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GAMSTOP self-exclusion scheme unveiled for vulnerable players

GAMSTOP self-exclusion websiteA new self-exclusion scheme, which will be employed by UK Gambling Commission licensed online gaming sites has been previewed.

Problem gambling affects people all around the world, even in jurisdictions where gambling is illegal. The UK’s gaming regulator understands this and instead of prohibiting online gambling – as Australia is in the process of doing – and ignoring the issue it has adopted a system which will protect vulnerable players.

The system, which is hoped to be rolled out by the end of 2017, was created by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) trade group. The name of the self-exclusion scheme, GAMSTOP, was revealed on Thursday.

GAMSTOP, formerly known as the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme (NOSES) will be employed by online casinos governed by the UK Gambling Commission. It will allow players to exclude themselves from all of the Gambling Commission’s licensed sites. Vulnerable players – or concerned family members and friends – can visit the GAMSTOP website and block access from all UK licensed online gambling sites.

Online casinos such as G’day, which is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, will implement this feature which is ideal for blackjack players who find themselves getting carried away.

The GAMSTOP website also offers a range of other measures to support problem gamblers as required by the responsible gambling policies outlined in the UK’s Gambling (Advertising and Licensing) Act 2014.

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The RGA was signed on as the developer of the self-exclusion program at the start of 2016 and RGA director of social responsibility, Fiona Palmer, said now the name has been revealed “and process design well established, the focus in the coming months will be on technology integration and industry communication.”

UK Gambling Commission program director, Paul Hope, praised GAMSTOP and looked forward to its availability as “a powerful tool for those that need it.”

Online casinos offering blackjack and a range of other casino games licensed by the UK Gambling Commission do have a number of self-exclusion features, including the ability to limit deposits and time spent on the site.

But the single-request functionality of the new program will make it a lot easier for vulnerable players.

The requisite of a self-exclusion program became prevalent recently after it was revealed 888 Holdings was under investigation. One if its subsidiaries reportedly failed to comply with the UK Gambling Commission’s policy of implementing “effective self-exclusion tools across different operating platforms.”

888Holdings which runs one of the biggest online poker sites in the world may be fined or have its license revoked as a result.

“The Company has been informed that the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission is currently conducting a review of the manner in which a subsidiary of the Company (the “Licensee”) has carried on its licensed activities to ensure compliance with the UKGC operating licence held by the Licensee,” the company said.

“The review has been initiated to assess certain measures that the Licensee employs to ensure social responsibility to its customers including, amongst other items, effective self-exclusion tools across different operating platforms.”

The investigation follows Paddy Power Betfair being fined by the UK Gambling Commission for failure to improve policies relating to anti-money laundering. The company paid £280,000 ($AUD488,029) for the violation.