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Consolidation of operator complaints and disputes data October 2019 – September 2020

The purpose of this report is to look at all operator complaints and disputes received by the Gambling Commission and analyse key issues, themes and trends


IBAS received 4,475 disputes during 2019-20, a decrease from 5235 during 2018-19 (14.5% decrease). The most common issue received by IBAS was Disputed Settlement Criteria/Bet Instructions1 (1048). The number of these types of dispute has decreased by 348, but still remains the main dispute type over the last 3 years.

The second most common complaint type is Customer Identity, this is a growing area of complaint, with very few exceptions it exclusively concerns remote gamblers. Typically, the complaint is that a consumer has seen their account closed or has been denied immediate payment of winnings or where the operator has concerns about whether the customer is who they say they are.

A graph showing the top 6 dispute types by IBAS

Data from graph

Type 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Disputed Settlement Criteria / Bet Instructions 30.0% 26.7% 23.4%
Customer Identity 13.5% 14.8% 21.1%
Social Responsibility / Self-Exclusion 7.6% 13.6% 16.8%
Bonus or Promotional Offer Terms 12.1% 9.8% 8.2%
Price Dispute 12.7% 10.7% 7.6%
Banking/Financial Transactions 3.4% 3.4% 6.7%

The proportion of disputes refused by IBAS during the 2019-20 reporting period was 43.9% (1,964), which is a decrease from 38.9% (2,039) during the previous year. The main reasons for disputes to be refused are regulatory issues, which includes self-exclusion, and that the operator’s complaints process has not been exhausted.

A graph showing the Top 6 Refused Dispute Types received by IBAS

Data from graph

Type 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Regulatory Matter (e.g. self-exclusion) 27.1% 33.5% 33.2%
Operator's Complaints Process Not Exhausted 10.8% 21.4% 30.8%
Customer Communication Ceased 43.1% 22.8% 16.0%
Vexatious/Frivolous Dispute 9.1% 8.6% 10.6%
Too Complex/Requires Legal/Police Investigation 4.8% 5.6% 4.0%
Operator Not Registered with IBAS 4.2% 5.0% 2.7%

The average dispute completion time during 2019-20 was 45 days, which is a decrease from 51 days during the previous year.


1Disputed Settlement Criteria/Bet Instructions typically covers betting disputes and including situations where consumers believe that the operator’s settlement of a bet is not the one that they expected or had grounds to expect.

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