An ombudsman scheme would satisfy these criteria. As Lydia Thomas said, “Many other industries have an ombudsman, who customers can take their complaints to onlinecasinoluxembourg.com/testberichte/casiqo/. Take for example the energy industry, it has an ombudsman, and strict regulations to try and protect consumers from unfairness—why is it not the same in the gambling industry?”
Gambling with Lives also favoured “an independent ombudsman with responsibility for protecting the individual consumer.”
Dr Moyes told us that while the Commission itself did not have a position on this, he himself was “a bit sceptical”. He added: “My sense is that when complaints come in about gambling, the complainant wants fast action and is not terribly interested in a deep analysis of systems, in the way that in some other sectors—health, for example—the ombudsman plays a really valuable part.”
When they sent us supplementary evidence, the Commission were still unwilling to take a position: “We are open to exploring with government how this gap in the availability of redress could be filled. The establishment of a gambling ombudsman would likely require a statutory basis. Such a body would need to replace existing ADR providers so that consumers were clear about who to turn to.”
We wholly agree that an ombudsman should replace rather than complement ADR. There are non-statutory schemes which work well, but they rely on the full cooperation of the companies involved. A mandatory ombudsman scheme for the gambling industry would need a degree of coercion which only statute could provide.