Malta Gaming Authority announces mandatory new player dispute scheme

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has today announced the launch of a new mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.

A bill waiting for signature

The ADR will take over direct dispute resolution from the MGA’s Player Support Unit. © Pexels.

The move comes as one of numerous recent processes as part of a wider overhaul of the regulatory and licensing framwork for gambling in Malta.

The new scheme was implemented on 3 December and is aimed at supporting consumers currently in dispute with a licensed operator. The MGA hopes that the scheme will offer a more consistent and effective mechanism for consumers who challenge operators.

Operators will be made to offer the scheme to any customer who is not satisfied with the way a dispute has been handled.

The move comes as Malta continues to update its licensing framework through updates to the Malta Gaming Act, which Parliament approved back in May.

The ADR scheme is a key aspect of the new act, with consumer protection a focus, and will mean changes for the MGA’s new Player Support Unit (PSU).

The PSU was introduced earlier this year and has held responsibility for mediating B2C disputes. However, the ARD scheme will now assist in these disputes, meaning that from April 2019, the PSU will no longer be responsible for B2C issues. The PSU will still be available for consumers to submit complaints to.

The scheme has drawn praise from the International Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). Since 1998, IBAS has been an internationally recognised body for dispute resolution in the industry. Speaking about the ADR scheme, a statement from IBAS read:

Although we’re bound to say this, I think it is a sensible decision by the MGA to redirect their frontline complaints handling functions to ADR services. Doing so removes the more time-consuming aspects of complaints handling from the daily regulatory workload and allows the regulator to take an independent view of whether those complaints are being handled appropriately, building in an additional layer of protection for all parties. Statement, International Betting Adjudication Service

You can read the MGA’s announcement of the ADR on its website.

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