Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content


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

Gambling Commission, Regulatory Return Complaints

The number of complaints received by operators (as reported to the Gambling Commission via Regulatory Returns) has decreased by 22,337 to 132,862 during October 2019 to September 2020 compared to the previous 12 months (14.4% decrease).

Graph 3 - Number of Regulatory Return Complaints

Data from graph

Type 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Regulatory Returns - Complaints 164,091 155,199 132,862
Regulatory Returns - Disputes Esc to ADR 7842 9248 9887

The number of disputes being escalated to an ADR has slightly increased (9248 to 9887), with 23.4% of disputes being escalated during 2019-20, compared with 16.3% during the previous period. The larger percentage increase is due to less disputes being recorded. The Regulatory Return data does not currently specify what these complaints or disputes refer to.

There is a disparity between Regulatory Return disputes escalated to an ADR (9887) and the total disputes reported by the two main ADR providers, IBAS and eCOGRA (5617). Current operator guidance states ‘Record the number of disputes that you are aware have been referred to an ADR within the reporting period’. This may explain the higher number as not all consumers will necessarily continue with their dispute and contact an ADR.

When looking at the Regulatory Return sector split there is a large disparity between remote and non-remote operators. There is a larger number of complaints, disputes and disputes escalated to ADR from remote operators compared to non-remote. There are more non-remote (1174) operators, compared with remote (874), with 493 classified as both remote and non-remote.

A graph showing Regulatory Returns Complaints by Sector

Data from graph

Year All Remote Non-remote Remote/Non-remote
2017-18 164,091 136,583 26,916 592
2018-19 155,199 121,862 32,888 449
2019-20 132,862 109,099 22,953 810

The number of complaints received by remote operators has decreased in 2019-20. The number of disputes escalated to an ADR shows an opposite trend, increasing compared to the previous year.

A graph showing Regulatory Returns Disputes Escalated to ADR by Sector

Data from graph

Year All Remote Non-remote Remote/Non-remote
2017-18 7842 6752 1086 4
2018-19 9248 8494 754 -
2019-20 9887 9535 340 12
Previous section
Gambling Commission, Contact Centre Complaints
Next section
Is this page useful?
Back to top