Complaints & Disputes Resolution
20th March 2019
1. COMPLAINTS, DISPUTES & ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
1.1 The Hippodrome Casino fully supports the objective detailed in the Gambling Act 2005 and are committed to best practice on gaming and social responsibility and will ensure gambling is conducted fair and open in accordance with the company gaming procedures.
1.2 The Hippodrome Casino has put into effect policies and procedures designed to ensure the proper supervision at gaming tables is carried out by supervisors and dealers in order to ensure the integrity of the gaming is not compromised.
1.3 A complaint means a complaint about any aspect of the company and staff conduct in respect of the of the licensed activities, and a dispute is any complaint which-
a. is not resolved at the first stage of the complaints procedure; and
b. relates to the outcome of the complainant’s gambling transaction.
1.4 A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to the licensee about any aspect of the conduct of licensed activities. This means that complaints relating purely to commercial issues, such as the service in the restaurant, the quality of the décor or facilities or the availability of space at a particular gaming table do not apply, as they would not indicate a possible threat to the licensing objectives.
1.5 Should a customer have any complaint or dispute about any gambling related decision, a member of the Hippodrome’s management team should be able to settle the problem at the time. The customer is free to raise any such complaint or dispute at any time within a date which is not less than 6 months from the date of the disputed incident. The request will be acknowledged within 24 hours of receipt where gambling facilities are available 24 hours a day or within three working days otherwise.
1.6 The licensee’s process ends if the customer’s complaint remains unresolved eight weeks after the licence holder received it, or the customer and the licence holder reach a deadlock or final position in less than eight weeks. The licence holder will then write to the customer with a final letter to explain:
a. the final decision
b. that this is the end of the operator’s complaints process, and
c. how to escalate the complaint to an independent ADR entity if the customer wishes to do so. Therefore , should a casino customer not be satisfied with the decision, and all internal avenues of dispute resolution have been exhausted, they may refer the matter to the Independent Panel for Casino and Bingo Arbitration (IPCA).
1.7 The IPCA is tasked with reviewing any disputes relating to the land based casino and bingo industries that cannot be settled internally. Thus, if the customer remains dissatisfied with the decision regarding their gambling dispute, they may refer the matter in writing or by email to the Independent Panel for Casino Arbitration (IPCA) at the address below at any time up to 12 months from the end of the operator’s complaints’ process. The application will be acknowledged within three working days of receipt.
2. THE HIPPODROME CASINO COMPLAINTS PROCESS
2.1 Any gaming complaint should be resolved by the Dealer and/or Inspector at the time of the incident, however if the Dealer or Inspector is not able to settle the matter it will be referred to Surveillance and/or the Duty Manager.
2.2 If you are not satisfied with the resolution of the dispute you should be given a Gaming Disputes leaflet and invited to put your concern in writing to the Gaming Director, Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7JH or alternatively email your complaint to [email protected]
2.3 In response to your enquiry the Gaming Director will respond to you by email or write to you after investigating the dispute, explaining the decision.
2.4 If you are not content with the decision you may write to the Regulatory Compliance Department, Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7JH. They will independently investigate the matter.
2.5 If you are not satisfied with their findings you may escalate the matter further by having it referred to an Alternative Dispute Resolution entity (ADR) which is the Independent Panel for Casino Arbitration (IPCA) at www.ipca.org.uk.
3. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR CASINO & BINGO ARBITRATION IPCA ADR PPROCESS
3.1 The ADR controller will assign an ADR official to investigate the complaint and notify all parties concerned.
3.2 The ADR official will request all relevant evidence and documentation from all concerned parties and inform all parties of their right to withdraw at any time from the process. Both parties have a right to see the arguments, evidence, documents and facts put forward by the other party.
3.3 The ADR official upon receipt of the evidence will notify the parties that the evidence received constitutes a ‘complete complaint file’. An outcome (proposed decision/resolution) to the dispute will be issued within 90 calendar days from the date the “complete complaint file” has been received (in “certain exceptional cases” in “highly complex disputes” the ADR official is free, at his/her own discretion, to extend the 90 calendar day deadline). During the course of the investigation the complainant will be kept in touch with progress at least every 30 days.
3.4 The ADR official will normally provide a draft report allowing reasonable time for comment from all parties. This may include any statements made and opinions given by experts.
3.5 The ADR official will consider any comments prior to completing the report.
3.6 The ADR official will provide a final report to the ADR controller outlining the outcomes and grounds on which the proposed decision/resolution is based.
3.7 When the ADR controller is satisfied that the process has been adhered to and the decision/resolution in the report is valid, the controller will forward the report to all parties concerned.
3.8 In accordance with the Gambling Commission’s expectation, gambling operators will offer ADR which is binding on the operator (if accepted by the consumer) for disputes which would otherwise be taken to the small claims court (currently disputes of not more than £10,000). For disputes over £10,000, the ADR procedure need not be binding – this would allow, for example, that mediation could be employed for disputes of more than £10,000 or for adjudication decisions to be non-binding on the operator.
3.9 In accordance with consumer protection requirements, the customer is not legally bound to abide by any IPCA decision and therefore this process does not deny the consumer his or her UK statutory consumer protections.
4. GROUNDS TO REFUSE TO DEAL WITH AN ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
4.1 An ADR Entity can refuse to deal with a dispute but the ADR Entity must provide both parties with a reason for declining the dispute within 3 weeks of receiving the complete complaint file.
4.2 The reasons a dispute can be refused† are if:
a. the consumer has not attempted to contact the gambling operator and resolve the matter directly with them, prior to submitting their complaint to the ADR entity;
b. the dispute is frivolous or vexatious;
c. the dispute is being, or has been previously, considered by another ADR entity or by a court;
d. the value of the claim falls below or above the monetary thresholds set by the body; however, the IPCA does not set monetary thresholds;
e. the consumer has not submitted the complaint to the body within the time period specified by the body, provided that such time period is not less than 12 months from the date upon which the trader has given notice to the consumer that the trader is unable to resolve the complaint with the consumer;
f. dealing with such a type of dispute would seriously impair the effective operation of the body;
† For current refusal information please visit www.ipca.org.uk