The rising popularity of GAMSTOP, a free service that lets UK residents control and restrict their online betting activities
Early this month, we wrote about GAMSTOP, a free service that lets UK residents exclude themselves from all online betting sites licensed in Great Britain and also put controls in place to help restrict their online gambling activities.
GAMSTOP is an initiative by UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) to control the rise of gambling addiction in the country. GAMSTOP is currently operated by the national online self-exclusion scheme limited. The program is designed to help players who want to take a break from online gambling.
GAMSTOP software blocks all gambling and gambling-related sites from all players’ devices. The block starts once you register to their site and opt for a self-exclusion scheme of your choice. The period of exclusion varies from 6 months to 5 years.
You would not be able to get out of the block until the period elapses. The only option is to join these online casinos that don’t have GAMSTOP and gamble at your own risk (as these casino sites don’t have UKGC licenses). As Gamstop is under the regulation of the UK government, the service is free but only available to citizens of Britain and Ireland.
In recent years, the Gamstop system has gained tremendous popularity. According to statistical data gathered by NonGamStopBets, the number of users has increased significantly since its inception four years ago. Today, GAMSTOP is now the most popular self-exclusion scheme in the UK. As of November, GAMSTOP has helped over 250,000 people to regain control over their online gambling.
Why The Rise in Popularity of GAMSTOP in Recent Years?
Increasing Marketing Of Online Gambling
For many years, offline-based casinos have thrived. However, with the rise of the Internet, the number of online casinos and sportsbooks has skyrocketed as more people work from home due to the ongoing pandemic. Unless you use an ad-blocker, now it is hard to avoid advertisements for casinos and betting sites. Unlike the traditional casinos, online gaming and betting casino sites use the newest technologies to target potential online players and gamers.
With the modernization of gambling, the popularity of gambling also increased. Thus, the need for self-exclusion programs like GAMSTOP. Each licensed casino must have some support program and promote responsible gambling. The site operators need to regulate the site to prevent underage gambling and help problem gamblers.
Increase in Number of People Working From Home
Before the pandemic began in February 2020, only about 2 percent of the U.S. workforce was working remotely, by May 2020, that number had jumped to close to 70 percent. The pandemic has now accelerated the future of remote work.
According to research by Verizon, gaming usage was up 75% in 2020 as Americans spend more time at home during the early days of the pandemic. The US is no exception. The same happened in the UK and also led to the rise in the level of online betting activities. As businesses reopened in 2021 and many Britons returned back to work. Many of them had no choice but to turn self-exclusion programs like GAMSTOP for rescue.
Some UK residents turned to GAMSTOP when they realize that gambling is interfering with their jobs and daily schedules. As a result, they seek help from such organizations and self-exclude themselves from online betting activities.
The proliferation of Online Gambling Advertisements
The main reason for the growing popularity of GAMSTOP is the rise of the gambling industry. Once a casino or betting site gets licensed by UKGC, they can openly market their sites. Such casinos promote responsible gambling through self-exclusion programs of GAMSTOP.
Advertisements of casinos and sportsbooks pop up in several Android and non-Android applications, televisions, and other websites. Sports as an industry have embraced gambling advertisements, mainly due to the vast profit the clubs make through sponsorships from gambling sites.
A statistical report revealed about 60% display names of the bookies, while 59% of the stadium advertises betting sites. Another report showed that 56% of the organizers are tied up with some sportsbooks or casinos. The high rate of deals, sponsorships, partnerships, and endorsements has increased the advertisements and exposure of gambling.
Over-exposure through advertisements triggers the urge to gamble and may result in addiction or stimulate addiction in problem gamblers. Ultimately, gamble addicts or their family and friends seek help from organizations such as GAMSTOP to break from gambling as it blocks all the gambling and gambling-related sites.
The GAMSTOP system mainly works based on blocking, where it blocks all gambling sites, other related sites, and their advertisements. Apart from GAMSTOP, there are several other blockers such as Netnanny, Betblocker, GamBan, etc. GAMSTOP is the most popular one in the UK as it is a part of UKGC and is included in the “responsible gambling” program of all UKGC licensed casinos and sportsbooks.