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Impact of lockdown on online casinos during Covid-19 in the UK [In Collaboration]

By June 19, 2020 No Comments

GAMSTOP, a national online self-exclusion service has documented the impact of lockdown on consumers. On the other hand, the UK Gambling Commission has implemented tighter measures to heighten user protection. In fact, any online gambling operator that needs to be licensed within the UK jurisdiction has to be a member of this self-exclusion scheme. This will go a long way to helping users self-exclude themselves from UK-licensed gambling sites for a period of choice from six months to five years. Direct radio and television advertisement have now been replaced with ads containing gambling messages.

Change in gambling patterns during the lockdown

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and consequent requirement from the government for people to stay at home, engagement of people in online gambling sites has increased steadily. As such, the UK gambling commission has advised all its licensed online gambling companies to set out protection measures and outline expectations regarding keeping users safe while safeguarding them from the negative effects of gambling. Consumers of gambling services are expected to understand that gambling sites feature inbuilt tools that help to set deposit limits. This assists the operator and player maintain spend at a manageable level.

UK Gambling Commission observes gambling behaviour during lockdown

The UK gambling regulator has quickly strengthened rules in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. This has been attributed to the fear that unengaged minds are likely to turn on mass to the vice of online gambling. After the lockdown was announced by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the UKGC observed an increase in online poker, slots, virtual sports, and casino gaming. Although the current “climate” is unprecedented, the regulator has stepped up and insisted that online gambling operators have to play their part by ensuring that people stay safe.

GAMSTOP continues to offer self-exclusion services during the lockdown

With the lockdown effect in place, it has expressed fears of more consumers becoming vulnerable to risks associated with gambling. The chief executive of GAMSTOP, Fiona Palmer, highlighted that the scheme has continued to offer important support during this period. For anyone with Gambling issues, GAMSTOP provides a secure, free and simple solution to address these problems and create a breathing space. Once registered with the scheme, a consumer cannot prematurely withdraw from the scheme. This allows time to seek treatment from the NHS, charities or specialists to help them protect themselves more.

This is only applicable on casinos using a UK-license, which means that non-uk casinos does not have Gamstop implemented. These casinos not connected to Gamstop have their license normally in Curacao and needs to be contacted manually to close your account.

What is likely to cause gambling issues?

It’s quite unclear what causes gambling problems. However, GambleAware, which is an independent government body offers information to help gamblers make informed betting decisions. GambleAware has established a relationship of gambling issues with family behaviours, winning experiences at an early age, and start of gambling at an early age. Health experts have established that gambling issues could be as a result of interaction between various biological, psychological, and social factors. Additionally, those affected by addiction in gambling-related issues tend to be addicts of drugs or alcohol. GambleAware emphasizes the use of GAMSTOP to avoid these menaces.

How Gamstop is helping users to fight gambling-related issues during the lockdown

GAMSTOP is a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme run by a non-profit organization, the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited (NOSES). The scheme excludes you from accessing all UK-licensed online gambling operators. This service provides users with the option of self-excluding themselves from online gambling for a period of once choice from six months, one year, or five years. There are also other self-exclusion schemes available, but they only exclude you from gaming products you’ve chosen as well as specific gambling sites. GambleAware comes in place to help people recognise and understand risks associated with excessive gambling.

Conclusion

Each other month brings post-apocalyptic situations. Just a few months ago, pondering the impact of a likely pandemic on various industries including the iGaming industry would have seemed absurd to most people. With people having ignored esoteric health studies, now here we are with the “real” menace. Experts have been searching for silver linings, hoping that something good could come out on the way of industry-handled COVID-19. A study was recently conducted by YouGov, which was commissioned by the UK gambling regulator. It generally established that more people had stopped gambling during the lockdown.


The regulator has also observed an increase in session length for existing gambling customers. To ensure people remain safe, the UK Gambling Commission and GambleAware have come up with strict measures in a bid to protect players from negative effects of uncontrolled gambling. Having changed the terms of licensing, online gambling operators are now required to register with GAMSTOP scheme so that the service is available to their customers. Anyone with gambling issues can freely access confidential help and information through the National Gambling Treatment Service. Free up yourself today by self-excluding yourself from one place.