UK Gambling Commission to Announce GAMSTOP Scheme in a Matter of Days

  • Nationwide scheme will help make self-exclusion easier for gamblers
  • GAMSTOP first announced in May 2018, but series of flaws exposed put it on hold
  • UK Gambling Commission set to announce new, revised version later this week
playing cards and dice lying on laptop keyboard held by lock and chains
The GamStop scheme to be announced this week will see nationwide measures to curb gambling in the UK. [Image:]

Scheme to help curb problem gambling

The Gambling Commission will shortly announce a new nationwide scheme which will be rolled out in the UK to help problem gamblers. The GAMSTOP scheme will make it easier for individuals to block themselves from visiting gambling websites in one simple step – an idea that was supposed to be completed 18 months ago, but was put on hold due to concerns.

a new nationwide scheme which will be rolled out in the UK to help problem gamblers

The Gambling Commission will be announcing the requirement after finally having given its approval. This will require all gambling companies, including both online casinos and bookmakers, to sign up to the scheme developed by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), the trade body in Britain.

Flaws in the system

Although first announced in May 2018, the GAMSTOP scheme was put on hold after the RGA spotted flaws in the system.

These included promotional mailing lists, whereby those trying to cut down on gambling would still find themselves receiving special offers. There were also concerns that self-exclusion could be bypassed too easily without a nationwide rollout.

The UK’s The Guardian was behind the initial investigation that revealed the scheme’s potential flaws. A letter obtained by the paper from the UKGC’s executive director, Tim Miller, states he was “yet to see proper evidence of the effectiveness” of GAMSTOP. Miller also told the RGA it was “unacceptable that currently GAMSTOP does not interact with marketing lists in that way.”

According to reports, the latter issue has now been taken care of and the new ruling will be made public shortly.

Announcement due this week

Although the Commission has yet to confirm the announcement date, The Guardian suggests it will be later this week.

Around 99% of gambling operators are already committed to signing up to GAMSTOP. The Gambling Commission will make sure this is soon boosted to 100%, as otherwise operators will find themselves with licensing issues. Signing up to GAMSTOP will then become a condition of the license to operate within the UK.

Regulations have changed across the gambling industry over the last year, with an increase in fines and the maximum amount that can be placed at fixed-odds betting terminals capped to just £2.

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