The BBC programme “5 Live Investigates” which was aired on the 13th of January revealed flaws in the GamStop scheme which enabled problem gamblers to breach the system. GamStop was launched in April last year to assist players with gambling problems to self-exclude themselves form all gambling operators for a period of up to 5 years. Over 50,000 players from the UK had signed up to the scheme by November last year.
Breaching the system
The flaws discovered that some problem gamblers were still able to gamble by simply changing a letter in their name or by registering under a different email address when opening a new account.Sarah Hanratty, Senet Group Chief Executive Sarah, stated that the independent industry standards association was disappointed with the results of the investigation. Nevertheless, Hanratty and the Senet Group still back comprehensive self-exclusion schemes as a directive for tackling and preventing problem gambling. “What is important, is that these schemes are not regarded as the final solution, but the first steps for gamblers who genuinely want to take control of their issues – self-exclusion is an important part of that journey”. When presented with the findings, Ms Palmer, the chief executive of GamStop said: “We are taking on board the feedback and we are looking to improve the scheme”.
More to be done
The Gambling Commission, which regulates the industry, has said it will soon announce the results of a consultation on using ID verification, which would prevent customers gambling using incorrect details on online gambling sites.