UK Gamstop registrations reach record high in 2023

By Robert Fletcher

Gamstop, the national self-exclusion scheme for Great Britain, has reported a 9.5% year-on-year increase in new registrations for 2023.

More than 92,000 players signed up with Gamstop during the 12 months to 31 December. This is a new record for the scheme, up from the previous record of 84,000 set in 2022.

Of those who have registered, 55% opted for a five-year exclusion from gambling, the longest time frame available through Gamstop. Other exclusion periods include six months and one year.

In addition to record annual figures, Gamstop registrations reached a new monthly high in May. Total sign-ups during the month reached 8,591.

More young people registering with Gamstop

The annual data comes after Gamstop posted an update in August for the first half of the year. Certain trends in H1 carried over into the second half.

These included an increase in younger people signing up to the scheme. In H2, there was a 31% year-on-year rise in registrations from people aged 16-24. This age group accounted for 21% of new registrations in the six months to December, up from 17% in the previous year.

Since the scheme launched in April 2018, a total of 433,357 consumers have registered with Gamstop.

“We are continuing to see a year-on-year increase in the number of registrants, which shows the importance of self-exclusion for anyone struggling with their gambling, alongside other blocking tools and support,” Gamstop CEO Fiona Palmer said.

“We want to continue raising awareness of Gamstop to anyone who might benefit from self-exclusion and to the friends and families of anyone affected by gambling.”

Spreading awareness of Gamstop

Palmer also referenced the rise in young people signing up with Gamstop. She said work will continue to make more people in the 16-24 age group aware of the service.

“The prevalence of young adults among Gamstop’s registrants shows the importance of educating younger consumers and we will continue our outreach to this age group in 2024, working collaboratively with like-minded organisations and harnessing the support of our football club partners,” Palmer said. 

Challenges with illegal operators

Despite more people making use of Gamstop, the service does face certain challenges in terms of illegal operators. Some unlicensed sites are specifically marketing their services as not being integrated with Gamstop, allowing registered players to continue gambling.

Yield Sec found thousands of Google searches bidding to aid the avoidance of self-exclusion. By January 2024, Yield Sec detected millions of “not on Gamstop” and other similar Google search results.

As a result, Yield Sec said at-risk players are falling through the “trap door” of looking to bet with illegal and potentially dangerous operators, who are not monitored by tools such as Yield Sec and Gamstop.

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