The UK gambling industry is expected to go through a massive gambling overhaul as the government is currently carrying out a detailed review of the archaic 2005 Gaming Act and a full overview of the gambling market.
The Government sanctioned gambling review is being carried out independent of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) which is the gambling regulator in the country.
The government was forced to form a special committee and launch a detailed review at the end of 2020 after being put under constant pressure from anti-gambling lobbyists which include multiple MPs.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) which is an independent industry body for the UK gambling and betting market has supported the review but has also fought against the push to impose stringent regulations on licensed gaming operators claiming that harsh restrictions will force British players to turn to unlicensed gaming operators and expose them to more harm.
BGC. The Betting and Gaming Council
The BGC has now called on the UK government to establish an ombudsman to oversee the gambling industry. The BGC said a government appointed ombudsman will boost consumer protection in the gambling industry and will be a last resort option for players who are unable to resolve their complaints with licensed operators.
An ombudsman is an independent body or individual who reviews, investigates and solves disputes between two or more parties. The ombudsman adopts an impartial view to the matter and makes a decision based on what is fair. Michael Dugher, CEO for the BGC said that a government appointed ombudsman for the gambling industry can operate in a similar capacity as the energy ombudsman in the UK.
Licensed Operators Will Comply With Ombudsman
The BGC is making a push for a gambling ombudsman before the government appointed gambling review committee releases their white paper. While there is no official date as to when the white paper will be released, gaming analysts expect the white paper to have a long list of suggestions and proposed amendments that will shake up the UK gambling industry.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the white paper will be released towards the end of 2021 and will crackdown on advertising standards for gambling operators and problem gambling protocols.
The push to get a gambling ombudsman established before the release of the white paper is an attempt from the betting and gambling industry to say they recognize the need for change and more accountability going forward.