The UK’s online self-exclusion platform Gamstop now has more than 200,000 registrants after a record number of sign-ups in early 2021.
According to a Guardian report, the online gambling self-exclusion provider has reported a 21% increase in the number of people using the tool during February.
On 31 March 2020, it became a legal requirement for all online gambling operators to register with the Gamstop service.
Gamstop sign-ups surge
According to the self-exclusion provider, in February registration saw a 21% year-on-year increase with just under 6,500 people signing up to the service.
This came after Gamstop recorded a 14% increase in registrations in January, with more than 7,000 new sign-ups.
Gamstop’s highest daily figure of registrations came on 22 February after 326 new users signed up to the self-exclusion scheme within 24 hours.
The self-exclusion provider said that 71% of its registrants are males and 29% are female and the majority (59%) of its registered users are within the 18-34 year age group.
In February, Gamstop revealed that more than 55,000 women in the UK signed up to the self-exclusion scheme, which suggested that problem gambling rates may be on the rise among females.
The increase in female registrants was chalked up to the coronavirus pandemic.
Self-exclusion is not a “silver bullet”
Gampstop said that it had not expected to record 200,000 users until later on this year.
However, the passing of this milestone has coincided with the requirement for operators to sign up with the service last year.
The self-exclusion provider said that in January 2021, 49,328 Gamstop users out of 177,038 attempted to gamble but were successfully blocked by the software.
Finoa Palmer, Chief Executive of Gamstop said: “We’re pleased that Gamstop is serving as an effective safety net, providing crucial breathing space to those who are struggling with their gambling.
“Awareness around self-exclusion schemes and blocking software has been increasing throughout the last year, and it is important that we continue to spread the message about what help is available to those who need it most.”
Gamstop said that this was evidence that self-exclusion “is not a silver bullet” and called for a layered approach to cracking down on problem gambling which includes seeking treatment alongside self-excluding.
The self-exclusion provider said that this was behind the rationale for teaming up with GamCare and Gamban for the #TalkBanStop campaign earlier this year.
The #TalkBanStop campaign is intended to encourage the UK public to make the most of the free tools available to control their gambling spend, use support services and seek professional advice about gambling-related concerns.
The #Talk segment of the campaign revolves around the promotion of GamCare’s 24/7 free phone service which helps people get in touch with trained gambling harm experts and advisers.
The #Ban portion of the campaign refers to GamBan’s blocking software which users can download across all of their digital devices to block access to all online gambling sites.
The #Stop segment of the new campaign aims to raise awareness of Gamstop’s self-exclusion programme which blocks users from having any form of interaction with gambling operators.