GamStop is the UK's most popular self exclusion system. Although it launched in 2018, in March 2019 it had more than 50,000 users. This service is for players who want to force themselves to stop gambling online for a fixed period ranging from 6 months to 1 year and up to 5 years. The UK have a system of self exclusion from brick and mortar casinos, SENSE, and much of the GameStop programme has been built based on this system. Read the Survey on Gamstop stats.
In 2020, when the pandemic spread and all people are given stay at home orders. The UKGC noticed that the number of players had increased notably. Since the increase in players meaning the addicts’ increase, the committee required all UK casinos to integrate GamStop to protect vulnerable players in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Currently, all UK casinos must add GamStop and exclude any player in his exclusion period. In fact, the UKGC revoked licenses of many casinos for failing to include this service.
Consequently, UK GamStop players will not be able to access their accounts or sign up for new UK casinos during the self exclusion period.
However, it seems that the allure of gambling is still very strong! As a recent survey indicated that 10% of GamStop players had already joined a non UK casino at least once during the period of self exclusion!
What is GamStop?
GamStop was launched in 2018, by the charity, RGA. Signing up for this service is completely optional and free. You can easily create a new account on their website via your smartphone or tablet. The programme offers varied exclusion periods ranging from 6 months to five years. A player can select the most suitable period, but he can’t decrease it afterwards or cancel his account! However, there is a serious flaw in the GameStop service that does not prevent players from access non UK online casinos!
On the web, there are numerous casinos with other commission licenses from Curaçao, Malta, Canada, and Gibraltar that welcome British players and they don't even know what is the GamStop service!
So, GamStop conducted a new survey that clarified a lot of aspects related to getting around it, opinions of players, and its efficacy in helping weak willed players.
Results of the GamStop Survey
More than 1,700 players take part in the survey. The majority, 1,231 people, said they had not played at all during the period of self exclusion. Meaning that most players have taken advantage of it. This explains to us why UKGC trusted this service and integrated it into all the UK casinos!
While 471 other players said that they played in some way during this period! Of the percentage that played, 300 people played offline with their friends and 171 players played in non UK casinos.
The overall percentage of players returning to gambling is quite large. However, many players have indicated that they sign up for GamStop to stop playing for a while and recover from losses and they do not consider themselves addicted to gambling in the first place. Also, participants reported that they gambled less than they did before joining in GamStop.
Furthermore, 90% of players found that signing up for GameStop was very easy.
GamStop Survey Conclusions
This survey gave 8 conclusions, which are as follows:
- Every UK casino should include GamStop and offer a wide range of self exclusion options. (A lot of participants who claim that they are still playing in UK casinos that don't include GamStop.)
- British casinos must obtain sufficient info about the age groups.
- GamStop platform appearance should be improved as 49% only of users rate it positively.
- GamStop should provide support to players once they sign up. So, they do not go back to playing again, whether through non UK casinos or with their friends.
- The UKGC should take swift action on non UK casinos as they present a loophole in the self exclusion programme.
- UK casinos should stop sending ads to GamStop players!