GamStop, the self-exclusion scheme seeking to help curtail problem gambling in the United Kingdom, has spread its services to sports.
While the efforts and commitment of GamStop encompass all facets of gambling, notable alliances with sports bodies is a plus. This is because the United Kingdom is a major sporting nation in the world most especially football, cricket, darts, horse racing, etc.
Accompanied by this is the love of the people to watch and support these sports. In turn, that love has been found to be boundless and can be taken to the extreme, leading to chronic gambling.
With this understanding, it becomes clearer why GamStop isn’t stopping players from registering at non-GamStop bookmakers without exclusion but also partnering with sports bodies and other related entities. Against this backdrop, GamStop and sport have complemented each other via collaborations with the following entities:
UK Elite Athletes
The body of elite athletes in the United Kingdom under the aegis of Professional Players Federation (PPF) has patterned with GamStop. This comes from the respected entity’s resolve to forestall the occurrence of problem gambling in its members. For members already grappling with gambling-related issues, the partnership is primarily aimed at helping them slip out of it.
The truth remains that even athletes themselves are not absolved of the risk involved in problem gambling. So, the agreement will be a good place to kick off awareness to prevent the awful situation from surfacing. The PFP houses UK’s professional athletes in football, rugby, darts, crickets, horse racing, golf, netball, snooker, and billiards.
With this new addition to its responsible gambling programs, the PPF would integrate GamStop on the website and social media channels. The same applies to the 13 members of the federation.
It is worthy of note that GamStop has received widespread attention by key stakeholders. Perhaps this could be because it became mandatory for online gambling providers to integrate GamStop from March 31st, 2020.
Simon Taylor, the PPF Chief Executive Officer, commented on the alliance with GamStop. He said: “Professional athletes are at a higher risk of developing gambling problems than their peers outside of sport.” He further noted the importance of the collaboration: “We are therefore pleased to help promote GamStop to make it easier for players to decide they want to self-exclude.”
The Professional Darts Players Association (PDPA) has also made an agreement with GamStop which has a similar implication. The professional body understands the vulnerability of its members to gambling risks, which ultimately hampers their progress. Hence, the entity’s collaboration with GamStop is aimed at passing a message of hope to players who are passing through problem gambling.
The end goal is to help them walk through the path of healing by self-excluding from anything linking them to gambling. Series of awareness will be passed via the PDPA’s website and social media accounts to keep players and supporters aware. During games, information on GamStop will also be displayed on the stadiums for supporters to see and internalize consciously or subconsciously.
Peter Manley commenting on the development noted: “The PDPA is committed to the wellbeing of our players and we recognize the importance of prevention, education and treatment of gambling problems, including addiction…”
GamStop Chief Executive, Fiona Palmer stated: “We at GamStop are already impressed with the work the PDPA is doing in training, and so we’re thrilled that GamStop can now be added to their offering as a tool.”
Football as the most popular sport in the whole of the UK is not excluded from the GamStop program. As a matter of fact, it’s most needed among football supporters since they are way larger than any other sports supporters. In recognition of the relevance of GamStop to football, Luton Town Football Club has partnered with GamStop.
The partnership, similar to other sport entities, would bring about more awareness of the importance of self-exclusion from chronic gambling. The supporters of Luton FC would come across anti-problem gambling campaigns on Luton FC’s website, social media pages and on matchdays.
Apart from the supporters being the major target audience, players themselves would be properly guided on gambling and its effects. Hence, GamStop would be a win for everybody in the club.
In a similar vein, Middlesbrough Football Club has also made an agreement with GamStop with a similar implication. Thus, the agreement would help bridge the knowledge gap that exists among players and supporters regarding the repercussions of uncontrolled gambling.
Hence, the integration of GamStop on the club’s website would be expedient to the understanding of the GamStop initiative. It is hoped that this would in turn lead to more responsible and harmless gambling.
GamStop has become a huge asset in curbing problem gambling in the United Kingdom, having successfully registered over 160,000 people. With the current alliance of sport with GamStop, it is expected that fairer and more responsible gambling would be achieved in the UK.
This is because of the unflinching support from other gambling-concerned entities like the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) and Gamban.