Gamstop Registrations Are Skyrocketing: Is It Working or Not?

Tanya | Updated: 03-02-2022 12:18 IST | Created: 03-02-2022 12:18 IST
Gamstop Registrations Are Skyrocketing: Is It Working or Not?
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  • United Kingdom

As a result of lockdown restrictions employed all over the world due to the COVID19 pandemic, the worldwide online gambling industry has been experiencing explosive growth. In the UK, experts now estimate that close to 12,000,000 UK residents now have online gambling accounts.

While that bodes well for the gambling industry, this growth has resulted in growing concerns about problem gambling issues among UK online gamblers. It's fair to assume that more online gamblers will eventually lead to more problem online gamblers.

UK Gambling Commission Introduced the GamStop Self-exclusion Program

Several years back, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recognized that online gambling was turning into a mainstream form of online adult entertainment. In anticipation of that growth resulting in more gambling addictions, they commissioned the development of a self-exclusion called GamStop.

Currently, all licensed UK online gambling providers are required to subscribe to the GamStop scheme as a condition of having an online gambling license. While enforcement has been a problem, any operator caught not complying with this mandate is subject to stiff fines.

For online gamblers, the GamStop Self-exclusion program works as follows: Should a gambler decide they have a potential gambling addiction, they can elect to register with the GamStop database. The registration form should be available on all UK gambling sites that are GamStop members. The registration process is fast and free.

Once a gambler has been accepted into the program, access to all of their licensed UK gambling websites is immediately blocked. Furthermore, they will be blocked from opening new accounts when using any of the information they used when registering for GamStop.

The length of each gambler's self-exclusion is determined by the gambler themselves. They can choose 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years. The self-exclusion will remain in effect until the expiration date. At that time, the self-excluded gambler would need to request reactivation of any existing UK gambling websites.

Gamstop Registrations Are Skyrocketing: Is It Working or Not?

While reports keep coming from the UKGC regarding skyrocketing number of people with online gambling problems, questions are being asked by the UK Government and GamStop users about the viability of the program. In other words, it is working, and is it effective?

The titled question is a good one and nearly impossible to answer with any level of confidence. The reality is the percentage of online gamblers who are reporting gambling problems has not increased significantly in the last two years. What has increased is the sheer number of people who are reporting issues with gambling addiction.

Based on this information, it's fair to say the program is helping a lot of people, but it isn't solving the country's overall problem gambling issues. It's a numbers game that a self-exclusion problem isn't likely to influence.

The bottom line is GamStop works for problem gamblers who are committed to solving their online gambling issues. At the same time, the program doesn't seem to work for online gamblers who are motivated to resume or keep up with their online gambling activities.

Getting around the GamStop Scheme and Why It’s Sometimes a Bad Thing

Since GamStop is a self-exclusion program, it's only viable for people who don't want access to UK online gambling sites. Even then, registered GamStop gamblers still have a lot of ways they can resume their online gambling activities if motivated to do so.

Important: if you have gambling addiction problems - you need to stop playing in any gambling establishments completely.

The most obvious option a registered GamStop gambler would have to get around their self-exclusion would be to go with UK sites that are not GamStop members. To help, analysts at have compiled statistics from the many casinos that aren't on GamStop in the UK. What they found was there are plenty of options available for UK gamblers.

When choosing this option, GamStop gamblers need to be aware that the site or sites they might use could one day decide to subscribe to GamStop. Should that happen, the gambler would again have to make a move to other sites. Also, gamblers using non-GamStop sites need to be wary of rogue operators that are trying to avoid UK government scrutiny.

The options for getting around GamStop do not end there. There are several other ways online gamblers can beat GamStop until their self-exclusion expires. But frankly, if you have a gambling addiction problem - you need to give up gambling altogether. For example, by using the Gamban blocker.

(Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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