GamStop issues response to BBC report

GamStop has issued an official response to the recent BBC investigation that highlighted significant operational and technical flaws in its national self-exclusion database.

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GamStop has issued an official response to the report highlighting the serious flaws in its system. © Pexels.

An investigation by BBC Radio 5 Live found that users who had registered with the scheme were still able to gamble at operators they should have been banned from.

Individuals could simply change minor details in their name or address to circumvent the GamStop security checks and continue gambling. The BBC investigation followed one individual who simply misspelled his surname to continue gambling, despite having registered at GamStop.

The UK Gambling Commission followed up with calls to expedite its plans for stricter ID checks at online gambling sites.

GamStop CEO Fiona Palmer was quick to acknowledge the failings and said that the feedback was taken on board and that GamStop is constantly striving to improve.

GamStop will be working to specifically address the flaw uncovered by the BBC. In an official response to the issue published this week, a statement from GamStop read:

This is of concern to GamStop and we welcome the work that the Gambling Commission is currently undertaking, especially in regard to ensuring that robust verification is carried out by operators when initial registration takes place. With this in place, the specific issue identified in the BBC investigation aired on 13/01/2019 would be addressed.Statement, GamStop

Problems from the outset

GamStop is the first online national self-exclusion scheme in the UK and due to the scope of the task at hand problems were expected.

However, the BBC report is just one in a growing list of technical difficulties experienced. In fact, the Gambling Commission has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the service since its launch in April last year.

The Commission will make participation in GamStop a mandatory component of possessing a UK gambling licence once it deems the service to be working effectively. However, with the service still experiencing major flaws, participation by operators is still on a voluntary basis.

Fiona Palmer outlined some of the issues to the media, adding:

Since the UK does not have a national ID scheme, matching consumers is reliant on the information they provide to GamStop and also the quality of information held by each operator. Operators have varied methods of verification and differ vastly in size and scope. This makes GamStop an extremely complex technology project. We are working closely with operators to understand this further and will continue to do so following the Gambling Commission’s work on verification. The recent “consumer account function” available on the GamStop website will make it easier for people to update their details thereby maximising their protection.Fiona Palmer, GamStop CEO

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