The failure of the UK gambling industry to adequately protect problem gamblers has been exposed by a BBC report that was broadcast over the weekend.
The BBC ‘Five Live Investigates’ program discovered that problem gamblers who had registered for the industry’s GamStop scheme were able to get round exclusion provisions by changing only minor details at the time of registering with betting operators.
GamStop was launched in April last year and is an industry-backed self-exclusion scheme, which gives vulnerable consumers the ability to block themselves from any engagement with licensed UK gambling companies for up to five years.
And a separate investigation brought further embarrassment to the industry. BBC journalist Mick Tucker had voluntarily self-excluded from twenty betting premises in the Grimsby area through the industry’s Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme (MOSES). But twelve months later, the journalist found that only five out of the shops refused to allow him access to gambling services. In his report, Tucker said that he was surprised and disappointed by the failings:
“It is really disappointing to come back to Grimsby, a year on and see how easy it is to bet. To be honest today it seems like only William Hill and Megabet are taking this scheme seriously, as I could wager without a problem at all the other bookmakers”
The BBC reports will add more pressure to the UK gambling sector, which came under fire in 2018 on a number of fronts, including its marketing practices and the protection of vulnerable customers.
Image sourced from 123RF.