The Independent Betting Adjudication Service is designed to offer bettors an Alternative Dispute Resolution service, providing an impartial and informed adjudication on disputes that crop up from time to time. In order to take advantage of it you’ll first need to ensure that you have gone through your betting company of choice’s internal resolution service.
If you head to the IBAS website you’ll be able to fill in a form to see whether you have a claim and, if you do, you’ll be guided through the process of putting it forward to them. In 2019 there were 6,282 requests for their services, with customers going on to win total payment of £634,426, so it’s clear that the service does work if you find yourself going up against an operator.
How IBAS Works
The most important thing to realise is that you can only approach the Independent Betting Adjudication Service if you are able to prove that you have exhausted all options of setting your dispute with the betting company that you’re up against. If you haven’t made every effort to resolve it with them then IBAS will simply through your claim out.
You’ll also have to agree with the IBAS terms and conditions before they’ll take a look at your claim. Once you’ve done that, though, you’ll put forward a written explanation of the problem that you’re faced with, along with any photographic evidence, and IBAS will then look at the case. The panel will decide which arguments are relevant, with writing and presentation skills unimportant.
In terms of who you need to speak to before heading to IBAS, it works like this depending on where your dispute happens:
|Where?||First Port Of Call||Second Port Of Call||Third Port Of Call|
|Stadium or Racecourse||Duty Manager||Head Office Area Manager||N/A|
|Betting Shop or Adult Gaming Centre||Duty Manager||Area Manager||Customers Services Department of Proprietor|
|Bingo Club||Duty Manager||Head Office or Customer Services Department||N/A|
|Remote Betting or Gaming Operator||Online Customer Support||Customer Services Management||N/A|
Once you’ve exhausted those options you’ll be able to contact IBAS, who then have seven stages that lead up to their adjudication. They are as follows:
- Stage 1: Customer puts forward their submission, including details of the transaction that is being disputed
- Stage 2: IBAS will contact the relevant operator and ask for written documentation and details of any terms and conditions that apply to the case
- Stage 3: The evidence from both parties is passed onto the independent panel
- Stage 4: The panel can ask questions of both parties to help it understand the situation
- Stage 5: The pane uses all information and clarifications to come to a decision on the matter
- Stage 6: Both parties receive the decision at the same time
- Stage 7: Either party can ask the panel to review the dispute
How You Raise A Dispute
If you’re getting in touch with IBAS then it’s likely that you feel aggrieved about something. The first question that the Independent Betting Adjudication Service team will ask you is whether or not you’ve taken everything as far as you’re able to with the gambling operator that you have the despite with. IBAS is, after all, designed to adjudicate when all other avenues have failed.
It’s worth noting that there’s an agreement in place between IBAS and some gambling operators that says that the panel will not look at any disputes until the customer has been advised to contact IBAS by the operator. This is because a lot of companies won’t work with IBAS themselves unless they feel that all efforts have been exhausted.
The first thing you’ll need to do if you’re looking to raise a dispute is to register with the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. You will then be able to login to your account and complete the claim form online, or contact them and inform then that you wish to make a claim in the post if you’re not very au fait with computers.
What You Need To Tell Them
Once you’ve started your dispute you’ll be required to set out your complaint to the IBAS Case Management Team and the Adjudication Panel. You don’t need to be verbose or a talented writer, instead being required simply to explain each of the following:
- What you did with the betting company, when you did it and how you did it
- What you think the outcome should be
- Why you thought that outcome would be the case
- What the actual outcome ended up being
- What explanation the betting company gave you for that outcome
- What interaction, if any, you’ve had with the betting company since
You can attach photos or screenshots as evidence of your points, but you don’t need to send IBAS scores of correspondence between you and the company. The dispute process is often a slow one because customers aren’t quick to answer requests for further information from IBAS, so do your best to ensure you’re quick to follow up any communications from them.
What IBAS Won’t Cover
The Independent Betting Adjudication Service is there to look at any dispute about a bet or other form of gambling transaction. It works in conjunction with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission to ensure that its advice and decisions are informed and impartial. Yet there are a score of things that do not come under IBAS’s jurisdiction.
If you have a complaint about the level of customer service you received, for example, that’s nothing to do with IBAS. The same applies to the state of premises or facilities where gambling takes place. Equally, any complaints about something being fixed or unfair should be forwarded to the UKGC directly rather than IBAS.
If you feel that you’ve been allowed to gamble more than you should or in an irresponsible manner than theta’s not something that IBAS will look at. They will only pay attention if there was a contract between you and the betting company in question that the company broke in taking your bets. This doesn’t include if you’ve self-excluded, however.
Any complaints about bets that were either refused or weren’t even processed in the first place won’t be handled by IBAS. The same is true of accounts that are closed, therefore stopping a customer from placing bets. That is different from when a bet that has earlier been accepted and then has been cancelled, which is something IBAS will look at.
Underage betting is a matter for the Gambling Commission, not IBAS. In general, if your dispute is about a bet that either hasn’t been settled correctly or a scenario in which the betting operator hasn’t, in your opinion, acted fairly or appropriately then it will be a matter for the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. Otherwise it almost certainly won’t be.
That being said, it is not breaking any rules to get in touch with the organisation to ask if your case has merit. There is what they call a ‘Claims Wizard’, which is designed to save you wasting any time. If you’re concerned about how you’ve been treated by a gambling operator then there is no harm in asking IBAS whether there’s a base to be answered.