With effect from 1st November 2017
1. IBAS is an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service, specialising in the field of gambling disputes. IBAS is approved by the Gambling Commission in accordance with The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.
2. IBAS shall only adjudicate on Disputes when:
(a) the Operator holds an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission and the Dispute concerns a gambling transaction which is subject to the laws of England and Wales, or Scotland; save that IBAS may also, in its absolute discretion, deal with Disputes arising in, and/ or subject to the laws of other jurisdictions; and
(b) the Operator is registered, or becomes registered with IBAS, prior to the adjudication of the Dispute; and
(c) the Dispute is not the subject of any Court action, unless referred to IBAS by a Court,
(d) the Dispute has not been ruled upon previously by any other ADR entity, Regulatory Authority or Court; and
(e) the Disputed transaction does not involve issues which are properly the concern of the Gambling Commission (or another Regulatory Authority) under the terms of an Operating Licence, or the possible breach of the terms of the Gambling Act 2005 and its subordinate legislation, or any other issue, which, in the absolute discretion of IBAS, is judged by IBAS to be of a type which is more appropriately dealt with by another Authority or a Court.
3. IBAS reserves the right to refuse to adjudicate on a Dispute at any time if:
(a) IBAS considers that the Customer and Operator have failed to make reasonable efforts to resolve the Dispute
(b) it is considered by IBAS to be vexatious or frivolous, for example, but not limited to where:
[i] it relates to a non-existent transaction
[ii] it is restricted to a complaint about standards of customer service
[iii] it is repetitive of previous disputes presented by the same Customer
[iv] either party to the dispute has in IBAS’s opinion made a deliberate attempt to mislead or omitted to mention material facts, or does not comply with other requirements set out in these Terms and Conditions or any agreement between IBAS and the Operator
(c) the monetary value of the claim falls above or below any upper or lower threshold set out on the IBAS website or in IBAS literature,
(d) the Customer has not submitted the Dispute within 12 months from the date upon which the Operator has given notice to the Customer that it is unable to resolve the Dispute, unless IBAS considers that there have been exceptional circumstances delaying its referral
(e) dealing with it would seriously impair the effective operation of IBAS, or
(f) either party attempts to intimidate, threaten or exert any undue external pressure on the process
4. The adjudication process shall be conducted in accordance with the IBAS Registration and Adjudication Procedures, which shall be published on the IBAS website and can be posted or e-mailed to either party on request.
5. In all cases, the adjudication process shall be conducted wholly in the English language unless otherwise advertised and/or agreed by IBAS.
6. IBAS reserves the right to share the evidence provided by either Customer or Operator with the other party, in order to allow them to respond to certain points of contention. It may decide to share only extracts of that evidence where it considers either that only a limited amount of the evidence is relevant to the Dispute, or where it considers that doing so may result in the sharing of personal data or information belonging to third parties who have not agreed to participate in the process. Both Customer and Operator are entitled to request copies of the evidence provided by the other party, which shall be provided subject to due consideration of any data protection or other regulatory or legislative restrictions that may apply to it.
7. Once a Dispute has been accepted by IBAS for consideration and enquiries have been completed by IBAS it will be submitted to the IBAS Panel for adjudication, subject to any further questions for either party arising from Panel members. From such point that the dispute file is deemed to have been completed, IBAS shall take no more than 90 days to issue its ruling, except in special circumstances, which shall be notified to the parties.
8. IBAS shall publish, or provide any statistical information regarding Disputes to the Gambling Commission (or any subsequently nominated Competent Authority) as stipulated by The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.
9. IBAS may provide any information that it holds to the Gambling Commission, at the request of, and subject to its Information Sharing Agreement with the Commission, where it considers this to be of relevance to the pursuit of the licensing objectives as set out within section 1 of the Gambling Act 2005.
10. IBAS, its Directors, employees and contractors and agents, including all the individual Panel Members, will have no liability to either Operator or Customer or any other party to a Dispute in relation to any ruling, any review of a ruling, or any other part of the adjudication process for any loss howsoever caused.
11. These Terms and Conditions are to be construed according to the law of England and Wales.
Any person who enters into a betting or gaming transaction with a registered Operator.
Independent Betting Adjudication Service Limited.
Any provider of betting or gaming services that holds an operating licence from the Gambling Commission, or whose registration is otherwise accepted by IBAS.
The independent expert adjudicators to whom IBAS refers Disputes for adjudication.
A disagreement between a Customer and an Operator as to the return anticipated by a customer from a bet, game or any gambling or gambling account transaction, or a credit promised and which has not been resolved by the Operator to the Customer's satisfaction.
Registration of Operators
1. IBAS will only consider Disputes relating to Operators who are registered with IBAS. However, Operators may be allowed to register with IBAS after the commencement of a Dispute, but registration must be complete before IBAS will commence its adjudication procedure. Registration completed after commencement of a Dispute process will be subject to the payment of a Registration Fee to be determined by IBAS.
2. Operators apply for registration by full completion of IBAS' ‘Gambling Operator's Registration Form' and submission of the form together with a copy of the Operator's current customer terms and conditions, trading and/or game rules to IBAS. Alterations to these documents must be notified to IBAS as soon as reasonably practical. Registration is maintained by compliance with these Terms and Conditions and payment of an annual registration fee. IBAS may, in its absolute discretion, refuse to register an Operator.
3. Once IBAS has accepted an Operator's registration, IBAS will send the Operator any relevant printed material which the Operator should display in all licensed premises located within the United Kingdom and elsewhere when Operators are trading from premises to which the public have access. IBAS will also grant the Operator the right to use the IBAS logo, and the Operator should display this on, or near, point of sale material and as a prominent part of any computer-provided services for so long as they are registered.
Referral of Disputes to IBAS
4. Operators must state within their terms of trading that they are registered with IBAS and the circumstances in which unresolved Disputes will be referred to IBAS. Operators must notify Customers of their right to refer Disputes to IBAS, in an impartial and informative way.
5. Operators must review all Disputes brought to their attention by their Customers prior to referral to IBAS. As soon as it becomes apparent to an Operator that they are unable to resolve the Dispute to the satisfaction of all parties, they should without delay invite the Customer to refer the Dispute to IBAS.
The adjudication process
6. When a Dispute is referred to IBAS, the Customer will be requested to make a written submission setting out all of their reasons for believing that they are entitled to their claim. The submission should include the full circumstances of the Dispute and, where relevant, reference to any relevant terms or game rules of the Operator. The Customer should also send any documents or evidence held, and an indication of any evidence relevant to the Dispute which the Customer believes that the Operator might hold.
7. Upon receipt of a completed claim form from a Customer, and following clarification of any queries, IBAS will require the Operator to make a full written submission to IBAS of the circumstances of the Dispute. Any submissions should be made by a senior member of the Operator’s staff, and should include details as to the primary point of contact which should be used by IBAS.
8. The submission should include any staff comments or actions and where possible provide supporting evidence of all factual assertions, including all relevant data stored on computer systems. Operators should refer to the relevant part of their terms or rules and say how they apply in the circumstances of the Dispute. Operators should say if they do not have a term or rule covering the circumstances of the Dispute, or if the Customer could not have been aware of the term or rule in question for whatever reason. When a Dispute has involved communication systems and/or information technology, then upon request by IBAS the Operator must submit a report into their systems that addresses the issue giving rise to the Dispute.
9.IBAS reserves the right to discontinue its investigations into a Dispute at any time and without giving reasons. Without prejudice to this right IBAS will normally explain their reasons, which may include the following circumstances as illustrations:
(a) If either party to the dispute has in IBAS's opinion misled the Panel, or omitted to mention material facts, or does not comply with other requirements set out within these Terms and Conditions, or any agreement between IBAS and the Operator
(b) IBAS judges the submissions made to be vexatious or frivolous or in any way an abuse of the adjudication process
(c) Information comes to light during the course of the adjudication process which satisfies IBAS that the dispute would be better considered by another Authority, in accordance with Section 2(e) of the IBAS Terms and Conditions
(d) The calculated financial value of the claim falls above or below any stipulated maximum or minimum threshold advertised by IBAS, unless, in the case of dispute below an advertised minimum threshold, IBAS considers at that stage that the principle of the dispute is more significant than its monetary value
(e) If in the view of IBAS, either party unreasonably refuses to comply with the Terms and Conditions or Registration and Adjudication Procedures.
10. Following receipt of submissions, IBAS may question either party and require further explanation, or the production of further evidence relating to the Dispute. This may include, but is not limited to, evidence of the circumstances in which the Operator's terms of trading, game return information, odds, and specific game or betting rules were made available or drawn to the Customer's attention.
11. IBAS expects Operators to make payment of any undisputed part of a part-disputed gambling transaction to a Customer with whom they are in Dispute, at the earliest opportunity. IBAS will not commence adjudication until any undisputed part of a claim has been settled. If an Operator makes a goodwill payment in respect of any Disputed claim, or part of a claim, before the IBAS adjudication procedure has commenced, then unless it is accepted in writing by the Customer as being in full settlement of his or her claim, IBAS will continue to investigate it.
12. Customers may request IBAS to cease adjudication of their Dispute at any time. IBAS may then ask the Customer to sign a letter confirming their request to end the adjudication process.
13. Operators must use all reasonable endeavours to retain all relevant records and data relating to Disputes until after the Dispute is settled, or IBAS has issued a ruling with which the Operator has complied.
Customer – Operator communication
14. Operators and Customers in a Dispute which has been referred to IBAS should refrain from contacting each other and discussing the Dispute. If the Operator wishes to make an offer to the Customer to settle the Dispute after the IBAS adjudication process has commenced, it should submit details of the proposed settlement to IBAS. IBAS will then suspend the adjudication and communicate the offer to the Customer requesting acceptance or rejection within 21 days. IBAS will notify the Operator of the Customer's decision.
15. If the Customer rejects the offer, IBAS will resume the adjudication process without allowing the fact of the offer to influence its decision. If the offer is accepted, this will be treated as in full and final settlement of the Dispute and IBAS will conclude the adjudication process. If an Operator pays a goodwill payment to the Customer, other than in accordance with this procedure, then the adjudication process will continue, unless and until the Customer withdraws the claim.
The obligation to observe confidentiality
16. IBAS considers gambling transactions to be confidential between the parties concerned. To this end, Operators and Customers are requested to keep the details of the Dispute and IBAS's ruling confidential and, in particular refrain from making any public comment during or after the Dispute process. IBAS reserves the right not to adjudicate on any future Dispute brought by a party that has previously broken confidentiality without reasonable explanation. The obligation to observe confidentiality will not apply insofar as either party is required to provide information to a regulator, or in the course of legal proceedings.
17. As part of the adjudication process IBAS must notify Operators of the name of the complainant. Customers and their designated representatives are expected to correspond with IBAS in their true names. IBAS may disclose facts about the nature of any Dispute and its ruling on its website, annual report or other literature, and to other Operators, but will not disclose the identity of the parties to the Dispute. Should either party seek to publicise the details of a Dispute in breach of these Terms, IBAS will ordinarily make no public comment unless otherwise agreed by any other parties to the same dispute.
18. IBAS will at all times store all data and documents securely and act in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and its own Data Protection Policy. It must be understood by Operators and Customers that the nature of the adjudication process relating to disputed gambling transactions is facilitated by the maintenance of confidence. Accordingly IBAS will maintain the confidence of submissions, save in instances where it is obliged to disclose material to its legal advisors or any relevant regulatory body, or as required by law.
19. At the conclusion of IBAS's adjudication process, the IBAS Panel will issue a ruling in writing which IBAS will notify simultaneously to the Customer and Operator.
20. Subject to any subsequent court judgement, the IBAS ruling will be binding on all parties to the Dispute and will conclude IBAS's handling of the Dispute and its obligation under these Terms and Conditions to the Customer and Operator. IBAS will not then enter into correspondence in relation to a Dispute with either party unless IBAS in its absolute discretion considers it appropriate.
21. IBAS may, in its absolute discretion, undertake a review of a ruling which it has issued but then only in exceptional circumstances and provided that a request for review is received within 40 days of the notifying of the decision to the parties. The decision to review will rest solely with the Chief Executive and will only be undertaken if there is compelling evidence to suggest that a ruling may have been wrong, for example, if it is clear that the Panel has adjudicated upon the basis of factually incorrect information or if it appears that there has been an obvious misinterpretation of the relevant rules. The parties will be informed as soon as reasonably practical of a decision to refuse a review and in the event of a review being undertaken, IBAS will notify the parties of the outcome of the review simultaneously.
22. The IBAS Chief Executive will investigate any complaint received from a Customer or Operator against IBAS concerning the way it has handled a Dispute or the conduct of any member of IBAS's staff or Panel.
23. IBAS expects Operators to act in good faith in handling Disputes with Customers both before and after any referral to IBAS. Operators must not directly or indirectly intimidate or use duress in their dealings with Customers, IBAS staff or IBAS Panel Members. IBAS reserves the right, in its absolute discretion, to de-register an Operator in the event of serious or persistent breaches of this term.
24. IBAS may also de-register an Operator if, in its absolute discretion, IBAS decides that there has been a material breach of any of these Terms and Conditions, or of any other Agreement between IBAS and the Operator, including in particular the failure of an Operator to comply with an IBAS ruling.
25. In cases of de-registration, the Operator must remove the IBAS logo from all materials, documentation, computer-provided services, or TV broadcasts (including via SIS) and any mobile platforms. The Operator must also remove from public display any material provided by IBAS, and must not claim expressly or impliedly that IBAS acts as its independent party in the adjudication of Disputes. IBAS will notify the Gambling Commission of the de-registration of an Operator and the reasons for the de-registration and reserves the right to publish that the de-registration has taken place if it is considered in the best interest of the public to do so.
26. IBAS reserves the right to refuse to investigate a Dispute, or continue with a pending adjudication process if, in its absolute discretion it decides that a Customer or their designated representative has seriously or persistently been responsible directly or indirectly for intimidation or duress in dealings with IBAS staff or Panel Members, or has otherwise acted abusively or unreasonably.
27. By its registration the Operator accepts that these Terms and Conditions will apply to the resolution of any Dispute, and by referring a Dispute to IBAS, the Customer accepts that these Terms and Conditions will govern the handling of the Dispute.
28. If an Operator decides to discontinue IBAS registration it must notify IBAS in writing and give not less than one full calendar month’s notice.
29. Operators and Customers will be responsible for all their own costs and any expenses incurred in relation to any Disputes referred to IBAS.
30. IBAS may in its absolute discretion make changes to these Terms and Conditions from time to time. The current version is available on the website www.ibas-uk.com and the version applicable at the time of receipt of the claim will govern the relevant Dispute.
31. IBAS reserves the right to apply other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to resolve a dispute in the event that it considers that the adjudication process is inappropriate for the circumstances of the Dispute, subject to the agreement of both Customer and Operator.