The UK self-exclusion scheme Gamstop have had its ups and downs.

Since the program was launched in April 2018 more than 50 000 players from the UK have registered to Gamstop, blocking themselves from most online casinos in the United Kingdom.

This was seen as a big success for the UK Gambling Commission, who’s invested a lot in this project.

However, the BBC reported that just by changing their user details, Gamstop registered gamblers could still place bets on online gambling websites.

The UKGC admitted that the system needs improvement, and now they are looking to add more thorough ID checks.

Another action taken by the regulator is to force all UK casinos to join the service. According to Casinomir there are still multiple non Gamstop casinos in the UK, but this will soon change.

Later this year, the regulator are forcing all UK casino operators to join the scheme.

Misspelling user details fooled the Gamstop service

One of the big issues with Gamstop is that the system works by adding your email-address, name and surname, your date of birth and your postcode in a database.

However, this has been proven easy to bypass.

Sheffield born and raised Adam Bradford campaigns to raise awareness of gambling related risks. He heard about the flaws in the system and decided to try it out himself.

First, he registered himself on Gamstop.

Then, in front of 5 live investigates, he showed how easy it was for him to open a new account on a Gamstop registered gambling site, simply by misspelling his name and stating a new email address.

He was not just able to open the account, he was also welcomed by the betting site with £50 free to use on the website.

Gamstop is improving the scheme

Presented with the evidence, Fiona Palmer, CEO of Gamstop, said they are going improve the scheme.

This is going to be done by better ID checks as well as get feedback from experts in the field.

The UK Gambling Commission also states they have new ID verification tools in the pipeline, which would make gambling using false user details much harder.

However, it’s not just the Gamban scheme that is flawed.

MOSES (the Multi-Operator Self Exclusion Scheme) where gamblers can block themselves from local betting shops have also proven unsuccessful.

Last year, a BBC reporter from 5 live used the MOSES service to block himself from local betting shops. In total, he excluded himself from 21 different betting venues in the Lincolnshire and Grimsby area.

However, this proved to be very unsuccessful as he could still place bets at 19 of the venues.

One year later another BBC producer did the same thing. However, this time he excluded himself from only 20 venues.

The result was not much better this time. He could still bet in 15 of the shops.

It’s not all bad

Even though the numbers presented does not look good, there are some positives to this story.

According to a GambleAware survey on the matter, 83% of gamblers asked said MOSES was effective. Also, 71% of gamblers said since banning themselves from gambling shops they have not tried to bet again.