Gamstop has urged individuals worried about their gambling habits to self-exclude from all online gambling sites during the UK coronavirus lockdown.
This call from the country’s self-exclusion scheme follows on from MPs expressing their worry that people might turn to betting as a distraction.
It has also been revealed that many self-excluded individuals have tried to gamble recently.
Gamstop chief tells players to protect themselves
Previously, a £50 daily wagering limit had previously been suggested by The Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group.
But Fiona Palmer, Chief Executive of Gamstop, has said that players refrain from it altogether if they need to.
Her words were as follows.
“We are concerned that, at a time when so many people are being forced to stay at home during the coronavirus, vulnerable consumers who may have an issue with their gambling might be tempted to spend money they do not have on online gambling.
“People generally come to us when they realise that excluding themselves from all online gambling is the first step they need to take to provide the necessary breathing space to tackle their issues with gambling.
“Self-exclusion is just one tool in a suite of services. We work closely with charities, such as GamCare, who offer specialist treatment, as well as with banks who provide financial blocking options to their customers and with providers of device blocking software.”
Self-excluded players looking to get back into gambling
Since the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March, Gamstop has seen a rise in self-excluded players trying to gamble.
Six-month, one-year and five-year restrictions can be chosen through Gamstop. But once they’ve joined the service, users cannot opt out until their chosen time has passed.
Player safety has been emphasised in both Great Britain and Ireland since the novel coronavirus arrived. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) last week shared both guidance for players to ensure their wellbeing, as well as regulated operators to maintain responsibility.
Affiliates have also been warned to behave themselves by companies such as Flutter Entertainment, who have adopted a strict zero-tolerance policy to inappropriate advertising. Meanwhile, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) is providing tools to operators to ensure that affiliates aren’t breaching ad rules.
The UK is on lockdown for an initial three-week period. But if it’s deemed necessary to do so, this can be extended.
At the moment, all land-based operators have shut their doors.