Gambling Commission announces that all online gambling operators must participate in GAMSTOP by 31 March 2020.

The Gambling Commission has today announced a requirement for all online gambling operators to participate in the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP, which will become a licence condition for online operators by 31 March 2020. The Gambling Commission has made the decision as part of its action to improve gambling safeguards which includes a credit card ban. Back in April 2018, the Front Runner reported that the Gambling Commission had written to all operators reminding them of their responsibilities in respect of social responsibility code provision 3.5.5, which requires that all online operators participate in a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme.

Although the vast majority of operators are already participating in GAMSTOP, the Commission has explained that this will make the coverage comprehensive. Fiona Palmer, chief executive of GAMSTOP, welcomes today’s announcement explaining that “more than 118,000 people have already used GAMSTOP to exclude themselves from online gambling for either six months, a year or five years, and today’s announcement recognises the progress that we have made.”

Neil McArthur has again provided the Commission’s support behind GAMSTOP and has reported that “we welcome the fact that GAMSTOP have got to this stage in their development and encourage them to continue to improve their offer, particularly in relation to preventing those who have self-excluded being targeted by direct marketing.”

Culture Minister Helen Whately notes the positive impact that GAMSTOP has already had on the sector and explains that “by making it a regulatory requirement for all online gambling websites licensed in Great Britain to sign up to Gamstop, I am confident that people who have taken the significant step to opt out of gambling will be well supported, alongside a wide range of other tools.”  Additionally, she has said that the government would carry out a review of the 2005 Gambling Act although no date has yet been set.

More information on this can be found here.