Gamstop’s Self-Exclusion in the UK

Regardless of whether you’re looking to learn more about it for your own usage, a friend or even a customer, it’s good to get to grips with this service as a whole.

How Does Gamstop Work?

To start off with, it’s worth going over what Gamstop is specifically, and how it works. As noted on their official website here, Gamstop is a free, online self-exclusion service for gamblers. It puts people in control of what gaming and betting platforms they can access and where they can spend their money online.

The sign-up process for Gamstop is relatively simply, as it involves a basic registration process. Once you’ve registered your details with Gamstop, you have to provide some proof of identity so that your details can be verified. Gamers are also put in control of how long the exclusion period lasts, so that is asked during this process as well.

Gamblers can choose to be excluded from online gambling websites for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years in total. Once a gambler has put their details through the application process with Gamstop, it can take up with a day for the exclusion to start. Once the exclusion period is over, a manual request to remove it is required from the gambler.

Something that Gamstop highlights on their website is that it is absolutely essential for gamers to keep their details up to date on their Gamstop profile. After all, the service cannot effectively exclude people if it is working with out of date information. Gamblers have to take full responsibility for this when using the Gamstop service.

Once a person is signed up for Gamstop, every gambling company and online casino that has a UK license will be aware that they are excluded from online gaming services. The person in question will then no longer be allowed to access these websites, and they will not be able to play any related games, either.

Another important thing to point out about the Gamstop self exclusion service is that it does not remove gambling-related marketing and content from people’s social media pages or email accounts. This is another responsibility that falls directly to the person using the service.

All in all, Gamstop is easy to sign up for, manage and use. It’s great for people who are looking to cut down on their online gambling habits, or hoping to stop playing their games outright. It takes conscious effort and can prove difficult for some, but over time, it produces some brilliant results for many. However, the need to bypass it can arise- perhaps due to accidental registration, or a change of heart.

Gambling Laws in the UK: A Brief Note

To put Gamstop into context, it’s worth considering what gambling laws there are in the UK. Generally speaking, the UK gambling scene is vibrant and it offers lots of different kinds of games. UK gambling laws allow for regulated casino and table games, sports betting, bingo, lotteries and gaming machines.

It’s important to point out that the legal age for gambling in the UK is 18. As a whole, people under 18 are not allowed to partake in any gambling or betting endeavours. Every institution from bingo halls to racetracks will ensure that minors can not play, and people between 16-18 who do manage to find a game will be liable for this.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. Arcades are the most obvious examples of this, as there are a number of games in a standard arcade – like penny pushers or claw machines – that are technically gambling. These do not have a minimum legal age, or carry any penalties with them.

The National Lottery, football pools and other lotteries are allowed to be played by people who are 16 and older, too. Other forms of gambling that are low stakes or non-commercial are allowed too, but it’s essential that the 16 year olds in question research this before playing, to avoid any issues.

As pointed out by this helpful piece by GambleAware, the UK gambling scene features licensing from the UK Gambling Commission and local authorities, too. The licenses ensure a high quality of gameplay and customer protection, and it’s important to look for these licenses when choosing a gaming provider to play with.

It’s reassuring to note that the UK gambling industry places a lot of responsibility on gambling providers to advertise their wares and services in a responsible, mindful manner. The aforementioned GambleAware article notes that a link to their website is usually a requirement in a gaming advert or piece of marketing material.

Something else that’s good to note about the UK gambling sector is that other forms of gambling that are not usually considering gaming, like financial spread betting, are still heavily regulated. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This organisation gives out licenses and monitors financial spread betting providers.

To sum this part up, the UK gambling scene is well regulated and features a lot of protection for both underage people and gamblers. While there are certainly improvements that could be made – like a better understanding of new game styles, like eSports tournaments – it’s a well protected and monitored scene.

Contacts and Location of the Gamstop Organisation

Gamstop is a UK based organisation, and their headquarters can be found in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It’s a relatively small company, with a dedicated team that works exclusively with customers and an outsourced technology provider. The technology providers are UK based too, and can be found in Leeds.

If you’re looking to get in contact with Gamstop, there are a number of methods you can use, as set out on their website here. There is a phone line that customers can call, for help with registration, updates or extensions. It’s 0800 138 6518, and is open from 10am to 8pm, every single day of the week.

There is also an option to chat with a team member on the Gamstop website, which is very handy. This is especially suitable for people who need quick answers to their questions or concerns. The web chat is accessible from 10am to 8pm every day, just like the phone line.

The final way that customers can contact Gamstop is via email. The standard contact email is listed as helpdesk@gamstop.co.uk, and customers can send their queries or questions here. There is also a press office contact email, which is listed as media@gamstop.co.uk, and this is for journalists and researchers specifically.

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