The free service that allows people to restrict their online gambling activities, GAMSTOP, celebrated its fifth anniversary. At a recent event, hosted by Lord Browne of Belmont on Wednesday, the independent online gambling self-exclusion scheme highlighted its latest achievements. The celebratory event, recognizing the effectiveness of GAMSTOP enjoyed attendance from regulators, gambling charities, operators, parliamentarians, as well as people with lived experience of gambling harm.
Since its inception in April 2018, to date, more than 380,000 people have registered with GAMSTOP. The self-exclusion option provided vital support for all of them, restricting their access to gambling activities and helping them overcome at-risk or problem gambling.
March this year marked one of the busiest months for GAMSTOP, which saw some 8,500 new registrations. But that record was soon overshadowed by the results from May when a record of 8,594 users registered with GAMSTOP.
After launching in 2018, GAMSTOP was designated as a license condition for all gambling operators in the UK in 2020. The self-exclusion scheme complemented the operators’ own self-exclusion options, ensuring that all licensed operators adhere to GAMSTOP. This effectively implemented robust protection for anyone who wants to self-exclude from gambling in the country. The options for self-exclusion offered by the scheme include a period of six months, one year or five years.
The Self-Exclusion Scheme Continues to Improve
Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, National Clinical Advisor on Gambling Harms with the NHS, spoke at the recent event. She explained that currently, the UK is a leader when it comes to self-exclusion options. At the same time, Professor Bowden-Jones urged for further protection and self-exclusion options within the land-based gambling vertical. “There’s an enormous need to block people from going into bookmakers by having a universal scheme for the country,” she said.
“We are constantly looking at ways we can improve the experience for our consumers, ensuring that GAMSTOP offers secure and effective exclusion from online gambling for those who have registered.“
Fiona Palmer, CEO of GAMSTOP
Fiona Palmer, GAMSTOP’s CEO, added that the self-exclusion program strives to improve constantly the experience for its customers. According to her, one of GAMSTOP’s goals is to ensure that registered users are excluded from gambling activities.
Additionally, Palmer pointed out that GAMSTOP seeks to improve its services by allowing registered users to self-exclude simultaneously from all forms of gambling, regardless if online or retail. To further help such users, she said that they can also benefit from support and treatment.