The UK experience of self-exclusion and the growing popularity of online casinos in Nigeria – Guardian Nigeria

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With the proliferation of online gambling around the globe, we are seeing millions of people gambling in countries that we never thought of as countries that would support online gambling. It’s fair to say that Nigeria would be one of those countries. When a third-world country has issues with poverty, we tend to forget that the people in those countries still have a right to enjoy some good adult entertainment.
While online casino gambling and sports betting are great sources of adult entertainment, there is always the potential for someone to fall victim to a gambling problem. Yes, that is the ugly side of online gambling. In regions like the UK, there are regulatory bodies that are charged with making sure the country’s population has adequate resources to deal with problem gambling issues.
How the UK Addresses Problem Issues
In the UK, the UK Gambling Commission is charged with overseeing the overall gambling industry. That includes overseeing sports betting and horse racing operations, as well as regulating retail and online casinos. This is done to make sure millions of UK recreational gamblers are getting the protection they need from rogue gambling providers and themselves.
As part of UKGC’s effort to protect people, they helped create the GamStop Self Exclusion Registry. GamStop is effectively a database of online gamblers who have voluntarily agreed to be banned from having access to online gambling sites operating in the UK. The best part of this program is it’s the gamblers who get to decide how long they are to be self-excluded. 
Where the program fails is it offers no flexibility for gamblers who decide they don’t have problem gambling issues and want the right to gamble online again. In such cases, this group of UK online gamblers can use only those casinos not on GamStop, which isn’t a bad thing as long as gamblers behave responsibly.
Online Casino Gambling in Nigeria
By law, licensed UK online casinos are permitted to offer their services to casino players in countries that allow their residents to legally use such services. That is the case in Nigeria. Nigeria doesn’t have its own online casino gambling infrastructure, but it does allow its residents to use online gambling sites that are operating in other jurisdictions.
To be clear, online casinos have become very popular in Nigeria. Nigerians with the financial resources to do so really enjoy sitting down and playing online casino games of chance for real cash when the opportunity arises.
That’s wonderful to know about the responsible online gamblers who live in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Nigerians are just as vulnerable to problem gambling issues as people in other nations. With that being the case, Nigerians also need access to resources they can use to protect themselves from their own gambling problems when they arise.
Since GamStop is only available to UK residents, how can Nigerians protect themselves from financial and emotional carnage at the hands of gambling addiction?
Self-Exclusion in Nigeria
Without having access to GamStop, it’s incumbent on Nigerians to make sure they know where they can find resources they can use to combat gambling addiction. In fact, Nigerians do have access to some resources. 
To be clear, a self-exclusion program will almost always be the best option in the battle against problem gambling issues. Why? It’s a voluntary action that has the gambler’s full support. They agree to the terms of said programs, which is a very good thing. It’s the gambler making clear that they know not having access to online sites is the first step in addressing gambling addiction. 
Since GamStop is not an option for Nigerian online gamblers, the question becomes do Nigerians have access to any similar self-exclusion resources? It might surprise you, but yes, Nigerians do have access to some self-exclusion resources, namely Net Nanny and GamBan. 
Net Nanny
Net Nanny was first introduced in 1993. It was offered as a resource that allowed parents to block their kids from having unwanted access to certain websites, including real money online gambling sites. It didn’t take long for people to realize that the Net Nanny downloadable app would work just as well to protect adults who seek protection against their online gambling habits.
The only issue related to using Net Nanny as a self-exclusion resource is it needs to be managed by someone other than the problem gambler. That translates to a third party having the right to decide how long the self-exclusion will last.
GamBan was created in 2015. It’s another downloadable software program that automatically blocks a device’s access to gambling websites after installation. That is a pretty strong self-exclusion tool. However, it creates two problems.
First, the device’s exclusion is permanent, which means it can never be reversed should the gambler have a change of heart. Second, it’s a device-directed exclusion solution that gamblers can get around by simply using other devices for their online gambling activities. Both of these issues contradict the benefits of the GamStop solution.
Maybe, GamStop will be available to Nigerians in the future?
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