GAMSTOP has revealed that more than 92,000 vulnerable consumers self-excluded from gambling sites in 2023, setting a new annual record.
As well as reporting that 2023 was a record year for registrations, the group has also reported that the 8,591 consumers who registered with GAMSTOP in May made it a record month for sign-ups.
As the scheme enters its sixth year, it has recorded a 9.5% year-over-year increase in 2023 with registrants now topping 433,000. This figure is believed to tip over 500,000 later this year.
According to data from the latter half of 2023, the group has reported a continuing increase in registrations from teenagers and young adults, with a 31% YoY growth in the number of registrations from people aged 16-24.
The 16-24 age group made up around 21% of the registrants between July and December 2023, which is up from 17% during the same period in 2022.
The organisation has conducted a tour of university campuses around the UK, educating students on the values of self-exclusion and will soon be revealing the results of its annual research into student gambling.
Fiona Palmer, GAMSTOP CEO, stated: “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.
“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.
“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”.
Diving further into the data, the majority of people registering with GAMSTOP (55%) sign up for a five-year exclusion – the longest time frame currently available. However, consumers can also choose to self-exclude for shorter periods of six months or one year.
GAMSTOP has suggested that the increased use of its service shows that self-exclusion is an important tool for consumers facing challenges with their gambling, giving them a chance to pause and seek additional support.
Last year, the group marked its fifth anniversary with an event at the House of Lords, hearing from those with lived experience.
One of the people to share their story was Harj Gahley, 38, who had a gambling addiction for over 10 years, starting from the age of 23. He has been working with the gambling charity Red Card for two years as a Non-Executive Director and is registered with GAMSTOP.
Harj said: “As the prevalence of online gambling has continued to grow in the UK, schemes such as GAMSTOP have become a necessary lifeline for thousands of vulnerable people. For me, GAMSTOP has been a crucial part of my recovery knowing that I’m safely blocked from being able to gamble online.”
“With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to implement changes in one’s life, I can’t recommend GAMSTOP highly enough for anyone, young or old, male or female, who might be suffering from gambling-related issues.”