In this article, we will explain what the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) is, how to raise a dispute with them, the sectors of the betting industry that IBAS deals with and the history of the organisation.
- Best Betting Sites We Recommend With IBAS
- What is IBAS?
- How does IBAS work?
- How to Raise a Complaint with IBAS
- Sectors of the Betting Industry that IBAS Deals With
- Tips to Keep in Mind When Raising a Dispute
- Issues That Are Not Covered By IBAS
- How to Contact IBAS
- History of IBAS
- IBAS FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
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What is IBAS?
The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) is a committee that resolves disagreements between gambling operators and customers.
As an Alternative Dispute Service (ADR) approved by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), IBAS settles disputes in an impartial and informed manner for any betting company that is registered with them. They offer their services to customers who have gone through an operator’s internal dispute resolving procedure but remain dissatisfied with the outcome.
The members of the IBAS Adjudication Panel make a decision on the basis of presented facts and an operator’s published terms and conditions. The panel also checks whether an operator is complying with the standards set by the UKGC and IBAS’s terms and conditions of registration.
The judgement passed by IBAS is legally non-binding on a customer, who in turn can take an issue in question to court if they are not satisfied with the ruling. An IBAS ruling is legally binding on an operator up to £10,000, above which an operator can take matters to court.
In 2019, IBAS received 6,282 requests for adjudication, all of which added up to a value of £634,426 awarded to customers.
How does IBAS work?
As we have already mentioned above, IBAS delivers unbiased adjudications on matters concerning licensed betting operators and their customers. Before the IBAS Adjudication Panel gauges the details of a dispute, they will ask you to confirm that you did everything that you could to solve the matter with the operator in question before you approached them.
They will also ask you to confirm that you agree to comply with their terms and conditions. Unlike court hearings which require your physical presence, IBAS’s adjudication process does not involve a courtroom-style hearing.
You must fill an IBAS Adjudication Form online or request one through post by calling their office. Make sure that you fill in all the necessary information and that it is correct, as adjudications are based on facts and not the quality of your presentation.
Here are the 7 stages of the claim process with IBAS:
- You must submit an IBAS Adjudication Form and include all relevant details. You can do so by filling in a form online or requesting one through post.
- IBAS will contact the concerned bookmaker and ask them to provide a written submission, all necessary documentary evidence and details of any company terms and conditions which may apply to the case.
- All gathered information is passed on to the IBAS Adjudication Panel.
- The two parties may also have to answer further questions asked by the panel.
- The Panel completes the adjudication after all submissions have been received and considered.
- The ruling is passed to both parties at the same time.
- Either party can request a review of the settled dispute.
How to Raise a Complaint with IBAS
You should try your level best to clear a dispute with an operator before taking any further steps, making sure that you do everything you can before escalating the problem. However, if you feel that you have tried all options made available to you by the company without having reached a concrete solution, you should go ahead and raise the issue with IBAS.
It should be noted that IBAS may not cater to your request until a betting operator has advised you to contact IBAS. To file a complaint, you must first register at IBAS.
As can be seen from the above image, you need to enter your personal details and click Register.
IBAS will then send you an email to verify your account. Once you have verified your email address, click on the CONSUMERS option which is present at the right-hand side of the website’s main menu bar followed by the MAKE A CLAIM option.
Log in using your registered email address and password and fill the IBAS Adjudication Form.
When filling the form, you need to explain what you did, when you did it and how you did it, the outcome you expected, why you expected that outcome, the outcome that came to be, the interaction you had with the betting operator in question and what you were told about the case.
You must provide all relevant evidence to substantiate your case. Once you have submitted the form, do keep a look out for follow up emails/letters from IBAS – the sooner you reply, the better.
Some sectors of the betting industry are not covered by IBAS. To check whether the nature of your dispute falls under IBAS’s jurisdiction, you can click on the CLAIM WIZARD option which is present under the CONSUMERS header. This will take you to a screen with questions to guide you as to whether your issue can be taken up by IBAS, and if not, where to take your complaint and with whom.
Sectors of the Betting Industry that IBAS Deals With
Here are the sectors of the betting industry that IBAS deals with and some popular disputes from these sectors:
- Sports Betting (online and shops) – Pricing errors, late bets, unclear markets terms, related bets, shop scanner failures, disputed bet instructions, cashing out, maximum payouts and exclusion from offers/promos.
- Bingo – House called before the next number is drawn.
- Land-based casino – Late bets and winning bet ownership claims.
- Online casino – Unfair or broken game, game software issues and disputed offer terms.
- Poker – Tournament terms and confiscation of funds.
- Online account identity disputes
- Stadium or racecourse
- Totalisator betting
- Gaming machines/adult gaming centres
- Non-sector grievances – Unfair or unfortunate betting circumstances, misleading or unfair advertisements and bonus or free bet disputes.
Tips to Keep in Mind When Raising a Dispute
Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind when trying to resolve a disagreement:
- Always read the terms and conditions of a betting operator before placing a bet or opting into a promotion/bonus. Disputes are often caused when consumers are not fully aware of the terms and conditions of a betting operator.
- If you feel that a betting operator has gone against their stated terms or rules, take a screenshot or a photograph and keep it as evidence. Do the same if you feel that an advertisement or bonus is misleading or confusing.
- Try to settle a dispute directly with a betting operator. This is often the quickest and most efficient way to solve a problem.
- You should keep a record of all the evidence supporting your case. If you think that a betting operator has any evidence that you can use, contact them immediately and ask them to retain it or hand it over to you. You must present all valid evidence in your case submission to IBAS.
- Remember to be patient. IBAS typically solves a case within 8 to 12 weeks of it being submitted to the organisation. Constant follow-ups, email and phone calls will only delay the process and cause unnecessary confusion.
Issues That Are Not Covered By IBAS
Here are the issues that do not fall within the remit of IBAS:
- Issues related to the standard of customer support service provided by a betting operator and facilities or premises used for gambling.
- Allegations of cheating, fixing or games being operated in an unfair manner should be reported to the UKGC (or other concerned organisations), not IBAS.
- Customers claiming that they have been allowed to gamble for long periods of time/irresponsibly. If a customer has requested to be excluded from a betting site or betting premises and there is evidence of unfair contract terms or a breach of contractual terms, a complaint can be filed.
- Allegations of minors being allowed to gamble should be reported to the UKGC (or other concerned organisations), not IBAS.
- Complaints about bets that were refused or never processed.
- Complaints about accounts that are restricted or blocked thereby denying a consumer the opportunity to place a bet.
How to Contact IBAS
- If you have an issue with an operator or a bet but are not sure whether IBAS can help you, check the Claim Wizard on their site.
- If you want to register as an IBAS regulated operator, fill in this form online.
- If you are not satisfied with how your dispute has been handled by IBAS, you may request an appeal or issue a complaint.
The below image shows how you can contact IBAS via post, telephone, fax or email:
Below are some links to additional resources that you should also consider:
- Gambling Commission – Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP)
- Gambling Commission – Alternative Dispute Resolution
- UK Alternative Dispute Resolution Legislation
- Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Guide to Businesses on Unfair Terms
History of IBAS
IBAS was founded as the Independent Betting Arbitration Service by the Trinity Mirror Group in 1998, as a part of Sporting Life’s consumer column ‘The Green Seal Service'. This aim of this column was to address the concerns of punters, and had been doing so for many a year until IBAS was formed to provide a more formal solution.
In 2007, IBAS dropped Arbitration from its name, changing their title to ‘Independent Betting Adjudication Service' to reflect its role more accurately within the United Kingdom gambling industry, after the passing of the 2005 Gambling Act.
Over the years, IBAS has settled literally thousands of disputes: 1,147 in 2000, 3,026 in 2010, 4,998 in 2015 and 6,282 in 2019. The organisation is headquartered in London and is ably led by Chairman Andrew Fraser and Managing Director Richard Hayler.
1. The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS)
‘IBAS' stands for Independent Betting Adjudication Service.
IBAS was founded in 1998 as the Independent Betting Arbitration Service.
IBAS adjudicates disputes that have been raised by consumers who have been unable to solve an issue with a betting operator registered with the organisation.
Online sports betting, betting shops, totalisator (tote board) betting, betting machines, online casinos, land-based casinos, bingo, poker, lotteries, stadiums or racecourses, online account identity disputes and some non-sector grievances.
A case should be resolved within 8 to 12 weeks of it being submitted to the organisation.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
IBAS delivers unbiased and informed adjudications on disputes concerning licensed betting operators and their customers. Before submitting a case to IBAS, you must take all necessary steps to try to resolve the dispute with the concerned betting operator. This includes going through the terms and conditions of the operator you are trying to reach an agreement with, and using all the options they have available via their complains department or the site's customer support.