July 7, 2020

Gamstop UK Scheme: Why do Operators Need it?

Apart from the Football League, the United Kingdom is also popular to be the best place to enjoy remote gambling. This state stands head and shoulders above all the rest of the countries regarding the online gambling market. In fact, the UK online gambling legislation is supervised by the authority body called the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). This government body was set-up under the Gambling Act 2005 in 2007 with the main goal to regulate and oversee commercial gambling in this sovereign state.

With a plan to create fairer and safer gambling, this regulator is recognized to enforce strict laws and regulations. Thus, in January 2020, this commission announced that all the gambling operators in the UK must participate in the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme. Since this program has the purpose to help the gamblers who experience or may develop gambling harms, the gambling companies must register on Gamstop. So, why do these licensed operators need the Gamstop program?

About UK’s GamStop Self-exclusion Scheme

GamStop is a service that aims to prohibit players from licensed online gambling platforms. This scheme was released in 2018 and operated by the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited, a nonprofit organization created to avoid gambling problems in the UK. Gamstop is, actually, a project created to reduce gambling problems by allowing the gamblers to ban themselves from their chosen gambling sites. As Gamstop lets them control their gambling activities, they can avoid gambling for a limited period. The first step that the players have to do is register at Gamstop, and after the registration, they are able to choose the platforms and will be excluded from these websites.

These applicants have to provide their identities and after receiving a mail about the details of the exclusion, they can block themselves on their preferred gambling sites. As stated above, the limit of the ban depends on their choice. As a matter of fact, they can choose to be prohibited for 6 months, 1 year, or even 5 years. After the ban period has expired, the gamblers can contact Gamstop to cancel their self-exclusion or register at sites not blocked with Gamstop even before the end. Once this removal is approved, the players can have access to gambling sites again.

How does GamStop help Addicted Gamblers?

The Gamstop scheme is created to minimize the gambling problems in the UK because, with the growth of this industry, the harms related to this field have also increased. Based on the survey commissioned by GambleAware, 2.7% of gamblers experience problem gambling meaning nearly 1.4 million people. That is probably why this charity is engaged in helping these vulnerable punters. Obviously, the result is immediate as these gamblers cannot have access to the platforms. They will have time to think about their behavior and can control their impulse to gamble.

Aside from this self-exclusion scheme, Gamstop is also bundled with the support options for the players with compulsive gambling. These pathological gamblers can, thus, benefit from the support and advice from the professional counselors. This program includes emotional, practical, and debt supports. This means that Gamstop is responsible for promoting safe gambling by preventing problems related to gambling. Moreover, the benefit is not only for the gamblers but also for the gambling operators who register at this free independent organism.

Concerning the players, they can avoid the temptation to gamble too much. When they are excluded from a platform, they cannot gamble and, hence, prevent their bad habits. As far as gambling operators are concerned, their reputation will increase as they will be known to promote responsible gambling.

Why do operators need Gamstop Scheme?

With the rise of the gambling field, Gamstop is also gaining in popularity. Nonetheless, since 31 March 2020, the UKGC required all the licensed gambling operators to participate in the multi-operator self-exclusion program. Therefore, as this self-prohibition scheme is mandatory for remote operators, those who are discovered for failure to fully integrate with Gamstop will be fined by the Gambling Commission.

For example, in April 2020, the UKGC penalized two operators Sportito and Dynamic Bets by suspending their licenses for failure to wholly participate with this self-exclusion scheme. According to Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of UKGC, Gamstop is an important tool to protect vulnerable gamblers so all the operators must register at this scheme. The license suspension of Sportito has been lifted since this company is now convincible. As for the Dynamic Bets, this operator’s license will remain in place until the conviction of the regulator. The license holders need Gamstop because this scheme is one of the options to prevent gambling problems.

Today, more than 200 online operators participate in this self-exclusion meaning that these companies are also taking part in reducing the risk of gambling-related problems. Additionally, the online operators who run their businesses in the UK are expected to apply an identity verification measure to verify their customer’s identities after registering. This KYC or ‘Know Your Customer’ helps the gambling firms to identify and understand their customers. Hence, the at-risk gamblers will be identified and they can be encouraged to sign-up at the Gamstop scheme.

Final words

There are tons of gambling platforms in the UK where players can register and gamble or bet on a large selection of gambling activities. Since it is simple to have access to these real money games or bet on their favorite sports, many people are at risk to develop gambling problems. As this territory is recognized to apply strict gambling laws, various organizations were released to make the gambling field safer.

Gamstop is one of the renowned multi-operator schemes that have offered its service for more than two years. In the beginning, this body was not compulsory for licensed online operators but since the end of March, this organism has become a multi-operator self-exclusion program to those who operate in the UK. Mind that this not-for-profit entity has the main purpose to prohibit addict players from online gambling sites.

After the registration, these gamblers will be prevented from using their chosen gambling platforms for a period of their choice. The gambling operators need the Gamstop scheme to help punters or gamblers to avoid problems related to gambling.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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