Following a review of complaints systems in the UK gambling industry, regulator the Gambling Commission has called for an improvement in how customer (player) disputes are handled, and urged online gambling operators and ADRs (alternative dispute resolution providers) to up their game.
Commenting that the current system is “not working for consumers”, the Commission says that players have reported that they have doubts about the independence and transparency of the process, and find it difficult to access and time consuming to use.
Commission CEO Sarah Harrison says that the Commission is prepared to work with trade associations, ADRs, operators and players to ensure that a more efficient and player-friendly system evolves.
“Our findings present a strong case for the gambling industry to take swift action to ensure the way in which customer disputes are dealt with is fit for purpose, and importantly, places consumers first,” Harrison said in a Commission statement Thursday.
“What we want to see is an industry that values and seeks out feedback from customers; that swiftly and effectively resolves customer complaints, and that uses the learning from those customers to raise its standards and deliver ever higher levels of customer service.
“Over the coming months we will be working closely with gambling operators, ADR providers, trade associations, consumers and their representatives. We will also be looking at complaints processes in other sectors where redress arrangements may be working better.
“But most importantly, we are also welcoming views on the proposals from consumers directly.”
In October last year the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it would be investigating online gambling companies over claims that firms are making it hard for players to collect their winnings (see previous report).
The CMA said it would probe complaints from the Gambling Commission of unfair treatment of customers, including hard-to-win promotions and blocks on pay-outs.