IBAS was founded by journalists who were employed by the Sporting Life newspaper in the 1990s. We have largely preserved our journalistic roots and the majority of our existing adjudicators remain either current or retired journalists. Other members of our adjudication panel are recruited for their experience in dispute resolution or in gambling. It is important that we are aware of best practice in dispute resolution and that we know the right questions to ask when we are investigating a complaint.
Our adjudicators use their experience in the fields under scrutiny, their ability to write clear and cogent decisions and, importantly, their inclination to explore, challenge and get to the heart of the statements made by both parties in each dispute.
We pride ourselves on offering a thorough and impartial service, that understands both points of view and considers them evenly. Although we are not legal specialists, we use meetings of the adjudication panel to review relevant legal developments and how they might be applied to gambling disputes. Members of the adjudication panel consider disputes in a similar way to that you would expect of a county court judge, but with a greater understanding of the principles of gambling and with a greater focus on achieving a fair outcome.
We are sometimes asked how IBAS is funded, with the implication being that if we receive funding from gambling businesses our service we will be unable to consider complaints against them independently.
All ombudsmen and complaint handling services are funded by the industries or companies whose complaints they look into. Whether you’re complaining to the Financial Ombudsman about your bank, the Rail Ombudsman about a train operating company or the Property Ombudsman about your landlord, those services will have been funded by the businesses or individuals you are complaining about.
In exactly the same way, IBAS is funded by subscriptions from the companies found in our directory of registered operators. The fees are paid in advance and cover the cost of providing our service for any disputes that arise in the year ahead. We are not paid based on results or outcome. The calculation of how fees are charged to gambling businesses can be found in the ‘Operators’ section of this website.
The members of our Adjudication Panel who make the final decisions on dispute outcomes are contracted and paid by IBAS and receive no payment from betting businesses.
IBAS has never in its 23 years been threatened with non-payment of fees or offered any kind of financial incentive by a business to reach a particular decision. If any business did make a suggestion of that nature, they would be deregistered from our service and the matter reported to the relevant regulatory authority.