UKGC Introduces a Scheme to Prevent Problem Gambling

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that all iGaming companies operating in the UK will now be required to sign up to the self-exclusion scheme GamStop.

The news comes just has the UKGC revealed that the use of credit cards for the purposes of gambling will be banned in the UK.

GamStop allows players in the UK to exclude themselves from gambling online. Once signed up to the program they can choose 6-month, 1-year or 5-year periods of gambling exclusion. The idea being that they no longer have to request to be blocked by individual online casinos but will instead automatically be prohibited from playing if they attempt to log in or register with a participating online casino. Until now, an online casino’s participation in the scheme has been voluntary, but this will soon no longer be the case.

More than 118,000 people have signed up to GamStop since it was founded in 2017, and as of 31 March this year, it will become mandatory for all online gaming companies with customers in the UK to register with GamStop as part of their licencing conditions.

Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission said: “By the 31 March all online operators will be required to participate in the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. Although the vast majority of operators are already participating in GamStop this will make the coverage comprehensive.”

“Operators must do everything they can to minimise the risk of gambling related harm. That is why we expect the industry to create safe products, know their customers, understand what they can afford to gamble with and identify when they are experiencing harm and step in”, McArthur continued.

GamStop chief executive Fiona Palmer added: “We have been working very hard for the last two years to ensure that GamStop becomes a trusted, secure and independent service that helps anyone who has an issue with their gambling to exclude themselves from the majority of online sites.”

This new regulatory requirement is the latest measure aimed at safeguarding players and reducing the risk of gambling-related harm. This week it was also announced that UK online casinos and other gambling platforms would no longer be able to take credit card payments from customers. 

Some of the most well-known and best online casinos in the UK such as PlayFrank, Paddy Power and William Hill must now sign up to GamStop in order to ensure casino players playing from the UK are safe and well-protected.

Identifying whether a provider is a safe online casino to play at or not has been made a bit easier thanks to these new industry standards. Players can now focus on other factors when choosing a casino, such as game choice and pay-out times, and be reassured that they will be better protected should they find their gambling getting out of control. 

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