How to Use GamStop When Playing Online
If you have been playing at online casinos for any length of time, you will surely have come across GamStop before. You may have never used the program, but will unquestionably have spotted its logo (amongst others) in the bottom of your casino’s lobby. What is GamStop, though, and how can it benefit you? In this article, we will take a brief look at this highly valued resource.
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What is GamStop?
GamStop is one of several tools that online casinos (especially those located in the United Kingdom) use right now to protect against problem gambling effectively. What GamStop does is block access to your online casino and any online casinos which are signed up to the GamStop program. This can be for a limited period, or indefinitely, as you see fit. This is a handy tool to have if you suspect that you’re getting yourself into hot water. How does one go about using GamStop, though?
Get Yourself Registered
The first step to using GamStop is to get yourself registered with the program. You will need to head to the GamStop website, first and foremost. Once there, you can open an account and register with the self-exclusion organisation. You need to read about GamStop, what it is and what it does before accepting.
If you choose to apply to the program, it will effectively prohibit you from playing at any online casinos bearing the GamStop logo. Think very carefully about whether you wish to do this.
The End of the Line
The thing about GamStop is that you cannot undo your actions. Once you are registered with GamStop, you will be forbidden from playing at any betting sites which are members of the program. You can’t sweet-talk a casino into changing your status. Once a casino or sportsbook is off-limits, it will remain so until your self-exclusion period has ended. There is no opt-out for GamStop once you have registered and chosen to isolate yourself from the online gambling world. With that in mind, make sure you decide to self-exclude for a period which is manageable.
Food For Thought: Before Using GamStop
As mentioned, GamStop is a program which you cannot manipulate. Once you have chosen to self-exclude yourself, that is precisely what will happen until your exclusion period is over. Some casinos go one step further. If you have been “referred” to GamStop, and did not choose to sign up yourself, you may find yourself blacklisted from casinos permanently – often not all of them, but some casinos will do this.
It is possible to continue betting at online casinos even if you are self-excluded with GamStop. However, you will have to do so at an online casino which is not covered by the GamStop program. There are few of these casinos in the UK, but plenty of offshore sites you can join. Ultimately, while GamStop is easy to get yourself registered with, you should always make sure that this is the route you want to go down before you do it.
The Pros and Cons of GamStop
GamStop is one of several responsible gaming platforms out there which you will commonly find at online casinos. The primary purpose of this organisation is to help problem gamers. Officially a self-exclusion scheme; players who sign up to GamStop will effectively ban themselves (for as long as they deem necessary) not just from one casino, but all casinos which are a part of the program,
As you can imagine, this is a significant advantage if you want to avoid becoming a problem gambler. There are both pros and cons to GamStop, though, and we will explore them in detail in this article.
Pro #1: Guaranteed Blocking
Once you initiate the self-exclusion process at an online casino which is a part of the GamStop program, you will be blocked from all casinos which are a part of that community. For instance, if you trigger the self-exclusion process, your casino will pass on your information to GamStop, who will share it with all their casinos. In this manner, problem gamers cannot be tempted into playing at a fellow GamStop casino if they have chosen to exile themselves.
Pro #2: Self-Exclusion Can Be Time Based
There are several self-exclusion programs out there. Each works in its own way. Some have predefined periods which apply from the moment that you choose to self-exclude. However, GamStop allows you to select how long you wish to block yourself from its online casinos for. This means that the program is ideal for both those who want to take a cool-off period and those who wish to isolate themselves from online gambling for a more extended period, perhaps indefinitely.
Pro #3: A Multi-Market Platform
GamStop is not just available for online casino players. The self-exclusion platform also spans online bingo, sports betting, and poker rooms, as well as other forms of online gambling. This means that if you have a problem with casino gambling but are considering trying sports betting as a less risky way of gambling, you cannot.
Con #1: No Reversals
The benefits of GamStop can also turn into your worst nightmare if you are not careful. If you decide to self-exclude in haste and choose to block yourself from GamStop casinos, you are going to have to live with that choice. You will not be able to reverse the decision, no matter how much you plead and beg with online casinos. Saying you made a mistake is not going to work.
Con #2: Some Casinos Continue to Blacklist You
You may have triggered the self-exclusion period, solely because you fancy a break. However, some casinos run their own blacklists. If they have seen that you are signed up to the GamStop program, they may slap your name down on a blacklist. Even after your self-exclusion period has passed, you may find that you cannot access some casinos, as some casinos have blacklisted you permanently. This is a serious drawback of the program.
Overall, GamStop is a remarkable self-exclusion which goes a long way to helping problem gamers. However, you should always consider the consequences of using it before you do so. If you simply want to take a break from a casino, there are numerous blocking apps you can use to stop you playing at a casino, and they involve no blacklists. There are also lots of casinos not on gamstop however many of these are rogues so please take care when chosing a non gamstop casino.
Online Casinos Not On Gamstop
If you are playing in the United Kingdom, it might seem that every online casino is seemingly tied to Gamstop. However, that is certainly not the case for every casino in the world. There are many online casinos which are not a part of the Gamstop program. Is it wise to play at a casino which isn’t a member of the Gamstop family? Why would a casino choose not to be one, and how easy is it to play at non-Gamstop casinos? In this gambling article, we will attempt to answer these three questions and reveal all.
Why Would a Casino Not Be a Part of Gamstop?
There are many reasons why an internet casino may not wish to be a part of Gamstop. The most obvious reason is that it is not licensed out of the United Kingdom. Gamstop is, after all, a UK independent charity which aims to assist problem gamblers and those suffering from gambling addiction. The UK Gambling Commission has gone and made it mandatory for all its licensees to partner with Gamstop. The same is not true for casinos which are not licensed out of the United Kingdom.
At the same time, one reason why an online casino may not be a part of the Gamstop program could be that it is a dodgy casino. Casinos which are not interested in promoting responsible gaming of any kind, and have no links to any problem gambler platforms, or in-house software which provides protection to players are usually best avoided.
Lastly, it could just be that an online casino is not a member of Gamstop because it has its own software. The best casinos in the business are powerful enough to run their own deposit and wager caps, cool-down and self-exclusions tools, and, therefore are not reliant on being members of the program. These casinos arguably go above and beyond what Gamstop offers in terms of care and services towards their casino players.
How Easy Is It to Find Such Casinos?
Oddly enough, it is relatively easy to find online casinos which are not members of the Gamstop program. Virtually any casino which is not licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission will fit the bill. Any casinos which are licensed by the UKGC will almost certainly feature Gamstop amongst their affiliated programs and software providers. There is a large number of UK licensed casinos, but the number of non-UK licensed casinos (and thus, non-Gamestop casinos) is larger still.
Should I Play at a Non Gamstop Casino?
That depends. If you are not concerned about problem gambling, then you can avoid Gamstop casinos altogether. However, if you want to play at a UKGC licensed casino, you’ll have trouble finding a site which isn’t a part of the program. Ultimately, though, provided an online casino is licensed, reputable and has some form of player protection software, either offering deposit and wager caps, self-exclusion services and similar tools; you do not necessarily need to play at a Gamstop casino.