New ADR standards in the gambling industry will come into effect on 31 October 2018

The Gambling Commission has today (1 October 2018) published new standards and guidance for alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) in the gambling industry, which are intended to improve how complaints are handled by ADR providers in the gambling industry and come into effect from 31 October 2018, from which date the Commission will begin to assess ADRs against the new standards.

We reported last year on the results of the Commission’s review of the complaints processes in the gambling industry and these new standards and guidance formed part of the consumer protection strategy contained within the Commission’s business plan outlining its focus and priorities for 2018-2019, published in April this year.

The new Gambling Commission document entitled “Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the gambling industry” can be downloaded below. It sets out how consumer complaints should be handled and makes clear the Commission’s expectations on:

  • the types of consumer complaints it expects ADR providers to take on
  • principles for considering compensation
  • decision quality standards, particularly focused on how providers look at and use evidence
  • the Ombudsman Association’s (“OA”) six principles of good governance which it expects ADR providers to follow whether or not they are members of the OA
  • conflicts of interests
  • the information and customer service providers give to consumers and
  • the information and data providers share with the Commission and others.

Ian Angus, Programme Director for Consumer Protection and Empowerment is reported as saying:

“The standards published today seek to simplify existing complaints processes and ensure consumer complaints are handled in a fair, timely, transparent and effective manner. Improved standards will also help cultivate consumer trust and confidence in the industry. The standards will come into effect from 31 October, alongside further changes that provide stronger protection for consumers and ensure they are treated fairly”.

We have previously reported on those “further [LCCP] changes” here.