Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has called upon the UK government to set up a gambling ombudsman. The primary responsibility of this ombudsman would be to deal with customer complaints.
Gambling Act Review Continuance
As ministers continue with the government’s Gambling Act review, the move to establish a gambling ombudsman came as a natural next step. White paper production is expected at the end of 2021.
Michael Dugher, the BGC’s chief executive, said the call an ombudsman establishment was further proof of the regulated industry’s determination to rise up standards.
It’s been proposed that all licensed betting and gaming operators sign up to any such body, and to make that a legal requirement.
Dugher reflected: “We hope that the government will look favourably 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.”
BGC’s chief executive also commented that “The BGC and its members recognise 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.”
Additional support to the proposal came from Conor Grant too, Flutter UK, and Ireland’s chief executive.
Grant said: “True commitment to putting customers first also means making sure that they have somewhere independent to go if something does go amiss – that is why Flutter is fully behind the call from the BGC today for the government to include an ombudsman in its plans for reform of the gambling industry.”
The Time Is Now
It’s been reported that the industry stakeholders have been rooting for the establishment of an industry ombudsman for a while. What is more, an ombudsman proposal was also a part of the Social Market Foundation’s (SMF) report on regulatory reform.
Under the SMF’s proposal, the Gambling Ombudsman would manage customer protection and affordability while the Gambling Licensing Authority would oversee license suitability and compliance issues.