May 25, 2024

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has called for the UK Government to establish a Gambling Ombudsman, as reported by the Racing Post.

The new body would deal with customer concerns, with the BGC proposing that it should be a legal requirement for all licensed operators to sign up to it. The BGC acknowledged that systems for dealing with customer complaints are already in place, but said that an ombudsman would improve the entire process.

“This is further evidence of the BGC’s determination to drive up standards in the regulated betting and gaming industry,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.

“We hope 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.

“The BGC and its members recognise the need for further change in our industry and a new Gambling Ombudsman would be a step forward in customer redress – I’m proud to be giving it our backing.”

The idea of an ombudsman was proposed two years ago by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, and was once again proposed last year by the Social Market Foundation think tank. And earlier this year, the Horseracing Bettors Forum also called for the creation of an ombudsman to ensure all aspects of betting in horse racing were in the interests of the consumer.

Conor Grant, Chief Executive of Flutter Entertainment’s UK and Ireland division, has supported the calls from the BGC, saying: “At the heart of our business is a focus on our customers – both delivering great entertainment and making sure that it’s always underpinned by increasingly robust safer gambling practices. 

“True commitment to putting customers first also means making sure they have somewhere independent to go if something does go amiss – that’s why Flutter is fully behind the call from the BGC for the government to include an ombudsman in its plans for reform of the gambling industry.”

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