How the Gamstop scheme doesn’t really protect people from gambling addiction
Addiction to online gambling continues to grow among the most vulnerable sectors of the population and, even so, today we still do not fully know its magnitude. The latest X-ray on the addictions indicates that more than a million and a half citizens bet money through online platforms with football one of the most popular sports to bet on. It is about 3.5% of the population; a figure that has been growing exponentially since it has been registered. These, however, could only represent the tip of the iceberg. Online gaming addiction also includes obsessive use of video games and other online hobbies. Young people are among the most exposed to this problem. Instead of being out playing football, kids are glued to their computer screens.
Online gambling addiction not only has an economic impact. Many adolescents are losing time, money and friends by staying hooked on the screen while playing. These types of habits also expose them to greater school failure, eating problems and, in turn, can lead to more health problems in the short and long term.
Regulation of the online environment
More measures are needed to deal with this social phenomenon that more and more experts raise a public health problem. For many years people have been demanding that advertising and access to these activities be regulated to prevent young people from being exposed to this problem. Petitions are on-going for betting companies to be banned from sponsoring football teams and this should help. However, it’s especially in the online field, where it is even easier for minors to circumvent the law to access the game.
In the UK, our country, the regulations regarding gambling are quite strict, including how people can register themselves to be banned from all forms of gambling. They just need to register themselves with Gamstop.
What is Gamstop?
Gamstop is a kind of free and independent self-exclusion scheme for people who feel they are in big trouble regarding online gambling. They can register themselves and determine how long they are prohibited from logging into any online gambling site.
But a new problem came. They can get around the ban by changing a few small details. For example, by changing the last name. It’s easy to create a new account even though the person concerned has been registered with Gamstop. It seems that the exception system is not really working properly. There are also a lot of casinos not on gamstop to choose from.
The difficulties in controlling online gambling addiction are “greater” than dependence on other substances, since being not tangible it is “much more difficult to keep track of the patient. If it is not necessary to go out, it is difficult to regulate addiction and generates perhaps more suffering than others.
We live in a very competitive society in which young people are taught the importance of being the best and succeeding, also in the online field. Hence, the need to stay hooked on screens for longer and longer is created. There is a risk of crossing the line between pleasure and suffering derived from online gambling. However, when it is done wisely, online gambling has the potential for considerable profit.
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