More than 300,000 people in the UK are now registered with GAMSTOP, the free, independent national self-exclusion scheme for online gambling, with a monthly average of more than 7,000 new sign ups this year.
GAMSTOP has released its data for the first six months of 2022 against the backdrop of the Government’s delayed White Paper on reforming the gambling laws, now not expected until the autumn. From January-June 2022, more than 43,500 people registered to exclude themselves from UK-licensed online sites – up nine per cent on the first six months of 2021.
Generally, the highest number of registrations are recorded in the winter months, but there were more sign-ups in the second quarter of 2022 than in the final quarter of 2021. This trend looks set to continue; on July 1st, 371 people registered to exclude themselves – the highest number of registrations in a single day since the service was launched in April 2018.
GAMSTOP CEO, Fiona Palmer said: “Our most recent data suggests gambling-related harm remains a serious problem and it is widely accepted that action is needed to protect those most at risk. We are now recording an average of more than 7,000 new registrants each month, which is almost a double-digit increase year-on-year.
“Although we cannot be certain about the reasons for this, our internal analysis implies that higher volumes of self-exclusion are evidence of a sustained prevalence of gambling-related harm, as well as a greater awareness of GAMSTOP. We look forward to seeing the Government’s recommendations for reforming the gambling laws in the forthcoming White Paper, now expected this autumn.”
In the second quarter of 2022 there was a five increase in registrations from 16-24-year-olds and 58% of all registrants were under 35, as of the end of June. Currently, 30 per cent of registrants are female, but in February 2022 a record 33% of those who self-excluded were women.
Registration with GAMSTOP is free, with people asked to fill in personal details and select an exclusion period of six months, one year or five years. As of June 2022, nearly 50 per cent of those registered have chosen to put in place a five-year exclusion, the longest term possible.
GAMSTOP was launched in April 2018 and, as of the end of June 2022, 91 per cent of the 300,631 people who have registered since its inception, are currently excluded. Fewer exclusions were removed in June 2022 than in any of the five preceding five months. In May 2022, GAMSTOP won the ‘Data for Good Initiative’ at this year’s British Data Awards, alongside its technology partner The Data Shed, in recognition of its capability to use data safely to protect potentially vulnerable individuals.