How to Activate GamStop Self-Exclusion: Comprehensive Guide
- United Kingdom
For most UK online casino players and sports bettors, online gambling is a fun and exciting form of adult online entertainment. They enjoy it while sometimes winning and sometimes losing. It's fair to say that any form of online gambling is a worthwhile endeavor as long as it's done responsibly.
Unfortunately, there are UK customers who run into personal problems because of their online gambling activities. If said problems go unchecked, there is the potential of the gambler falling victim to the disease of gambling addiction.
The UK Gambling Commission Introduced the GamStop Self-Exclusion
Over the last few years, the online gambling community in the UK has seen unprecedented growth. With as many as 12 million UK residents taking to the internet to bet on sports or play online casino games, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recognized the potential for serious problem gambling issues in the UK.
In April 2018, the UKGC introduced the GamStop self-exclusion scheme and registrations in GamStop started to rise dramatically. But is everything so smooth? The program was intended to serve as a way for problem gamblers to protect themselves from accessing online gambling sites. Initially, subscribing to the GamStop scheme was optional for all UK online gambling operators. When the response was somewhat limited, the UKGC changed course and made operator membership mandatory with noncompliance resulting in fines and the potential loss of UKGC licensing.
To date, the program has been a reasonable success. However, the reach of the program is limited to operators that are licensed and regulated by the UKGC. AS a result of this limitation, GamStop registered customers have ways to get around GamStop so they can continue gambling. Some of the alternative options include:
- Using gambling sites licensed in other jurisdictions
- Restricting gambling activities to retail casinos and sportsbooks
- Hiding behind the anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies as a banking option
- Using operators that do little to no account verification
- Using UK gambling sites that are not licensed or GamStop subscribed
Of these options, the last one might well be the most convenient option. Plenty of information is available for anyone who might be looking for seeking the best UK casinos not in the GamStop system.
How to Activate GamStop Self-Exclusion
Assuming a problem gambler is ready to commit to the GamStop Self-exclusion scheme, it will be up to them to voluntarily register for placement in the GamStop database. Fortunately, the registration and activation processes are very fast, easy, and free.
To find the GamStop registration application, UK customers will have two choices. They can go directly to the GamStop website, or they should be able to find a link in their favorite operator's "responsible gambling" section.
During the registration process, users will need to fill the form out in full. That involves providing key pieces of personal information such as:
- Full and legal name
- Age and date of birth
- Legal home address
- All applicable email addresses
- Home and cell phone numbers
Why is this information needed? This is the information that will go into the GamStop database as a means of identifying registered GamStop customers. The program uses this info to block access to existing gambling accounts or attempts to open new accounts with the same information.
After filling out the personal information section, users have one more step they will need to address. Since the program is voluntary, it's the individuals who are responsible for deciding how long they want to be excluded from online gambling access. The three available options are 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years.
When the registration process has been completed, the application/registration goes to GamStop. Within 24 hours, users can expect to get approval. After approval, their information is integrated into the GamStop database and access blocking goes into effect.
The self-exclusion will continue until it expires. At that point, GamStop participants are free to start using licensed UK gambling sites again. It's important to note that access to prior existing gambling accounts is not automatically reinstituted. It's incumbent on the account holder to contact the operator's staff and request account reactivation.
Note: Once self-exclusion is activated, there is no turning back. The program agreement clearly states there will be no circumstances in which a GamStop gambler's access will be reinstituted prematurely. The self-exclusion will stay active until the registered gambler's self-exclusion period expires.
Remember, GamStop is not some form of punishment for gambling addicts. The program exists for one reason only. That would be to serve as a resource UK players can use to address problem gambling issues before things get out of control. If a gambler changes their mind about taking a break from gambling, they are free to choose any one of the GamStop alternatives that were listed above.
(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.)