Gamstop: flaws in self-exclusion system being addressed
Flaws in Gamstop, the online self-exclusion system for people suffering with gambling problems, are being addressed, the team behind the scheme have said.
Gamstop received a soft launch in April last year and since then 50,000 people have registered with the scheme.
However, a BBC investigation published last weekend found that customers who had opted to ban themselves from online gambling by signing up to Gamstop were able to circumvent controls simply by changing their user details.
A statement from Gamstop acknowledged there was concern "a small number of individuals" had been able to subsequently open accounts and continue gambling, adding that the Gambling Commission was seeking to introduce tougher ID checks.
It added: "We welcome the work the Gambling Commission is undertaking, especially in regard to ensuring robust verification is carried out by operators when initial registration takes place.
"With this in place, the specific issue identified in the BBC investigation [...] would be addressed. Gamstop is working hard to improve its level of service in order to ensure registered consumers remain confident they are effectively excluded from those operators currently integrated with the scheme."
Gamstop said the lack of a national ID scheme in Britain meant it was reliant on the information provided by users and by the quality of information held by gambling operators.
"Operators have varied methods of verification and differ vastly in size and scope," the statement added.
"This makes Gamstop an extremely complex technology project. We are working closely with operators to understand this further and will continue to do so following the Gambling Commission's work on verification."
Gamstop and its equivalent scheme for betting shops are already under political scrutiny.
Over the weekend, culture secretary Jeremy Wright warned operators the schemes must be robust, saying: "Self-exclusion schemes are essential but must be properly policed and effective to support the individual who has taken the decision to opt out.
"This is something I will be raising with the industry and Gambling Commission."
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