amstop, the UK self-exclusion scheme for online gambling, recorded a 21% growth in new exclusions during February, according to The Guardian.
The number of people who have signed up is on the verge of reaching 200,000, including 326 new registrations on 22 February, a record for a single day since the service was launched in 2018. Gamstop said the uptick appeared to have followed a rise in online betting volumes during November and December. It said this indicated that “the trend towards more online gambling may be leading to more vulnerable individuals choosing to exclude themselves from all sites”.
In January 2021, 49,328 people out of a possible 177,038 attempted to gamble and were stopped from doing so by their registration with Gamstop, which allows people to shut themselves out of internet gambling for a defined period. The organization said this showed that blocking software was not a “silver bullet”. “With the rate of registrants continuing to rise, I would urge anybody putting self-exclusion from online gambling in place through Gamstop to also seek treatment,” said Gamstop CEO Fiona Palmer.
People with a gambling disorder are disproportionately likely to be male, but Gamstop has recorded an increasing number of women registering during the lockdown. The number of women who have self-excluded reached 50,000 recently, and the gender split is 71% male, 29% female. People aged between 18 and 34 are the most likely to use the service, accounting for 59% of all registrants.
The figures come after evidence gathering for the government’s gambling review ended last week. In its submission, Gamstop said there had been a rise in the number of websites publishing links to black market betting operations that are not signed up to the blocking service. Membership of the scheme is a condition of being licensed to offer gambling legally in the UK.