GamStop Updates Approved in Bid to Help UK Online Betting Customers Self-Exclude

A system that allows gamblers to block themselves from all UK online betting sites has finally been approved, 18 months after it was due to be released.

GamStop

Sources say GamStop has been approved by the UKGC after fixing previous faults. (Image: GamStop)

Although the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) hasn’t formally announced the news, source close to The Guardian have said regulatory approval is imminent.

The newspaper was one of the first media outlets to identify weaknesses in GamStop. As well as running its own tests on the self-exclusion software, The Guardian obtained a letter from the UKGC.

Ongoing Concerns with GamStop

Addressed to the Remote Gambling Association, the correspondence outlined UKGC executive director Tim Miller’s concerns. In his view, results from various tests failed to provide evidence of GamStop’s “effectiveness” as a universal self-exclusion tool.

In tandem with these concerns, The Guardian found that an excluded player could change their surname and access blocked UK online betting sites.

The news forced GamStop to delay its update once again. Having originally be set for 2017, the new system should launch in the coming weeks according to the latest report.

Once live, it should give consumers the ability to block themselves from all UK online betting sites. What’s more, GamStop should prevent excluded customers from receiving marketing material and incentives to reactivate their accounts.

At present, 99 percent of licensed UK online betting operator have signed up to GamStop. Those that haven’t yet will be prompted to once the new system goes live.

Any operator that fails to join GamStop risks having its licence revoked.

Unified Effort to Make UK Online Betting Better

When asked for a comment, the UKGC told The Guardian it had no announcements at this point. However, the newspaper maintains that an updated version of the software has been given the green light by the UKGC.

In a time when responsible gambling is high on everyone’s agenda, those involved will want to avoid any further delays.

With the likes of 32Red and Ladbrokes receiving seven-figure fines for social responsibility failure in the last 18 months, GamStop should ease some of the burden on operators.

However, even if it does prove effective second time round, the UKGC will still want to see every UK online betting company do its bit to protect vulnerable customers.

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