UK-facing online gambling operators have unveiled the name of their new national online self-exclusion scheme to better protect vulnerable gamblers who have difficulty controlling their gambling activity.
On Thursday, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) trade group announced that it would soon launch its new GAMSTOP program, which aims to meet the responsible gambling conditions specified in the UK’s Gambling (Advertising and Licensing) Act 2014.
GAMSTOP will enable UK punters to exclude themselves from all UK Gambling Commission-licensed remote gambling operators through a single visit to the GAMSTOP website. In addition, the GAMSTOP site will offer other measures to allow problem gamblers to better manage their activity and help steer these individuals to third-party advice and support services.
Fiona Palmer, the RGA’s director of social responsibility, said that with the self-exclusion program’s “branding now established and process design well established, the focus in the coming months will be on technology integration and industry communication.”
UKGC program director Paul Hope welcomed the RGA’s work in developing GAMSTOP and looked forward to its availability, hailing the single-request functionality as “a powerful tool for those that need it.”
According to the UKGC’s most recent UK gambling market statistics, nearly 813k UK gambling accounts took advantage of online operators’ self-exclusion programs in the 12 months ending March 2016. Slightly more than 46k of these self-excluded gamblers cancelled their registrations in these programs after the prescribed minimum time-out period, while over 58k were found to have breached the terms of their self-exclusion.
The issue of self-exclusion became even more important for UK-licensed operators last month after 888 Holdings announced that one of its subsidiaries was being investigated by the UKGC regarding its compliance with problem gambling mitigation requirements, including “effective self-exclusion tools across different operating platforms.”