The UK betting adjudication provider IBAS has issued guidance on disputes caused by cancelled sports events after being inundated with claims.
UK.- The Betting adjudication services provider IBAS has published guidance on responding to disputes over season-long sports bets after recording its second busiest month for claims in April.
IBAS said it had seen a jump in the numbers of punters using its services to make claims on historic wagers, but particularly over season-long football bets following the sudden postponement of sports events due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
It expects to receive more complaints after decisions still to be taken on the resumption of several European sports leagues.
It said in a statement: “It is apparent that the football authorities in England, Scotland and across Europe are carefully considering their options regarding the remaining, unplayed fixtures in their elite leagues for the 2019/20 season, with some decisions already published.
“Whatever decisions are taken will almost inevitably disappoint some people holding season-long bets involving these leagues. When decisions have been made and are confirmed, we are likely to face a sharp spike in the number of calls and emails when IBAS and most bookmaker customer service departments are dealing with reduced capacity and untypical working arrangements.
“With the various sports governing bodies taking different decisions on whether to continue or curtail sports leagues for the season, IBAS has advised sports bookmakers “to find the rule or term that was already in place that best fits these unprecedented circumstances”.
On settling season bets, IBAS said it would not pass judgement on whether leagues or governing bodies had reached a fair decision.
It said: “What matters to us is whether bets are settled fairly, consistently and sensibly, using pre-existing applicable rules or common sense if no applicable rules existed.”
It has recommended punters review bookmakers’ rules governing the “settlement of a bet” and the rules that were in place “when the bet was struck”
In instances where a bookmaker does not have rules to deal with the specific situation, IBAS said it would consider whether settlement decisions appeared fair in the context of each league’s official decision and any other terms the bookmaker held that might be applicable to solving the dispute
Its guidance says that any decisions made about the fairness of bet settlement will concern the company’s overall settlement of markets
The body asked customers to be patient and to use IBAS services only after other complaint processes were exhausted. It advised the processing times would take longer than usual but and sought to reassure punters that there was no rush because it adjudicates on bets made up to 12 months in the past.
The IBIA has also introduced a new procedure for dealing with sports betting complaints.