GAMSTOP, the free, independent national self-exclusion scheme for online gambling, has today revealed that a record 84,000 people registered in 2022, the highest annual figure since the service launched in April 2018.
In total, 341,365 people have chosen to self-exclude from online gambling sites since GAMSTOP’s launch with an increase of 5% new registrations over the last 6 months, compared to the equivalent period in 2021, and a 6% increase for the whole 12 months.
The continuing growth in registrations indicates that self-exclusion is an increasingly important tool for people experiencing issues with their gambling to take a break and seek further support.
In the last six months, almost 1 in 4 users (24%) have chosen to self-exclude for at least a year, with 48% registering for a five-year exclusion – the longest timeframe available. GAMSTOP’s users remain enrolled in the scheme when their exclusion expires, unless they request to be removed.
The service was used across all age groups in 2022, with more than 40% typically aged 25-34; around one in four, aged 35-44; and nearly one in five, aged 18-24. Typically, around seven out of ten users are male, although in August 2022, 34% of new signatories were female – the highest percentage last year.
Since launching in 2018, annual data has shown a seasonal pattern of registrations for both men and women, with the highest volumes usually seen during the winter months. However, during the second quarter of 2022 this trend shifted, and the highest number of registrations ever recorded on a single day was on July 1st with 371 new users enrolling.
GAMSTOP CEO, Fiona Palmer said: “Whilst we are unable to single out one factor that has contributed to the rise in registrations at GAMSTOP, it is likely that the current economic climate and affordability of living costs has influenced the decisions people are making about their lifestyles and expenditure. In 2022 we saw more than 80,000 new registrations which is a positive step towards supporting even more people. However, as we see an increase in the number of those with gambling problems, it’s important we continue to raise awareness amongst friends and family of those who most need it and that we continue to work with bank blocking and other support services to provide a comprehensive solution”.
Jack Scott, 27, from Stone in Staffordshire is a recovering gambling addict who registered with GAMSTOP after his addiction began to spiral out of control. Jack was losing 75% of his wage as a steel worker each month to gambling sites, but after two years of self-exclusion he has successfully overcome his issues. He discovered a passion for professional ultra-marathon running and recently finished second in the toughest long distance run on the planet, The Montane Spine race.
Jack said: “I was literally just bouncing from week to week without any purpose. I would look in the mirror and not recognise who I was. It’s sad to say now, but on a few occasions, I thought this was who I was going to be for the rest of my life. I couldn’t see a way out or a way to change. It was two years ago when I registered with GAMSTOP and cut myself off from gambling. Life has improved dramatically since then and so has my running.”
GAMSTOP will attend the International Casinos Exhibition (ICE) as an exhibitor within the Consumer Protection Zone (CPZ) on the 9th February 2023, at ExCel London. Over the last five years, the CPZ has played a significant role in highlighting progress in technology, tools and research to ensure safer gambling practices are improved and broadly adopted.
GAMSTOP CEO, Fiona Palmer will join a panel of speakers to lead the conversation “Collaboration to Raise Standards and Broaden the Impact” from 12:15-13:00.