When a land based casino gambling enthusiast shows signs of a gambling problem, there are casino employees in place to warn the gambler about the potential harm their actions could cause them. If the problem gambler wants help staying away from the slots and table games, they can request self-exclusion from the casino grounds. Given the limited number of casinos in any given area, it would be pretty easy for a problem gambler to self-exclude from each easily accessible casino separately.
Online gambling tends to be a much bigger problem for problem gamblers. Up until May of 2018, any attempt to self-exclude one from being able to gamble online required the individual to contact each online gambling site individually. That’s a near impossible endeavor when gamblers have access to literally hundreds of online gambling sites without having to leave their couches.
An interesting solution to this issue was introduced in May of 2018 in the form of the Gamstop self-exclusion registry. By filling out a single self-exclusion registration form here on the Gamstop website, the registered problem gambler is immediately granted voluntary self-exclusion based on the terms of their self-imposed period (days, weeks, month, and years, permanent) of self-exclusion. The good news is the single registration is applicable to all online gambling websites that register with Gamstop as participating affiliates. Unfortunately, participation is voluntary for gambling operators, something a lot of gambling sites have chosen not to do as of yet.
That begs the question, “why would any online casino or sports book willingly elect to not participate in a program to help protect vulnerable problem gamblers?”
Potential Reasons Why Online Gambling Sites Might Not Participate with Gamstop
We can start this conversation by taking the low road. Yes, there are a number of online gambling sites that have very little interest in protecting their customers. You can still find a list of casinos not on Gamstop that allows you to circumvent the constraints and keep playing on the websites you’ve already got used to. They are more than happy to keep offering gambling services to every gambler until the pockets and credit cards are drained dry. Fortunately, there aren’t all that many heartless, greedy online gambling sites willing to walk this path.
The most obvious reason a gambling site might neglect participating with Gamstop is a legitimate lack of knowledge about the registry and how it works. In the 18 months since the Gamstop registry first came to life, there have been issues related to getting the word out to some of the smaller online gambling operators.
This is an issue the UK Gambling Commission is likely to rectify sooner rather than later by making participation mandatory. That would put pressure to bear on the new UK casino sites to comply or risk losing licensing to provide gambling services to UK residents.
To be fair, there are some operators knowingly sitting on the sidelines, waiting for relevant data about the success of the Gamstop platform. Their reluctance to move forwards has much to do with the idea they don’t necessarily want to get involved in a program that’s not working if there’s a possibility better options might be coming in the future.