BGC calls for establishment of Gambling Ombudsman

  • Updated
  • By Max Jenner
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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has called on the British government to establish a new gambling ombudsman to manage complaints filed by clients of land-based and online casinos.

The BGC’s announcement, released on Sunday, states that while mechanisms to manage gambling-related complaints already exist, the creation of an overarching gambling ombudsman would vastly improve the process. This would be a regulatory body specifically tasked with the processing of and response to consumer complaints, as Ofcom does with the media.

Once established, all gambling licensees would be obliged to sign up to the service, in a similar way to how player exclusion scheme GamStop became mandatory for providers last year.

The announcement comes as the government presses ahead with its review of the Gambling Act 2005, started in December of last year by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, aimed at bringing gambling legislation up to speed with the changes brought about by the digital age. A White Paper is expected to be released at the end of this year detailing the proposed changes to the Act.

Commenting on the proposal, BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “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.”

Conor Grant, chief executive of online gaming provider Flutter UK and Ireland, voiced his support for the move: “At the heart of our business is a focus on our customers – both delivering great entertainment and making sure that it is always underpinned by increasingly robust safer gambling practices.”