If you enjoy playing online slots, then you should know that there has been a significant development in the gambling industry. This development also reflects on online slots. I’m talking about Gamstop, of course. The newest addition in the UK Gambling Commission’s arsenal for fighting gambling issues and helping people who may have gambling problems. Gamstop is just another way to promote responsible gaming, only this time, giving control to players instead of giving it solely to online casinos. Since Gamstop has so many implications, I’ve decided to research this topic and try to untangle the mystery around it. Here’s everything you need to know about it, ranging from what Gamstop is to whether it’s safe to play non-Gamstop slots.
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4 Things You Need to Know About Gamstop
Before I dive into the specifics, let’s start with the definition of Gamstop. Gamstop is a self-exclusion scheme that can be used by UK players. It allows players to restrict access to online slots sites for a longer period of time.
Gamstop Is Launched By Nonetheless But UKGC
Gamestop is the invention of the UK Gambling Commission. A couple of years have passed since Gamstop was just an idea on paper. Today, it is about to become a mandatory membership for all casinos that want to operate in the UK.
The backstory is easy to understand. The UK Gambling Commission sets the list of requirements casinos must meet to get the license to operate. If an online slot site doesn’t comply with terms of conduct, the license is terminated.
Gamstop Will Be Mandatory
Gamstop started as a program that casinos can opt-in voluntarily. Any casino in the past two years that wanted to give players the possibility to self-exclude themselves could do so by applying for the Gamstop membership. Once part of the Gamstop network, the casino provides players the opportunity to stop playing all games on the website for a given period.
It is expected any time now that UKGC will announce that Gamstop is a mandatory program for all the casinos. As soon as this happens, all casinos serving the UK player base will have to enter the program or lose their license.
Gamstop Is Designed To Help Players
There are many players out there under the impression they might have a problem with gambling. These players need to have as many methods to prevent gambling abuse behavior.
Gamstop is exactly this. As a self-exclusion scheme on an opt-in basis, Gamstop gives the players enough space to decide what they need.
Players that choose to register on the Gamstop platform will gain access to a “gambling kill switch” of sorts. Once they feel they can’t resist the urge to gamble, or they don’t have more money to spare, they can self-exclude themselves from all online casinos registered on Gamstop for a given period of time.
Over 99% Casinos Are On The Program
Although only a couple of years old, Gamstop’s self-exclusion scheme has become quite popular. The UK Gambling Commission has done a great job promoting it and fixing some of the hiccups in the design.
The estimation is that almost 99% of all online casinos, bookmakers, online slots sites, and other companies in the gambling industry directly serving UK players are on the program. If you want to check the list of all registered online casinos, you can do it on the link here. Gamstop keeps these lists regularly updated.
Since it is going to be a mandatory program, soon all companies in this niche will have an active Gamstop membership.
The Latest Gamstop News
Gamstop is of great interest to UK players and for the general UK public as well. It has received a fair amount of media coverage so far. The most fascinating two news articles I’d like to share with you are the ones on the BBC and The Guardian portals.
The BBC is definitely on the top of the mainstream press. Not too long ago, the BBC reported a troubling fact regarding UKGC’s self-exclusion scheme – players can easily circumvent it.
Apparently, even if you have an account on Gamstop, and activate the self-exclusion from all online slots sites, you could still wiggle your way out of it and play games at those sites. The motivation behind this behavior can range from “I changed my mind, and I want back in!” to “I’m too tempted to be able to resist the urge to gamble.” The bottom line is what is important here – Gamstop wasn’t working as intended.
If players with minimal technical knowledge can work around such a delicate program, why is it there in the first place? The players could easily work around it. All they needed to do is to change the email address and change the personal information (e.g., one letter in a name would suffice). This helps them go right through the self-exclusion and gets them back on the online casino sites.
Another media coverage by The Guardian that I find interesting, talks about Gamstop growing from a voluntary to a mandatory program. According to the Guardian, Gamstop is 18 months late. The UK Gambling Commission should’ve approved it long ago. But since the hiccups mentioned above were present, the system wasn’t ready.
Besides the problem with “circumventing Gamstop,” the Guardian revealed another one. It appears that Gamstop didn’t synchronize the list of registered users with the registered companies’ promotional mailing lists well. This resulted in the UK player receiving a bulk of direct marketing emails from online casinos.
After a few tune-ups, Gamstop is ready for full adoption. The gambling companies operating under the UKGC jurisdiction will soon be informed about the new license requirements, the Guardian reports.
The Intricate Design of Gamstop
UKGC’s self-exclusion scheme is designed to be easy to use. To benefit from Gamstop, you will need to visit the official website and register the account. The account registration process is straightforward. All you need to do is fill out a few forms.
This will allow you to self-exclude yourself from playing any games, including online slots, on the websites of companies inside the Gamstop network.
This restriction applies to all gaming instances. You won’t be able to access any websites on your PC or laptop, nor will you be able to use dedicated mobile apps to play online slots.
Another critical thing to know about using Gamstop is the exclusion period. Before you exclude yourself from online slots websites, you will have to decide whether you want it to last for a week, a couple of months, or several years.
This is something you should take seriously as lifting the exclusion from your account is next to impossible. Once you activate the exclusion, it will take 24 hours to kick in. During this time, you will be able to play online slots.
What happens when the exclusion period is over? The exclusion doesn’t lift automatically. When the exclusion period is over, you will need to contact Gamstop to remove it. If you don’t do it, you won’t be able to play online slots on any of the websites on the Gamstop network. This is a useful perk as it adds another level of control to people that may have problems with gambling.
If you want to get rid of the exclusion before it expires, you will probably hit a wall. Gamestop won’t remove the exclusion from your account. You can always file a dispute and try to make your case. You better have a good reason if you hope to get the exclusion removed.
This brings me to non-Gamstop slots. Players who have active exclusions can’t play slots on UK slot websites. They are forced to enjoy online slots on non-Gamstop slots sites. Technically this is not a “workaround” as it doesn’t trick the Gamstop system. On the other hand, it will help Brits play slots even with an active Gamstop exclusion.
Before you decide to try non-Gamstop slots, be mindful. If you are aware of your possible gambling problems and you have an active Gamstop exclusion, you should probably stay away from non-Gamstop slots. This is the best way to protect yourself and to start walking on the path towards responsible betting.
Why Are Slots Companies Entering the Gamstop Program
Now that Gamstop is becoming a mandatory self-exclusion scheme for companies in the UK’s gambling industry, it is crystal clear why slots companies are entering the program. The recent developments testify that the UK gambling market remains one of the most heavily regulated markets in the world.
Since all companies are under UKGC’s jurisdiction, they will have to enter the Gamstop program if they want to continue serving players.
But this is not the only reason companies are adopting the Gamstop program. While it may seem strange for these companies to promote self-exclusion since they make money from people playing online slots, it becomes quite logical once you know all the details.
There is only one thing that can become fatal for companies in the gambling industry. A person with potential gambling problems is a potential threat to every company because it may cause more problems that can escalate and catch the attention of the authorities. In this particular case, the attention of UKGC.
This can potentially lead to the government restricting gambling, or even worse, declaring it illegal. So, it is better to cooperate and participate in programs such as Gamstop than risk losing the main source of revenue, right? While this may be a humane decision, partially, it is a business decision as well.
Gamstop Is Not The Only Self-Exclusion Scheme
Gamestop is in the eye of the media storm. But, it is important to note that this is not the only method players with possible gambling issues may use to gain more control. Another company that specializes in helping people with potential gambling problems is Gamcare.
As a charity, Gamcare’s primary goal is to offer advice and help to people who experience a wide variety of problems related to gambling. If you are frequent on online slots websites, you probably know about Gamcare as many companies feature both Gamstop and Gamcare to promote responsible gambling.
What makes Gamcare different? Both Gamcare and Gamstop have self-exclusion options. What makes Gamcare unique is the help it offers to players with potential gambling problems.
Players can contact Gamcare professionals at any given time via the National Gambling Helpline. There are several communications channels open, including chatrooms, forums, and online chat.
Thanks to the support and access to the community Gamcare offers, many players with potential gambling issues have managed to work through the crisis and come out as better men and women altogether.
7 Things To Consider When Choosing Non-Gamstop Slots
- 4 Things You Need to Know About Gamstop
- The Latest Gamstop News
- The Intricate Design of Gamstop
- Why Are Slots Companies Entering the Gamstop Program
- Gamstop Is Not The Only Self-Exclusion Scheme
- 7 Things To Consider When Choosing Non-Gamstop Slots
- Trustworthy Non-Gamstop Slot Sites
- Split Aces
- Ridika Casino
- What is Gamstop?
- How can self-exclusion help me?
- Are there online slots sites not on Gamstop?
- Is Gamstop free or paid service?
- I’ve excluded myself, can I reverse it?
- How many online slots sites are there on Gamstop?
- How do I know if a non-Gamstop slots site is safe?
- What slot games are there on sites not on Gamstop?
- Do non-Gamstop slots offer free spins?
- Which slot sites are not on Gamstop?
It doesn’t end here. You will also be unable to create an account at any of the casinos on the Gamstop list. During this time, you might wish to play your favorite online slot game. Your only option is to seek online slots at non-Gamstop slots websites.
There is another reason why you might end up playing slots on non-Gamstop slots sites. Once your self-exclusion period expires, your accounts still won’t be accessible. You will have to contact Gamstop to get them available again.
Sometimes, even if you manage to unfreeze them, casinos may lag behind, restricting you from accessing online slots. This is another reason why so many people look for non-Gamsto slots sites.
If you are choosing a casino not inside the Gamstop network for any reason, you should pay attention to the following.
Online Reputation is the most important thing to check when looking for a trustworthy non-Gamstop slots site. Check forums, review websites, and social networks before you register on any casino not on Gamstop.
Withdrawal times on non Gamstop casinos vary. The deposit is not a problem, but due to the money transfer chain, some casinos won’t be able to deliver the cash to you as fast as you are used to. Check the average withdrawal times, so you don’t end up surprised.
Bonus Percentage And Amount
Not all online slots sites are the same. Another thing that makes them different is the bonus percentage and maximal amount of cash you can get via the bonus. Check these two to get the biggest bang for your buck before committing to any of the sites outside of the Gamstop network.
The thing about free spins is the same as with the first deposit. Since we are talking about online slots, pay special attention to free spins. Many online slots sites not on Gamstop offer very attractive free spins offer, only to hide them behind the minimal wager requirements. Double-check the numbers and eligibility requirements before making the first deposit.
The License Casino Holds
The license is also important. Never register an account on a casino if it doesn’t keep its license publicly displayed. This is usually found in the bottom section of the online slots site’s homepage. It is important because the license is proof that the casino has met all the legal requirements to be able to offer its services to paying customers. It also ensures that a casino has been checked out by the authorities and has met very strict guidelines.
The Total Number of Games
If you love to play online slots, it is of your interest to find a site that features as many as online slots as possible. This is an easy thing to check as you can browse the online slots games offer without registering on a site.
With How Many Game Providers Casino Operates
Besides the number of available games, you should also check how many game providers casino operates. The more, the better. Some of the biggest names in the online slots games industry are 1x2Gaming, Net Entertainment, Booming Games, MrSlotty, Playson, Fugaso, and others.
Trustworthy Non-Gamstop Slot Sites
Split Aces is one of the most popular casinos in the world where you can play online slots. Their offer includes over 400 game titles from all the best slots providers. There is even a £1000 bonus on a first deposit.
Crazyno offers great online slot games selection. It is not on Gamstop, and you will be able to find even the newest titles on it. The first deposit bonus can be as big as 1,500 EUR and 150 Free Spins.
Ridika is a trustworthy non-Gamstop slots websites. It features many slot game titles and has a great welcome bonus of up to 2,000 EUR on first deposit and 66 Free Spins.