In the past two years, concerns regarding the rise of problem gambling in the UK have run rampant, causing many Brits to look to non GamStop casinos for betting fun. These platforms are not a part of the UKGC’s mandatory self-exclusion scheme called GamStop. Hence their name. For further clarification, they are sites with a base of operation in another country.
To combat public pressure, Britain’s gambling regulator, the UK Gambling Commission, in February 2021, enforced extra measures that make the online slot experience less intense on top of implementing a self-exclusion option at its licensed operators in 2020. It also removed debt accumulation payment methods from UK-based platforms. Many hardcore British gamblers found these restrictions super unfavorable, as a vast number of UK-based players now find UKGC sites undesirable, believing that they take out some of the fun of playing games over the internet.
What follows is a detailed explanation of casinos not on GamStop, and what sets them apart from operators offering interactive gaming services from UK’s soil.
How the GamStop & UKGC Partnerships Works
The UKGC is Britain’s equivalent to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement or Nevada’s Gaming Control Board. They are the nation’s only gambling regulator, overseeing all activities on both sides of this industry, land-based and digital. The UKGC is a non-departmental body of the British government, whose existence got mapped out in the Gambling Act of 2005. It only gets help in its job by the Financial Conduct Authority, which oversees spread betting.
In March 2020, it announced a partnership agreement with the National Online Self Exclusion Scheme, a not-for-profit organization, to incorporate its self-exclusion program GamStop at all UKGC-approved online casinos. GamStop is essentially a database that lists every UK player with an activated self-exclusion ban. Those that do cannot continue their gambling ways at other UK-based operators.
There is no way to cancel a triggered GamStop self-exclusion. Once it gets noted in the system’s database, a player must wait until his chosen period expires before he can get back to gambling at UK sites.
The Way Casinos Not on GamStop Operate
As touched upon in the intro, a casino not on GamStop is a foreign site that runs its operation under the umbrella of an international regulator. It is not UKGC-approved. Meaning, it does not have to adhere to any of the standards that the UKGC sets, even though it accepts Brits. According to non-gamstop-casinos.com, non GamStop casino will likely have a site-specific self-exclusion, which will not tie into the GamStop database. Due to the lack of this widespread self-exclusion option, only those that can keep a cool head when wagering online should migrate over to casinos not using GameStop.
Foreign regulators are nothing to be afraid of, as most are very reputable and have been active in this sector for far longer than the UKGC. For example, the four Curacao master license holders have been in business since the mid-1990s and early-2000s. The Malta Gaming Authority is Europe’s premium multi-country licensor/overseer. It began giving out interactive gaming licenses in 2001. These bodies implement many of the same measures at the UKGC, but they are not as strict regarding player care. The UKGC goes above and beyond when it comes to gambler protection compared to these organizations.
Is Using a Non GamStop Casino Legal?
Even though British law states that all UK residents should play at UKGC-licensed platforms only, there is no history of UK authorities going after anyone that chooses to indulge in online betting fun at casinos not using GamStop. These platforms freely advertise their services to Brits via Google. Therefore, any legal liability falls on them, not the players that have selected them as a gaming home. Most see the selection of a non GamStop casino over a UK one as a matter of personal choice.
Again, it should get noted that bypassing a GamStop restriction by signing up with a non GamStop casino is a massive no-no. These sites should not get looked at as a method for problem gamblers to keep feeding the habit after they have asked for help with this issue.
Should You Give Non GamStop Casinos a Go?
Players choosing to enjoy a casino that does not enforce UKGC’s restrictions is entirely optional and at the discretion of each individual. To help those considering this option, here are the main pros and cons of these sites:
Benefits of Non GamStop Sites
- Novel games from hundreds of providers.
- Access to niche transaction options.
- More bonus offers.
- No gameplay restrictions.
- Betting on a wide range of varied sports markets.
The Drawbacks of Non GamStop Sites
- The British pound may not always get accepted.
- No universal self-exclusion.
- Less player protection.
- No official dispute resolution services.
- T&C conditions get tailored to correspond to foreign laws.
GamStop Platforms vs. Casinos Not Using GamStop
Those preferring to patronize casinos that offer a vast selection of games with perk-rich loyalty schemes should opt to join a foreign gambling website. Preferably one licensed by eGaming Curacao, the MGA, or Panama’s Gaming Control Board. Online gamblers that have a compulsion towards this hobby should register at only UKGC-licensed platforms. UK-based operators have player protection as their number one priority.
To Sum Up
There is no right or wrong platform category. Everything is a matter of taste. The truth is that security-wise, both non GamStop casinos and UK ones incorporate the same technology, and they have more-or-less similar privacy policies. The UKGC trades gaming variety and freedom for tighter regulation to ensure that everyone is safe as possible. Foreign sites let players indulge in their gaming entertainment to the max. However, that comes at the price that in a case of a dispute, gamblers’ interests are not as guarded, and they do not have as much recourse as they would if they stuck to playing at a UK platform.