The industry’s own self-exclusion scheme, GamStop, has said it is working hard to improve its service after a BBC expose found excluded gamblers could easily bypass the system.
The scheme, which launched in April 2018, is designed to allow punters to block themselves from access to all licensed UK online gambling operators, for periods of six months up to 1-or-5 years.
BBC Five Live reporter showed this not to be the case however, as excluded bettors can easily register with igaming operators by simply changing a few details.
The customary bilge came from Labour MP Carolyn Harris, chair of the cross-party parliamentary group on UK gambling, who said: “Don’t tell me, that these industry bodies, that fund these schemes are acting in anything other than their self-interest.”
GamStop itself was quick to offer a more constructive prognosis.
Fiona Palmer explained that the scheme was striving to overcome a myriad of technological hurdles – made all the more complex given the UK does not have an national ID scheme, and nothing like this has ever been done before.
“Since the UK does not have a national ID scheme, matching consumers is reliant on the information they provide to GamStop and also the quality of information held by each operator,” said Palmer. “Operators have varied methods of verification and differ vastly in size and scope.
“This makes GamStop an extremely complex technology project. We are working closely with operators to understand this further and will continue to do so following the Gambling Commission’s work on verification. The recent “consumer account function” available on the GamStop website will make it easier for people to update their details thereby maximising their protection.”