IBIA links with arbitration bodies to agree dispute resolution procedure

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has secured a new agreement with arbitration bodies eCOGRA and the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).

Under the terms of the partnership, the trio will focus upon implementing measures that will ‘inform and advance the customer betting dispute resolution decision-making process’. It will primarily consider circumstances where customer winnings are not paid for the period where a sporting event is under investigation.

Khalid Ali, CEO of the IBIA, explained: “The approach is aimed at improving information sharing on the status of suspended accounts linked to potential match-fixing.

“Sports have been supportive, which is vital as the process relies on feedback on their investigations. IBIA members want to do all they can to stop corrupters from benefiting financially and will continue to suspend accounts where appropriate. However, it is recognised that not all suspicious betting is corrupt and that innocent consumers should not be penalised.”

Hoping to reduce the time it takes for consumers to resolve payment disputes, the IBIA has confirmed that it will ‘seek updates on all outstanding cases of suspicious betting it has reported to sports twice a year’. Arbitration bodies will then contact operators using the same timeline.

Richard Hayler, Managing Director of the Independent Betting Adjudication Service, said: “We welcome this considered and proportionate response to a problem that IBAS had raised with the IBIA. We are optimistic that the system will alleviate some of the difficulties previously caused where customer accounts and balances have been suspended – or bets left unsettled – for indeterminate periods, during which ADR providers could offer no practical advice or information to claimants.

“The solution developed by the IBIA will expedite this process. It will reassure our adjudicators that important investigations remain active and encourage operators and those investigating to review whether every bet on a suspicious event needs to be treated the same way. It showcases both the benefits of ADR providing feedback to the industry and the ability of collaborative work to deliver practical service improvements.”

Tex Rees, Director of eCOGRA, concluded: “These initiatives have been much needed and provide clarity and consistency for consumers and operators alike. We appreciate the collaborative and inclusive approach the IBIA has taken, which demonstrates what can be achieved when the industry works together to provide practical solutions and raise standards.”

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