GAMSTOP, the free self-exclusion service aiding gamblers in managing their online gaming habits, has reported a record number of sign-ups in 2023. The total registrations reached an unprecedented 433,357.
In 2023, a notable 92,086 new users joined GAMSTOP, marking the highest annual increase for the program and a 9.5% rise from the previous year. May emerged as a particularly significant month, with 8,591 new users registering.
The latter half of the year witnessed a 31% year-on-year increase in registrations from the 16-24 age group, indicating heightened awareness among younger gamers. These younger registrants accounted for 21% of all new users in this period.
GAMSTOP’s efforts in promoting its services, especially among university students in the UK, have been pivotal in attracting a younger demographic. The organization’s campus tours highlighted the risks of excessive gambling and the benefits of self-exclusion.
It’s also noteworthy that over half of all GAMSTOP users (55%) have chosen the maximum five-year exclusion period available.
GAMSTOP: A Critical Support System
Celebrating its fifth anniversary, GAMSTOP remains a vital resource for people throughout the UK. Fiona Palmer, CEO of GAMSTOP, views the year-on-year increase in registrations positively, seeing it as a sign of growing awareness and acceptance of the service.
The organization’s goal is to extend its reach to individuals who could benefit from self-exclusion, as well as their friends and families.
Harj Gahley, a 38-year-old former problem gambler who started gambling at 23, emphasizes GAMSTOP’s role as an essential tool for vulnerable individuals. Now serving as a non-executive director at Red Card, a gambling charity, Gahley credits GAMSTOP with being a significant component of his recovery, ensuring his safe block from online gambling. He advocates for the service, recommending it to anyone grappling with gambling issues or those who know someone struggling.
The Impact of GAMSTOP on Problem Gambling
The surge in registrations to GAMSTOP not only reflects the effectiveness of its outreach programs but also underscores the growing concern about problem gambling. As more individuals, especially younger ones, seek help through self-exclusion, it becomes clear that initiatives like GAMSTOP are crucial in mitigating the harmful effects of gambling addiction. This trend also suggests a broader societal shift towards recognizing and addressing gambling-related issues more proactively.
GAMSTOP’s record-breaking registration numbers in 2023 signal a significant shift in public attitude towards responsible gaming. The service’s expanding reach, particularly among the youth, and its role as a lifeline for many, demonstrate the growing need and appreciation for effective self-exclusion tools in tackling problem gambling.