GamStop system for self-exclusion of players finally adopted

A system that allows problem gamblers to block themselves from all UK betting websites has been approved by the UKGC, 18 months after it was supposed to be ready.

After the false start of over a year ago, the GamStop system for self-exclusion of players (developed by the Remote Gambling Association for online casinos and bookmakers) is being adopted in the United Kingdom. All UK gaming companies will need to register to be able to operate within national borders. The Gambling Commission will announce the new requirement in the coming days. Through the GamStop system, problem gamblers will therefore have the option of self-limiting access to all UK gaming and betting websites at one go.

Some positive tests were made before this announcement. Now, the application seems to be ready for the official release. In May 2018, five months after the unofficial launch of GamStop, the British commission had reported the presence of faults and anomalies in the system. The commission explained that it was concerned that GamStop was not synchronized with the list of registered users of promotional mailing lists sent by gaming companies. This means that the employees who signed up in an attempt to curb their habits could still be bombarded with direct marketing e-mails. Moreover, these promotional e-mails have already been the subject of various judgments against the major online gaming companies operating locally.

It is believed that about 99 percent of gambling operators in the UK have already committed themselves to using GamStop and, for them, there will be no risk of losing the license to operate.

Official GamStop approval comes through a wider push by activists, the Labor party and even the commission itself to tighten up the regulation of online gambling, after the limits were imposed on the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in high-street bookmakers. Other measures under discussion include the prohibition of betting with credit cards. Labor requested legislation to replace the Gambling Act of 2005, implemented by Tony Blair’s Labor government before an explosion of online casinos and bookmakers.

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