UKGC Urged To Fix GAMSTOP Flaws And Curb Problem Gambling
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has faced strong criticism in recent years for being too lenient towards gambling operators and not doing enough to protect Brits from succumbing to gambling addiction.
The UKGC and the UK government have had to take the issue of problem gambling serious as stats have shown that gambling addiction in the country has grown significantly with both adults and children. The latest reports show that over 3.5 percent of Brits (1.5 million) gamble online either via web based or mobile based platforms.
Anti-gambling opponents believe that these numbers are a lot higher and that the stats do not accurately reflect the number of problem gamblers suffering in the country. They have specifically targeted GAMSTOP and said the program had multiple flaws and failed to sufficiently protect problem gamblers.
GAMSTOP Has Flaws
GAMSTOP is a free self-exclusion service that is available in the United Kingdom only. The program allows gamblers to self-impose controls that will restrict their gambling activity and even ban them completely from accessing online casinos and sportsbooks.
Players can only self-exclude themselves and are not allowed to enrol someone else. GAMSTOP allows players to restrict themselves from gambling for 6 months, 12 months and up to 5 years. When you sign-up to self-exclude yourself from gambling activities, you will be banned from accessing all licensed and regulated casinos in the UK.
However, anti-gambling campaigners say that GAMSTOP has flaws that allow problem gamblers to who excluded themselves to once again sign-up at online casinos by making small tweaks in the sign-up process. Players can input a new address or change their last name and will be able to sign-up and bypass the GAMSTOP ban.
Gambling opponents claim that if it is this easy to bypass the GAMSTOP program, then the UKGC needs to do more and provide problem gamblers with better protection. They also point out that there are still a number of online casinos who have not signed up to the GAMSTOP program. This means that players who have registered with GAMSTOP can easily sign-up with these casinos that are yet to subscribe to the GAMPSTOP program.
UKGC Has Tough Challenges Ahead
The UKGC is aware that the fight against gambling addiction in the country needs to go to the next level, especially with the football season set to commence. Brits love betting on football and one can expect a flurry of sports betting activity once the Premier League begins.
The UKGC is yet to comment on the GAMSTOP program and offer an alternate solution that will better protect Brits from gambling harm.