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Simon Deloit September 11, 2019 3 min read
UK Gambling Licenses Conditional on GamStop Membership
- All UK casinos will need to sign up for GamStop for
- Membership in the initiative is a prerequisite for obtaining a license
- Gambling companies will synchronize their lists of problem gamblers with GamStop’s
All UK gaming and betting companies will now have to sign up for GamStop in order to retain or apply for a license. The UKGC is yet to make an official announcement about the move, sources have reported.
UKGC to Make GamStop Official Condition for Obtaining a UK License
GamStop, the self-exclusion gaming program in the United Kingdom, has announced that moving forward all gaming companies will need to sign up for the program as part of their licensing agreement in the country.
In order to obtain a UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) licensing, casino operators will need to become members of the program designed to protect problem gamblers from coming into harm. The program took nearly 18 months to be fully approved and vetted.
The process wasn’t smooth. In January 2019, the BBC exposed flaws with the initiative, showing how easy it was for a problem gambler to bypass the security measures in the system. After the report, GamStop Executive Fiona Palmer said that the feedback would be taken into consideration.
As of today, however, GamStop will be one of the defining conditions to obtain a UK license. However, the UKGC hasn’t yet confirmed the move, with the Commission focusing on suspending EveryMatrix’s license as well as preparing a report of frozen assets in 2019.
This didn’t stop the UKGC from dedicating time and efforts to address specific failings of the GamStop initiative. The regulator asked the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which controls the program, to make sure that those issues had been solved.
Breaking the Law and Signing Problem Gamblers
In the meantime, one of the grossest failings of the program was that operators continued to send promotions to people who had excluded himself. LeoVegas and Sky Bet were two of the companies known to do that.
However, this is not an intentional mistake and it can be chalked up to a lack of synchronism between the RGA and operators, which will now update their lists together so as to make sure they don’t include any problem gamblers there when mailing promotional emails.
This is just one of the many drastic changes that have happened in the United Kingdom insofar as gaming regulation go. After reducing the limits for FOBTs from £100 to £2, some of the largest companies, including William Hill, have been forced to shut down hundreds of shops.
William Hill’s Phil Bowcock stepped down from his position as the CEO as part of the restructuring bid designed to help the company cope with the series of changes coming down the road.