The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) serves as a gambling-specialist Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service. The service it provides is to adjudicate on disputes that occur between any licensed gambling operators and customers. There is a specific route you need to take to utilise this complaint service.
The basic process of it is to visit the IBAS website and while there, you will find a form to fill out, which will determine whether you have a claim or not. If you do, then you will be guided through the relevant process of submitting your complaint and claim.
It has been suggested the IBAS may be upgraded to become a gambling ombudsman in the future, which will give it more expansive powers.
How Everything Operates with IBAS
You need to know certain things before you proceed with an IBAS complaint. First, you should be able to prove that you have gone through all alternative options of settling your dispute with the online sportsbook or casino. If not, then the complaint and claim to IBAS will not be looked at. Ensure you have spoken with customer support at the sportsbook to try resolving the issue(s) in a standard way.
You will also need to agree to the terms and conditions of IBAS before they will look at your claim. If you’re able to verify all this, then you need to submit a written explanation of the problem(s) you have faced. If you can, then submitting photographic evidence is also recommended to back up your case. IBAS then investigates your complaint, deciding which arguments are relevant.
Prior to contacting IBAS, you should follow this course of action to try and resolve your complaint:
- Betting Shop/Gaming Centre – Duty Manager, Area Manager, Customer Services Department
- Stadium/Racecourse – Duty Manager, Head Office Area Manager
- Remote Betting/Gaming Operator – Online Customer Support, Customer Services Management
- Bingo Club – Duty Manager, Head Office or Customer Services Department
If these routes do not provide you with an satisfactory result for your complaint, you can reach out to IBAS. It is also important to note that the ADR service has a set of seven stages to go through, leading up to the adjudication. These are:
- Customer submits complaint, including as many details as possible.
- IBAS contacts the relevant operator, asking for written documentation and details of any T&Cs relating to the case.
- Evidence from both parties is handed over to an independent panel.
- The panel can ask questions of both parties to help understand the problems and situation.
- Panel utilises all information and evidence to reach a decision on the issues.
- Both parties receive the decision at the same time.
- Either party can ask the panel to review the dispute.
What You Need to Inform IBAS About
You may think that contacting IBAS only requires you to submit a few details about the situation you find yourself in. Yet once you start the dispute, you will need to lay out your case properly. This doesn’t require you to be a talented writer, but you need to explain elements of the complaint appropriately. Details surrounding the following areas are necessary:
- What you did with the company in question, when you did it and how.
- What you believe the outcome of the dispute should be.
- Why you think that that is the best outcome to reach.
- What the outcome actually was.
- What explanation the bookmaker gave to you regarding that outcome.
- Details of any interaction with the betting company since then.
You are free to attach any screenshots or other photos that will assist as evidence for your claim. It is also key to remember that the dispute process via IBAS is not usually a swift one. The panel needs to judge all evidence and arguments put forward, so it could take some time to resolve adequately.
There Are Some Areas That IBAS Does Not Cover
The IBAS organisation is in place to investigate disputes surrounding a bet placed or another form of gambling transaction that has gone awry. It works alongside the UKGC, ensuring that the advice and decisions taken are both informed and impartial. Of course, certain things are not covered by IBAS, too.
You cannot submit a complaint about customer service of an online betting site to IBAS, for example. The same applies to the state that any physical betting premises are in. Fixtures and fittings not working or not being present as well, are all problems for the Gambling Commission to deal with, rather than IBAS.
The IBAS organisation doesn’t deal with anyone gambling more than they should have. Irresponsible gambling doesn’t fall into the realm of IBAS, either. The only time they will get involved is if there was a contract between you and the bookmaker, and the latter broke that contract in taking your bets. That does not include at a time when you have self-excluded, though.
IBAs cannot help with bets that have not been accepted or that are not processed properly. If your account is closed by the betting site, you cannot complain to IBAS about this. Underage betting is also not something IBAS deals with and is instead something that should be directed to the UK Gambling Commission.
You will always be able to find out if IBAS is likely to get involved in your complaint by filling out the Claims Wizard form on the official website. It’s there to stop you from wasting your time submitting a full complaint that the organisation has no dealings with in the first place. There is no harm in “asking” through this form, but just be prepared in case you need to take a different route to solve your complaint.