We will consider any dispute about a bet, game or any other gambling transaction. We examine whether the transaction has been handled correctly in accordance with the relevant rules or terms, whether those rules are fair and whether a customer is entitled to receive any payment in addition to what may have already been offered.
However, IBAS does not currently consider:
Any disputes relating to the standard of customer service provided, including anything relating to premises or facilities used where gambling takes place, including websites
Allegations of fixing, cheating or games operated in an unfair manner (these should be referred to appropriate regulator in the country where the business is licensed, e.g. the Gambling Commission in the UK)
Safer gambling standards maintained by gambling businesses. In other words, we do not consider claims by consumers that they have been allowed to gamble excessively/irresponsibly, unless there is a contractual element to the dispute (e.g. that the company breached an agreement between you and the company). We do not consider complaints that a company has allowed an individual to gamble after they had requested to be excluded from the website or premises, unless there is evidence that the way that the company has handled the situation is a breach of their contractual terms and/or there is evidence that the company's actions in the treatment of this situation relied on unfair contract terms.
Complaints that persons under the age of 18 have been allowed to gamble. Again, these are standards that are policed by regulators, e.g. the Gambling Commission in the UK
Complaints about bets that were never processed/refused or accounts that are restricted or closed thereby denying the customer the opportunity to place a bet. Our understanding is that bookmakers are not acting outside of their betting licence conditions in refusing to accept bets and so IBAS will not adjudicate to reinstate a bet that was never struck and where the customer bore no potential risk had their selection been unsuccessful. However, where a customer is complaining that their account has been closed and bets or transactions that have previously been accepted have later been cancelled unfairly, that would fall within the IBAS remit
More information about submitting a regulatory complaint (e.g. on a question of cheating, or a matter relating to social responsibility) can be obtained here. See the sections headed 'Complain about a gambling business' and 'Reporting the way a gambling business is being run'. You can email the Gambling Commission using this email address. When contacting the Gambling Commission to report concerns about the way a business is being run please be clear that you are making a regulatory complaint rather than lodging a dispute, otherwise you may be referred back to IBAS.
PLEASE NOTE: The Gambling Commission does not conduct an investigation in the same way as IBAS (i.e. with a published final decision) nor does it ever make financial awards to customers. However, on some occasions the outcome of a regulatory investigation may either persuade an operator to make a payment to the complainant or provide grounds for the complainant to take the matter to court.
If you do have a complaint about being allowed to gamble more than you can afford to lose, please do think about taking anonymous, professional and practical advice from one of the organisations designed to help people struggling to control the amount of money or time they spend gambling. Many people who come to IBAS once about these kinds of issues believing it to be a ‘one off’ will end up coming back to us again. Contact details for some of these organisations can be found via our Related Links section.