Casino Guru has partnered with City, University of London to determine the most effective ways to help problem gamblers steer clear of harmful gaming practices. The results of which will help to inform their recommendations for a new set of standards to be adopted across various jurisdictions. 

Led by associate professor Dr Margaret Carran, the project forms part of Casino Guru’s Global Self-Exclusion Initiative which was launched back in 2021 in the hopes of protecting vulnerable gamblers. Carran will bring her extensive player protection knowledge to the 18-month-long project, having spent years analyzing problem gambling in the EU states.

It is an undeniable fact that more awareness needs to be raised when it comes to gambling mindfully. As tempting as one of the largest free spins no deposit bonus may look to a player, if it is time to call it quits and simply log out of one’s account, self-discipline needs to be practised. But how could (and should) players go about this exactly?

The Project

The collaborative project was brought about by necessity as Casino Guru’s Sustainable and Safer Gambling Lead and the man behind the Global Self-Exclusion Initiative, Šimon Vincze revealed the lack of general standards for self-exclusion practices. This is because each jurisdiction develops their own set of guidelines with every few actually following the same standards let alone the same means of implementation. 

As such the project aims to bridge the gap between the several jurisdictions and find common ground, marking the first time that work on self-exclusion practices will be conducted at an international level. The project will entail three phases starting off with the research and fact-finding stage which will see the team review existing self-exclusion rules and assess their impact to determine whether they are successful and why. 

This will then be followed by the workgroup meetings phase which consists of experts with various backgrounds going over the findings of the initial stage using their lived-in experience to pave the way for the proposed new online self-exclusion rules. 

The final stage will invite stakeholders in the industry including regulators, non-profit organizations, trade associations and gambling operators to provide their feedback. This will then be evaluated and taken into consideration when drafting the new self-exclusion guidelines to be recommended for immediate implementation. 

Why Now?

A recent report conducted by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed that the UK’s problem gambling rate has consistently remained at around 0.2%-0.3% throughout 2022, further fueling the case that the UK and UKGC might be allocating too many resources to problem gambling. 

The UK problem gambling rate has been a cause of discussion with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) going so far as to say that anti-gambling prohibitionists vastly overstate the issue. However, the UKGC has maintained that the problem gambling rates have not increased thanks to its efforts to regulate the market and not due to the operator’s proactive initiatives. 

From buying a lottery ticket to playing in a casino and everything in between, according to the BGC, around 22.5 million people in the UK place some type of bet on a monthly basis. However, the industry’s revenue has taken a hit thanks to inflation, dropping by 8% despite an increase of three million in registered accounts and overall bets placed. 

In addition to these findings, a survey conducted by GamCare revealed that now more than ever the cost of living crisis is pushing low-income individuals to gamble in an attempt to win money for bills. Moreover, the current self-exclusion systems available have proven to be not very effective with problem gamblers still able to open accounts after registering, forcing the public to demand independent oversight of the exclusion schemes. 

Final Thoughts
Despite what gambling lobbyists may try to suggest problem gambling is still a prevalent issue in the UK and needs to be addressed. Casino Guru has always been at the forefront of this global issue from partnering up with Gordon Moody to offer a safe gambling course to working with Mindway AI to launch a risk assessment campaign for players. Their latest collaboration follows a list of successful partnerships all aimed and providing a safer gambling experience. Although it remains to be seen what will come out of the new self exclusion guidelines, the need for them is undeniable.