An innovative self-exclusion scheme called GAMSTOP, which allows users to put controls in to restrict online gambling activity, has reported a further increase in the number of users.
In total, there are 134, 649 people who have registered with GAMSTOP.
This week the Gambling Commission suspended two gambling operators for failing to register with GAMSTOP, although one of the operators, Dynamic, trading as Prophetic, has since had its licence ban lifted.
CARE worked very closely with Lord Browne and with Jim Shannon MP to promote GAMSTOP. In particular, we worked on two amendments to the Gambling Licensing and Advertising Bill. These amendments came into force on 31 March.
They mean gambling operators must register with GAMSTOP and the Gambling Commission which overseas the betting industry can revoke licences if betting firms fail to comply.
This is all essential in helping protect people from gambling related harms.
Concerns are growing over the impact the current lockdown will have on gambling addicts. More than 20 MPs, two Lords and one of the UK’s foremost gambling experts wrote a letter to the Government calling for stricter restrictions on gambling during the lockdown.
Meanwhile, a specialist gambling addiction clinic in Leeds warned yesterday that it expected to see a surge in cases because of the enforced isolation.
Responding to the latest news, CARE’s James Mildred said:
“With the estimated number of problem gamblers at nearly half a million, with millions more said to be at risk, GAMSTOP is a hugely significant tool which is already providing quality protection from gambling related harms.
“It’s great to see more people registering for the service. It’s free and easy to sign-up.
“The amendments we worked on in relation to GAMSTOP are now taking effect and the Gambling Commission has the required powers to make sure betting firms sign up for GAMSTOP.
“With growing concerns about the impact of the current lockdown on those with a gambling addiction, GAMSTOP will continue to prove a vital means of protecting vulnerable people.”