As regulations continue to grow in the UK betting industry, many punters are seeking out alternatives and non GamStop casinos are becoming more popular. How do these foreign casinos compare to the local options, and are they worth trying out? In this article, we’ll explain how casinos outside the UK operate and offer advice on the common pros and cons of using their online gambling services.
GamStop Gambling Functions within the UKGC
GamStop UK is a not-for-profit organization aimed at preventing problem gambling. The service is exclusive to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and punters can sign up for the service for free. The idea behind the GamStop scheme is that bettors can ask for self-exclusion in the UK and the company will enforce it across multiple platforms.
Punters sign up and supply the addresses and email accounts that were used to set up their gambling accounts at UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) licensed sites. You can select self-exclusion periods of 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years depending on your needs.
The technological advances that have emerged over the last years in gaming were used to conjure up several new ways to bet. This created a boom in the gaming industry, but it brought Las Vegas to every High Street in the country and the government is now under pressure to apply restrictions as problem gambling increased.
The problem with these increased regulations is that they also punish those who are in control of their betting habits and it leads to limited choice and gaming freedom. There is also no ability to change your exclusion period once it is selected.
How Non GamStop Casinos Work
Casinos outside of the UKGC’s jurisdiction are not subject to the GamStop scheme. Because they are regulated by different gambling authorities, these sites can offer more freedom to UK customers.
There are now many gaming companies that are setting up in foreign jurisdictions. Non GamStop casinos can operate with an online-only premise and for this reason, gaming companies have simply moved their locations to countries with more favorable business or tax regimes.
Some examples of this are Gibraltar or Cyprus, but countries such as Curacao and Costa Rica are now becoming more common.
There are benefits to be had for British punters when signing up to these companies, such as less restrictions on stake sizes, larger game libraries, additional bonuses, and the option to use different payment methods to fund their accounts.
Casinos in other locations still have their own compliance measures to protect users’ funds and data, so you can still find a safe online casino. Know Your Customer rules and the segregation of client funds and corporate funds are similar to the standard offered by UKGC-regulated sites.
The downside of using casinos in another country can be the lack of third-party support for resolving disputes. It is up to the user how important this feature is, and whether they want that protection. If punters are betting small account sizes for fun, then it less of a problem.
It is important to understand that using non GamStop casinos is not a loophole to beat the GamStop exclusion. Problem gambling can be a serious problem for some and the GamStop rules were implemented for that reason.
Can You Legally Play at Non GamStop Casinos?
It is perfectly legal to bet at casinos that are not on GamStop and many punters are simply not aware of their options due to restrictions placed on these company’s marketing efforts. The companies can be found on Google, but they cannot solicit players from the UK directly.
It is up to gaming companies to ensure that they are abiding by regulations when offering services to UK consumers. Should there be any legal ramifications for a UK citizen seeking services at these sites, the company providing the service would receive any punishment while the player would be free from consequence.
Should You Try Non GamStop Casinos?
Signing up to a casino which is not on the GamStop scheme is a consumer choice and comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
We have listed some of the key considerations below:
Pros of Using Non GamStop Casinos
- Generous bonus sizes and frequency
- Fewer limits on bet sizes and spin time
- Extensive game libraries and wider choice
- Self-exclusion is still an option
- Wider range of funding methods, including crypto
Cons of Using Non GamStop Casinos
- Can be used as a GamStop loophole
- May not offer GBP deposits
- UK games are often not available
- Different regulatory body from UK
- No access to third-party dispute resolution
For UK casino fans, signing up to casinos not on GamStop can take them back to the days before restrictions were tightened in Britain.
It is right that the government should attempt to clamp down on problem gambling, but this then allows a regulatory body to enforce a “one size fits all” approach to the problem. For players that are comfortable with their betting habits, and use these casino sites for fun, a 1 or 5- year self-exclusion is extreme, but it is not the only restriction.
Companies have been urged to restrict their marketing efforts and create their own safety measures, which has meant less choice for the consumer. If the UKGC casino rules are squeezing the fun out of your casino experience, then a non GamStop casino may be an attractive alternative for you.