The United Kingdom's Remote Gambling Association announced on June 1 that it will deploy a National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme under the brand name GAMSTOP. It will allow consumers throughout the U.K. to exclude themselves from internet gambling sites from a single website rather than having to communicate with each individual operator separately. This new functionality is expected to go live by the end of 2017 as revealed in a press release.
By entering their details into a single, nation-wide database, individuals will be able to exclude themselves from all gambling companies that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. The intention is to combat problem gambling by giving people a one-stop destination allowing them to opt-out of all kinds of online wagering: Sports-betting, casino gaming, poker, bingo, and many other games are included. As it stands now, people with gambling problems can open up accounts at new sites even if they had earlier possessed the foresight to restrict themselves from their prior accounts. Individual gambling firms will link to GAMSTOP on their websites, and the GAMSTOP site will contain information about responsible gambling.
Under the terms of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act of 2014, any offshore online gambling sites that wish to service the U.K. market must be approved by the U.K. Gambling Commission. Part of the rules they have to comply with involve participation in a National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme, which the UKGC determined would best be created by the Remote Gambling Association, a global trade group for the online gambling industry. It took a few years to get the ball rolling, but efforts were given a boost by consulting firm KPMG, which was retained in 2016 to conduct a study for the RGA and assist in the implementation phase.
Under the provisions of the relevant legislation, all licensed gambling companies that offer their services to U.K. residents must comply with the Gambling (Advertising and Licensing) Act, which means they're required to join the GAMSTOP program. Some of the poker rooms in good standing that are currently licensed include:
When you sign up at any one of these sites, you can rest assured that all the proper protocols, as stipulated by the U.K. Gambling Commission, are being scrupulously followed. Whenever the GAMSTOP system is rolled out, these companies are slated to become full participants.