BGC urges UK government to establish gambling ombudsman

Rank Group Plc has praised the UK Government's White Paper on gambling legislation, stating that the long-awaited review has reached the objective of striking the right balance between “consumer freedoms and choice on the one hand, and protection from harm on the other.”

The Betting and Gaming Council has called on the government to establish a gambling ombudsman, asserting that the group, alongside its members, recognise “the need for further change in our industry”.

The industry standards body says that the move represents “further proof” of the determination to drive up standards, and comes amid the ongoing continuation of the review of the Gambling Act.

Conor Grant, chief executive of Flutter UK and Ireland, explained: “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.

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

Systems for dealing with customer complaints already exist, but the BGC believes that a gambling ombudsman would improve the process and make it more consistent for those raising concerns.

The group, which represents betting shops, casinos and online operators, is proposing that it should be a legal requirement for all licensed betting and gaming operators to sign up to the ombudsman.

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

“We hope that the gwill 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.”