Gamstop records 300k exclusions amid White Paper delay

Gamstop surpassed the 300,000 mark in the first half of this year, during which time a total of 43,500 signed up to the national self-exclusion service. 

This represented a 9% increase on the corresponding time period last year, averaging 7,000 new sign ups per month during 2022, whilst the number of consumers in the 16-24 demographic increased by 5%. 

Furthermore, 58% of all new registrations were under 35 by the close of June, and there was also a notable increase in the number of female sign-ups, which reached a record 33% in February – as it stands, 30% of all Gamstop registrants are women. 

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,” said Fiona Palmer, Gamstop CEO.

“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.”

In addition to increasing numbers of young people and women registering with the service, Gamstop also observed that a key trend has been reversed in 2022, as ‘generally, the highest number of restorations are recorded in the winter months’. 

This was subserted this year, with more sign-ups occurring in the second quarter of the year – during the spring and early summer – than in the final three winter months of 2021, which closed with the group recording a ‘record spike’ in registrations.

Gamstop believes that is ‘set to continue’, pointing to 371 new self-exclusions on 1 July, the highest number in a single day since its national service was launched back in 2018. 

Palmer continued: “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.”

Of the 300,631 registrants since 2018, 91% remain self-excluded, whilst 50% chose a five-year exclusion plan – the longest duration available. 

The publication of the figures comes as gambling harm minimisation groups and reform advocates alike express concern about the likely delay of the Gambling Act review White Paper. 

Initiated in December 2020 to bring about long-awaited reform to the UK’s gambling legislation and regulations, the review was due for publication this month, but the collapse of Boris Johnson’s administration has led to many expecting another holdup. 

Additionally, some have also pointed to the costs of living crisis also putting greater pressure on individuals’ finances and subsequently enhancing the need for the government to urgently address gambling reform.

“We look forward to seeing the Government’s recommendations for reforming the gambling laws in the forthcoming White Paper, now expected this autumn,” Palmer concluded.

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