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BetBlocker Trustee Comments on WhatsApp Targeting Scandal

by Glenn Baird - February 8, 2021

An article published in the Telegraph today revealed that betting companies are targeting vulnerable gamblers via WhatsApp.

The newspaper claims that several gambling companies in the UK are using the Facebook owned messaging app to facilitate transactions for customers that have been self-excluded.

This is despite the fact that WhatsApp’s terms and conditions state that “businesses may not transact in or facilitate gambling, games of skill, or lotteries, including online casinos, sportsbooks, bingo, or poker if it costs money.”

Trustee of UK based charity, BetBlocker said that he feared companies were using WhatsApp as a way to circumvent blocking software and self-exclusion schemes:

“There is potential for harm to be caused to vulnerable players and there needs to be due consideration given by the authorities to minimise that.”

GamStop should ensure that anyone who chooses to be self-excluded is. Using WhatsApp would mean that those who cannot access gambling sites now have a way to get around their own self-exclusion.

The Gambling Commission said that:

“All our remote operators must be signed up to GamStop to ensure that gamblers are legally old enough to gamble.”

The article highlights an operator known as McCartan Bet as one of the sites that has been promoting WhatsApp gambling and has also mentioned on their website that they are not signed up to the GamStop initiative.

A WhatsApp spokesperson had this to say on the issue:

“While WhatsApp offers a way for people to message one another, we do not offer our additional business services to bookmakers. We provide people with easy ways to block any user and encourage users to report any problematic accounts to WhatsApp.”

BetBlocker

For anyone looking for a free and effective way to block access to gambling sites, without having to rely on the cooperation of operators, BetBlocker is an app that can be installed on mobile devices, PCs and laptops that denies you access to thousands of gambling sites.

BetBlocker is a registered charity in the UK and, as such it is completely free to install on as many devices as you want.

To learn more you can visit the BetBlocker website.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland sits to the north-west of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom shares a border with The Republic of Ireland and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel. The population of the UK is approaching the 67.6 million mark leading to a fairly densely populated land mass. The gambling sector in the United Kingdom is entirely regulated and licensed by the UKGC – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Should players resident In the UK wish to gamble with foreign based operators there is no history of this being treated as a criminal offence, but high levels of protection exist for UK residents playing with UK licensed operators.