There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that gambling is a super-popular pastime in Britain. Despite the country’s annual gross gambling yield decreasing by some £80 million in recent years, the overall GGY remained well over £14 billion until the global pandemic hit. The UK market maintains its title as Europe’s most dominant gambling-related money-generating region. However, recent research has shown that around 300,000 Brits have succumbed to the drawbacks of this hobby. In other words, they have developed a compulsion towards it. They keep betting despite being aware of the negative potential of this activity. The harms that can arise from people not controlling their impulses when engaging in this hobby include loss of employment, emotional stress, the breakup of families, and many other undesirable societal consequences.
In an attempt to lower these and other side-effects, the UK market is slowly evolving to keep betting on sports and games of chance strictly an entertainment-oriented activity, minimizing its dangers. It has done so by introducing GamStop, a nationwide self-exclusion scheme, and implementing new measures that make playing online reel-spinners less intense. Furthermore, multiple organizations have sprung over the past decade providing help regarding problem gambling. Below, we dive into how the UK market aims to curb gambling addiction rates and why some players prefer to play at a casino not on GamStop, rather than a UKGC one.
What Is the UKGC & How Did It Came into Existence?
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is a non-departmental body of the British government. It got birthed in 2007 when it replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain as the country’s sole regulatory gambling entity. Its inception got penciled in with the passing of the Gambling Act in 2005, which provided a legal framework on how the government will regulate online betting in Britain.
In most players’ eyes, the UKGC is by far the strictest regulator in Europe. Its standards mimic those of US-based regulators, like New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. It offers premium user protection at the expense of gambling fun. International overseeing bodies, the ones that gaming enthusiasts refer to as regulators of casinos not on GamStop, implement many of the same measures as the UKGC. Nevertheless, they are undoubtedly less diligent in their enforcement. More respectable international licensors are eGaming Curacao, Panama’s Gaming Control Board, and Malta’s Gaming Authority.
What is GamStop & How Does It Operate?
The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited is a non for profit organization that runs GamStop, a nationwide self-exclusion database that became mandatory for all UKGC-licensed platforms in March 2020. It lets players control whether they are in the proper mindset to play games of chance and bet on sports over the internet or not. This free service is only available to residents of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. That is why foreign gambling sites get called non GamStop casinos.
Players sign up to participate in the GamStop scheme when they lose grasp on how much/often they are betting. When this happens, they provide GamStop information such as their address, phone number, and email. Then, they can choose one of three self-exclusion periods. These are six months and one or five years. Once a player activates a GamStop self-exclusion, that person can no longer play at any UKGC-approved platform until their chosen self-exclusion period expires. When that occurs, they can contact the GamStop staff and get reinstated as an active player. So they can continue their gambling ways.
No one must see a non GamStop casino as a method to circumvent an activated self-exclusion.
Other UK Problem Gambling Resources
One of the benefits of living in a country with a super-developed gambling market is that Brits have access to multiple betting addiction help avenues. GamCare is likely the premium UK organization that helps those that struggle with these issues. It offers live support via its website and by telephone at 0808 8020 133, 24/7. Gamblers and their family members can also use the GamCare forum to attain additional information and participate in group chats, discussing similar situations with others in an identical predicament. BeGambleAware, is a charity that offers pretty much the same services as GamCare. They partner with multiple agencies and organizations in this field. The NHS is one such example.
Non-for-profit entities aside, players can take matters into their own hands, trying to deprive themselves of gambling temptations by installing software that forbids them from reaching gambling websites. Gamban is the most famous such application. Alternatively, they can contact their bank and request a betting ban for all gambling-related transactions stemming from their account.
GamStop Platforms vs. Casinos Not on GamStop
Function-wise, there is little difference between the sites that the UKGC regulates and those that remain under the watchful eyes of international overseeing bodies. In essence, gambling operators from all corners of the globe obtain their utilized software solutions from the same developers. However, due to growing public concerns regarding problem gambling in Britain, UKGC sites must implement spin timers, lower wager limits, and no auto-play for slots. That is the trade-off necessary for them to enjoy the superior protection offered by the UKGC.
Benefits offered by casinos not on GamStop like those found here include the ability to use niche transaction options, access to different gaming products, and getting offered more generous bonuses. Per UK law, Britain’s residents should only play at UKGC-licensed casinos. Yet, authorities do not seek to prosecute those that choose these offshore sites. Again, they should never get viewед as an option to continue feeding one’s appetite for betting, even though they have sought help and activated a self-exclusion period.
It is undeniable that, in the past two years, the UKGC has become incredibly proactive in reducing the potential complications that can originate from online gaming and sports betting activities. While this for sure has lowered the enjoyability level of this pastime for many, everyone should commend the UKGC’s safety-first approach to regulation. They keep players’ best interests in mind, over the allure of the country raking in massive tax revenues from this industry. Those actively partaking and parties wishing to engage in this hobby for the first time should remember to do so responsibly. That entails instantly seeking help once they feel that their ability to control themselves is slipping from their fingers.