Gambling industry self-exclusion organisation GamStop has responded to criticisms resulting from a recent BBC report into failures in the gambling industry.  

A BBC investigation broadcast at the weekend found that problem gamblers who had signed up to the self-exclusion scheme offered by GamStop were still able to register with online betting companies simply by altering minor personal details, including surnames.  

The investigation was a major embarrassment for the betting industry and has led to criticism of the idea of the gambling industry regulating itself on these issues. As a result, GamStop has been moved to respond to the investigation and to the subsequent criticisms, putting out a statement, which emphasised their concern and pledged to take action on the specific problems identified:  

GamStop was set up in April 2018 by the betting industry, to offer a referral system for problem gamblers, directing them to charities such as GamCare and the UK National Debtline. It also offers a scheme that enables people at risk of harm from gambling to self-exclude themselves from all UK online gambling operators for up to five years.  

Speaking about the problems identified in the report, GamStop spokesperson Fiona Palmer acknowledged that the scheme doesn’t work well enough and said that the organisation was working hard to address the criticisms, but she also outlined some of the difficulties: 

“Since the UK does not have a national ID scheme, matching consumers is reliant on the information they provide to GamStop and also the quality of information held by each operator. Operators have varied methods of verification and differ vastly in size and scope.” 

But the scheme has received some support from the charity GambleAware, whose CEO Marc Etches said that it was an important part of the strategy to tackle problem gambling.  

Image from 123RF.

Published by Andie Hughes

Based in England, Andie Hughes is a freelance betting writer with over a decade of experience in the industry. Andie has written for ESPN, Betfair, Sporting Life, and Boylesports, and can be contacted at andiehughes73@gmail.com.

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