Gamstop effectiveness questioned by UK Gaming Commission

News on 19 May 2018

The Guardian newspaper has carried several anti-gambling articles this week following the government’s decision to chop FOBT maximum bets to GBP 2, but it took a different tack Friday in a story which questioned the effectiveness of the Gamstop player self-exclusion system pioneered by the Gambling Commission and the Remote Gaming Association.

The newspaper claims to have had sight of a letter from Commission executive director Tim Miller to the RGA expressing concerns about “unacceptable” flaws in Gamstop that include a lack of synchronisation with the promotional and marketing lists of online gambling operators, which has meant that self-excluded gamblers could still receive promotional inducements via direct digital mail systems.

Miller reportedly told the RGA that it was “unacceptable that currently GamStop does not interact with marketing lists in that way” and that the Commission was prepared to demand that firms do not send marketing messages to people who have signed up to either GamStop or another self-exclusion scheme, on pain of losing their licence.

The newspaper reports that it carried out tests of Gamstop itself Friday which “revealed what appeared to be flaws in the technology” in that it proved easy to register with several gambling websites following a self-exclusion filing by simply changing the surname on the account, even when details such as mobile phone number, email and home address remained the same.

A Gamstop spokesperson responded to the newspaper by explaining that the system was still being fine-tuned and would be reviewed to see whether user details could be safely linked to marketing lists without compromising personal data.

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