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Gambling Act 2005

Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005, which came into force in 2007, was introduced to ensure fairness in the gambling industry, to protect children and vulnerable people from exploitation, and to prevent gambling being either used for or associated with criminal activity. The Act also brought in a new Gambling Commission, which regulates commercial gambling throughout Britain. The commission regulates commercial gambling such as lotteries, betting, bingo, casinos, slot machines and arcades (spread betting, however, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority). It is also responsible for remote gambling (online gambling) in the British territory.

Status of a Bet as a Contract

When you place a bet with a licensed gambling business, you enter into a legally enforceable contract. The terms and conditions of the bet should be made available to you, and you should ensure you are both familiar and understand the terms and conditions of the contract before you place your bet, especially the terms stating what should happen in the event of any changed circumstances around the bet.

A Gambling Business has the Right to Refuse Your Bet

Just as you can decide whether or not you wish to place a bet, a gambling business is also free to decide who they accept bets from, and on what terms in order to manage their business as they see fit. Because a bet has to be a commercial arrangement between two willing parties, there is no statutory right to bet, as just like any other commercial business, a gambling business may withdraw offers or refuse bets in order to reduce risks to their business.

Making a Complaint about a Gambling Business

When you have placed your bet, your contract with the gambling business means that you have certain rights and the contract can be enforced in law. This means that you have a right to take a gambling transaction to court if you do not think the outcome meets the terms and conditions of the contract. You can complain if you disagree with the gambling business about the outcome of your gambling transaction, or about the service you have received from them.

For example, your complaint might be about:

  • Whether you have won the bet
  • The amount you should receive in winnings
  • The way your payments were managed
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Bonus offers
  • ID verification
  • Closure of your account
  • Gambling business decisions such as voiding your bet
  • IT issues
  • Customer service complaints

You should complain directly to the gambling business first of all, and check any terms and conditions that are linked to your account or your gambling transaction. To promote fairness in gambling, a gambling business should have a complaints procedure in place. You can find details of how to contact the head office and their internal complaints procedure on their website or alternatively, you can complain in person at the premises. You should follow the business’ complaints procedure, giving them all the information required about your complaint, including dates, times and betting/ winnings amounts. You should also share copies of any evidence you have to support your complaint and ensure you keep a copy of all correspondence sent to the business. The gambling business should follow their complaints procedure and investigate your complaint. When the investigation is complete, they will tell you the outcome of your complaint.

Alternative Dispute Resolution for Gambling Complaints

If you have made a complaint to the gambling business and are not satisfied with the result, you have the option to take your complaint to an alternative dispute resolution body (ADR). ADR is the generic term for legal dispute resolution by any means other than formal litigation (going to court). On top of offering a complaints procedure, gambling business must also provide access to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider free to the consumer, which you should follow before deciding whether to take a matter to the courts. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution involves instructing an ADR mediator who will act as a go-between between you and the gambling business They will discuss the details of the complaint and see whether there is any scope for agreement between you. All communications at this point are non-binding and “without prejudice” (which means that they cannot be referred to elsewhere, such as in court proceedings). You are free at any stage to terminate the mediation process. The mediator will negotiate and consider the evidence between the parties. They will also consider what is most fair and reasonable in the circumstances and the relevant law behind the complaint.

Gambling Contract Litigation Solicitors London

The advantages of ADR are that it is normally quicker and cheaper than litigation. However, ADR is not a panacea: there will be occasions when litigation is a more sensible alternative. Selachii LLP are highly skilled litigators with a deep understanding of the law surrounding gambling.

Our solicitors are heavily involved in advising on draft legislation in this area of law, which includes any potential changes or amendments to the Gambling Act 2005, and encompasses betting, lottery and hi-tech gaming advice. Our expertise in the field means we can act quickly and offer a cost-efficient service where fees are not spent on legal research. Give us a call for a consultation or complete our online enquiry form to see how we can help you.

How Selachii Can Help

Our solicitors are heavily involved in advising on draft legislation in this area of law, which includes any potential changes or amendments to the Gambling Act 2005, and encompasses betting, lottery and hi-tech gaming advice. Our expertise in the field means we can act quickly and offer a cost-efficient service where fees are not spent on legal research. Give us a call for a consultation or complete our online enquiry form to see how we can help you.

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MLA 2017 18 Shortlisted 2