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Dan Fitch
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IBAS is an abbreviation for the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. They resolve disputes that punters may have in relation to gambling transactions. We’re going to fully explore what is IBAS, revealing exactly how this organisation works and the benefits it brings.

How Does IBAS Work?

When you place a bet or gamble in any way, you are putting some faith in the company that are taking your money. You trust them to act fairly and to pay you your winnings, should you be successful.

The vast majority of wagers pass and get settled without incident, but occasionally there are betting disputes. There are a variety of reasons why a customer could find themselves in a dispute with a gambling company over a transaction. They might feel that the market wasn’t settled properly, or mismanaged, for example. Whatever the reason for the dispute, in an industry based on trust, it is important that there is an independent organisation ready and available to settle such issues.

what is IBAS

The Independent Betting Adjudication Service, known as IBAS for short, is there to act as an impartial adjudicator on disputes within the gambling industry. If you have an issue and you can’t work it out with the customer service department of the betting company involved, you may need to enlist the help of IBAS.

In such a scenario, the customer lodges a complaint with IBAS, who will contact the company in question, to get their version of events. The facts are adjudicated by an independent panel, who deliver a verdict.

Should the verdict go in the favour of the individual making the complaint, then you can be assured that the company will pay out in accordance to the decision. IBAS is an organisation approved by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, who issue licenses to UK operators.

Licensed online betting sites will normally list the regulatory bodies they are associated with, at the bottom of their websites. You will generally find a link to IBAS at all UK-licensed gambling companies.

What Betting Industry Sectors Does IBAS Deal With?

The betting industry has spread its wings over the years and is now comprised of a wide range of activities across different sectors. Let’s take a look at some of the areas in which IBAS deals with disputes between customers and licensed betting operators.

  • Betting Shops and Betting Machines – One of the most well-established aspects of gambling in the UK are betting shops, where punters can fill in a bet form and place wagers. These shops have electronic fixed-odds games that can be played there.
  • Online Sports Betting Sites – Online betting on sports is now hugely popular. There is more of a record of what happened during a transaction than can be the case with offline gambling, which is a help to the IBAS Adjudication Panel.
  • Fixed Odds On-Course Betting at a Racecourse or Stadium – You can bet directly with licensed betting operators at racecourses and greyhound stadiums.
  • On-Course and Online Pool Betting (Tote) – The Tote operate pools-based gambling on horse racing, both through online gambling and at racecourses. Also known as pari-mutuel wagering, Tote betting works differently to fixed odds markets but still has the same regulations in terms of industry standard behaviour expected of it.
  • Betting Exchanges – These type of online sports betting sites such as Betfair, allow punters to place bets and to also act as bookmakers, by laying bets.
  • Land-Based Casinos Including Poker and Other Table Games – Physical casinos which provide access to poker and other table games are subject to the impartial decisions of IBAS.
  • Online Casinos Including Slots and Table Games – Casino games can also be played online, often at standalone sites, or as part of sports betting websites.
  • Bingo – Bingo halls still exist up and down the UK and you can also play bingo online.
  • Lotteries – Any lottery game, ranging from those ran by the National Lottery, to smaller ones run by charities, are subject to IBAS gambling adjudications.

What IBAS Does Not Cover

To understand what is IBAS, it is necessary to consider what they do not cover. The Independent Betting Adjudication Service do not get involved with issues involving services to customers, such complaints about the quality of service, website or facilities.

Complaints about being allowed to get involved in excessive gambling, underage wagering, or betting after requesting to be excluded, are dealt with by the Gambling Commission. Any allegations of fixing and cheating are also the preserve of the UKGC. IBAS complaints are focused around transactions. Other gambling-based complaints, are not their concern.

How to Make a Complaint to IBAS

You should first try to resolve the issue with the company in question. They will have a help team providing services to customers. Only if the dispute cannot be solved should you contact IBAS. They even have arrangements with many companies within the betting industry, whereby they will not deal with any complaint against them, unless the company has stated to the customer that no more can be done to resolve the issue and advise contacting IBAS.

IBAS claim

At that stage you can register with IBAS and complete a complaint form. This can be done either online, or you can make the complaint in writing and post it to IBAS. You must include as much detail as you can about the transaction that you are disputing.

IBAS will then get in touch with the relevant company and ask for their documents that pertain to the dispute, including the relevant terms and conditions.

When all the evidence has been accumulated, the IBAS betting panel will be given the information, so that they can begin to come to a decision. Should they require it, the panel may ask for more information from either of the parties in dispute.

Once the panel have made their verdict, they will inform both parties of their decision, at the same time. Should one of the parties still disagree with the decision, they can ask the IBAS Adjudication Panel to review the dispute, once more.

How Long Does an IBAS Claim Take?

When punters get into the sort of dispute that sees them find it necessary to take the issue to IBAS, there is often a lot of money at stake. It is therefore imperative that the dispute is solved relatively swiftly.

Once the complaint procedure has been observed and IBAS receives the case, they will normally solve the issue within eight to twelve weeks. The panel’s impartial decisions have to be carefully considered and be fair to both parties, so this is a reasonable amount of time for them to come to their conclusions.

How to Avoid Disputes

While IBAS is a reassuring organisation for any punter to know about, it is of course preferable to not get into a dispute in the first place. Most of the common complaints at IBAS are based around the settlement of transactions. They are often focused on the settlement criteria or instructions not being clear. Make sure that you read through the terms and conditions of the market thoroughly, so from your side, you understand how it works.

IBAS have stated that a lack of understanding regarding betting from customers, particularly when it comes to the probability of winning on automated games, accounts for a high percentage of the complaints they receive. If you have a problem with a transaction, speak to the relevant customer services and do your own research, to see if what you’re being told stands up to scrutiny. It may be that the gambling company are in the right and there’s no point raising the issue with IBAS in the first place.

Best Betting Sites That Work with IBAS

We have now fully explored the question of what is IBAS and provided an answer. The presence of this organisation helps to uphold industry standards and any licensed UK betting company, are subject to their rulings. As such, all of our recommended betting sites come with the protection of IBAS.

Everyone wants to know who the top dogs are. It’s BetUK that we recommend right now for plenty more reasons than them fully cooperating with this organisation.


How do I contact IBAS?

What does IBAS do?

How long does it take IBAS to respond?

Why was IBAS set up?

Dan Fitch

A writer and editor for some of the top names in the gambling industry for nearly 20 years, Dan also works as a freelance sports journalist for publications and websites such as ESPN, FourFourTwo and LiveScore.