Independent Evaluation Shows GAMSTOP is Highly Effective
Independent research shows that GAMSTOP is overwhelmingly successful at helping problem gamblers. 82% of those that use the self-exclusion scheme reduce their gambling or stop gambling completely.
The UK’s self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP is incredibly effective at helping users reduce or even stop gambling, according to an independent evaluation.
Research consultancy company Sonnet reported that the scheme had high levels of success after asking users to complete surveys and interviews. Sonnet asked more than 3,000 users of GAMSTOP and reported that 82% of those surveyed had either reduced their gambling or stopped completely.
Since GAMSTOP was made available in 2018, more than 200,000 consumers had registered with the service, and the research from Sonnet showed a high satisfaction level with the service. For example, 84% of those questioned stated that they felt they were at less risk from gambling-related harm and have more control of their gambling since registering.
80% of those that responded stated that GAMSTOP had helped them achieve their desired outcome, whether that was to take a short to medium term break from gambling or to help them stop gambling completely.
In addition, over three-quarters (77%) said it helped them control their finances better, 72% said they had lower levels of anxiety and stress. More than half (63%) said using the scheme had helped them improve relationships with those closest to them, such as partners or family members.
Although the majority of the feedback was positive, Sonnet compiled feedback from the responses on how the scheme could be further improved.
One area of concern was the length of time that GAMSTOP is active, and 40% of respondents wanted a longer self-exclusion period. As it stands, the maximum length of time you can set is five years; suggestions included ten, twenty or even lifetime exclusion.
Another suggestion from GAMSTOP users was that they would like more research into the effects of gambling advertisements has on their desire to gamble. This topic is an area that the government is exploring as part of the current review of gambling legislation.
Users also expressed their desire to see more action taken against unlicensed gambling sites that target those who have opted into GAMSTOP. However, these companies are often based overseas, and the Gambling Commission has little jurisdictional control over them.
In Sonnet’s conclusion, they state: “This study shows very strongly that GAMSTOP is successfully achieving a reduction in gambling-related harm with far-reaching positive impacts for consumers being clearly shown in our interviews and survey.
“Our findings show that GAMSTOP is effective across all age groups, gender groups and, importantly, for all types of online gambling.”
Fiona Palmer, GAMSTOP CEO, said: “We are delighted to know that vulnerable consumers who have registered with GAMSTOP have found it has helped them control their gambling and made a positive impact on their lives.
“The insights in this report are extremely helpful, and we welcome the opportunity to look at all suggestions for further improvements to the service, including extending the length of the maximum exclusion period to give them peace of mind that they will benefit from the long-term protection that GAMSTOP provides.”