Recently, more and more UK interactive gaming enthusiasts are gravitating towards playing at non GamStop casinos. This wave of interest stems from new measures implemented by the country’s Gambling Commission (UKGC), which are mandatory for all UK gambling operators. They aim to limit the proliferation of problem gambling in Britain by lowering the level of engagement involved in playing games of chance over the internet.
Per a YouGov survey published in 2020, there may be close to 1.4 million problem gamblers in the UK. Furthermore, according to experts, less than 3% of people who have a compulsion towards this activity seek treatment. However, despite the UKGC’s good intentions, many players find their new measures restrictive and are now looking to shift gears and sign up with non UK casinos. Below an explanation follows of the benefits and drawbacks of using these platforms.
GamStop’s Connection with the UKGC
Online gambling became legal in the UK in 2005 with the passing of the Gambling Act. Since then, this industry in the country has been growing year on year and is now one of Europe’s largest and most stringently regulated ones. The Gambling Act spawned the Gambling Commission, a non-departmental public body of the government that replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain in 2007. It oversees all gambling activity in the country, including the National Lottery.
All operators that wish to provide gambling services to UK residents must first attain approval from this body. The UKGC vets every company that applies for its license and imposes strict operational criteria after it lets them function in this sector. The newly introduced measures mentioned above include spin timers, no auto-play, wagering restrictions, and irreversible self-exclusion periods.
Regarding the latter, since March of 2020, all UKGC-licensed casinos must participate in the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme GamStop. That means that they all tie into the same network, and activating the self-exclusion option at one UK site, enforces a self-imposed ban valid for all of them. Meaning, a self-excluded player cannot register with another UK operator until the duration of his self-exclusion period expires. Once activated, there is no way to cancel a self-exclusion. Players have to wait out their chosen period and then call GamStop and request that their ban gets lifted.
How Non GamStop Casinos Work
Sites not on GamStop are foreign operators that have attained a gaming license from an international regulatory body located in a different country. Some of the more renowned such organizations are the Malta Gaming Authority, Panama’s Gaming Control Board, and Curacao’s four master license holders. These are credible regulators that have been active in the online gambling industry longer than the UKGC. However, they do not necessarily apply its strict regulatory standards.
Due to their laxer criteria, reputable casinos not on GamStop provide more player freedom by allowing access to more payment methods, higher betting limits, and games not available in the UK market.
That said, only those who can practice impulse control should consider these platforms. No one should look at them as a way to circumvent activated self-exclusion. Problem gamblers are encouraged to follow through with their decision of taking a break from this pastime, as not to cause substantial psychological and financial harm to themselves.
Can you Legally Play at Non Gamstop Casinos?
Nothing is stopping UK residents from enjoying the best non GamStop casinos on the internet. Technically, all gambling sites that accept UK residents must have UKGC approval. However, authorities do not seek to prosecute individuals that choose to play at offshore sites. Many consider that a matter of personal choice, as old and new, non GamStop casinos are just as credible as UK ones, with the difference being that they are under another country’s regulatory umbrella.
Hundreds of non UK online casinos have been running for decades, servicing millions of clients and never seeking UKGC approval. Their reliability is not in question. In almost all cases, any legal liability regarding online gambling falls on the shoulders of the companies that offer these services and not on individual players. Authorities do not prosecute people that play games of chance on their phones or computers. You can discover many trusted non gamstop sites at non-gamstop-casinos.com.
Again, even though these foreign platforms are a gaming possibility, they are not a solution to bypassing GamStop restrictions for people that have legitimate issues with this hobby.
Should You Try Non Gamstop Casinos?
As mentioned, this is a matter of personal choice. Like with anything, gambling sites existing outside the GamStop self-exclusion scheme also have their positives and negatives. It is up to the players to weigh these and decide if these platforms are for them.
Pros of Using Sites Non on GamStop
The main advantages of playing at these casinos include:
- New slots from many global providers.
- Access to a variety of payment methods.
- Unique loyalty programs and bonuses.
- Fewer gameplay restrictions.
- The ability to wager on different sports markets.
Cons of Using Non UK Casinos
The main disadvantages of playing at these sites are:
- Problem gamblers can use them as a way to bypass GamStop self-exclusion.
- GBP is not always accepted.
- Some games available at UK casinos may be missing.
- Terms different than those at UK casinos may apply.
- No access to third-party dispute resolution.
GamStop Sites vs. Casinos Not on Gamstop
One is not better than the other. Both categories have their aces and their drawbacks. The best argument for choosing UK casinos is meticulous oversight. The UKGC is one of the most uncompromising, no-nonsense regulators in the industry. It holds operators very accountable and does its best to look after players. Foreign licensors implement similar measures. However, given that most of these come from smaller countries looking to entice businesses to open employment opportunities to residents, they are somewhat more liberal in their regulatory practices.
Game selection may be comparable in many cases. Yet, as a rule of thumb, casinos not covered by GamStop have vaster game libraries, with the number of titles available often surpassing a couple of thousand.
Final Advice on Non GamStop Casinos
The UKGC cares about player’s well-being. They do not want anyone to face financial peril on account of a hobby. Nevertheless, their new measures are unfavorable for players that have self-control and only look at online gambling as an entertainment-based pastime and not a money-making opportunity. Those that fall into the described group should feel free to check out a non GamStop casino today and see if they are a proper fit for them.