It has been recently revealed that all online casino and sports gambling operators in the UK will now need to make sure they have signed up to the Gamstop self-exclusion system, as part of an overhaul to the sector initiated by the UK Gambling Commission. This is set to become a condition of their gambling licence, in order to be able to operate their firm in the UK.
What is Gamstop?
This is a gambling self-exclusion system that has been created by the Remote Gambling Association (the trade body for online casinos and bookmakers), with the aim of helping to better protect the most vulnerable in society. It was first launched in the UK in 2018, and it is completely free for players to use if they so wish.
Gamstop enables gamblers to be a part of a voluntary self-exclusion program. When a gambler has signed up to Gamstop, it means that the player will be automatically restricted from online casino platforms for a specified period of time. At the moment, this is a maximum of five years.
Why is Gamstop becoming a requirement for gambling operators?
The UK Gambling Commission is taking steps to tackle the growing problem of gambling addiction across the country, and has integrated the Gamstop program into its plans to ensure stricter regulation of the gambling industry.
Other measures taken by the gambling watchdog include a 12-week consultation on banning credit cards that are used specifically for betting and gambling products, or imposing new restrictions on credit card gambling use.
What has been the reaction to Gamstop?
In terms of the reaction of online casinos and bookmakers, the response has been so far positive: over 99% of UK gambling operators have been said to commit their businesses to use the program already.
Meanwhile, it is thought that the number of players using Gamstop is thought to run into the tens of thousands already.