With increasing restrictions over the past few years at UK betting sites, casinos not on GamStop are becoming more popular. 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 other jurisdictions can offer some freedom from these restrictions, but they can also be used as a loophole to escape the GamStop regulations. In this article we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using non-UK sites.
How Does GamStop Work?
The UK Gambling Commission has been tasked with regulating all gambling services in Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 2005. The group had a lighter tough regulatory approach in those earlier years, but the boom in online gambling due to new technology has seen them having to take a more hardline approach to the industry. Pressure from social groups and the government over the last few years has seen a strict approach to the sector and this is affecting the gambling experience of UK consumers.
The rise of online gaming has unfortunately seen a similar rise in opportunities for those who are prone to problem gambling. Online gaming also meant that punters could bet from the comfort of their bedroom or mobile device, and this can remove some of the checks and balances that were present in the physical casino experience.
The UKGC has been working with a not-for-profit enterprise called GamStop to assist in the fight against problem gambling and UK punters can sign up for the service for free. A GamStop self-exclusion can be enforced on all UK gaming sites for a period of 6 months, 1 year, or even 5 years.
GamStop simply require your email addresses and contact details that were used to setup UK gaming accounts. This allows betting providers to flag any accounts that they have in your name and ensure that you can no longer place bets on them.
Alongside the new GamStop rules, the UKGC has added further restrictions to license holders in the country, with lower stake sizes, spin timers, and limits on marketing activity.
How Sites Not on GamStop are Regulated?
When deciding to move to casinos not on GamStop, UK consumers will find that they are regulated by different bodies for their jurisdiction.
Just as the technology has seen a rise in gambling opportunities, it has also given gaming businesses the opportunity to shift from a physical presence to an online environment where sites can set up their operations in foreign countries that offer a more suitable business arrangement and a warmer climate.
Examples of this trend would be seen in Malta or Cyprus, which offer casinos not on GamStop. Malta, as an 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 adhere to rules on compliance and other directives to protect consumers. The sites also offer the same professional environment as you would expect in UK casinos. These sites have to meet similar directives as UKGC companies with regards to money laundering and segregation of client funds.
In recent years, new gaming jurisdictions have popped up with the South American destinations of Curacao and Costa Rica seeing a rise in new sites. Costa Rica was recently named one of the top destinations for retirement and was given the title of “The Switzerland of Central America”.
One issue that consumers have to consider when using foreign sites is a lack of third-party support for dispute resolution. If this is an issue then punters should consider using online forums to get advice on the best sites.
Are Casinos Not on GamStop Legal?
Yes, it is 100% legal for UK punters to bet at casinos not on GamStop. The UKGC has simply limited the ability for companies to market in the UK, leaving many punters unaware of their options outside of the usual casino brands. The sites not on GamStop are regularly discussed and reviewed in online forums and can also be found in Google searches.
It is the responsibility of the gaming providers to ensure that they are following the regulations when offering services to UK consumers and punters are not liable for any infringement.
Consumers are free to choose the services that they wish to use online, but these sites should not be used as a loophole to escape the GamStop regulations. The rules were introduced for a reason and only punters that are comfortable with their betting habits should consider casinos with a lighter regulatory environment than the UK.
What to expect at Non-UK Casinos
Punters have been moving to these non-UK sites to have more freedom in their betting experience once again. By moving onto these sites, they will find less limitations on stake sizes, deposit options, or other restrictive measures, such as spin timers.
Although the library of game titles will be different from UK sites, there is still a large selection of games available to play, while the graphics and technology is similar to UK sites.
Sports Betting Sites Not on GamStop
Sports betting sites outside of the UK are also popular for those seeking sites not on GamStop. Punters can get access to unlimited payment transfers, while they will often find more regular and generous bonuses, with welcome rewards of up to 100% or more. The sign-on rewards can be matched up to £500 in some cases. A wider range of payment options is also a feature, with cryptocurrency funding now available, but GBP deposits can be harder to find.
The full selection of sports betting categories are available with football, rugby, cricket, and US sports as standard.
Slots Not on GamStop
Slots available at the non-UK sites will often offer a wider range of games than some of the UK sites, which is another knock-on effect of the UKGC’s marketing rules. These slots sites often have even large welcome offers of 500% or more, up to £1,000 or £2,000.
Pros of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
- Large sign-on bonuses
- Less limitations on stake size, with no spin timer
- Larger game libraries than at UKGC sites
- Self-exclusion is still an option
- Range of funding in digital wallets, crypto
Cons of Using Casinos Not on GamStop
- Sites can be used as a GamStop loophole
- May not offer GBP deposits
- Different game title selection
- Separate regulatory body to the UK
- Limited support for third-party disputes
With the new rules being enforced on the UK gambling scene, punters signing up to casinos not on GamStop will find a lighter-touch environment. This can be a more enjoyable experience for punters and recreate the experience of British sites in the early years of the online gambling boom.
It is right that the regulators should do what they can to slow the rise of problem gambling, but the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t always work, and acts as a punishment to those who are more responsible with their gambling habits. For those consumers, a self-exclusion of 1 or 5- years is unnecessary, but it is the restrictions on the actual gameplay that is spoiling the experience for many.
If you don’t have a problem with gambling and are being restricted by the GamStop rules, take a look at casinos not on GamStop.