With the popularity of online gambling at an all-time high, players from all over the world enjoy real-money games at multiple online casinos every single day.
But over in the UK, with more strict rules and regulations, British players’ gambling habits are changing. And with the two gambling superpowers, the UKGC and Gamstop, at the forefront of this change, a lot of British players are fed up with this threat to their favourite hobby.
So what exactly are UKGC and Gamstop? And how are these two entities changing gambling habits for the British?
What is the UKGC?
UKGC stands for UK Gambling Commission. This organisation is run by the UK government. And it’s responsible for issuing gambling licences to any casino brand who wants to offer their products to British customers.
However, games providers also need to get a licence from the UKGC as well. So there's an awful lot of red tape involved in offering real-money games to Brits.
Aside from issuing the licences, the UKGC is also responsible for regulating UK gambling sites. And, although this means best protection for players, it also means some extremely strict rules for UK-licensed gambling operators.
That said, the UKGC is considered one of the most reputable licensing authorities in the world. And casinos with a UKGC logo wear it with pride.
What is Gamstop?
Gamstop is the UK run self-exclusion program designed to help people manage their gambling habits. Gamstop is a non-profit organisation. And players can sign up to self exclude from all UK real-money sites for a period of their choosing. In fact, players can choose from self-exclusion periods from six months to five years.
But, once a subscription has started, players cannot undo it. Furthermore, because all UK-licensed casinos are obliged to be part of Gamstop, this means that the self-exclusion program is one of the most effective around. As there is no way for a player to access any UK gambling sites whatsoever.
However, in recent years there has been a movement against Gamstop, with the emergence of casinos not on Gamstop.
What are casinos not on Gamstop?
A casino not on Gamstop is simply one that is based outside of the UK. As we've seen, all UK-licensed operators must be part of the Gamstop program. But this only applies to casinos who wish to offer their products and services to UK customers.
Therefore, there are plenty of non Gamstop casinos. And these are sites that are based abroad, and who hold licences from entities other than the UKGC.
How have Gamstop and the UKGC changed gambling habits for Brits?
Although very highly respected, the UKGC regularly receives criticism from both UK casino operators and players. This is due, in part, to the ever-changing rules and restrictions that affect gambling laws in the UK.
Furthermore, the UKGC taxes UK-licensed sites heavily. Meaning that UK casinos have no choice but to offer their players smaller bonuses.
Therefore, a lot of UK players are taking their business abroad, to these non Gamstop casino sites. As casinos not Gamstop offer players the chance for bigger bonuses and a more varied games selection.
So, with the UKGC constantly coming down harder and harder on gambling institutions, and gambling sites not on Gamstop tempting UK players overseas, a lot of players are left with the following question: with a huge amount of casinos not part of Gamstop or the UKGC available to the Brits, what purpose does the self exclusion actually serve?
So, does this mean that Gamstop is ineffective? We believe the answer is no. Gamstop is still an extremely effective program. And has helped thousands of gamblers to control their habits.
That said, the overall feeling is that the Brits are getting fed up with both the UKGC and Gamstop throwing their weight around and telling people what to do. Not to mention, a lot of players are ready to return to gambling, but still find themselves in the middle of a self-exclusion period.
So this, combined with the temptation of bigger bonuses and huge game selections, is why more people are choosing to play at casinos not on Gamstop. And we think this trend will only continue, as Brits become more disillusioned with both the UKGC and Gamstop.