The gambling scene in Britain saw huge growth in the last decade as new technologies and faster internet brought gambling into the comfort of homes and mobile devices across the country. For the majority, gambling is a harmless distraction and one of many outlets for discretionary income spending, but for some it can be damaging. With strict rules being applied to the UK scene, non-GamStop casinos have emerged to offer punters an alternative to the British gaming sites.
In this article we will describe the recent activities of the UKGC and GamStop and highlight what’s on offer at overseas sites.
GamStop and the UK Betting Scene
The UK Gambling Commission are the gaming authority responsible for British gambling sites. The group are tasked with licensing and regulation of people and businesses that provide gambling activities in the country.
Headquartered in Birmingham, England, the group oversee the conduct of individuals and businesses, but they also offer mediation for complaints and disputes. After a huge rise in the number of gambling outlets, the group has been pressured to step up its efforts in order to protect problem gamblers.
One of the key measures introduced has been GamStop, which is a non-profit self-exclusion scheme in collaboration with the UKGC. Gamblers in the UK can sign up to the service free of charge and request a ban from all gambling websites and apps provided by British gaming companies. The ban will extend for the period of their choosing, which can be up to five years and is irreversible.
The self-exclusion scheme is beneficial for those who struggle to control the psychological issues of gambling. The desire to win back losses can be overwhelming and many gamblers are also in denial of their true profit & loss situation.
New users of the GamStop scheme must provide their current and former addresses, alongside the email addresses which they used to sign up for betting sites in the country and GamStop will do the rest.
How Non-GamStop Casinos Work
The GamStop scheme is only available in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, but the UKGC has no ability to regulate the activities of casinos outside of the country.
The UKGC offers a superior regulatory regime for those in the UK, especially when it comes to dispute resolution and consumer protection. For companies outside of the UK, they will answer to a different regulatory body. The non-GamStop sites in European countries are the next best destination for UK consumers due to their adherence to EU money laundering and customer protection. Bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority have to follow a high standard of KYC regulations and other measures. In recent years, however, South America has emerged as a growing destination for gaming sites, and these usually adhere to a lighter touch regulatory system. The UKGC doesn’t allow these sites to market directly to UK consumers, but they are easily found via online forums and Google searches.
Can You Legally Play at Non-GamStop Casinos?
It is 100% legal for UK consumers to bet with casinos not on GamStop. The UKGC has clamped down on the ability of overseas companies to market in the UK, which leaves many punters unaware of their options outside of the big UK casino brands.
It is up to the gambling providers to ensure that they are following the correct regulations when offering services to UK consumers.
Consumers have freedom to choose the services that they wish to use online, but sites overseas should not be used as a means to escape the GamStop rules. The measures were introduced for to protect problem gamblers and their families and only those who are comfortable with their betting habits should consider moving to casinos with a lighter regulatory environment.
Should You Try Non-GamStop Casinos?
Gamblers should consider trying out the sites not on GamStop if they feel that the UK sites are being too heavily regulated.
As with all consumer choices there are usually pros and cons and the following is a list of the common benefits and drawbacks associated with using overseas sites. You can discover more here about non-GamStop casinos.
Pros of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
- Large sign-on bonuses
- No stake size limits or spin timers
- Larger game libraries than UK sites
- Self-exclusion still an option
- Access to more funding options with credit cards, crypto
Cons of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
- Sites can be used as a GamStop loophole
- May not offer GBP deposits
- Different game titles to UK sites
- Separate regulatory bodies
- Limited support for third-party disputes
GamStop Sites vs Casinos Not on GamStop
British punters will have access to better customer service and also consumer protections at UK sites. For those who are having the occasional flutter and don’t require assistance then the overseas sites are a good option to escape the harsh rules and loss of freedoms that are being imposed at UK casinos.
Punters will find that many of the sites not on GamStop will offer a similar experience in the graphics and gameplay.
With strict rules being applied to the UK gaming dcene in recent years, many punters are signing up to casinos not on GamStop. Those giving them a try will find more freedom in their gambling experience and will likely find it similar to the British sites in the early years of the online boom.
It is important that the UKGC tackle the rise of problem gambling, but the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t always work. The new rules can also be heavy-handed and punish those who have more control over their gambling habits. For those consumers, it is unnecessary to have a self-exclusion of 1 to 5 years, but it is the restrictions that are being placed on the actual gameplay that is taking the fun out of the experience for many.
If you don’t have experiences with problem gambling and are feeling restricted by the GamStop rules, it might be a good time as any to try out non-GamStop casinos.