Those who actively use mobile casinos within the UK will be well aware of the introduction of Gamstop and the credit card ban for mobile casinos but for those outside you may be unaware of what it is – in 2018 an initiative called Gamstop had been introduced which is a self inclusion scheme aimed at helping problem gamblers by restricting their ability to participate on mobile casinos, although met with some initial concern as the system wasn’t entirely flawless, it has been considered a success as over 130,000 players have since registered with the service. In April of this year, it had been made mandatory for all UK casino operators to register with the initiative, but this wasn’t the only change made mandatory as a ban to credit card payments had also been introduced.
This change is still very recent and as such some services have slipped through the net as these ones still accept credit cards as a form of payment, and any immediate impact from the introduction of this restriction may be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic instead – although mobile casinos did see a surge in traffic due to the lockdown measures in place, other restrictions were also put in place such as a ban on advertising through TV and radio and as such any information around changing habits due to the credit card ban may be a little skewed – the Gamstop change has been extremely clear though as other services have risen up to take the place of the UK gaming operator.
Many of the more popular services are now registered outside of the country in other places such as Malta which have more consumer friendly gaming and gambling laws, this allows users who may be registered with gamstop to continue gambling – these non gamstop casinos also have a number of features that would appeal here too, anonymous registration along with anonymous deposit methods are just two of the features that are capturing new players, but also those who just don’t agree with how gamstop has been put in place may be more likely to stray away from UK based operators in favour of these others.
As it stands both the Gamstop initiative and credit card ban are limited to UK operators only, and will likely stay as such for some time as different countries regulate their rules differently. However, the change may come through the success of either attempt to reduce problem gambling online – as mentioned Gamstop already has over 130,000 registered users, if this does continue to grow we may see other countries put a similar system in place to help with something that is considered to be a growing issue, similarly with credit card bans – if it is found that it does help reduce exposure, it may be likely the practice may spread. Change will be easily measured once the coronavirus pandemic ends and the data becomes more clear and less impacted by a growing audience, but the initial impact has been felt by the operators and may discourage newer operators from registering within the country.