The UK betting industry has been the subject of increased scrutiny and government regulations in the last few years. Many punters are now looking for alternatives to UK gaming sites as many are feeling that casinos not on GamStop are offering a better customer experience. In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
How Does GamStop Work?
The UK Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate gambling services in Great Britain. Over the last few years, pressure from social and mental health groups has seen them tasked with tackling the issue of problem gambling in the country.
The rise of the digital age came with a boom in online gaming and, unfortunately for those with an aversion to problem gambling, it brought more opportunities for betting from the comfort of their homes.
The UKGC has now utilised a not-for-profit enterprise called GamStop to assist in their efforts to deal with problem gamblers. UK punters can sign up for the service free of charge and ask for a GamStop self-exclusion from gaming sites for a period of 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years.
To do this, GamStop require your personal details that were used to gamble online so that gaming providers can flag any accounts they have in your name.
Alongside the GamStop rules, the UKGC has started to clamp down on the freedom of licensed gaming providers in the country. Some of the restrictions imposed include lower stake sizes, spin timers, and limited options for marketing and promotions.
How Sites Not on GamStop Work
When choosing casinos not on GamStop, UK consumers will find that they are regulated by different bodies depending on their jurisdiction.
The world of gaming has changed from the days of bricks and mortar casinos, to an online environment where casino sites can set up in foreign countries that offer enticing business arrangements and a warmer climate.
A prime example is Malta, which is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Malta is a member of the European Union and still has strict rules on compliance and other directives to protect consumers. These will ensure that those operating sites are “fit and proper” persons, while the casino sites will have to meet similar directives as UKGC companies with regards to money laundering and segregation of client funds.
Other examples of gaming jurisdictions would be Gibraltar or Cyprus, but new destinations are becoming common, such as Curacao and Costa Rica with the EU becoming more expensive. One issue to consider is the lack of third-party support for dispute resolution and if this is an issue then more study of the options via online forums or other means is recommended.
Are Casinos Not on GamStop Legal?
It is 100% legal for UK punters to bet with casinos or sports betting sites not on GamStop. Because of the restrictions on UK market, many punters are unaware of their options outside of the big-name brands, or those that regularly feature in tv or media adverts. The sites not on GamStop are regularly mentioned in online forums and they can be found in Google searches.
It is the responsibility of gaming providers to ensure that they are abiding by the regulations when offering services to UK consumers and the punters would not be liable.
Consumers can choose whatever services they wish to partake in online, but these sites should not be used as a loophole to avoid GamStop regulations. The rules were taken in for a reason and only bettors who are comfortable with their playing habits should consider playing in a lighter regulatory environment.
What to expect at Non GamStop Casinos
Punters are choosing non GamStop casinos to have more freedom in their gaming experience. Choosing non GamStop casino sites will ensure that there are less limitations on stakes sizes, or other restrictive measures, such as spin timers.
Although the game titles will be different, the selection of games can be larger when choosing casinos not on GamStop.
Sports Betting Sites Not on GamStop
Punters using sports betting sites that are not on GamStop take advantage of unlimited payment transfers, while they usually obtain a generous welcome bonus of 100% or more. These welcome bonuses can be matched up to £500 in some cases.
The full array of sports betting options are available such as football, rugby, cricket etc.
Slots Not on GamStop
Slots at sites not on GamStop offer a wider range of games than some of the UK sites, while the titles may be different. Certain slots sites often have welcome offers of 500% of more, up to £1,000 or £2,000.
GamStop sites are also restricted in their bonus offers and this has less appeal for consumers.
Pros of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
- Big welcome bonuses
- Fewer limits on stake sizing and no spin timer
- Larger game libraries than UKGC sites
- Self-exclusion is still an option
- Wider range of funding methods, including crypto
Cons of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
- Sites can be used as a GamStop loophole
- May not offer GBP deposits
- UK game titles may not be available
- Different regulatory body from the UK
- Less access to third-party dispute resolution
For UK casino fans, signing up to casinos not on GamStop is a step back to the UK five or so years ago when the government weren’t looking to clamp down on stake sizes and companies didn’t have to water down their marketing.
It is right that the government should attempt to prevent problem gambling, but this then allows a regulatory body to push a “one size fits all” approach to the situation. For players that are happy with their gambling habits, a self-exclusion of 1 or 5- years is unnecessary, but it is the in-game restrictions that are worse.
Ultimately, the choice to enjoy a casino not on GamStop is up to you. Regardless of your decision, always gamble responsibly.