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How Does Gamstop Self-Exclusion Work? Detailed Guide for UK Players

The gambling sector in the UK has been developing for over 10 years. In 2005, a law on gambling was adopted, created jointly by representatives of the gambling industry and government authorities. The document regulates all possible types of gambling activities, including lotteries, sweepstakes, casinos, slot machines and many others.

The law finally came into effect in September 2007, as it took time to create the UKGC, as well as bring all the rules and standards to entrepreneurs and those wishing to open their gambling business in the UK.

After this event, sites with a list of casinos not registered with Gamstop began to appear on the Internet. And by the way, they are very much loved by players because they have fewer restrictions and allow credit card deposits without limits.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)

All restrictions and permits for gambling in England are the responsibility of the UKGC, the official regulator that controls the work of most gambling operators in the country. The exception is sports betting, which is the responsibility of the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit, a separate division of the commission itself.

The UKGC has nine main members and a chapter, with a total staff of 280 people, some of whom are employed in the regions. The commission is engaged in licensing and compiling annual reports for the government, has the right to carry out inspections, impose penalties for violations of the law, and form new legislative norms.

According to UK Finance data, 800,000 customers use credit cards to gamble.  The UKGC conducted a separate study, according to which 22% of customers of online establishments using these means of payment are problem gamblers.  Due to the possibility of playing with credit money, their condition may worsen.

In view of the current circumstances, UKGC has issued a ban, which will enter into force on April 14 this year.  It applies to all online and offline gambling, except for land-based lottery tickets.  According to the law, it is prohibited to use credit cards for gambling and betting in them – this should protect vulnerable groups of the population and prevent the development of gambling addiction.

Over the past few years, the UKGC has formed and implemented various rules regarding gambling restrictions.  The most important of them are:

  • checking the age of users who want to access online gambling;
  • separate restrictions for free games;
  • standards for advertising campaigns;
  • a complete guide was drawn up regarding the data that gambling operators are required to provide to potential customers.

Free Self-Exclusion Program Gamstop

As of March 31st, all online operators in the country must register with the multi-tech self-exclusion system Gamstop. It is designed specifically for online gambling resources and allows customers to independently limit their access to gambling from different operators by submitting only one application.

There are many providers of gambling services in the UK; all of them can accept applications for self-restraint from users.  Since it is troublesome to write to each operator separately, UKGC decided to simplify the process by bringing everyone together in a single system.  The user who submits a request there will be blocked from all gambling operators at once.

Neil MacArthur of UKGC says that many companies have already volunteered to join Gamstop, but as of March 31st it will be mandatory for everyone.  He believes that companies must do everything to combat the spread of gambling addiction and reduce the risk of gambling.

The formation of such restrictions is part of the program for the implementation of the National Harm Reduction Strategy of Gambling.  Along with the Gamstop system, other methods of restricting access will also be used, such as software for prohibiting gambling and blocking payment cards.

The gambling industry in the UK is one of the most developed and well-regulated, despite numerous restrictions.  This is due to the fact that already adopted laws are constantly being supplemented in accordance with the current needs of the market and the population, and UKGC cooperates with operators and financial institutions in the formation of new rules.

If you have an account with only one casino, then there is nothing difficult to activate self-exclusion.  But usually, the further you become familiar with online casinos, the more casinos you have played or are playing.  It can be inconvenient to visit each site and request self-exclusion.  Today the UK offers its gambling citizens a relatively new service – Gamstop.  It allows you to self-exclude from multiple casinos at once.  Unfortunately this service is only available in the UK.  This is a free service for players.

At the moment, connecting the casino to the system is voluntary, but soon all operators will be required to connect to Gamstop.

Self-Exclusion Process

According to the rules on www.gamstop.co.uk first you need:

  1. to register on the Gamstop website;
  2. then provide the data that was used when registering an account in those casinos from which you need to self-exclude.

After about 24 hours, you will no longer have access to your accounts.  Once self-exclusion is activated, it cannot be canceled.  Users are offered three terms: 6 months, one year and five years.  Deactivation will not be automatic. Upon request, the player will need to wait 24 hours before accessing the casino.