GamStop Set To Be UK’s Official Self-Exclusion Tool
The UK gaming regulator is set to adopt GamStop as a self-exclusion program mandatory for all licensed online casinos in order to give high-risk bettors a reliable tool to prevent them from succumbing to their gambling tendencies.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) tested GamStop back in May 2018 with an unofficial rollout. The gambling watchdog intended to roll out the self-exclusion program in 2018 but it was met with delays to due to a number of issues. The UKGC is finally expected to launch GamStop before the end of the week.
The free independent self-exclusion GamStop program allows gamblers to voluntarily register themselves to be barred from specific online betting websites. Total self-exclusion from online casinos can range from 6-month periods to up to 5 years. The program also lets users set a maximum wagering cap to limit their gambling spending.
Commission Flags GamStop Limitations
After the initial testing last year, the UKGC flagged a number of Gamstop’s major failings in a report submitted to the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), the trade body in Britain.
The regulator cited that Gamstop’s self-exclusion list needed to be synchronized with the targeted e-mail list of online gambling operators. The lack of synchronization allowed online casinos to continue targeting these self-excluded gamblers with bonus offers. The program also did not sync with all licensed all online casinos which meant a self-excluded gambler at one casino could sign up to another online casino.
GamStop has reportedly addressed all of these concerns and is now ready for launch. Gambling operators have now synced their self-exclusion player list with their promotional marketing list. Close to 99 percent of all online casion operators have accepted the GamStop program which means a player who voluntarily bans themselves from one online casino will now automatically be banned from all online casinos signed up to GamStop.
Any online casino operator who is not in favour of signing up to GamStop could have their licensed to operate in the UK revoked.
Problem Gambling Clampdown
The regulator is championing GamStop, amid the Labour party’s prodding of stricter online gaming regulation. With proposals to include credit card bans in online betting websites, it remains to be seen if these new measures by the UKGC will have any impact on reducing the number of problem gamblers in the UK.
The UKGC has also issued large fines on online gambling operators who have not complied with gaming regulations in an effort to send a message to the rest of the industry.
Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world