GAMSTOP Under the Scrutiny of the UKGC
GAMSTOP is a way for gamblers that are finding a rising problem with gambling to lock themselves out of such sites. It is an online self-exclusion tool that was initially supposed to come out by the end of 2017 but later got delayed to spring 2018.
The GAMSTOP system operates by collecting personal details from its users and sharing some of it with online gambling websites so they can use it and make it easier for them to allow players to exclude themselves from operators. In the past few weeks, experts have discovered some flaws with the GAMSTOP system. While it is possible for the self-exclusion to work out, clients can still register with a gamut of gambling websites by merely changing the username of the account while keeping the rest of the information such as e-mail and phone number intact. That possibility is contradictory to the GAMSTOP scheme of allowing gamblers to lock themselves out of any gambling websites.
These flaws came to light after users kept receiving newsletters prompting them to start betting. The GAMSTOP system had failed to synchronize its list of users with the marketing emails and promotion sent out by gambling operators. That means that problem gamblers were surprised with triggers to go back to betting when they were not expecting it which only served to add fuel to their gambling issues. Some suspicions started rising because of that. Online gambling operators fund the GAMSTOP system. The incident had some people asking if the system was just singling out vulnerable people to them tempt them to enable even more.
From the GAMSTOP company, a spokesman issued a response stating that the system is still going through some fine tuning and that the problem would be taken care of as soon as possible. The GAMSTOP system is still available and it has been going through several changes gradually to make sure the issue does not rise again and that all accusations are debunked.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the main regulator of the gambling industry in the United Kingdom. The UKGC has recently started to question how effective the nation-wide, online initiative GAMSTOP has been at their self-exclusion scheme that players could take advantage of.
Tim Miller, Executive Director of the UK Gambling Commission, sent a letter to the Remote Gambling Association. In his letter, Tim Miller details his concerns with the faults of the GAMSTOP, calling their incident “unacceptable.” He also talked about the failed synchronization between the system and the marketing and promotional lists of the iGaming operators, disapproving of their work so far.
As one of the leaders of the UK Gambling Commission, Executive Director Tim Miller stated that the UKGC demands that all iGaming operators should stop sending any type of promotional material to players who are in any way using the GAMSTOP system. If the demand is not met, Tim Miller added, the gambling regulator of the United Kingdom will e taking measures and start stripping online gambling operators of their licenses if they fail to comply.