BingoDaily has uncovered an online marketing campaign, promoting unlicensed gambling sites to circumvent critical gambling protection systems.
In other words, addicted gamblers can still deposit and play despite having self-excluding themselves.
Online Comparision Sites
Online comparison websites promote gambling and claim to rate each brand subjectively. But at the same time offer attractive sign-up incentives, such as bonuses, free spins and free bets. Due to the nature of the affiliation deals, gambling sites will often receive only positive reviews.
Are comparison sites truly subjective?
The gambling comparison industry has seen a notable decline in revenues since the implementation of new advertising requirements, as well as stricter KYC, as such, they have turned to new methods to drive profits.
A new trend is to promote non-licensed casinos, which allow self-excluded players to register accounts, and doesn't enforce the use of responsible gaming tools.
The result is consumers at risk of gambling harm or developing addiction has no safeguards to protect them.
While the gambling operators are not targeting problem gamblers directly, they are working with marketing companies that are.
How did this happen?
UK Gambling Operators must abide by strict rules and regulations as laid down by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Since its inception, the UKGC has implemented and enforced many restrictions to safeguard those at risk of gambling harms.
One of the significant reforms undertaken was in response to the aggressive nature of gambling advertising and marketing. The UKGC created a socially responsible set of rules which operators must follow or risk a fine or losing their license.
Who is Gamstop?
Gamstop is a not for profit organisation set up to help vulnerable gamblers combat their gambling addiction. They also help customers use available responsible gaming tools, such as deposit and loss limits to restrict gambling activities.
One of Gamstop's most useful gambling prevention devices is its self-exclusion too. It allows consumers to block them-selves from a large number of online gambling sites at once.
Not all gambling sites take part in Gamestop's self-exclusion, but it's only a matter of time as the UK Gambling Commission will insist all UK licensed operators join the scheme.
By promoting non-licensed casinos, marketing companies can bypass self-exclusion and facilitate addicted gamblers in order to profit from their illness.