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NEWS 18 June 2019

Gambling Commission "will consider" Labour's proposed new gambling ombudsman

By Nathan Joyes

Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson has announced his party would set up a new gambling ombudsman to protect vulnerable players if elected.

When contacted for comment by Gambling Insider, the Gambling Commission said it would “consider the case for an ombudsman.”

Watson’s party continues to plan a betting regulation overhaul in Great Britain and hope to achieve this via a new Gambling Act.

Watson said the new ombudsman would work alongside the Gambling Commission as well as the NHS, investing in research for education and treatment of problem gambling.

The new ombudsman would enforce financial penalties to any bookmaker or online casino which failed to uphold its obligation to prevent problem gambling.

A spokesperson from the Gambling Commission told Gambling Insider: “We have a statutory role to provide advice to government on gambling, including its effects and regulation.

“We expect gambling firms to treat consumers fairly and when things go wrong, put them right. Consumers also have a right to refer disputes to an approved alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider.

"Within the last year, we have introduced new standards on both ADR providers and gambling businesses to improve the way they handle individual consumer complaints. We will continue to drive up standards and consider the case for an ombudsman.”

For further analysis on Labour’s plans for gambling, read Gambling Insider’s feature on Watson’s unnecessary grouping of gambling issues.

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