The gambling industry has had a massive boost in the UK. Now, thanks to the rise of virtual activity, the online gambling industry is set to even get bigger because people are turning to their mobile devices for entertainment. This widespread interest in online gaming is what got the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to double up on its seriousness with Gamstop regulations.
What is Gamstop?
Gamstop is a free self-exclusion scheme developed by UKGC for punters in the UK. Once a punter registers with Gamstop, he would be unable to access online casino sites that are registered with Gamstop. On the one hand, the flaws described by Casinogap.org include the presence of casino websites that don’t use GamStop where UK players can still gamble while active self-exclusion, on the other hand, all online casinos licensed by UKGC are registered under Gamstop and they restrict or entirely ban the account of any punter who has opted to self-exclude with Gamstop for the period he selects.
Aims of Gamstop
While gambling provides quality entertainment for punters, an uncontrolled gambling habit can ruin a punter’s finances. Punters with this problem often run into debts and similar financial crises. This is what the UK Gambling Commission attempts to curtail with Gamstop. Gamstop has the potential to protect punters from uncontrolled gambling because if you can abstain from gambling for a minimum of six months, in most cases the habit would have been controlled.
Protect vulnerable players
Punters who are addicted to the game can’t bring themselves to stop playing. Gambling might be fun but it is meant to be enjoyed with restraint and this is where Gamstop comes in. Gamstop is among the top gaming blockers and protects punters who cannot control their gambling habits. A punter with a gambling addiction or similar problem would register on Gamstop and be shut out of all licensed online casinos in the UK. This compulsory break from gambling would prevent the player from gambling and when the restricted period is over, the habit would have been controlled.
Spread information about possible gambling harm
Another aim of Gamstop is also to spread publicity and education on the existence of gambling problems and how they can be solved. This topic is usually spoken about enough because of the stigma attached to gambling problems. Gamstop has been working to increase publicity on the dangers of unsafe gambling and how to resolve them. In doing this, Gamstop has partnered with a number of football clubs to filter this news down to their fans. It has partnered with Luton town FC, Middlesbrough FC, Morecambe Football Club, and others, all in a bid to bring more light on the issues associated with unsafe gambling.
Help Punters in Overcoming Negative Consequences
Many punters who do not gamble with caution, usually end up with lots of debts to repay, and many times it ends in bankruptcy. This problem is not good for the punter, his family, or society in general. One of the aims of Gamstop is to put an end to these attendant consequences of unsafe gambling. A punter who has a tendency to gamble into debt would register on Gamstop and the habit and its consequences would be contained.
How does Gamstop work?
Gamstop is an initiative created by the UK Gambling Commission to protect UK Gamblers on online casinos licensed in the UK. This is a breakdown of how the system works:
Registration at Gamstop Self-Exclusion Scheme
Gamstop is entirely a voluntary service, the software does not enrol any punters by itself. An interested punter would register on Gamstop’s website and give the system all the necessary details about himself. The system requires punters registering for self-exclusion to register for a minimum of 6months, they could also register for a year or 5 years. All these decisions are made by the player while registering. Punters who are registering for self-exclusion should read the information carefully while registering. Once the registration is done, and the restriction is done, the restriction cannot be lifted until the self-exclusion period lapses.
Access to all UKGC Licensed Casinos is Blocked
24 hours after registration, Gamstop restricts all the punter’s online gambling accounts. There are also possibilities to use Chrome extensions to block gambling. Gamstop’s self-exclusion only applies to casinos registered by the UKGC and is only available to punters in the UK. The UKGC requires registered casinos to run a detailed Know-Your-Customer for all players who use their site. This is how Gamstop is able to effectively limit the accounts of players who register for self-exclusion.
Since Gamstop only applies to UKGC licensed casinos, this means that offshore gambling sites and physical casinos would still be accessible by a punter registering on Gamstop. If a punter is interested in restricting his access to those casinos too, there are platforms similar to Gamstop for that. For instance, there is the Self-Enrolment National Self-Exclusion (SENSE) platform for self-exclusion from physical casinos in the UK.
Final Thoughts on Gamstop Self-Exclusion
Gamstop provides a much-needed solution to gambling addictions. As the online gambling industry grows, punters who can’t control their gambling need to be protected. Gamstop provides this protection and all a player has to do is register.