The number of new registrations to GAMSTOP, the UK’s catch-all self-exclusion platform, has decreased during the coronavirus lockdown period.
Data released by the organization shows a marginal drop in the number of self-exclusion requests over the last eight weeks.
In the month prior to the UK’s March 23 lockdown, GAMSTOP received 7,000 new registrations. Since Brits were asked to stay at home, the number of sign-ups has fallen to 6,700.
GAMSTOP Registrations Drop as Activity Increases
While the drop may be small, it does suggest that some online gamers have been reticent to deactivate their accounts. This comes at a time when online activity has peaked due to coronavirus prevention measures.
Data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has shown an uptick in interest among existing and new customers. These statistics have been backed up by revenue reports from operators and Google search data.
What is GAMSTOP?
GAMSTOP is a British charitable organization that allows players to block themselves from licensed UK gaming sites. By creating a free account, anyone can self-exclude themselves for six months to five years from all gaming sites affiliated with GAMSTOP. Although not a licensing condition, all legal operators in the UK are strongly encouraged to partner with GAMSTOP.
With online gaming surging, GAMSTOP’s statistics suggest some don’t want to miss out on the proverbial party.
Additionally, the number of people trying to overturn a self-exclusion request has risen from 1,000 to 1,600 per month. These requests are always denied, as per GAMSTOP’s standard policy. These facts could be seen as a worrying trend.
Further investigation shows that the latest stats aren’t necessarily a sign that problem gambling is on the rise.
665 people added another six months to their self-exclusion terms in recent weeks. What’s more, the UKGC recently confirmed that problem gambling hasn’t increased since the lockdown.
Online Gaming Spike Not Problematic
The conclusion is that people with concerns about their own well-being are either sticking to the rules or are asking for further help.
“Our data shows that GAMSTOP is continuing to provide important support to vulnerable consumers during lockdown, and thousands of new users are choosing to exclude themselves from online gambling,” Fiona Palmer, chief executive of GAMSTOP, said in a press release.
The quarantine period has created positive opportunities for the industry. However, just as it is in life, you have to take the rough with the smooth. With more people playing online, the risk of problems increases.
The news coming out of the UK is that current systems and policies are working. That’s a positive sign for the industry as a whole. If regulators and operators can prove they’re able to keep players safe, even at the toughest of times, it will show governments that regulated online gaming is the way forward.