The beginning of the week saw the country’s major gambling regulator – the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) – publish new standards and guidance for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers operating in the local gambling sector.
The new standards will come into effect on October 31st and are aimed at improving the way customers’ complaints are handled by ADR providers in the UK gambling industry. After the new standards are deployed at the end of the month, the UKGC is set to begin to assess ADRs.
The Gambling Commission has today published new standards, which come into effect from 31 October and improve how complaints are handled by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers in the gambling industry. You can read more here: https://t.co/tK9iNwL8lS pic.twitter.com/qnhQHSSm6e
— Gambling Commission (@GamRegGB) October 1, 2018
As explained by the Programme Director for Consumer Protection and Empowerment, Ian Angus, the newly-published standards are focused on making the existing complaints processes more simple. In addition, they are set to make sure that customer complaints in the gambling sector are handled in an effective, timely, fair and transparent manner. Apart from that, further changes which are to provide stronger protection for consumers and make sure they are fairly treated will come into action.
The new standards and guidance rolled out by the UKGC are making clear the Commission’s expectations regarding the types of customer complaints, the principles for considering compensation, as well as decision quality standards, especially the ones focused on how providers use evidence. In addition, the new ADR guidelines unveiled by the Commission involve the six principles of good governance of the Ombudsman Association, conflicts of interests, as well as the information and data shared with the Commission and the one provided to customers.
New Rules and Guidelines Rolled Out after UKGC Consultation
For the time being, it is the UKGC which approves ADR providers under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes Regulations 2015. Also, as far as ARD in the gambling industry is concerned, it is based on two main pieces of legislation – the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes Regulation 2015 and the UK Gambling Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).
Last year, the Commission carried out a review of complaints processes in the local gambling sector, which was set to bring more clarity about the manner in which gambling operators handle customers complaints and to see how ADR is working in the industry. The results of the review showed that the UK gambling sector needs some improvement across all areas of complaints handling.
Currently, ADR regulations are very broad and are applied in the UK consumer landscape as a whole and are not especially aimed at gambling. The ADR providers who operate in the sector are also required to meet these additional standards. The document which the UKGC rolled out yesterday, sets out a framework of extra standards regarding the ADR provision, especially in the UK gambling industry. The new regulatory standards are applied to providers which operate in the gambling sector only and come as an addition to the general ADR Regulations, rather than taking their place.