The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has argued for the creation of a gambling industry ombudsman as a means of strengthening the sector’s consumer concerns and complaints infrastructure.

Establishing such an organisation, the betting and gaming trade association underline it would improve the consistency and general effectiveness of the customer complaints and feedback process, although a system for dealing with consumer concerns already exists.

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive, stated that the BGC’s support for a gambling ombudsman was ‘further proof’ of the regulated industry’s ‘determination to drive up standards’.

“This is further evidence of the BGC’s determination to drive up standards in the regulated betting and gaming industry,” he commented.

“We hope that the government will 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.”

Furthermore, the BGC has added that it should be a legal requirement for all licenced gambling companies to sign up to the new ombudsman. 

The call comes as the government continues with its review of the 2005 Gambling Act and general overhaul of the UK’s regulatory infrastructure and oversight of the gambling industry, a process which has seen discussions regarding consumer protection repeatedly take a key role.

Conor Grant, Chief Executive of Flutter UK and Ireland, said: “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.”

The notion of an independent ombudsman for the gambling industry had previously been raised by Sir Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), with a focus on the monitoring of banking and betting activity as in order enhancing player safeguarding.