The free self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP has announced a significant surge in registrations in 2023, with over 433,357 individuals signing up for the program. This marks a record-breaking number for the organization, reflecting a 9.5% increase from the previous year.
The year 2023 saw 92,086 new registrations, which is the highest number recorded in a single year. May also stood out as a record-breaking month, with 8,591 new users joining the service. Notably, the second half of the year saw a 31% year-on-year growth in the number of registrations from individuals aged 16-24, indicating a heightened awareness among younger players.
GAMSTOP attributed the increase in young registrants to its active promotion of services, including campus tours across the UK to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive gambling and the benefits of self-exclusion. Additionally, over half of all GAMSTOP registrants (55%) have opted for a five-year exclusion, the longest period currently offered by the service.
Commenting on the recent figures, GAMSTOP’s CEO Fiona Palmer emphasized the positive impact of the increasing number of registrants, stating that it reflects a growing awareness of and willingness to use the organization’s services. She also expressed the goal of continuing to raise awareness of GAMSTOP to those who may benefit from self-exclusion and to the friends and families of individuals affected by gambling.
Former problem gambler Harj Gahley, now a non-executive director at the gambling charity Red Card, commended GAMSTOP as a “necessary lifeline for thousands of vulnerable people.” Gahley, who struggled with gambling addiction for a decade, highlighted the crucial role of self-exclusion services in his recovery, stating that GAMSTOP has been instrumental in blocking his access to online gambling.
He recommended the service to anyone who may be experiencing gambling problems or knows someone who does, underscoring the importance of offering support to those in need. As GAMSTOP continues to see a surge in registrations, it serves as a reminder of the significant role the service plays in helping individuals manage their online gaming habits.