- Self-exclusion group notes program’s 80% success rate
- Schemes still ‘crucial’ to protecting gamblers from harm
The provider responsible for much of the UK’s gambling self exclusion network has advised players and operators to retain their faith in the program, despite a recent technical failing at 888’s online casino which led to a huge fine.
Self-exclusion is designed to protect problem gamblers and vulnerable players, but in 888’s case those players were able to retain access to their accounts, owing to what was described as a technical error.
However, Senet Group argues that the system is hugely effective in preventing gambling problems, and that one error should not affect confidence in an otherwise functional program.
Senet Group aims to protect vulnerable gamblers
The Senet Group is an independent body with responsibility for managing and monitoring standards in the gambling industry, especially with regard to advertising.
The group also offers protection to vulnerable players by raising and enforcing safety standards, in accordance with the terms of the regulator, the UK Gambling Commission.
Britain’s bookmakers established the group three years ago to address public concerns about gambling, and membership is open to any gambling operator.
Under the Remote Gambling Association, the Senet Group delivers the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme (‘MOSES’) used by most leading bookmakers and online gambling operators in the UK.
This scheme allows players to self-exclude at one premises or site, and have that exclusion stand across all linked providers. These providers include group founders Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and William Hill, along with voluntary members.
888 ‘technical error’ blamed for self-exclusion failure
Reports revealed that players using self-exclusion schemes at 888’s online casino and betting operations were able to continue gambling, due to a technical glitch that allowed access through the operator’s bingo portal.
The software loophole was used by players to wager around £3.5 million, despite those players opting to withdraw from gambling.
In one individual case, a player gambled more than £1 million after self-excluding, including money obtained through theft.
The operator has been ordered to pay £4.25 million in fines by the UK’s Gambling Commission, as well as refunding all players’ bets and providing compensation to the victim of the theft.
In a statement the operator confirmed that the technical glitch was resolved and that stricter controls have been introduced to protect players.
80% success rate for self-exclusion scheme
According to a Senet Group statement made today, 80% of players who used self-exclusion schemes had either reduced their gambling level or stopped playing entirely.
In fact, 71% of surveyed players claimed they have made no attempt to play since using the software.
Though the accuracy of the figures is uncertain as problem gamblers do not always admit to their addiction, the figures show that self-exclusion works for many players.
The Senet Group advises that operators should continue with self-exclusion networks and that players should have faith in them – but that “the primary duty to honour the exclusion rests with the individual.”
Bookmakers must take all reasonable steps possible to prevent problem gambling, though some players may always find a way round the restrictions.
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