UKGC to investigate self-exclusion problems

The gambling commission from the UK is set to investigate a series of problems regarding self exclusion after a report from the BBC.

UK.- The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has decided to follow up an investigation carried away by BBC Radio 5 Live, where an undercover reporter managed to bet in 19 of the 21 bookmakers he visited in Grimsby, even though he had signed up to the government’s self-exclusion scheme.

Rob Cave, the reporter from the BBC, signed up to the Grimsby scheme, which automatically sends someone’s name and picture to the gambling places located in the territory, and was able to play on FOBTs in 16 shops before he entered another facility and was asked to leave.

Sarah Gardner, UKGC executive director, said: “The result of the BBC investigation is concerning and we’ll be making our own inquiries into what happened in this case. We’re determined to drive improvements in behaviour across the industry in terms of the effort they put into reducing gambling-related harm, and it really is getting to the stage where there is nowhere to hide for businesses who don’t take this seriously. What we would like to see is much more emphasis from gambling businesses on intervening at an early stage before there is a need to self-exclude.”

Moreover, a spokesman for the Association of British Bookmakers said in a statement that this is a disappointing result, however, it was “conducted in artificial circumstances, involving a small sample, over a short period of time and the individual concerned was not a problem gambler or previously known to shop staff. By its very nature those who self-exclude are normally known to the staff in the shops they exclude from.”

He added that an independent review of the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme revealed that 83 percent of participants agreed it had been effective in reducing or stopping their gambling activity, and 71 percent said they have not attempted to use their nominated betting shops since signing up.

“We accept that the current self-exclusion scheme is not without flaws, however we’re continually developing improved systems and seeking to reduce the reliance on staff to recognise those that have self-excluded,” he added.

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