Simple Steps to Reduce Gambling Addiction in the UK
UK citizens view gambling as one of the most favourite pastime interests. The wins and the instant gratification of gambling give a certain amount of high to the monotonous lives of commoners which can lead a punter to easily get used to it and end up being addicted to gambling activities.
It has been a huge problem throughout the UK in the past decades where a huge number of citizens have faced a great amount of loss falling prey to this addiction. Statistics say almost 2 million people are at risk of gambling addiction and hence, the government is taking steps to curb the graph. There are several steps one can take to solve the purpose. The top three of these are discussed here.
Advertisements hold the power to subconsciously program human minds. There is already an existing affinity for UK punters towards gambling. Advertisements fuel this tendency that often leads to distracting the population to overindulge in gambling activities. The mainstream media is flooding with such advertisements, be it on newspapers, billboards, TV, or radio which not only exposes the idea of indulging in gambling to potential victims of gambling abuse but also to under-aged citizens.
In the UK it is illegal for anyone under 18 years of age to engage in gambling activities. Oftentimes, these advertisements of quick gratification are what influence young minds to explore gambling which almost backfires every time. It often seems counterproductive for the government to promote safe gambling yet legalize gambling advertisements in mainstream media that have the power to reach the masses in seconds. No one can deny the lingering effects of advertisements causing them to overindulge in vices like gambling. The advertisements have increased to a higher percentage in recent years. Sports being an important part of the lives of UK citizens, it is an eminent context where advertisements are most likely to take place.
GamStop is an independent self-exclusion program created to solve problems regarding gamblers with addictive habits. GamStop services are exclusive to UK citizens and it was made absolutely free of cost to the UK punters as a step to serve the public interest.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission promotes GamStop as a preliminary step to take once any addiction issue is realized in a punter. GamStop exclusion services are extremely effective among affected punters because studies have shown habit is created within 21 days and staying excluded from accessing certain vice can positively result in replacing the habit.
Once registered, he or she will not be granted access to UKGC affiliated betting sites. There are only free bonus spins not on GamStop exclusion that British players can claim and use while it. UKGC made it compulsory for the operators licensed by them to comply with GamStop. Any operator refusing to collaborate might end up losing their license and paying a hefty amount of fine. Since March 2020, according to the revised rules of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, these collaborations are not just necessary but compulsory.
Various football clubs have since then partnered up with GamStop to promote it in lieu of sponsorship that helps them sustain. Among them, Luton Town Football Club and Middlesbrough Football Club have been the foremost to join. This initiative is not just to preach to the population about self-exclusion and its importance but also to safeguard their own players against any harm caused by gambling addiction. Moreover, the Dart Players Association joined hands with GamStop to stand by the cause and promote GamStop. The Professional Players Federation of the UK is also in support of GamStop to spread the word about responsible gambling.
The Safer Gambling Week of the UK is all about preaching the words of caution regarding problems one can get himself into if the tendencies of gambling turn addictive. This event attracts numerous major organizations and the accumulated resources go into the fund that helps people who have been affected by uncontrolled gambling practices. Swansea City and West Ham United including several other Premier League clubs have been a part of this significant event in the UK.
There are several ways to overcome this nationwide problem which is gambling addiction by preaching the message of safe gambling practices among which these were primary. Schemes such as Gamstop, Gamban, and Gamcare are devised to reduce addictive gambling across the nation. Punters can self-impose a gambling ban of one year when they enrol in these schemes.
However, punters who aren’t willing to abide by the one-year stipulation can always opt for offshore casino sites operating under non-UK licensing agencies such as Malta Gaming Authority, Gambling Commission of Great Britain, and Government of Gibraltar, etc. While most of these offshore sites practice responsible gambling and safe age gambling, they don’t impose any time-bound restrictions on players.