Problem gambling has recently made UK news forcing Great Britain’s gambling regulator, the UKGC, to tighten measures regarding access to gambling sites to those who have a compulsion for this activity. According to statistics by the National Gambling Treatment Service, around 280,000 people in England alone believe that they cannot adequately control themselves when partaking in this hobby. Hence, now all licensed UKGC operators must participate in a mandatory self-exclusion scheme that helps players combat this addiction. Those within this network face limitations not seen in other markets.
Though these constraints benefit a certain few, they are responsible for producing a less enjoyable gaming experience for casual players who can enforce impulse control. Thus, this newly established situation has made many players search for gambling sites not on GamStop to call home.
What Is GamStop & Who Regulates UK Online Casinos?
The not for profit organization The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Ltd operates GamStop, a service that helps you restrict your online gambling activity.
Per UK law, any company that wishes to offer gambling services to UK residents first must attain a gaming license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Founded in 2005 with the UK Gambling Act, the UKGC is a public body of the government which replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain in 2007. It regulates all forms of games of chance and sports wagering for real money, except for spread betting.
All UKGC licensees tie into the GamStop network and must provide a link to this service via their site. Once a player self-excludes using this program, he can no longer log in or sign up with any other UK operator. It may take up to a day for this ban to become effective. Upon signing up for this scheme, players get prompted to select a minimum exclusion period of six months, one or five years.
Those with a change of heart may wonder – how to stop GamStop once their ban activates. Unfortunately, that possibility only exists after the set minimum exclusion period has expired. Each player goes through an identity verifying procedure upon signing up with a gambling operator. Thus, withdrawals become impossible once a self-exclusion is active. Until the minimum period expires, self-excluded players’ only option is to join casinos not blocked by GamStop.
Who Regulates Casinos That Are Not Using GamStop?
New non GamStop casinos are gambling sites that do not have a UK headquarters and whose operations are not overseen by the UKGC. These are platforms that offer their services worldwide. In essence, a non GamStop casino is one with a gaming license from an international regulatory body such as the Malta Gaming Authority, a Curacao Master license holder, or Panama’s Gaming Control Board.
All the organizations mentioned above are reputable and have been operating in this industry for decades. Curacao eGaming is the most established of the four Curacao master license holders, and it has been active since the inception of this sphere, 1996. The MGA came into existence in 2001, while Panama’s Gaming Control Board got founded in 2002. Thus, most offshore licensors have more than two decades of regulatory experience.
Operators that attain a license from these organizations have to go through a procedure akin to the one enforced by the UKGC. They also must have a principal office in the country of their licensor. So they can remain under its watchful eye. A non GamStop casino has to go through a financial vetting process that ensures its liquidity, and all its games must undergo regular third-party testing that guarantees fairness.
Is it Legal to Play at Non GamStop Casinos?
It is crucial to understand that casinos not using GameStop are 100% legit. People from dozens of countries use them every day.
They are only not licensed by the UKGC. So, officially, they cannot advertise their services or offer them to UK residents. However, authorities do not waste time prosecuting players who choose to play at offshore platforms. Many view it as a waste of government resources and online casino selection as a personal choice. Gambling sites not on GamStop differ from UKGC ones. Thus, a specific one can give players multiple reasons why it is a better option than a UK-licensed operator.
Any legal ramifications stemming from residents partaking in games of chance for real money on non UKGC sites fall on the provider, not on the users. That said, given that these platforms do not participate in such vast exclusion systems, only those who can resist the temptation of chasing after losses and who know when to call it quits should use them. It is worth noting that virtually all online casinos let players set deposit/loss limits and have a self-exclude option. Though that option only applies to that one specific site.
What to Expect From Casinos Not Blocked By GamStop?
At their core, sites within and outside the GamStop network are super-similar. Online casinos may feature different designs and organizational patterns, but their underlying base remains more or less the same. That is so because few software providers supply operators with the infrastructure necessary to run their businesses. Furthermore, some companies have dozens of online casinos in their portfolios that target various markets. They may have a site with a UKGC license and an identical one that caters to players from other regions.
The difference between these two categories of platforms stems from UK regulation, which is far stricter than that in other countries. For example, in April of 2020, the UKGC banned the option of using credit cards for online gambling. It also has bonus limitations in place, as well as game ones.
Sports Betting Sites Not on GamStop
As mentioned, welcome offers at foreign platforms are often far more lucrative than UK ones. UK gambling brands like to stick to free bet promos while gambling sites not on GamStop gravitate towards percentage matching offers. The latter also features a more robust catalog of betting markets. They aim to appeal to a global audience, so they take bets on niche sports and even pro wrestling matches, such as those organized by the WWE. TV show wagers are also sometimes accepted, as are ones on virtual sports and Esports events.
Slots at Casinos Not Using GamStop
For a slot to get featured at a UK casino, it must first meet a series of remote gambling and software technical standards set by the UKGC. All games also must get tested per a pre-defined strategy by this body. Naturally, not all providers wish to go through this hassle to make their games available to Great Britain players. Thus, they choose to neglect the country, depriving its players of quality reel-spinners.
Slots not on GamStop also incorporate higher max limits, an auto-play option, and no spin timers. They provide a smooth gaming experience not hindered by the many nuisances of unnecessary regulation.
GamStop Sites vs. Casinos Not on GamStop
There is no perfect gambling site because no one can incorporate everything. The same applies to categories of online casinos. Each one has its pros and cons. Things that make it unique and appealing, and elements that turn players away.
A list of advantages and disadvantages of the two referenced types of casinos follows below.
Casinos Non on GamStop
If a player can create an account with an online casino without an issue, there is nothing of legal concern regarding his gambling activity. It is the platform that is responsible for who accesses it and who uses its services. Users are only seeking to reap the benefits of the best possible deals they can find. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with playing at gambling sites, not on GamStop. UK residents should not face any consequences for doing so.
Internationally-licensed platforms offer perks like more generous promotions, a vaster range of payment methods, more games, and so on. They are richer in content when compare to UKGC casinos, so naturally, players want to explore them as a gaming option. However, they are not under as strict government oversight as UK sites. If firm operator monitoring appeals to players, they should check out GameStop UK reviews. If they feel comfortable spinning reels at offshore platforms, those are an alternative that should also be perfectly safe to enjoy.