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GamStop, a free service established to curb the effects of gambling addiction, has won the ‘Data for Good Initiative’.
At the 2022 British Data Awards, this self-exclusion scheme was acknowledged for its efforts to restrict problematic gamblers and their entry to betting sites as well as block transactions to the banned ones.
Getting this award was their confirmation of the good work they’ve been doing, and that would be helping those most affected by gambling addiction.
Between 2020 and 2021, their registrations have drastically grown, reaching a 28% increase which is quite an impressive number. As of now, the GamStop base contains 280,000 profiles for a period ranging from 6 months to 5 years. By providing their information with the registration, users can choose how long they’ll be using GamStop services, and after the time’s up, if they’re going to continue.
On behalf of the gambling self-exclusion scheme, Fiona Palmer GamStop CEO has spoken on the award topic, saying that winning was a stamp of approval on their competence to help those in need by using data safely in the best possible way. And that it only validates how important this initiative is for vulnerable individuals.
She further commented how proud she was of the team in charge of improvements as well as their accomplishments.
On a less positive note, it hasn’t all been that great. Regardless of their registration numbers going up, not everybody’s been happy with their work. Many players who feel too limited by all the restrictions are seeking out online casinos that are not on GamStop. Licensed by gambling commissions outside the UK, there are more than 50 sites that are not registered under GamStop but still accepting UK players to wager.
Despite that, there hasn’t been much concern about this since many stakeholders in the industry have supported the use of data as a way of preventing harm and promoting responsible gambling, including the Gambling Minister Chris Philp.
Back in December, at GambleAware’s annual conference, Gambling Minister Chris Philp openly praised GamStop and applauded its effectiveness. The Gambling Minister further commented that this award was just a validation of the important work GamStop has been doing.
While the government favors preventive mechanisms, enforcing new restrictions each year to protect problematic gamblers, more and more players are feeling restricted and therefore unhappy about this. There’s been a rift between the government measures and what the players want, and it’s hard to find a balance. As a result, a great number of players are deciding to try their options outside GamStop limits.