Home Mental Health & Well-Being Mitigating Gambling Addiction With Self-Exclusion: GamStop Example

Mitigating Gambling Addiction With Self-Exclusion: GamStop Example

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Gambling is one of the most popular and forms of entertainment for adults. Gambling is such a coveted pastime that it is associated with luxury and glamour, a much sought-after depiction got through movies and advertisements. An example of this is the gambler’s fallacy.

The nature of gambling is addictive, once you get into the depths, it is hard to get out of it. There are multiple casino games that keep alluring punters and the thought of hitting a jackpot keeps them investing more and more till all their finances dwindle and they become affected mentally. Thus, to prevent such gambling addiction, self-exclusion schemes and blockers are created to help people restrict their problem gambling. 

One such self-exclusion service is GamStop, probably the most effective and popular of all schemes based in the UK. There are many studies proving its efficiency, so there is no need to stop there in great detail. Instead, let us take a closer look at what GamStop is and how it can help gamblers fight their addiction. 

How is gambling addiction formed? 

Any addiction is formed due to either boredom or the need to escape the daily drudgery of work. Gambling gives you the feeling of achievement and excitement not experienced in other gaming. The real money that can be earned from gambling tempts and draws players in and gives them the feeling of winning and getting money. The act of gambling also releases dopamine from the brain which gives the impression of happiness. Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter that is created naturally by the brain and a lack of dopamine leads to multiple mental health issues. 

In general, here is how people develop problem gambling behaviours. Dopamine is released excessively through gambling and generates a strong desire to re-experience the emotion which is the reason why gamblers can not curb their addiction. Dopamine also generates a reward system in the brain that leads to urges to bet constantly and chase it even after losing badly. The desire to win leads to preoccupation with gambling to get money, erratic behaviour, increasing bet limits, and resorting to taking debts or stealing money to gamble beyond one’s means. 

The availability of games and easy access to online gambling worsens the symptoms of compulsive gambling. Games such as slots, roulette, and poker are easily available, slot machines being numerous in pubs, arcades, malls, game shops, etc. The jackpot feature of slots triggers compulsive gambling habits. Poker and roulette are also games played locally outside of casinos in groups and are not illegal in the UK similarly causing punters to lose themselves while betting real money. 

How can GamStop help? 

The fear of losing loved ones to compulsive gambling can be allayed with GamStop, a self-exclusion scheme based in the UK and implemented by all legal online casinos. This scheme can help prevent gambling addiction by banning users for a temporary period of time and letting them cool off to focus on the positive aspects of life. It is important to mention that often, players on GamStop need help nonetheless: GamStop on its own is not enough to solve the problem of gambling addiction. However, combined with other methods such as psychotherapy, it can display great results.

What is GamStop for? 

GamStop was a project developed jointly by the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) and NOSES (National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme) to promote self-restriction among the residents of the UK. Operating in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, GamStop is a free self-exclusion service that bans its users from accessing online casino sites and apps. It also blocks all GamStop-operated and UKGC-licensed casinos from being available to its users. The decision to implement GamStop in all legal casinos licensed by the UKGC was taken in March 2020 and then onwards it is mandatory for all operators to undertake its services or their license would be terminated by the UKGC. 

Introducing the scheme to all online casinos has seen a drastic improvement in compulsive gambling addiction cases and the number of users has increased swiftly through the years. Its users have admitted that GamStop had changed their lives for the better and helped them with their financial woes, mental health issues, and improved relationship with their loved ones. GamStop seeks to support everyone who needs aid and they can be contacted 24/7 through their chat, email, and contacts. 

How does GamStop break the gambling addiction cycle? 

The first step towards breaking gambling addiction would be registration with GamStop. Players who think that their gambling habits are getting out of hand can register on GamStop to help their cases. Signing up is easy; you would need to provide your personal information including address proof, ID proof, bank statements, email address, and contact information. Within 24 hours, you would be able to start your GamStop service for the stipulated time period which ranges from 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years. You would be blocked from using any casino sites for the period of time chosen and would not be able to use third-party sources to enter the site since GamStop undertakes a thorough investigation. Terminating the contract is also not easy and you will only be able to access gambling sites after the period of the contract is over. This is a good way to divert one’s focus to positive life goals and give up gambling. 

Takeaway

Time and again GamStop has proven its efficiency in dealing with gambling-related dangers. The UK statistics show how GamStop had a positive impact on gamblers and how many of its users felt a sense of mental, financial, and emotional relief after using GamStop. This free scheme developed for the betterment of UK citizens is definitely the most popular self-exclusion service in the UK and the most reliable and trusted one as well. Hence, if you need to practice self-restriction and addiction prevention then you should surely opt for GamStop.


Jordan Wayne, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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