Gamstop: Preventing Gambling Addiction
The services that are provided by online casinos should be used in a safe and responsible manner, and for recreational purposes only. But sadly, that isn’t always the case. Gambling addiction is a big issue and that is why we are seeing more and more methods to ensure responsible gaming on the internet. This of course includes applications and paid services like Gamblock, Betfilter and Gamban, while alternative (and free) methods are also becoming more prevalent. A great example of a free method is Gamstop.
What is Gamstop exactly?
Gamstop is a free national self-exclusion system in the UK. It is only available for residents of the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), meaning players from other countries will have no use for this particular method. The idea behind this service is to prevent players from the UK from using gambling sites (and applications run by companies that are licensed in the UK) for a period of their choosing. In other words, you can apply for this service to make sure that you are immediately blocked from all participating online casinos. This will prevent you from simply registering an account on yet another website to continue your bad habits.
How does it work?
If you feel like you have gambling problems, then you might want to register with Gamstop. This is free, easy, it won’t take a lot of time and you won’t need to share too much personal information. Some of the things that you will need to share, however are (1) your name, (2) your postcode, (3) your date of birth and (4) your email address. Once you have registered through their website then you will be self-excluded from online gambling for a period of either six months, one year or five years. This depends on the option that you have selected during your registration. Your self-exclusion cannot be cancelled until the given time period has elapsed.
It is also good to know that you cannot sign up another person for Gamstop. Someone with gambling problems will need to do this him- or herself, although you are allowed to help this person with the process of signing up.
What are the advantages of Gamstop?
As mentioned before, this method is completely free, unlike most other services. That means people can make use of Gamstop without having to worry about money, while it will work on all types of devices. Because once you are registered, the casinos will have to block you instead of your device blocking access to the casinos. Most gambling companies are currently participating in this program, so it should work pretty much everywhere. Eventually, all online casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission will need to participate in this service as well. And there is no catch. Gamstop is run by a not-for-profit organisation named The National Online Self Exclusion Scheme Limited, which simply exists to protect problem gamblers.
Is there a downside?
Once you have registered with Gamstop as a UK player, you should be blocked from playing at all participating online casinos. That includes quite a number of companies, which can also be found on the official website. But, again, companies are not yet required to take part in this service. That means not every single online casino will be blocked once you are registered with this national self-exclusion service. Also, casinos will not be prevented from sending you marketing materials in any way. So you might still receive emails with special offers (even if you can’t make use of them anymore) and you may also still find advertisements on websites and social media. You can however simply unsubscribe from whatever they are sending you by following the relevant links which are shown in the bottom of their emails.