Jenny Watson appointed as first chair of GAMSTOP

Jenny Watson (CBE) has been appointed as the first chair of the UK’s first national self-exclusion register, GAMSTOP, ahead of its formal launch later in the year.

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Watson has worked in UK social policy for over 15 years. © Pexels.

Watson is a former leader of the UK Electoral Commission and has worked in social policy in the UK for over 15 years, advising the government throughout a number of leadership roles, across a number of different sectors.

Watson has stated that her first priority is to identify and recruit additional board members and executives, as part of a push to establish the firm’s governance team.

That, Watson says, will enable her to conduct an initial evaluation of the scheme after the first six months of operation, as well as aiding future development.

Speaking about the appointment, Fiona Palmer, CEO of GAMSTOP, said:

We are thrilled that Jenny has agreed to Chair this important self-exclusion scheme as we approach our launch. Our priority is to provide a trusted environment for gamblers wishing to self-exclude and a fully independent chair with Jenny’s extensive experience will help us to achieve this.Fiona Palmer, GAMSTOP CEO

GAMSTOP has been developed by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the first phase was launched back in April.

While sources within the organisation say things have been running smoothly, there are reports of technical difficulties. However, feedback from both operators and consumers has been mostly positive.

The scheme works by allowing gamblers to self-exclude from all participating bookmakers via a single registration at GAMSTOP’s site. In the past, problem gamblers who had self-excluded from one site could simply register and continue to gamble at another. GAMSTOP will ensure that this cannot happen.

A similar scheme that allows people to self-exclude from physical betting outlets exists in the form of the Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme. That scheme works via phone registration.

Currently, a number of operators are voluntarily participating since the soft launch in June. GAMSTOP has also noted a rising number of consumers registering.

However, later this year it will become an official licensing condition of the UK Gambling Commission that operators have signed up to GAMSTOP.

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