable.

“It is not our role to tell bookmakers what markets they can offer. Nor is it our role to advise people what they should and should not bet on. IBAS’s role is to see that bets are settled fairly.

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“As we have said in the BBC article, our opinion is that it is fair for a bookmaker to name an independent provider of data to explain to customers how their bets will be settled. It is fair, in principle, to use that data to settle bets.”

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