IBIA Confirms Alliance With IBAS And eCOGRA

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has confirmed its new alliance with the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) and the eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA), two arbitration bodies.

The partnership, which seeks to develop mechanisms to advise and improve the decision-making process for customer betting dispute resolution, applies to cases in which customer winnings are not paid out during a period of time during which a sporting event is under investigation.

Khalid Ali, CEO of the International Betting Integrity Association commented:“The approach is aimed at improving information sharing on the status of suspended accounts linked to potential match-fixing. Sports have been supportive, which is vital as the process relies on feedback on their investigations.

“IBIA members want to do all they can to stop corrupters from benefiting financially and will continue to suspend accounts where appropriate. However, it is recognised that not all suspicious betting is corrupt and that innocent consumers should not be penalised.”

Before this alliance, customers who had found themselves in similar situations would have had to contact arbitration bodies throughout the year and ask operators for clarification on each claim bit-by-bit.

This process involved considerable time and effort on the part of arbitration bodies and operators as previously selected cases were known to take more than two years to complete.

That being said, this latest deal will now see this mechanism grow, with the IBIA now requesting reports on all pending cases of illegal betting that it has recorded twice a year to sports, with the arbitration bodies also set to notify operators using the same timetable.

IBAS managing director Richard Hayler added: “We welcome this considered and proportionate response to a problem that IBAS had raised with the IBIA. We are optimistic that the system will alleviate some of the difficulties previously caused where customer accounts and balances have been suspended – or bets left unsettled – for indeterminate periods, during which ADR providers could offer no practical advice or information to claimants.

“The solution developed by the IBIA will expedite this process. It will reassure our adjudicators that important investigations remain active and encourage operators and those investigating to review whether every bet on a suspicious event needs to be treated the same way. It showcases both the benefits of ADR providing feedback to the industry and the ability of collaborative work to deliver practical service improvements.”

The IBIA and its leaders, which comprise a host of global operators, committed to this process, as did the IBAS and eCOGRA, with the strategy being successful as of the beginning of 2020.

Tex Rees, eCOGRA Manager, concluded by saying: “These initiatives have been much needed and provide clarity and consistency for consumers and operators alike. We appreciate the collaborative and inclusive approach the IBIA has taken, which demonstrates what can be achieved when the industry works together to provide practical solutions and raise standards.”