Casinos not on GamStop are becoming a popular option for UK punters due to the increasing regulations in the country’s gambling sector. After a strict clampdown by the UK Gambling Commission, British punters have seen new rules emerge such as bet size limits, limited bonuses, and funding restrictions.
Casino sites in offshore jurisdictions can offer additional freedom from these restrictions, but they are often exploited as a loophole to escape the GamStop regulations. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of using non-UK sites.
How Does GamStop Work?
Since 2005, the UK Gambling Commission has been tasked with regulating all gambling services in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UKGC started with a light-touch regulatory approach in those earlier years, but the online gambling boom that was driven by new technology has led to the group taking a more hardline approach to the industry. Pressure from social groups and the government over the last few years has driven that stricter approach and this is affecting the gambling experience of UK consumers.
The growth in online gaming has unfortunately brought a similar increase in gambling opportunities for those who are prone to problem gambling. The new technology also meant that punters could bet from the comfort of their home, or a mobile device, which can remove the checks and balances that were present in the physical casino experience.
The UKGC has been working with a non-profit enterprise called GamStop to help them fight the problem gambling issue and UK punters can sign up for the service free of charge. A GamStop self-exclusion can be enforced on all UK gaming sites for a period of 6 months, 1 year, or even 5 years.
The scheme requires that you provide the email addresses and contact details that were used to set up UK gaming accounts. This allows betting companies to flag any accounts that they have in your name and ensure that no more bets can be placed for the duration of the scheme.
Alongside these GamStop rules, the UKGC has seen further restrictions placed on license holders in the country, with lower stake sizes, spin timers, and restrictions on marketing activity.
How Sites Not on GamStop are Regulated
When deciding to try out casinos, not on GamStop, UK consumers will find that they have their own regulatory bodies.
Just as the new technology has seen a rise in gambling opportunities, it has also given gaming businesses an opportunity to shift from a physical presence to wholly online environment, where sites can set up operations in foreign countries that offer a more suitable taxation and business environment.
Examples of this trend are in Malta and Cyprus, which offer casinos not on GamStop. Malta, for example, is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and has attracted an influx of gambling sites and companies. As a member of the European Union, the island is required to follow strict rules on compliance and other directives to protect consumers. These sites also offer the same professional environment as UK casinos. The gaming sites have to meet similar directives as UKGC companies with regards to money laundering and segregation of client funds.
More recently, new gaming jurisdictions have popped up with the South American destinations of Curacao and Costa Rica becoming popular. Costa Rica was named one of the top destinations for retirement recently and many US expats choose this as a retirement option.
One issue that UK consumers have to think about is a lack of third-party support for dispute resolution on foreign sites. This is not an issue for smaller bet sizes but there are online forums that can help with choosing the right site.
Are Casinos Not on GamStop Legal?
It is 100% legal for UK gamblers to bet at casinos not on GamStop. The UKGC has simply limited the ability for companies to market their services in the UK, leaving many punters unaware of their options outside of the big-name brands. The sites not on GamStop are regularly reviewed in online forums and they can also be found easily in Google searches.
Consumers have the freedom to choose the services that they wish to use online, but the sites should not be seen as a loophole to avoid the GamStop regulations. The rules were brought in for a reason and only punters who are comfortable with their betting habits should consider using casinos that apply a lighter regulatory environment than at home.
What to expect at Non-UK Casinos
Many are flocking to these non-UK casino sites to find more freedom in their betting experience. By moving across to these sites, they will find less limitations on stake sizes, deposit options, or other restrictions, such as spin timers.
Although the library of game titles will be different from the UK sites, there is always a large selection of game titles, while the graphics and technology are similar to UK sites.
Sports Betting Sites Not on GamStop
Sports betting sites in offshore jurisdictions are also popular for those looking to sites not on GamStop. Punters can find unlimited payment transfers, while they will often find bring more regular and generous bonus schemes, with welcome rewards of up to 100% or more. The sign-up rewards can be matched up to £500 in many cases. Customers will also find a wider range of payment options, with cryptocurrency funding now common, although GBP deposits can be harder to find.
The usual selection of sports betting categories are available with football, rugby, cricket, and US sports being standard.
Slots Not on GamStop
Slots available at the non-UK sites will usually offer a wider range of games than the UK sites, which is another knock-on effect for the UKGC’s marketing rules. These slots sites often have larger welcome offers of 500% or more, up to £1,000 or £2,000.
Pros of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
· Larger welcome bonuses
· Fewer limitations on stake sizing, with no spin timer
· Large game libraries when compared to UKGC sites
· Self-exclusion still an option
· A wide range of funding in digital wallets, crypto
Cons of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
· Sites are exploited as a GamStop loophole
· May not provide GBP deposits
· Different game titles
· Non-UK regulatory body
· Limited support for third-party disputes
With the stricter rules being enforced across the UK gambling sector, many punters signing up to casinos not on GamStop will find a lighter-touch regulatory environment. This can be more enjoyable for punters and can recreate the experience that was seen on British sites during the early years of the online gambling boom.
It is fair that regulators should do what they can to stop the rise of problem gambling, but the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t always work. Those who are more responsible with their gambling habits can find themselves unfairly punished. For those consumers, a self-exclusion of 1 or 5- years is unnecessary, but it is the rules affecting the actual gameplay that is spoiling the experience for many.
If you don’t require the use of the GamStop scheme then it could be a good time to consider casinos not on GamStop.