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Can limits set by Responsible Gaming Tools be Bypassed?


There are some reports out in the international press about problem gamblers who are said to have been able to gamble in online casinos despite excluding themselves from gambling. A report last week on Sky News deals with the subject.

How does self-exclusion from gambling work?

If you notice that your patterns change and you chase your losses, or you can't afford to lose any more money and you want to stop gambling, you can register with Gamstop, an industry-sponsored online self-exclusion scheme. This will get you banned from online casino gambling for at least six months. This ban cannot be cancelled until the ban period has expired, and players must contact Gamstop by telephone after the period has expired. Online casinos that support Gamstop block all players that exclude their selves.

Problem gambler

Played in the online casino despite being blocked

Sky News spoke to a problem gambler who is said to have been self-banned from online casinos in the UK:

According to Sky News, “Luis” (player's fictional name) registered with Gamstop for self-exclusion in 2019 but managed to reopen his dormant account with William Hill in 2022. This was not recognized by the Gamstop system, although he only changed his address. However, his unusual last name remained the same. After reopening his account, he gambled away GBP 2,000 at William Hill within a few days.

What about self-exclusion from gambling in Canada?

Problem gamblers in Canada can exclude themselves from gambling by setting limits via the responsible gaming tools. You can change you deposit limits or exclude yourself from playing for days, weeks or months.



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However, a problem for problem gamblers based in Canada could be that the ban only applies Per Canadian Online Casino. Gamblers have the opportunity to register online at online casinos that do not have a Canadian license and still play.

Who is responsible?

Brian Chappell, the founder of the consumer group of “Justice for Punters”, has taken Luis his case to the UK Gambling Commission without success.

“Huge improvements are needed in all their processes to protect people from gambling harm and prevent something like this from happening again… There is so much to learn from this case as the current system leaves people like Luis everyday down, and that's just not acceptable.”
– Brian Chappell , Justice for Punters, Sky News

William Hill also claimed not to be responsible for Luis not being identified as someone who self-excluded.

Gamblers' advocates in the UK are hoping the new White Paper , the government's proposed legislation to re-regulate gambling , will see stricter rules for the industry to adapt it to the digital age.

However, there is still a risk that problem gamblers could gamble with operating online gambling providers from overseas who do not have a license or that support Gamstop.

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