UKGC Will Not Make Gamstop Mandatory Just Yet

Viktor Vangelov | Published 5 Sep 2019, 1:52 p.m.

Earlier this week we reported on the proposed universal self-exclusion scheme Gamstop. It seemed that the UKGC was ready to endorse Gamstop very soon, or so we thought. However, that statement has been refuted by the Gambling Commission in a statement released yesterday.

Even though it was expected that the Gambling Commission would now endorse and enforce the system across the industry, it seems that the UK regulatory body isn’t ready for that step just yet. Papers reported that Gamstop, a platform that has been tested for over a year now, is finally ready to be implement, but that’s not the case.

Gamstop isn’t up to the required level according to the UKGC

The Commission released a statement in which it was said that even though Gamstop has been updated and upgraded, it is still not complete and cannot be implemented across the industry.

A spokesperson for the UKGC said that while the Commission is looking forward to establishing Gamstop and is happy with the ongoing efforts to develop and further improve the platform, they still aren’t convinced that the Gamstop is ready to be implemented across the industry. The Commission is already getting information from players who have signed up and are enjoying the benefits of the scheme. Again, the spokesperson restated that the view of the Commission is that Gamstop hasn’t been developed up to the level necessary to make it a requirement for all operators.

The Commission is going to keep supporting Gamstop and the work of the team behind it, to ensure that it’ll be up to the required level.

50,000 have signed up to Gamstop so far

The Gamstop website still says that while not all UK gambling operators have signed up to the scheme, it is expected that they will do so “in due course”. Even though some major news outlets have reported that the Commission will release a statement informing the public that Gamstop is now a compulsory requirement for all operators, that didn’t happen.

This project has been ongoing for quite a while and firstly it was the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) that was in charge of it, but later a new company was formed to work on this project – The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme and they are still in charge of the system.

Last year the way the project has progressed up to that point was criticised publicly by the Commission, or to be more precise by its exec Tim Miller and he explicitly mentioned the issue where problem gamblers who have already signed up to the programme kept receiving marketing communications from operators.

Miller also said that it is not acceptable for Gamstop not to be integrated with operators’ marketing lists. Few days later after making his initial statement that it is not acceptable for Gamstop not to be integrated with marketing mailing lists, Miller also said that the Commission will not be waiting eternally before the system is ready, but it’s been over a year since he stated that.

At the beginning of the year, Gamstop announced that a total of 50,000 people have signed up to the system.

That’s not too many players if we consider that a total of 30,000 people have signed up to a similar programme in Sweden. The Swedish platform known as Spelpaus was launched only at the beginning of this year and it is run by the state gambling regulator.

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