Gambling Commission issues guidance on operator complaint handling

The Gambling Commission has published advice on how licensees should handle complaints, as part of a review of complaints policies.

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The guidance comes after the Commission reviewed 34 licensee complaints policies from a range of sectors, assessing their accessibility and ease of use.

Commission research revealed that 8% of gamblers had made a complaint in the past, with a further 4% reporting that they wished to make a complaint but didn’t. Research suggested reasons for not doing so included lengthy complaints processes and licensees being deliberately difficult to contact.

The Commission found that a majority of reviewed policies met the basic required standards, but highlighted a number of areas for improvement to make the process easier for customers.

Some of the tips issued to improve complaint handling included avoiding jargon, including clickable links, using short and clear processes and informing customers of the eight-week time limit for resolving complaints or issuing final responses.

Gambling Commission Director of Policy Ian Angus said: “Good complaints handling is vital in the gambling industry. We want consumers to be able to easily find and understand policies and be able to raise their complaints without any barriers.

“We know gambling businesses receive around 200,000 complaints every year, and while the Government’s review of the Gambling Act will consider where these can be escalated to, the majority will still need to go through the licensee’s complaints process first. We want to help them handle these well, to improve outcomes for both them and consumers.”

The review of the Gambling Act, which is expected to scrutinise consumer redress arrangements, has faced a series of delays including opposition from senior Government members and the recent Conservative Party leadership contest.

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