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Complain about a gambling business

Understand the complaints process for how to complain about a gambling business or complain about a gambling transaction.

Published: 18 May 2020

Last updated: 20 September 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 20 April 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/public-and-players/guide/complain-about-a-gambling-business

Overview:

We do not resolve or make decisions on complaints regarding gambling-related transactions.

If you disagree with a gambling business about the result of your gambling transaction, or about the service you have received from them, then you should first complain to them.

Common types of complaint

For example, your complaint might be about:

First of all you should complain directly to the gambling business and follow the complaints process.

How to complain

First of all you should complain directly to the gambling business. Follow the complaints process when you submit your complaint.

The complaints process

  1. Check terms and conditions

    Check any terms and conditions that are linked to your account or your gambling transaction.

  2. Contact the gambling business

    You can find how to contact the gambling business and view their complaints procedure on their website.

    You can also complain in person and ask for a copy of the complaints policy at the premises. For example the betting shop, arcade, bingo hall or casino.

    You can also use the free online tool Resolver that gives advice to customers and can help you with submitting a complaint.

    Use Resolver opens in a new tab

  3. Follow their complaints policy

    Tell the gambling business all the information about your complaint, including dates, times and amounts of money.

    Share any evidence you have to support your complaint. Make sure you keep a copy of everything that you tell them.

  4. Wait for the response

    The gambling business has 8 weeks to resolve your complaint from when they receive it. When the investigation is complete, they will tell you the result of your complaint and what happens next.

    This includes what to do if you are not satisfied with the result (which might be to take it to someone higher in the gambling business).

  5. If you're not happy with the outcome

    You may be able to escalate your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider.

    You cannot take your complaint to an ADR without first going through the gambling business's complaint process.

    Read our information on taking your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider.

If you use Resolver to submit your complaint

As Resolver is an independent company, the Gambling Commission isn't involved in how Resolver’s services work.

It is important to note that it is not mandatory for gambling businesses to have the Resolver tool in place, and as such not all gambling businesses will accept Resolver.

Taking your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider

You must have gone through the gambling business’s own complaints procedure before you can use an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. They look at the information from you and the gambling business to settle your complaint.

If you are not satisfied with the result from the gambling business, after 8 weeks you can take your complaint to an ADR provider. An ADR provider is a free, independent service.

The gambling business should be able to tell you which ADR provider to use and give you their contact details. They may also give you a letter to confirm that you can take your complaint to an ADR provider, called a deadlock letter.

Deadlock letter

The deadlock letter is usually issued by a gambling business at the conclusion of a complaint you have raised with them. The letter will provide information about referring a complaint or dispute to an ADR provider.

Considering information

The ADR provider will then consider the information from you, which should include any response from the gambling business, and determine whether it can adjudicate your complaint.

If the provider accepts the complaint, it will contact the gambling business and start the adjudication process.

If you have not received confirmation that the ADR provider has received your complaint, its response may have gone to the junk folder of your email inbox. If after checking this folder you cannot find a response, contact the ADR provider in the first instance.

Complaints not accepted by an ADR provider

An ADR provider will not accept complaints regarding a customer service issue, the refusal to accept a bet or your custom.

A gambling business is free to decide who they accept bets from and on what terms. Further information on the Status of a bet as a contract.

An ADR provider will also not accept a complaint about customer service issues.

Waiting for the ADR's decision

Once the ADR provider has all the information it needs from the gambling business, it then has up to 90 days to consider that information and make an adjudication.

If a complaint is particularly complex, it may take longer. The ADR provider should tell you if the 90-day period is being extended and how long it will need to issue its decision. You should then receive updates on your case at least every 30 days.

Appeals process

If you are unhappy with the final adjudication, you may be able to appeal it. The ADR provider should tell you if they have an appeals procedure and give you information on possible grounds for appeal, time limits and what will happen at the end.

Other resolution options

If you remain unhappy with the final adjudication or appeal, you may decide to take your case to the small claims court. However, you should seek your own independent legal advice before making that decision.