It’s undeniable that Non Gamstop casinos are on the rise across the world. A look at the most popular search terms on the biggest search engines reveals the extent to which this term has been trending – especially over recent months – illustrating how the appetite for this form of online gaming experience continues to grow.
Of course, online gaming is generally a growth industry across the board, with the UK Gambling Commission reporting a gross yield of over £3.2 billion in 2019 alone. And amid this booming time for online casino gaming, more and more internet users are searching for non Gamstop casinos.
What is Gamstop?
So what is Gamstop anyway? And how could it affect online casino players in the United Kingdom?
Most online gaming operators offer responsible gaming tools that enable players to limit or restrict their gambling activity. Whether that means enforced cooling off periods, limits on deposits, restricted stakes or other options, these measures are designed to protect players. Gamstop offers a further level of protection, blocking users from all UK-licensed gaming sites – even if they are not yet a customer of any particular site.
This can be very helpful for those lacking the self-control to moderate their own activity, but at the same time many find Gamstop’s across-the-board approach to be over-reaching and heavy-handed. What’s more, a Gamstop ban is irreversible; if a player’s situation changes, or they change their mind after enacting a Gamstop ban, there is no way for them to resume playing at any UK-licensed gaming site.
Yet many casino sites now are not on Gamstop, allowing players to continue to play. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how they have become more and more popular online.
What are non Gamstop Casinos?
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the industry body responsible for licensing online gaming sites for UK players. A reputable and established organisation, the UKGC ensures that gaming licenses are only awarded to operators who meet extremely high standards of reliability and responsibility. Every bookmaker you see on a British high street, or advertised at a sporting event or on a football kit, will be licensed by the UKGC and bound to adhere to its rules. And so will their online platforms.
One of those rules is to sign up to the Gamstop scheme, meaning that a player with a Gamstop exclusion will be automatically blocked from ALL UK-licensed casino sites.
But where does this leave players seeking online casinos not on Gamstop?
The surprising answer is that a wide variety of non Gamstop casinos are available to UK players, and it is not illegal to use them – even if you have an active Gamstop ban. These sites are still licensed and regulated, just not by the UKGC. Other jurisdictions such as Curacao, Costa Rica and Panama feature industry regulators and licensors which are able to grant licenses to casino sites outside the UK.
These sites will not typically offer the same stringent responsible gaming tools that you will find at UK licensed sites, but will usually feature the same types of games and activities that prove so popular in all online casinos.
Why are non Gamstop Casinos trending?
Online casinos not on Gamstop will not be featured in UK advertising, as that would not be permitted without a UKGC licence. Yet finding an online casino site that accepts Gamstop players from the UK is quick and simple using any regular search engine.
As a result, UK players seeking a non-UK casino site are flocking to search sites like Google to find the best alternatives to UK casinos. And with all those searches going on, it’s easy to see why the term has been trending so much!
But why do players continue to search out these sites? The truth is, they offer certain benefits that can make them attractive even for UK players with active accounts at UKGC sites. Benefits such as:
- Their approach to bonuses, free spins and loyalty schemes can be dramatically different to UK sites, due to restrictions imposed by the UKGC. As a result you may find more generous bonuses available at non Gamstop sites.
- Deposit limits, as well as gameplay limits, almost always tend to be more relaxed at non Gamstop casinos. Players seeking higher stakes action, therefore, will head for these offshore casinos.
- Sites offer a plethora of payment options, which may even include cryptocurrencies.
- Higher limits when playing slots.
- Greater scope for anonymity when playing online.
Drawbacks for UK players on Casinos not on Gamstop
So is it all good news for UK players when it comes to using non Gamstop casino sites? As with all things in life, there’s a balance to be found.
Yes, there are a great many benefits to using a non UK casino, such as bigger bonuses and fewer restrictions, but as with any online casino you should ensure you do your homework before taking the plunge. So, what are the potential downsides?
- Fewer responsible gaming tools at your disposal. The UKGC’s licensing requirements means that any UK online casino will offer a suite of these tools to help you manage your gambling activity. Non UK casinos do not have this requirement, or if they do they may not have standards as high as those imposed by the UKGC.
- Some providers may not be available. It’s pretty safe to assume that whatever activity you’re looking for – from slots to table games, sports betting or poker – you will be able to find it at a non Gamstop casino. And yet you may not be able to find a specific game, as not all providers work across all operators. Many big name games and slots are available, but you should be aware that some of your favourites may be missing from the list.
Support may take a hit. As with responsible gaming tools, the UKGC expects a certain level of customer support from those operators to whom it grants licences. Regulators in other jurisdictions such as Curacao or Costa Rica may hold their operators to different standards, so you may experience a lower level of customer support than you would at the site of a recognisable, UK high street bookmaker, for example.
The future of non Gamstop Casinos UK
Like all online gaming operators, non Gamstop casino sites are experiencing something of a boom time. But what does the future hold in store for these non UK sites?
Gamstop is a valuable service, but while there are players out there who find its measures, restrictions and limits to be too extreme for their liking, there will always be an alternative to UKGC-licensed sites.
Gamblers love choice, and just like whether to bet on red or black, the decision on where to play ultimately rests with you, the player. We are not directing anyone to play at any one site over another, but merely bringing you the information you need to make a more informed choice.
The truth is that for most players, UK casinos provide everything they need, with their gambling falling within the stakes permitted by the UKGC. However, some players will always be seeking higher stakes, and for those players it’s easy to see why non Gamstop casinos continue to hold such strong appeal.