In mid to late 2018, an initiative was launched in the UK called gamstop which had been aimed at reducing the participation options for problem gamblers within the country – as of April this year, it had been made mandatory for all operators within the country to register with the scheme, making a change from the voluntary nature it had previously been. It had already been touted as a great success as over 350,000 users were supposedly registered within the first two years – but what other impact has this had on the online UK casino industry?
The biggest change seen has been within the methods used to move around the mandatory nature of this scheme – many have chosen to register outside of the UK in countries such as Malta which have many of the same protections and safety regulations for participating players, but have no requirement to register with gamstop, for those looking to play on these sites not registered this non gamstop casino site list may be a great resource to start – but the number of sites moving has been growing since the mandatory change was announced so you may find that your favourite site will move too. This change has not been without fault or its own teething issues either, it was quickly discovered that users who had registered to the scheme were unable to participate, but would still receive marketing materials through email and text, undermining the goal of the scheme.
This has also spurred other changes, however, that may have had a bigger impact on the online casinos based in the UK – one of these changes had also been introduced in April around a similar time to the mandatory gamstop change, this was seen with a recent ban to all credit card betting online. This change had also been aimed at reducing the number of problem gamblers within the country, but as alternatives continue to be widespread it’s difficult to know how successful this has been. Other recent changes have also had their impact, as a result of the coronavirus many other requirements have been put in place across the country to reduce exposure – one of which had been a request that these operators not advertise through television and radio, which many did so without protest – but the date for which this was required has since passed and there may now be an uptick in usership as many can appeal to new users once again.
It has been hinted that the lockdown efforts may cause a widespread growth in this market as a growing number of players look for a way to spend their time whilst stuck at home, and there will no doubt be a lot of data gathered to see the impacts of the coronavirus and gamstop, and how this has changed the sector – but as it it stands, gamstop has been deemed a success thus far, and is expected to continue to be a success despite the restrictions.