According to a new report by GamStop, UKs self-exclusion program, 10% of players actively registered on self-exclusion continue to gamble using independent websites. Participating in the national self-exclusion scheme is mandatory for all casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
However, punters can join any online website, including those licensed outside the UK. In the new report, about 1703 active GamStop players were interviewed. There are 1,231 players who reported having stopped gambling, while 471 were still actively playing in some form. Of the 471 players, 300 gambled in person using land-based casinos, while the rest used completely standalone casinos like on NonGamStopBets, which are reputable and perfectly legal.
What is GamStop
GamStop is a voluntary self-exclusion program that allows UK punters to break from online gambling websites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. The UKGC introduced GamStop as a mandatory license requirement, meaning all operators licensed by the commission must participate in the program. The casinos conduct thorough KYC (know-your-customer) verification during signup and log-in to block players who have voluntarily registered on GamStop.
Player details are matched with the GamStop database to block access to real money products on the website instantly. However, UK punters can play anywhere. No law prohibits joining offshore websites, and GamStop only applies to casinos licensed by the UKGC, so players can continue betting despite being on self-exclusion. What’s more, GamStop doesn’t apply to land-based casinos, so players can continue to gamble on local casinos across the UK.
Why GamStop Players Continue Gambling
There are many reasons why GamStop players continue to gamble despite being actively registered on self-exclusion. If you joined GamStop by mistake, waiting for six months to regain access to UK sites can seem like a long time. The key point here is to follow responsible gambling rules and know when to stop. Independent sites offer the chance to continue betting without worrying about restrictions.
GamStop players also continue to play on offshore websites because the UK self-exclusion program has lengthy terms starting from six months. Non-UK casinos also have self-exclusion, but the terms are often flexible, allowing players a few weeks off, deposit limits, and other desirable options.
Benefits of Standalone Operators
Playing on websites licensed outside the United Kingdom comes with various benefits, which are why most GamStop players continue to bet even after taking a voluntary break from gambling. Below are some of the top benefits of using unlicensed operators that accept bets from UK punters.
- Better Bonus Systems – Offshore sites tend to offer generous bonuses spread across multiple deposits. New players are always guaranteed a welcome bonus, and regular members can claim the reload offers, cashback deals, free spins, betting chips, tournaments, drops & wins, and more. The bonuses also feature relatively low wagering requirements and straightforward terms, giving players a better chance of winning real money from their sessions. Moreover, players have access to sites from different regions, allowing them to claim various bonuses and promotions that aren’t featured in UK casinos. For instance, you can claim extra bonuses from your credit card deposits, which are no longer available in the UK since credit cards are banned from UKGC sites.
- No Local Restrictions – UK casinos must comply with all UKGC rules and restrictions. Players cannot use a credit card to make a deposit, the bonuses are strictly regulated, and slots come without some classic features because of new laws. However, the restrictions only apply to casinos licensed in the UK. Offshore sites aren’t obliged to impose UKGC limits, so you can play without worrying about local gambling laws. Choosing unlicensed casinos effectively bypasses all restrictions imposed by the UK Gambling Commission and GamStop.
- No Verification – All UKGC-licensed operators must conduct a thorough KYC process and ID verification. It is essential for the GamStop self-exclusion scheme, and failure to do so can result in license withdrawal. Players concerned about providing sensitive information, such as an address, phone number, and other personal details, can explore offshore sites since they don’t have verification requirements. You can bet using cryptocurrencies, prepaid cards, and other private banking options that don’t involve providing personal information. The sites also release payouts without requiring ID verification.
- No Payment Restrictions –The UK Gambling Commission banned the use of credit cards in casinos, so punters can no longer fund their gambling accounts using their preferred credit cards. Nonetheless, this restriction only applies to websites licensed by the commission. If you are playing on offshore casinos, you can continue to bet using your credit cards without any restrictions. You might miss some banking options popular in the UK, such as PayPal and phone bill payments. However, you’ll find a wide range of payment methods spanning cards, eWallets, cryptocurrencies, cheques, and more.
Gambling is a popular pastime worldwide, and players can access online games instantly on phones or computers. Voluntary self-exclusion offers a chance to take a temporary break from betting. GamStop exclusions last between six months to five years, depending on the term you specify when registering on the program.
Once on GamStop, you won’t access UK casinos until your term expires. If you can’t wait, non-UK sites and offline casinos are your only options. Note that offshore sites aren’t designed with the UK punter in mind, so you may miss some features, such as GamCare and GamStop. It is also vital to review your offers before signing up on non-GamStop sites.