In the mid-1990s gambling moved online once the technology was made available for it to do so. The first online casino was mostly table-games focused but early versions of video slots began to make an appearance as well. These games were in their infancy but even the very first online slot proved a big hit with the gambling public. This led to a huge boom in the slot gaming industry as high demand from consumers led to more and more online casinos seeking to supply slot games with 500 free spins over traditional table games and other forms of gambling entertainment.
Online Gambling Golden Years
Thanks to the success of slot games, online gambling has enjoyed several golden years that have seen record numbers of people gambling, huge revenue generation, and a surge in online gambling businesses. More men and women now play slots than at any time in the past and the revenue generated by these games now runs into the billions. Online slot sites continue to flourish although some have decided to no longer operate in the UK due to the recent new laws introduced by the UK Gambling Commission, such as bans on credit card betting, and restrictions on features such as bonus buying, on some slot games.
Online Gambling Fallout
With more and more people now gambling there has inevitably been some negative fallout from this booming industry. This has mostly come in the form of gambling addiction and the knock-on effects it has had on individuals. Many gamblers have lost everything to this pursuit, and some have lost their homes because of being riddled with debt. Because of this, pressure groups have lobbied the government and the UK Gambling Commission to change certain laws. The consequence of this has been some of the law changes mentioned above.
There are now also many online tools that help to promote responsible gambling such as deposit limits, but some go further still and allow players to close their accounts or self-exclude for months or even years.
What Is Gamstop?
Gamstop is a free self-exclusion service, and the purpose of its existence is to prevent potential problem gamblers from being able to access online gambling sites. Since March 2020 all slot sites that legally operate within the UK have been able to offer this service to their customers and Gamstop is only available at online casinos that have opted into the Gamstop scheme.
However, it is mostly down to individuals to self-assess to realize if they need to be excluded from all forms of online gambling in the UK. Warning signs that individuals may need to use this self-exclusion service are clear and include, gambling every day, financial issues, borrowing money to gamble, and withdrawing from friends and family because of gambling.
Gamstop can only work if online casinos sign up to the service, however, nothing is stopping an individual who has used this service from gambling at an unlicensed casino, but thankfully these are few and far between in the modern gambling climate of the UK.