RGA ends ownership of Gamstop self-exclusion system

26 September 2019

Gamstop, the UK’s online gambling self-exclusion system, has seen its ownership transferred from the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) to its own directors in a move it claims illustrates its independence from the industry.

Board members Jenny Watson, Dr Jo Watts, Kevin Beerling, Roger Parkes and Mike Dixon, who is a new non-executive director, will now take ownership of the not-for-profit entity, The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme (NOSES) which runs Gamstop.

The change of ownership, effective from today (26 September), comes more than three years after the Gambling Commission tasked the RGA with the development of a national online gambling self-exclusion service.

Watson, Gamstop’s chair, said: “These changes help to strengthen our independence and I would like to thank the RGA for the constructive nature of our discussions.”

Gamstop also announced the arrival of Dixon, who has been the chief executive of addiction and mental health charity Addaction since May 2017. He previously held the roles of assistant chief executive of Citizens Advice and director of Victim Support, an organisation supporting the victims or witnesses of crime.

“As we continue to develop, Mike Dixon’s insight and experience will provide the operational team with strong independent challenge,” Watson added.

Gamstop is being developed to allow customers to block access to all igaming sites operated by companies signed up to the system by registering on its platform. It is intended to eventually become a mandatory requirement for all Gambling Commission licence holders to integrate with the solution.

GamStop soft-launched in April 2018 - having originally been expected to go live in 2017 - and has since been criticised for flaws in the system that allowed self-excluded players to resume gambling.

In January this year a BBC investigation revealed that players could bypass the system by changing their user details.

Earlier in September the Gambling Commission said further improvements to the online self-exclusion system are needed before it becomes mandatory for all licensees to integrate with the solution.