The headline might come as a bit of a surprise seeing it is on a website that promotes online betting sites and offers betting tips. However, we at Online Bookies are big believers that betting should be enjoyable, you should get fun out of placing a bet, but you should bet responsibly and it shouldn’t become a problem. The vast majority of punters do enjoy gambling and do play responsibly but unfortunately for some it does become a problem, an addiction, and they find themselves spiraling out of control. This isn’t good obviously for the person, and on many occasions the people around them as well but it is also not good for the gambling industry as a whole, including other punters.
In recent times there has been a huge emphasis on problem gambling and rightly gambling companies have had to play their fair share in helping the issue. Granted, this is still early days and some gambling companies haven’t always got this right with some earning themselves some hefty fines from the UK Gambling Commission for not safeguarding problem gamblers. One good thing the many online betting companies were doing was offering self-exclusion and cool off periods as well as spending limits and now the UKGC insist as part of their licences that gambling websites offer both self-exclusion and cooling off periods but also limits on spending or play time. These are good things to have in place to help customers but they are not perfect and there is nothing to stop someone simply signing up to another gambling website and carrying on their gambling activities when they should have stopped. This is where GamStop comes into play.
GamStop is a great, free, product that is offered by The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Ltd who are a not for profit organisation. What GamStop does basically is allows you to sign up for self-exclusion and it will exclude you from gambling at all of the online betting sites licensed in the United Kingdom for a selected amount of time, either 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. Signing up is simple and easy for those wishing to do this and you can visit GamStop Here. If you wish to proceed and block yourself from all the UK gambling sites you then simply verify your email, provide some personal details, decide how long you want to self-exclude and within 24 hours you will not be able to play at any UK licensed gambling sites.
As we mentioned at the top we take responsible gambling seriously but unfortunately we had an extra reason to post this. The day before we wrote this we came across this thread at the Casinomeister forum exposing some, quite frankly, disgusting activities.
You may or may not know but to operate in the United Kingdom gambling operators must have a licence granted by the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission). So in theory if a player in the UK self-excludes with GamStop they shouldn’t be able to play at any gambling websites because they are blocked from UK licensed ones and wouldn’t be able to play at any another’s because gambling sites because they don’t have a UK licence. Unfortunately there are a few rogue gambling sites that will accept UK customers even though they are not supposed to due to having no licence. Not only do players at these gambling sites not have the same protections and high standards as at licensed sites it also means they won’t be under the protection of GamStop, thus being open to problem gamblers. If you thought that was bad enough the thread at Casinomeister highlights a number of affiliate portal websites, not only advertising these gambling sites but also actively promoting them in a way that would appeal to problem gamblers searching for gambling sites not affiliated with GamStop. Basically preying on problem gamblers, with wrong on so many levels.
Reading the thread was not a great read although it was heartwarming to see some many people in the gambling community come together to condemn these actions. What we did find useful though and wanted to share with you all is a solution to rogue gambling sites accepting players they shouldn’t be. A well respected affiliate marketer in the casino industry, Duncan, has produced a brilliant tool similar to GamStop, but goes further. He has created the Bet Blocker tool which doesn’t just restrict you from UK licensed sites, it currently will block you from over 6000 different gambling sites with more being added as and when they are found.
Hopefully everyone continues to enjoy gambling sensibly but if you are worried there are plenty of resources such as BeGambleAware and GamCare to look at first for help. If you are currently struggling please take advantage of either GamStop or especially Bet Blocker and hopefully we can rid the world of these rogue gambling sites and rogue affiliate sites who are happy to prey on problem gamblers.