Games, Technology

The History of GamStop


David Mudd

When humans and the environment go naturally hand in hand, GamStop and the gambling industry cannot be considered separately from each other. This self-exclusion scheme has become extremely popular in the UK gambling area to help players who want to ban themselves from the licensed gambling websites there.

With GamStop, the gamblers at risk are required to register at this programme and after the confirmation; they will no longer have access to their chosen gambling platforms. This prohibition can be 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years depending on the option they chose. As this free service has become compulsory within the UK gambling operators, more than 200,000 people have already used this scheme in 2020. How has Gamstop risen to the challenge since its creation?

The Early Years

The story began in 2016 when the company called National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme (NOSES) created by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) trade association established a programme to block addicted players from gambling websites. As a result, a not-for-profit organization under the name of GamStop was released in April 2018. This scheme is launched to reduce gambling-related harms in the UK.

As its name indicates, GamStop allows those who want to prevent gambling addiction by prohibiting themselves from gambling platforms. According to RGA, this online self-exclusion solution has been developed to the UKGC’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. As stated by the 2014 Gambling Act, all remote gambling operators must have a player self-exclusion service as part of their UK. There are still some online casinos not in the GamStop system that operate in Curacao and accept British players without restrictions.

Nonetheless, five months after the release of this programme, the Gambling Commission warned RGA of specific failings in this scheme. As reported by this national regulatory authority, GamStop did not synchronise its list of registered consumers with the promotional mailing lists of the firm. Therefore, the vulnerable players who signed up in GamStop might still receive direct marketing emails leading them to start gambling again. Despite the Commission’s concern, GamStop registered 50,000 people in 2019 but several betting platforms hadn’t still acquired this independent organism.

Becoming a Renowned Name

The online self-exclusion system has collaborated with more than 50 gambling companies and the players started to use this app to ban themselves from the betting online sites. From March 31st, 2020, the UK gambling watchdog required all the licensed operators to participate at GamStop by allowing their customers to prohibit themselves from the websites of their choice. This regulation has come into effect from 1st April 2020 and the operators who haven’t signed up to this system will risk losing their operating licence.

As this scheme has become compulsory within the gambling industry, around 99% of operators have already used this option and apart from the self-prohibition solution, this free, independent self-exclusion solution also offers further support options. The rise of this organisation didn’t stop there because the company has extended an alliance with the companies as well as the football clubs. One of its remarkable partnerships is its collaboration with the popular English football teams. Middlesbrough FC, Luton Town FC, and more signed a partnership with this free service to make aware of GamStop’s role in the gambling sector.

This powerful organism has also continued to cooperate with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). As cricket has incredibly grown in the UK, GamStop has become a resort for cricket players and fans. Today, the link between the gambling sector and this multi-operator self-exclusion scheme has become sturdy making it the most reputed self-exclusion solution.

What will be the Future?

Despite the worry related to GamStop, this organism makes a continuous effort to protect vulnerable players from gambling-related problems. Since it has become compulsory in the gambling sector, this tool has a big role to promote responsible gambling by permitting them to self-exclude from their chosen websites.

It is undeniable that several technologies with free options to block gambling sites have been launched over the few years but GamStop has remained the most popular for its effectiveness in terms of helping addicted gamblers. Another reason that comes with great recognition of this national blocking scheme is its integration with API. With GamStop API, the users can freely access the resources to help them recover from problem gambling.

Evidently, reducing gambling problems is not only achieved by registering at a self-exclusion solution but GamStop’s future is probably bright in a commitment to promote responsible gambling.