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6 - Complaints and disputes

This is a consolidated version of the codes of practice for licensing authorities.

You can view the full Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice online.

6.1.1 - Complaints and disputes

Applies to:

All licences (including ancillary remote licensees) except gaming machine technical and gambling software licences

Social responsibility code

Compliance with these is a condition of licences; therefore any breach of them by an operator may lead the Commission to review the operator’s licence with a view to suspension, revocation or the imposition of a financial penalty and would also expose the operator to the risk of prosecution.

  1. Licensees must put into effect appropriate policies and procedures for accepting and handling customer complaints and disputes in a timely, fair, open and transparent manner.

  2. Licensees must ensure that they have arrangements in place for customers to be able to refer any dispute to an ADR entity in a timely manner if not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction by use of their complaints procedure within eight weeks of receiving the complaint, and where the customer cooperates with the complaints process in a timely manner.

  3. The services of any such ADR entity must be free of charge to the customer.

  4. Licensees must not use or introduce terms which restrict, or purport to restrict, the customer’s right to bring proceedings against the licensee in any court of competent jurisdiction. Such terms may, however, provide for a resolution of a dispute agreed by the customer (arrived at with the assistance of the ADR entity) to be binding on both parties.

  5. Licensees’ complaints handling policies and procedures must include procedures to provide customers with clear and accessible information on how to make a complaint, the complaint procedures, timescales for responding, and escalation procedures.

  6. Licensees must ensure that complaints policies and procedures are implemented effectively, kept under review and revised appropriately to ensure that they remain effective, and take into account any applicable learning or guidance published by the Gambling Commission from time to time.

  7. Licensees should keep records of customer complaints and disputes and make them available to the Commission on request.

In this Code, ‘ADR entity’ means

  1. a person offering alternative dispute resolution services whose name appears on the list maintained by the Gambling Commission in accordance with The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 and,
  2. whose name appears on the list of providers that meet the Gambling Commission’s additional standards found in the document ‘Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the gambling industry – standards and guidance for ADR providers’.

Both lists are on the Commission’s website and will be updated from time to time.

Read additional guidance on the information requirements contained within this section.

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