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The UK Gambling Commission’s Updates for Alternative Dispute Resolution Will Take Effect This Month
- October 3, 2018 By Oliver Young -
The UK Gambling Commission, the most renowned gambling regulator in the online gambling industry, has updated the rules and guidelines for Alternative Dispute Resolution. These new rules, as well as some additional changes, will come into effect from October, 31st.
The Commission explains that the update was absolutely essential since the old one showed no success. With that in mind, the UKGC has been trying to improve the online gambling and the ADR guidelines for three years now and has announced the updates in August, which are now ready to take effect towards the end of the month.
Since the previous guidelines were somewhat blurry and did not pay attention to some significantly important factors, the new rules clearly and transparently state the responsibilities of the customer, the operator, and the ADR providers. The ADR providers, being the main protagonists in resolving the disputes and meditating the parties, are the ones that will undergo changes the most, as expected.
The operators will be obliged to immediately appoint an ADR provider if they have not managed to solve the dispute with the customer by themselves in 8 weeks. They will need to disclose all evidence and required documents to that particular ADR, which in turn must present those documents to the customer, respectively.
Customers will be informed about their rights, they will be heard, they will be able to explain the problem to the ADR, and they will be entitled to get all the help they need.
The Major Changes
The ADR providers will need to listen to the customers’ complaints and decide on the compensation based on the extent of the impact the problem has had over them, their physical, emotional state and the inconvenience the operator might have caused. The ADR must be focused on the customer’s reputation and well-being instead of focusing on punishing the operator. Although, UKGC made it clear that the compensation, in most cases, won’t go beyond reimbursement.
The ADR providers will be vetted and approved by the UKGC and need to comply with the 6 principles of good governance provided by the UK Ombudsman Association. They need to be transparent in their actions, show how they became independent and how were they funded.
In addition, if there is even a slight suspicion of a conflict of interest or a relationship of any kind between the operator and the ADR provider, the customer should get a referral for another ADR provider. Unless the ADR presents a proof that they have no relationship with the operator, the customer is entitled to another ADR.
There were some additional changes in regards to the ADR providers’ responsibilities. Namely, the ADR providers must record the details of the dispute-resolving process, the number of disputes they receive and accept, those they reject, how they resolved the disputes, and the average time they spend resolving one. They should share this statistical information with the UKGC. During the process, they must inform the customer every 30 days about any possible updates about the status of their complaint.
Furthermore, they are required to create their own websites where they should publish guideline on how to file a complaint, as well information on their performance in the field. Finally, they should be alert and assess whether the customer presents some major symptoms of a gambling-related harm and act accordingly.