Mia Gardner | 19 Feb 2019
The regulator, notorious for running a tight and almost unforgiving ship, has said that it is currently exploring more options to better protect problem gamblers from the many temptations that so haunt them. One of the proposals put to the table by the UKGC is that operators must fund the development of software that can be used to self-exclude problem-players from accessing online accounts.
Self-exclusion software allows a player to register his or her personal and contact details on a specific data-registry. Simple (not to mention cheap) as what the concept may sound to be, it’s actually a complex process. First off, the hardware on which this kind of software typically runs isn’t typical wide area network server hardware. Specialised components are needed to drive the kind of software that is constantly sifting through and comparing all kinds of data. The actual programs too, can get very technical, as it’s not just a matter of matching input data on a comparative model, but it also involves very intelligent computing that pre-empts common human errors such as typo’s and the incorrect entry of, for example, a person’s date of birth.
Until very recently, gamblers wanting to protect themselves by means of self-exclusion, were required to register their details on every last online casino platform considered to be well within their reach and a possible threat. This isn’t very practical by any standard, and according to the UKGC, opens many possibilities for giant-sized loopholes. To add insult to injury, some operators, even after having taken cognisance of the fact that a particular player does not wish to receive promotional material, will still continue to punt products and services to that player, regardless of the individual’s wishes.
After the fact, it’s as easy as claiming ignorance or blaming the trespass on a technical glitch.
What’s more, there have been widespread reports of players having discovered that in a moment of weakness, it was quite easy to over-ride self-exclusion safeguards. The UKGC has responded by saying that the issue will now enjoy its immediate and undivided attention and that, if needs be, regulatory policies will be amended so that players can enjoy more effective levels of protection.