Data Shed co-founders Anna Sutton and Ed Thewlis
Data Shed co-founders Anna Sutton and Ed Thewlis
Richard Bell

Leeds firm creates 10 jobs after winning contract with gambling ban scheme GAMSTOP

Yorkshire data services firm The Data Shed is creating jobs on the back of a new contract.

The company has been appointed as a key technology partner of GAMSTOP, the scheme allowing people to exclude themselves from online gambling websites.

Until early 2018, anyone who wanted to stop themselves being able to access online gambling had to do so with each individual operator.

The UK’s gambling regulator, Gambling Commission, recognised that a better solution was needed and in April 2018, the GAMSTOP Beta launched.

Over 50,000 addicts signed up to ban themselves from online betting.

But a recent BBC report revealed that self-deferred gamblers were able to easily get around the system by simply changing their user details.

GAMSTOP boss Fiona Palmer told the BBC, in response to the findings: “We are taking on board the feedback and we are looking to improve the scheme.”

GAMSTOP works by adding those who sign up to a central exclusion list. Each time someone logs in or registers with a British-licensed gambling operator, the firm must check the exclusion list.

The process involves supplying real-time matching of consumer records to every British licensed operator.

For The Data Shed, the contract led to the creation of 10 new jobs at its office in Leeds.

Ed Thewlis, chief technology officer at The Data Shed, said: “Our key challenge was to develop a flexible, secure and scalable platform to allow operators to verify every registration and login against the exclusion register, without impacting the performance of operator services.

“This is particularly crucial on peak days such as Boxing Day and The Grand National.”

He continued: “We’re really proud to be a part of such a worthwhile scheme and of the platform that we’ve built to support it: we recently performed a load test and it coped with 20,000 hits per second. It’s an ultra-secure, cost-effective environment.

“Our next challenge will be to use our matching algorithm expertise to improve the service to consumers further.”

GAMSTOP CEO Fiona Palmer commented: “The majority of online gambling customers gamble for fun and within their own limits.

“However, we recognise there are people who need help to reduce or stop their gambling and GAMSTOP was set up to provide one way of helping by enabling them to self-exclude from multiple operators at one time.”

She added: “We were looking at enhancing the service for the consumer and having met the team at The Data Shed, we were impressed by both their expert knowledge of data as well as their wide cross section of experience.

“Our work with The Data Shed will enable all self-excluded gamblers to be confident that our enhanced system will be robust and able to provide the service that they need.”

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