GAMSTOP gets switched on

The first implementation phase of the UK’s national online self-exclusion scheme GamStop has commenced.

This follows an announcement by the Remote Gambling Association (“RGA”) last December that the Registration Form and the GamStop Operator Side Implementation Guidance (GOSIG) were available via the GamStop Operator Portal to enable the onboarding process for all British licensed online gambling operators to integrate with GamStop.

As at 24 April 2018, 70 operators had registered to participate in the scheme.

In terms of background, Social Responsibility code provision 3.5.5 within the Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice:

  • applies to all remote licences, except any remote lottery licence the holder of which does not provide facilities for participation in instant win lotteries, ancillary remote betting, remote general betting (remote platform), remote betting intermediary (trading room only), remote general betting (limited), gaming machine technical, gambling software, host, ancillary remote bingo, and ancillary remote casino licences,
  • requires that “Licensees must participate in the national multi-operator self-exclusion scheme” and
  • will come into force one month after notification by the Commission of the establishment of a national online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme

The GamStop Home Page is accessible here but, for the benefit of those considering self-exclusion, it is currently stated on an initial webpage that:

  • GAMSTOP currently includes a large number of online gambling websites, but not all.
  • Later this year, all online gambling websites will be required to join by the Gambling Commission.
  • Until then you can register early with GAMSTOP, which will exclude you from the gambling websites that have signed up already.
  • Coverage will increase as more online gambling firms join the scheme, without you having to reregister with GAMSTOP. A list of participating gambling companies is in the footer of the site. If you gamble online with a company that is not listed and want to be excluded from the site, then you will need to contact them directly.

The Gambling Commission has yet to update its own webpage on the “Online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme” but, when it does so, it will no doubt indicate exactly when Social Responsibility code provision 3.5.5 is to come into force.

In the meantime, operators who have not yet registered to participate in the GamStop scheme should:

  • read the RGA’s 14 December 2017 press release
  • complete and submit their qualification self-certification form to
  • fully integrate with the scheme and send their live customers’ data to the GamStop Production Matching Service
  • place the GamStop consumer facing content live on their sites, including:
    • onsite display of the hyperlinked GamStop Logo
    • information for responsible gambling pages on operator websites
    • customer signposting following operator self-exclusion (for customers who have just self-excluded from individual operator sites)
    • the following Gamstop customer contact details: Telephone: 0800 138 6518 (8am to midnight, 7 days a week).