While it’s certainly not uncommon to see GamStop and GamCare at UKGC-licensed online casinos, it isn’t often that the two come together in the way that they have this Christmas. The festive period is a time when many like to indulge in a variety of activities, and we’re no strangers to having a punt or two over Christmastime ourselves.
Of course, while we’d always recommend playing at casinos with their own, more flexible, in-house responsible gambling and problem gaming tools and programs, it is true that gambling does tend to go through the roof during Christmas. This inevitably leads to issues for some. Given that, it’s no surprise to see two of the biggest problem gambling programs join forces with new advice for bettors.
What Does the Latest Advice Bulletin Say?
GamCare typically releases “updated” public advice from time to time, and it isn’t uncommon to see them get stuck in around this time of the year. This week, the helpline has highlighted GamStop and its services for problem bettors.
A few of the highlights found in the updated advice bulletin include:
- Emphasising that Christmastime is a troubling period for those with gambling-related issues.
- Urging bettors to remember that there’s a longer gap between paycheques over the festive period.
- There may be a lack of support at traditional problem gambling services, as many staff members take holidays.
GamStop Is Recommended by GamCare
The most notable mention was that GamCare is urging those who suspect that they have problem gambling issues to reach out to GamStop and set up blocking software. They praised GamStop’s ability to effectively cut off your gambling options at the root, although they admitted that even GamStop is powerless to stop those who wish to bet from wagering in outlets or purchasing scratch cards.
You’ll often find a flurry of anti-gambling advice issued around the silly season, but both organisations seem keen to remind players of their responsibilities. The two are teaming up to ensure that no Christmas woes befall your family over winter. However, they fail to mention that GamStop is designed for those who wish to quit gambling long-term. It isn’t suitable for a brief break over Christmas.
It is strange to see GamCare recommending users to use GamStop’s services over Christmas, but not entirely unexpected. The organisation is more of a national helpline rather than an effective blocking tool.
Our View: There Are Much Better Options Out There
While there is no denying that using GamStop would effectively freeze your gambling activity this Christmas, it’s not the only option out there. Moreover, if you’re merely seeking to take a break over Christmas to spend time with your friends and family or for any other reason, GamStop isn’t the best way to go about it.
Triggering GamStop for a month-long break isn’t possible. Signing up for the program is a long-term affair, as mentioned. Therefore, we encourage our readers to ensure that they play at a trusted casino that has a bespoke, in-depth, and reliable cool-down or self-exclusion tool aside from GamStop. If you’re feeling the pinch this winter, choosing to activate in-house self-exclusion services at casinos, not on GamStop is a far more effective way to take a breather temporarily.