GamStop close to approval by the Gambling Commission – True or False?

Readers of The Guardian were assured yesterday that GamStop “has finally been approved by the industry regulator, 18 months after it was supposed to be ready”.

This appears to have been a premature story because not only, by The Guardian‘s own admission, had the Gambling Commission told it “We have nothing further to announce on this at the moment” but, according to a Gambling Compliance article published today, the Commission is “denying The Guardian report that it is poised to approve GamStop and activate its mandatory usage”.

The Guardian‘s article (somewhat prematurely entitled “Regulator approves self-exclusion system for problem gamblers”) maintained that the Commission “is expected to announce the requirement as soon as this week, after satisfying itself that concerns about the scheme’s effectiveness have been dealt with”.

You can also read:

  • hereCasinoGuardian article published today entitled “British Gambling Firms May Lose Their Licences for Failing to Implement the GAMSTOP Self-Exclusion Scheme” and
  • here a Mail Online article entitled “Betting websites face losing their licence if they decline to sign up to GamStop, the service allowing problem gamblers to ban themselves from every online account”

each of which expand on The Guardian story with comment arising from the Commission’s LCCP social responsibility code provision 3.5.5 that:

  • 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).

We await further developments but, in the meantime, you can also access via the links below our previous website postings on the subject of Gamstop:

UPDATE: Gambling Insider has today reported that the Guardian article is inaccurate, quoting a spokesperson for the Gambling Commission as having told it:

Gamstop will be a helpful additional tool for users, and it is important to get it right. Gamstop is working towards providing us with the necessary assurances to allow us to trigger the requirement for all operators to become members.

We cannot bring the condition into force until that information has been received, considered and taken to our board for a decision on commencement.

Our board would also decide on the length of the implementation period, but there will be at least four weeks between notification of license commencement and the condition coming into force.

It should be recognised the majority of operators are already fully integrated with Gamstop.