Online gambling is not a new activity. It has been around for over twenty-five years. However, thanks to the development of portable devices that can access the World Wide Web, it morphed into a highly accessible pastime that anyone on the planet can enjoy. That is possible despite specific countries having no internet gaming regulation and others forbidding this hobby altogether, as authorities rarely seek to prosecute those who engage in it. Thus, online gaming has blown up in popularity in the past decade, and it is showing no signs of slowing down.
As a result of its dramatic expansion, alarm bells have gotten sounded to the dangers it brings. Specifically, the potential financial and emotional harm that it can cause. Per a 2020 YouGov survey, around 13% of the UK’s population is experiencing some level of gambling harm, which is a percentage that conflicts with one from a previous NHS research (4%). Still, the general societal consensus is that this is a growing problem that needs addressing. It also raises the question – is online betting more habit-forming than traditional wagering, and are foreign platforms nicknamed non GamStop casinos contributing to this issue or not?
Online Casinos Offer Free-Gambling Funds
Without a doubt, promotions are the top cause that gets people to test out gambling sites. Internet gaming promos are the backbone of this industry, and they get plastered throughout all betting platforms. Banners advertising these sites also feature them, and interested parties’ email inboxes get flooded with marketing messages listing them. Often, operators will even offer exclusive reactivation deals via SMS or direct phone calls to players after they have opted to deactivate their accounts. Many sites will go to great lengths to lure back gamblers that have played on their platforms with a decent level of regularity in the past.
No deposit bonuses are another bait that internet gaming sites wave in the face of potential members. They are an allure few can resist, as who can say no to free-gambling cash? Hence, it is apparent that online casinos have a diverse toolbox of promos that they utilize when going all out to grow their user pool. They are not shy about taking advantage of every method at their disposal.
Internet Platforms Are More Readily Available
In the 1990s, gas and hotel prices would substantially affect land-based casinos’ revenues in the US. Given that not all states in the US allowed commercial or tribal gaming establishments, Americans had to travel to get a taste of casino-style entertainment. That incurred gas and hospitality costs. The same used to hold true for the UK as well. Today, enjoying games of chance is possible from anywhere, at any time.
The availability of this activity makes it harder for many people to withstand the desire to test their luck online. It incurs no additional costs other than an internet bill, which most people already pay. The bandwidth necessary for running interactive gaming products on a smartphone is comparable to playing a YouTube video. So, all everyone has to worry about nowadays is spending more than they can afford to lose.
Relatives Have a Harder Time Detecting Online Compulsions
Addicts often ignore signs that they are developing or already have developed a compulsion towards something. They do this to protect themselves from the painful truth concerning the issues they face. Consequently, it is up to those nearest to them to communicate and persuade addicted individuals that they need help.
Naturally, spotting someone gambling too much on their phone is not easy, as most people now spend a significant portion of their day with a portable device in hand. Noticing someone often visiting a casino is far simpler. It is also far more straightforward for problem gamblers to lie to uninformed people by hiding their addiction under the excuse that the games they are playing on their phones are for fun and not real money. Such deceptions are undemanding but can lead to dramatic consequences fast.
It Is Easier to Lose Track of Internet Spending
Before, everyone kept their money in a bank account, and credit/debit cards were the only method people could use to shop on the internet. Things have now changed. The proliferation of e-wallets, pre-paid solutions, online banking, and cryptocurrencies have made it possible for gamblers to have multiple payment options at their disposal, each one with its perks. They can spread their funds into several online placeholders, making it substantially more laborious for them to keep track of their overall finances. Moreover, since online casinos make it simple/fast for everyone to keep refueling their gaming balances, often rewarding them for doing so, most players get compelled to deposit regularly, especially when they are on a losing streak. They do this under the pretense that they are getting something for continuing to bet.
How the UKGC Is Combating Online Gaming Addiction
Before the pandemic hit, Britain’s gross gambling yield stood at £14 billion. That number proves just how many Brits love to bet online and at retail locales. In March of 2020, the UKGC announced that it was launching a mandatory self-exclusion scheme for all licensed UKGC gambling websites called GamStop. It features self-imposed gambling bans, which are irreversible. Once an online gambler activates one of these, he can no longer bet on any gaming platform based in the UK. Nonetheless, this does not stop him from registering at foreign sites or casinos not on GamStop.
In April 2020, the UKGC banned credit cards, and in early-2021, they decided to implement spin timers, remove the auto-play function from slots, and lower all max bet limits. That move caused many British gamblers to consider casinos not using GamStop and move their gaming fun to these hubs. In 2022, there has been pressure from anti-gambling ministers for the UK government to impose obligatory affordability checks for online players. That is something that could send shockwaves throughout the UK’s gambling sector, driving Brits further to migrate to either unlicensed or casinos not using GameStop.
Non GamStop Casinos – A Side Effect of UK Regulation
According to experts at non-gamstop-casinos.com, a non GamStop casino is a site that has attained approval from an international regulator to offer its gaming services globally. Of course, a platform with no licenses whatsoever also gets classified as a casino not on GamStop, but they should get avoided at all cost, as they offer no recourse in the case of a dispute.
Most non GamStop casinos have regulatory approval from either the Malta Gaming Authority or one of the four Curacao master license holders. All five of these organizations have been operating in this sphere longer than the UKGC, and they follow many of the same security measures as Britain’s gaming overseeing body. The difference between them and the UKGC is that they do not mandate that their licensed operators implement any gameplay or bonus restrictions. In that lies their appeal.
They also allow niche payment methods and have defined dispute procedures. Most, non GamStop casinos regulated by the MGA or a Curacao body offer responsible gambling tools. These are available, so their players do not fall into financial peril. These include the ability to set loss/deposit limits and activate a site-specific self-exclusion ban.