If you’ve ever played at an online casino, or placed a bet on a sports match, chances are you’ve seen the name Gamstop.
But what exactly is Gamstop? And how does it differ from other self-exclusion programs on the market? Finally, what are casinos not on Gamstop? And how do they affect UK self-exclusion?
We’re going to answer these questions today. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Gamstop?
The Gamstop program it’s a self-exclusion tool that players can use if they start to form problematic gambling habits.
Created by a non-profit organisation, Gamstop is approved by the UK government. Furthermore, every licensed casino operator and bookmaker in the UK is legally obligated to be part of the Gamstop program. And this inclusion of 100% of real-money sites within the UK is part of Gamstop’s success. Because, when you self-exclude using their platform, you’re guaranteed that no gambling site in the UK has slipped through the net.
The Gamstop program is 100% confidential and voluntary. It is also completely free to use and comes with additional self-help which players can access. Also, because it is confidential, players who are registered with Gamstop don’t need to worry about their boss or bank finding out that they are subscribed to the program.
Players can choose from 3 different self-exclusion periods. These are: 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. And, once your registration is complete, your self-exclusion period will start within 24 hours.
That means, you will effectively be banned from using any UK-licensed real-money sites for the entire duration of the self-exclusion period you choose.
It’s also important to note that your Gamstop subscription cannot be reversed. So you must be serious before signing up.
Who is Gamstop for?
Gamstop is available to any and all players in the UK that want to self-exclude themselves from gambling sites in the country. But it’s important to know that Gamstop only affects UK licensed casinos, not those licensed in other jurisdictions. So it’s not available to players who don’t live in the UK.
With 3 different self-exclusion periods on offer, players who opt for 6 months are usually people who just need a decent break from gambling. And are ready to return to their hobby after a short while. Whereas, people who choose the 1 year or 5 years options are usually players who have developed a serious gambling addiction. And who need to stop gambling for good.
What are the other popular self-exclusion programs?
As you can imagine, Gamstop is not the only self-exclusion provider in the UK. Other platforms offer services similar to Gamstop; as well as other products.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular self-exclusion programs on the market. And how they differ from Gamstop.
Another NGO-run platform, Gamban let’s players block themselves from both UK and international gambling sites. Including casinos not on Gamstop.
Players can install Gamban on any device. And, once installed, it will block access to gambling sites for as long as it’s activated.
The advantages it has over Gamstop are that Gamban doesn’t expire after a certain amount of time. And Gamban lets you block non Gamstop casinos, as well as UK-based sites. Meaning it has a further reach that Gamstop.
However, Gamban is not free. And players must pay a small monthly subscription to use the service.
Betblocker is another service similar to both Gamban and Gamstop. Although the word ‘bet’ is in the name, this platform allows you to self-exclude from all gambling sites; not just bookmakers. And, like Gamban, players can block UK sites, as well as gambling sites not on Gamstop.
The advantage Betblocker has over Gamstop is that players can ban themselves from playing at both UK and international sites. Like Gamstop, Betblocker is also free.
However, players need to install the program onto each device individually. So players can easily access gambling sites via a new/different device.
What is a casino not on Gamstop?
Casinos not on Gamstop are simply those outside UK territory. Any casino operator who wishes to extend their products and services to UK customers must obtain a licence from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). But, the UKGC is not the only place in the world that issued licences.
Therefore, you have lots of non Gamstop casino sites (also known as offshore sites), where you can find and play real-money games.
There is nothing illegal about these sites. They simply have licences abroad. Therefore, a lot of UK players who are part of Gamstop will continue to seek out these gambling sites. So, Gamstop has its faults. But it remains a popular, free program that helps lots of players combat their habit.