For those who actively take part in online gambling and betting services, particularly in the UK, you may have heard of Gamstop – in late 2018 this initiative had been launched in a bit to curb the growing on line gambling pandemic by offering a service that players can self-include in to reduce participation options by effectively blacklisting themselves from these sites. This had been expanded upon earlier this year too – prior to April, operators within the UK had the choice on whether or not they would register to this initiative, but this was later change and is now mandatory for all operators – those who don’t register may be at risk of losing their gaming license. Alongside other changes such as the recent ban on credit card betting and gambling too, how much of an impact has Gamstop had on the online gambling and betting market, and will it continue to grow?
Whilst numbers aren’t made public, some suggestions put the number of register players self-excluding on the platform at around 300,000 which seems to be a very strong number for the period of time the service has been available for, but there is little to no information on how many of these players who have registered to self-exclude either remove themselves from the list or seek out alternative services – one thing that has become common is that many operators are starting to register outside of the UK in countries that are a little more consumer focussed without many of the restrictions, when looking here players are able to find a growing number of sites that aren’t registered to gamstop where many often turn to. It’s often considered about the potential growth of the initiative too – whilst it is currently limited to players in the UK, the pandemic period has seen a number of other countries put certain restrictions in place to prevent players from participating and so it may be a possibility in future that other countries start to adopt similar methods to reduce player numbers.
That, however, has been one huge change – the player numbers. With lockdown orders placed throughout parts of the year and further restrictions in place as we approach the holiday period, player numbers have been increasing as a surge of new players have turned to online services as their primary form of entertainment and likely with an increasing number seeking out platforms such as gamstop. There has also been a huge uptick in esports betting during this period of time too as sporting event cancellations saw many turn to this online alternative too, this puts yet more pressure on these systems too as markets such as esports typically attract a younger and more suggestable audience, with scrutiny in this space for loot boxes and other methods esports betting may quickly become a target for a problem area. It has been an exciting time for punters as many services have been able to benefit from the lockdown period, but moving forward things may quickly change as numbers continue to rise across all demographics.