In its first bi-annual review, GAMSTOP, the free national scheme for self-exclusion from online gambling, has reported a 25% increase in registrations in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
GAMSTOP has launched the bi-annual review to achieve greater insight into trends on its platform and a broader understanding of gambling behaviours across the UK.
The review found that, in total, more than 40,000 people registered with GAMSTOP in the first half of 2021, with March being the second biggest month for registrations on record. The total number of registrants was more than 218,000 by the end of June, with the gender split being 70% male and 30% female.
Of those registered, 58% selected the maximum exclusion period of five years. 41% of registrants were in the 25-34 age bracket, while 59% were in the wider 18-34 age bracket.
Fiona Palmer, GAMSTOP CEO, commented: “While it is encouraging to see that consumers are continuing to find GAMSTOP and use it as a crucial safety net in their recovery, this review reinforces the importance of continuing to raise awareness of practical tools that are available to those struggling with gambling-related harm.
“Our evaluation results demonstrate that gambling-related harm is an issue that affects people from all walks of life, irrespective of income, location, or gender. It is imperative that we continue to reach people from across the UK, and to give them access to tools that can aid them in their recovery, or form an important preventative measure.”
The first-ever independent evaluation of GAMSTOP, conducted by research agency Sonnet, found that the self-exclusion service is used by a broad cross-section of ages, ethnicities and socio-economic groups. The survey of 3,300 registered users found that the ethnic makeup of its users corresponds with the broader UK population (89% white, 3% Asian, 2% Black, 1% Mixed).
The socio-economic situation of respondents showed that 29% were living in households with a pre-tax income of more than £48,000 per annum and 48% were in households earning more than £32,000 per annum. More than 75% were in full or part-time employment and 63% had no children in their household.
Stacey Goodwin, a recovering problem gambler and GAMSTOP registrant, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the number of registrations for a vital service like GAMSTOP is increasing, but it also shows the significant amount of gambling in our society.
“More needs to be done to support and get the word out about crucial safety nets and services, like GAMSTOP, to ensure that vulnerable people know about them, and most importantly that they use them.”