In 2023, GAMSTOP, a free self-exclusion scheme aimed at helping gamblers control their online gaming habits, has reported a significant increase in the number of registrations. The organization announced that a record-breaking 433,357 individuals have signed up for the program so far.
The year 2023 saw 92,086 new registrations, marking the highest number recorded in a single year. This figure also represents a 9.5% increase compared to the previous year. Additionally, the month of May stood out as a record-breaking period with 8,591 new users joining the service.
The second half of the year also witnessed a 31% year-on-year growth in registrations from individuals aged 16-24, signaling an increased awareness among younger players. This age group accounted for 21% of all registrations in the second half of the year, demonstrating a growing interest in the self-exclusion program among younger individuals.
To explain the surge in young registrants, GAMSTOP attributed the increase to its active promotion efforts. The organization conducted awareness campaigns at university campuses across the UK, educating students about the risks of excessive gambling and the benefits of self-exclusion.
More than half of all GAMSTOP registrants (55%) have chosen a five-year exclusion, the longest period currently offered by the service.
Fiona Palmer, CEO of GAMSTOP, expressed her satisfaction with the rising number of registrants, indicating an increasing awareness and willingness to use the program’s services. She emphasized the organization’s commitment to continue raising awareness of GAMSTOP to reach individuals who could benefit from self-exclusion, as well as their friends and families.
For former problem gambler Harj Gahley, GAMSTOP has been a crucial resource in his recovery journey. Gahley, now a non-executive director at the gambling charity Red Card, praised GAMSTOP as a “necessary lifeline for thousands of vulnerable people.” He recommended the service to anyone struggling with gambling issues or to those who know problem players.
The increasing number of registrations and the positive impact of GAMSTOP on individuals like Gahley reflect the growing importance of self-exclusion programs in addressing problem gambling within the UK.