The UK is the primary market for gambling in the world. In 2019, the UKGC released a comprehensive statistical report on gambling in the country, showing what was happening in the industry and where it’s headed. These numbers shed light on the popularity of regular and virtual gambling activities, the leading industry trends, growth opportunities, risks and updates.
Overall, 47% of Britons who took part in the survey have placed at least one bet in a month on either casino games, sports betting or lotto. Although the National Lottery is not as fast paced as casino games and sports betting, it does generate £1.6 billion and the bulk of that value goes to charity. This shows the positive impact of gambling on the neediest sectors of the British economy. As for sports betting, horse racing is still the most popular activity. In terms of games, land based casinos are the most preferred and popular among Brits. However, online casinos are gaining ground, especially among young players.
In 2019, the size of the gambling industry reached £14 billion, which is of course a staggering number. In 2018, the total number of workers in the industry reached 100,000. Meaning that a large section of British society depends on gambling for their paychecks.
These numbers show the size of the industry and how important it is to the UK economy. On the other hand, as these numbers grow, so does the concern and fear that the problem of gambling addiction will increase! Therefore, the UKGC has adopted the voluntary self exclusion Programme, GamStop. Also, it has required all gambling providers to integrate it. In addition, it has taken further steps to protect players who are prone to gambling addiction.
What Is GamStop?
GamStop is a voluntary self-exclusion program that allows players to completely exclude themselves from all UKGC licensed sites and apps for a period of their choosing. Once a player joins this scheme, he will not be able to resume playing in any way on any of the licensed websites or apps. However, this programme does not cover gambling sites regulated in Curaçao, Malta, Canada Alderney and the independent companies that do not have a legal license. So, a large sector of casinos work out of GamStop control and the excluded players can reach them without obstacles.
GamStop offers varied self exclusion periods from 6 months to 1 year and up to 5 years. Indeed, the registration with this scheme is safe, confidential and free. However, the subscription cannot be cancelled or shortened for any reason. Despite the great effectiveness of GamStop, it omits that some players may participate in it for other purposes not related to gambling addiction in the first place. For instance, they may try to save money or even join it accidentally. Therefore, a lot of British players are actively asking on the review sites and forums about casinos not on GamStop. One of those sites is Justuk.club, which provides reviews of the newest non Gamstop casinos.
Besides GamStop, there are many other bodies that provide advice to players prone to gambling addiction. For example, Gamban, Gamcare and Gamblock. Likewise, all these committees offer their services for free.
Does GamStop cover Land Based Casinos & Betting Shops?
No, the GamStop scheme covers online casinos and sports betting sites that carry the UKGC license. National Lotto, land based casinos, and betting kiosks are not on this programme. Although this may seem a serious loophole in GamStop; The software assumes that online casino players are a completely different class than regular casinos players.
As per the 2020 UKGC decision, all online casinos were required to join GamStop and share info about banned players.
For regular casinos, there is another self-exclusion programme, SENSE. This scheme achieves the same goals of GamStop, but uses different means such as AI and biometric facial recognition.
Players who are prone to gambling addiction can participate in the SENSE, but they cannot undo their accounts afterwards. If a player tries to access the casino during the exclusion period, the casino’s security will block him directly. In addition, players will not receive any pr messages or marketing campaigns from any casino during the stipulated period.
SENSE is run and managed by the National Casino Forum (NCF) which is an affiliate body to the UKGC.
In order to participate in SENSE, the player must fill in an entry form and wait for the account activation email. Then, all UK casinos will block him.
The minimum cooling-off period is 6 months, while the longest period is 5 years. As we have already mentioned, this scheme is only applicable to UK casinos. So, UK players can resume playing at casinos and betting shops outside the UK while travelling.
GamStop is an excellent tool for all virtual players who are prone to gambling addiction. However, it does not include land based casinos and sports betting kiosks. Regular gambling venues have another programme, SENSE. This scheme works in a similar way but using different tools. Furthermore, there are a lot of other useful bodies that offer free support for players prone to gambling addiction such as Gamban, Gamblock, Gamcare and Net Nanny. If you want to resume playing or if you believe that you have signed up for GamStop by mistake or if you want to resume playing, you can join a non GamStop casino! These sites have great features, but some of them aren’t worth your time. So, make sure to check out all the pros and cons of the casino not on GamStop before joining it!