Richard Hayler, Chief Executive of betting adjudication group IBAS, has backed the Malta Gaming Association’s (MGA) ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ ADR scheme, as a positive directive for the European jurisdiction’s online gambling frameworks.
A key initiative for 2018, this week the MGA enforced all its licensed incumbents to adhere to the new consumer dispute policies and procedures required by its new ADR Scheme mandate.
Led by MGA Chief Executive Heathcliff Farrugia, the MGA introduced the ADR scheme to provide a reliable and cohesive structure for European consumers challenging MGA operators on matters relating to disputes, transactions and promotional offerings.
Industry group IBAS has specialised in adjudicating on disputes between licensed gambling operators and their customers since 1998, and has been a long-time proponent of ADR schemes as supportive structures.
“Although we’re bound to say this, I think it is a sensible decision by the MGA to redirect their frontline complaints handling functions to ADR services. Doing so removes the more time-consuming aspects of complaints handling from the daily regulatory workload and allows the regulator to take an independent view of whether those complaints are being handled appropriately, building in an additional layer of protection for all parties.”
Since launching in 1998 and acting as an independent reference, IBAS has received a total of 53,886 requests to adjudicate on disputes on – and as a result of those cases £4,708,523 had been either awarded or conceded to consumers,
“From an ADR perspective what will be important to those bodies taking up the challenge of consumer complaints handling is understanding what the regulator expects of them. We have encountered situations where the messages we have been taking from regulators sometimes appear to conflict with what the operator believes they have been told. If those issues can be avoided or quickly resolved then I think this is a wholly positive move.”