Over the last two to three years, the UK gambling community has exploded in participation. Much of this has been driven by the COVID19 that left UK residents locked at home in search of something to do. Hundreds of thousands of UK residents have gone to the internet for a little online casino/sportsbook gambling excitement.
Perhaps sensing that this increase in this activity would expose the nation to an equal increase in problems these issues, the UK Gambling Commission took a very important step. They went from strongly recommending that licensed online operators join the Self-exclusion scheme to authorizing affiliation in April of 2020. They also followed this up by working with the government to release a ban on the use of credit cards as a banking option.
From the gamblers’ perspective, these restrictions were unfair. They make it difficult to find an online gambling site that is approved in the country and doesn’t use GamStop. This has given rise to a new breed of sites known as Non-Gamstop Sites. While not licensed in the country, these sites are located offshore and open to UK residents. While some consider these sites to be unsafe, the reality is that they are often much safer than UK licensed sites. This is because they are not subject to the same stringent rules and regulations.
What is Gamstop and Why is Everyone Talking About It?
Before we start talking about the future of non-Gamstop, we need to understand what this concept is.
It is a self-exclusion scheme used by the approved operatives in an attempt to help prevent problem gambling and protect vulnerable gamblers. UK residents can join the program free of charge, which allows them to exclude themselves from all participating sites. While this may sound like a good way to prevent gambling addiction and keep UK residents safe, many gamblers have found that it has had the opposite effect.
The problem with it is that all qualified operators don’t need to participate. This means that there are still plenty of online gambling sites available to UK residents, even after they have self-excluded from Gamstop. In addition, many of these sites are located offshore and not subject to regulations. This makes them much riskier for UK residents, as there is no guarantee that they will abide by UK law.
Another problem with Gamstop is that it only applies to online sites. This means that UK residents can still visit land-based casinos and gamble without any restrictions. This is a major flaw in the system, as it does nothing to prevent gambling addiction or problem gambling.
How does the UK Gambling Commission work?
The UKGC is the primary regulator of wagering in the United Kingdom. They are responsible for issuing licenses and enforcing the rules and regulations that these operators must follow. One of the most important functions of the UKGC is to defend vulnerable players from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators.
To obtain a license from the UKGC, an operator must meet some requirements. These requirements are intended to ensure that the operator is financially stable, has adequate customer support, and employs responsible players practices.
In addition to issuing licenses and enforcing rules, the UKGC also provides information and resources to help problem gamblers get the help they need. They work closely with Gamstop and other non-profit gambling organizations to assist gamblers in need.
How the UKGC’s Focus on Restrictions Gave Rise to Non-GamStop Site Popularity
With escalating restrictions, gambling operators and gamblers have been feeling the pinch. These restrictions have certainly become bothersome to a lot of operatives that just want the opportunity to provide reliable online gambling services to their customers.
Plus, UK consumers are reluctant to give up their freedom to gamble. With all of the restrictions in place and no guarantee that the situation will improve any time soon, many UK gamblers have sought out gambling sites that aren’t part of this concept.
To be clear, the Self-exclusion scheme is a really good resource for players who need help with their problem gambling issues. The scheme allows problem gamblers to record to be part of the database for free. That serves to tell all licensed operators that they can help by blocking the registered gambler’s online activities.
Mostly, online operators have always been happy to offer their customers access to such problem resources. With that in mind, some operators are very critical of UKGC mandates. They don’t like having to do things as a condition of licensing if it will chase potential new customers away. Plus, there are legal restrictions on how far they can go to limit access based on national and international law.
Is that a viable argument regarding the avoidance of GamStop membership? It would seem to be. There are plenty of UK online gamblers who like to avoid heavily regulated gambling websites because their rights tend to get pushed aside. That’s been very evident by the fact so many online gamblers have been complaining about credit card restrictions.
What Does This Mean for the Future of Non-Gamstop Betting Sites?
The answer to the titled question is very simple. The future of this concept looks pretty bright.
There are two issues at play here. First, the program has become so restrictive that it leaves gamblers wary of having access to the program. If it’s not available, they won’t be tempted to join only to have a change of heart but still be excluded. Second, they are quite a few quality sites available where UK players can bet on betting sites, not on GamStop presented at Casino-Wise.com. The quality of these websites is the only real concern.
In the end, a lot of UK online gamblers are waking up to the fact offshore websites offer some benefits that aren’t available through licensed sites.
Benefits of Offshore Websites
Offshore websites have fewer restrictions in place. This gives UK players a lot more freedom to gamble as they please. In some cases, there is no need to register or provide personal information to play. So, you have a chance to remain completely anonymous and free from all the obligations out there.
The first meaningful benefit relates to credit cards as a banking option. Without big brother UKGC watching, many of these online operators feel empowered to allow customers to make deposits with credit cards. Doing so is not easily detected if an online casino uses a processing name that doesn’t tell the tale.
Second, most of these casinos do very little in the way of account verification. They don’t have to as long as they have a name and the gambler’s money before the gambler starts gambling.
Finally, these operators tend to be more generous with their bonus promotions. This is something they feel they need to do if they are going to successfully compete with the big licensed casino/sportsbook brands. Offering online gamblers a little extra value helps to over the stigma of being less than a licensed operator.
What does the Future of Non-Gamstop Betting Sites Hold?
For all of these reasons and more, online websites should have no problem garnering their fair share of any new online business in the future. It’s important to note that the UKGC might someday make a concerted effort to clamp down on these operators should they start causing issues.
The way we see it, there is no reason to think that non-GamStop betting sites won’t be a viable option for UK online gamblers in the years ahead. There are some strong benefits here and plenty of incentives that engage players. The main thing right now is to find the right gambling website and get involved. We are certain this guide of ours will be useful for you in the future.