38,000 self-excluders already registered with GAMSTOP

With this year’s Responsible Gambling Week drawing to a close tomorrow, it is encouraging to learn that 38,000 persons have so far registered with GamStop to self-exclude from online gambling.

Commenting on this, Fiona Palmer, GamStop‘s CEO, has said:

We’re very pleased with the response so far as the initial uptake proves there is clearly a need for this scheme. We will soon be embarking on our first phase of evaluation which will help shape future improvements and enhancements to the service.

Following the soft launch of GamStop in April of this year, the Gambling Commission notified all relevant remote gambling operators licensed by it of the steps that they would need to take to ensure compliance with LCCP social responsibility code provision 3.5.5. That code provision:

  • will come into force one month after notification by the Commission of the establishment of a national online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme and
  • from that time will require all such licence holders to “participate in the national multi-operator self-exclusion scheme” (i.e. GamStop)

That notification has not yet been given by the Commission, but a month ago, it wrote to relevant licence-holders who had not yet registered with GamStop requiring them to provide either (a) written confirmation of registration or (b) an explanation why they had not yet registered. 

In its letter, the Commission said that LCCP social responsibility code provision 3.5.5:

….. will come into force one month after the Commission confirms that the national online self-exclusion scheme is available. We will do this once we have assurances that a successful scheme is operational. You will be aware that GAMSTOP went live with those operators who had fully integrated in April and this initial phase of GAMSTOP will allow for an assessment of its successful operation. Once the code comes into force only those operators who are able to check whether new or existing customers have self-excluded on GAMSTOP will be able to continue to provide facilities for gambling.

GAMSTOP’s experience to date has indicated that it can take up to 6 weeks to fully integrate with the live GAMSTOP platform. It is therefore essential that you commence the process now.

In order to prepare for SRCP 3.5.5 coming into force you must take action now by emailing [email protected] in order to gain access to the Operator Portal and initiate the on-boarding process. 

The requirement to register with GamStop applies to the holders of all remote gambling licences granted by the Gambling Commission except:

  • any remote lottery licence the holder of which does not provide facilities for participation in instant win lotteries,
  • ancillary remote betting licences,
  • remote general betting (remote platform) licences,
  • remote betting intermediary (trading room only) licences,
  • remote general betting (limited) licences,
  • gaming machine technical licences,
  • gambling software licences,
  • host licences,
  • ancillary remote bingo licences, and
  • ancillary remote casino licences

A formal announcement is awaited but it is considered likely that the above-mentioned notification by the Gambling Commission could occur very soon, resulting in the official launch of GamStop in the New Year 2019, as mentioned in our 20 September 2018 posting entitled “Labour party plans radical overhaul of gambling regulation and advertising”.

Any relevant operators who have not yet registered with GamStop should therefore do so now in order to minimise the risk of non-compliance with LCCP social responsibility code provision 3.5.5 once it comes into force.

You can read more about GamStop here, including David Clifton’s May 2018 “Licensing Expert” article for SBC News entitled “Time for remote operators to focus on Gamstop”.