Since its beginning, Gamstop has had to go through several changes and adapt as flaws in the systems were discovered. Originally scheduled to be released in 2017 for the UK, it had already fallen behind the initial release schedule. As online gambling in the UK has become more popular and captured a huge market, there are growing fears that the gambling epidemic in the UK could spiral out of control. As accessibility and ease of use continues to grow, the pressure falls on Gamstop to be effective, and stay effective over time. One thing to keep in mind is that regulations continue to change and develop as the casino sites innovate. Gamstop will also need to update its own regulations to remain effective.
The self-inclusion service is aimed at helping to reduce gambling addiction within the UK. The opt-in allows users to effectively blacklist their personal information from gambling and casino websites across the UK, and disable their accounts on those platforms. You decide how long you’d like the exclusion period to be, whether that is one month, six months, or forever – any timescale that fits you. You are also able to cancel the exclusion early, through a lengthy process that includes contacting Gamstop customer service. While Gamstop has found success, there have also been some small issues since it had launched.
One such issue was a problem of casino and betting services’ promotional emails still reaching new users of Gamstop. It was found that even though users had been registered to exclude themselves from gambling by using Gamstop’s services, any delay from either side updating lists meant that potential gambling addicts looking for a clean break were still receiving marketing email from casinos and betting services. This reduced the effectiveness of the whole platform. Furthermore, there are resources available, such as that here, that outline those casinos that aren’t on the Gamstop scheme.
As the platform develops over time, the continued effort will be to get more companies voluntarily get on board with it. The current list of participating companies is already quite big, and continues to grow; however, as it is still voluntary and is only targeting companies within the UK, there is still a long way to go before Gamstop is completely effective. As time goes on, we may see a push from regulating bodies that encourages other companies to get on board. The big challenge will be companies in other countries, such as Malta, where the regulations around online casinos are much looser and very consumer focused.
It’s still too early to tell just how effective this program is, but as time passes, we may see some progress being made. The early signs of success were a little mixed, as we discussed the gaps that were found with synchronization, and there were some concerns raised if this could be as effective as first thought, but there is always room for improvement and there can be advancements to help reduce the amount of gambling in the UK.