UK Gambling Self-Exclusion Programme Delayed (Update)

GAMSTOP postponed giving operators more time for implementation

GAMSTOP, an online gambling industry national self-exclusion initiative created and managed by the Remote Gaming Association and scheduled for implementation by the end of 2017, has reportedly been postponed until spring 2018 in order to give operators more time to prepare and put in place the required facilities.

InfoPowa readers may recall the announcement in June this year that GAMSTOP was in preparation and would enable gamblers in the UK to self-exclude in one transaction covering all UK licensed and regulated online gambling operators.

In August 2016 the RGA commenced a scoping study for the development of the scheme. The work was undertaken by an industry steering group made up of RGA members as well as engagement with stakeholders such as the Gambling Commission, GambleAware and GamCare.

The RGA has since been able to make progress into a detailed design phase which will incorporate a new entity to manage the scheme and select a provider to implement and manage the scheme’s technology, amongst other work.

Membership of an online-self-exclusion scheme is a LCCP requirement for all customer facing online gambling operators licensed by the Gambling Commission except lottery operators that don’t offer instant win games.

The UK Gambling Commission is strongly supportive of this industry-led initiative, saying in a statement that it would work closely with the Remote Gaming Association on the project, and that the creation and management of such a scheme by the RGA demonstrates the industry’s commitment to improving player protection.

“An industry-led and managed solution is best placed to deliver an effective and efficient scheme by building, in particular, on the core experience and expertise in the industry of developing and overseeing large IT solutions, as well as administering current self-exclusion schemes,” the Commission observed.

“We have a keen interest in ensuring that a successful scheme is developed and implemented for consumers. We want continuing focus during the design of the scheme on the customers that will use it and we will assist by offering advice on the principles that should underpin a fit for purpose, consumer-focused scheme.”

The Commission has confirmed that the final scheme will include all relevant online operators licensed by the Gambling Commission and not just RGA members.