Author: Roy Brindley
Players sometimes feel like they are spending too much time or money on gambling. This may result in needing to take time off to refocus on regaining composure. Manually self-excluding from all European casinos that accept UK players might be too cumbersome a process. That’s where Gamstop comes into the picture. Now, how does Gamstop work? To put it simply, Gamstop is a service that allows online casino players to bar themselves from accessing every UK-registered casino in one swoop. It doesn’t matter if you hold an account with the gambling sites or not, they are required to exclude you.
The self-exclusion lasts for between six months and five years. During which you also won’t be receiving any gambling marketing material. If you’d like to cut down on your gambling but aren’t sure how to block gambling sites for free, don’t worry. Our experts provide you with all the information regarding Gamstop and other services.
These are designed to assist you with any personal gambling issues you might be facing. It’s a way of helping you maintain control with these activities. In this guide, we’ll go over:
- How Gamstop works;
- The benefits and drawbacks of using Gamstop;
- What the Gamstop service covers;
- Some of the alternatives to Gamstop;
- Frequently asked questions about the Gamstop service.
How does Gamstop Work?
Players who’d like to self-exclude from every UK-registered casino can enter their details and the period which they’d like to be excluded for. After that, you won’t be able to access your accounts at any casino or gambling site or apply for new accounts. Gamstop scans if a player’s details are in their database before allowing them to play. However, it’s vital to note that Gamstop does not work on casinos licensed not in the UK.
Benefits of Gamstop
Gamstop is an excellent one-stop solution for players who’d like to take a break from online gambling. Although it still has a few sticking issues, the service has proven to be quite effective.
If you’d like to unlock the full potential of the service, then it’s important to learn about as much of its benefits as possible. We’ve listed some of the most important ones below. Let’s get right into it.
- Free of charge: By far, one of the major benefits of using the Gamstop service is that it’s completely free of charge. Sometimes, if given a chance, potential problem gamblers would instead continue playing than pay to avoid gambling. Making the process of blocking gambling sites free makes it easier for players to gamble responsibly.
- Available at all UKGC-licensed companies: Instead of trying to block individual accounts as you’d do with independent gambling slot sites, you can self-exclude from all of them in a few simple steps. Problem gamblers are, therefore, exposed to less temptation. All UKGC-licensed casinos are required to comply with the Gamstop self-exclusion rules. Otherwise, they risk having their licenses suspended.
- Live chat and phone support: In case you’d like to check on the status of your self-exclusion, or you would like any advice or support, Gamstop has support via live chat and telephone. Having multiple convenient channels of communication enables players to access help when they need it the most, even when they don’t have an internet connection.
Drawbacks of Gamstop
If combined with a strong will, Gamstop can be a powerful tool for fighting against gambling addiction. However, just like any other platform, the Gamstop service has its fair share of drawbacks.
As much as knowing the benefits of using Gamstop allows you to unlock its full potential, not knowing the weaknesses opens you up to several potential hazards. Some of the issues that are usually raised by other players include the following.
- Overseas operators not linked to it: One of the most glaring drawbacks of using Gamstop is that it still can’t block offshore sites for gambling. In fact, some problem gamblers have accidentally bumped into these offshore gambling sites on Google ads while looking to contact Gamstop. Problem gamblers, therefore, end up gambling at casinos with ineffective, if any, responsible gambling policies.
- Some issues occur after the self-exclusion period: Several players complain about not being able to play even after their self-exclusion periods are over. In fact, that’s why gamblers are looking for betting without verification at offshore casinos. Some players who’d just registered due to minor issues also find that some casinos reject their sign-up attempts because they are classified as problem gamblers.
- Smart players have found ways around it: Some players have found several loopholes in the Gamstop system. For example, by changing a few small details, such as misspelling your surname, banned players can still easily open a new account and continue gambling. Sometimes players report that something as simple as changing your address is enough to remove Gamstop self-exclusion.
What does Gamstop Cover?
Some players haven’t been able to play on UK casinos for years because they registered with Gamstop. They assumed that the service only covered one type of gambling.Therefore, they opted for online casinos in Curacao.
However, for Gamstop to be effective, it has to be almost impossible for players to reverse their self-exclusion decisions, even when they registered with limited information. In this section, we’ll discuss the types of gambling sites that Gamstop covers, so you don’t become one of those unlucky players.
Most casino games require minimal experience, which makes them a natural choice for gamblers. Therefore, the first and most prominent type of betting sites that are covered by Gamstop is online casinos. However, for a variety of reasons, some self-excluded players still end up playing on casinos not signed up to Gamstop.
British players love betting on sports, especially football. Therefore, the UKGC also requires all UK sportsbooks to register with Gamstop. If you’ve blown a lot of time or money on sports bets, registering with Gamstop might help. However, as with online casino players, punters are still placing bets on sites not on Gamstop on overseas sportsbooks.
Online Poker Rooms
While most players prefer casinos and sportsbooks, others may be very eager to play at online poker sites. These players are equally susceptible to problem gambling and, as such, poker rooms are also covered by Gamstop. Players can still access poker sites that are not signed up to Gamstop, even when they are under self-exclusion.
Internet Bingo Halls
All Internet bingo sites that are registered in the UK are also required to register with Gamstop. Websites that are based in overseas jurisdictions, however, still offer bingo games that are not on Gamstop. These offshore sites are an excellent choice for players who are facing challenges signing up after their self-exclusion is over.
Gamstop can also exclude players from lotto sites. It can take up to 12 hours for them to process your self-exclusion. If your self-exclusion is not too long, you can just wait it out. In case you made an uninformed decision and regret registering on Gamstop, you can still find lottery sites that are not on Gamstop.
Gamstop Self-Exclusion: Worldwide Alternatives
As you might have picked up from our guide, Gamstop is free and quite useful, but it’s not perfect for offshore sites for gambling. The best way to self-exclude yourself from almost every gambling site is to use multiple alternative services.
Fortunately, there are a lot more practical options that you can use as a barrier between you and gambling. We can’t exhaust them all, but we’ve listed the most popular ones in the next section.
Gamstop is the most popular, but it’s not the only self-exclusion service out there. On the one hand, in Sweden, Spelhaus allows online casino players to self-exclude from all online gambling, as well as in-store and on-court gambling. On the other hand, there are some casinos licensed outside Sweden and they are not registered with SpelPaus. The self-exclusion also applies to gambling-related direct marketing for periods of 1, 3, or 6 months, or indefinitely.
Danish online casino players can use ROFUS, which allows them to register for either temporary self-exclusion. Players can also permanently self-exclude from all licensed online and land-based casinos in Denmark. The ROFUS system is a bit flexible, as it allows players to have a permanent ban lifted after one year if they have valid reasons.
AAMS Self-Exclusion (Italy)
Italian players can use the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) self-exclusion service to bar themselves from all gambling sites in the country. The self-exclusion ranges from six months to an indefinite period. The service also allows casinos to request a six-month self-exclusion on behalf of players that exhibit signs of problem gambling.
Gamstop Self-Exclusion Scheme FAQs
✉️ What is Gamstop?
Gamstop is a service that players can use to self-exclude from all gambling sites that are registered in the UK. The service is free and is enforced by the UKGC. Gamstop acts as a central registry which can recognize your name or other particulars before you register at a gambling site. Players can pick the most convenient option from a variety of self-exclusion periods.
✉️ How long does Gamstop last?
If you’d like to sign up to Gamstop, you can choose to self-exclude for six months, a year, or five years. Once you’ve signed up to Gamstop and selected your self-exclusion period, there’s no going back. Although there are some Megaways slots with no Gamstop, you will not be able to play at UKGC licensed operators. You’ll have to see the self-exclusion through. Until that happens, you won’t be able to access any of your online casino or sportsbook accounts.
✉️ Does Gamstop self-exclusion affect my credit rating?
Registering on Gamstop will not affect your credit rating at all. Gamstop only acts as a middleman between you and online gambling sites. The service only requires you to confirm certain details when you sign up, only to verify your identity. On the other side, playing at online casinos with credit card may have an impact on your rating. However, as long as you don’t fall behind on any gambling-related debt, Gamstop alone won’t affect your credit rating.
✉️ Does Gamstop show on credit file?
Again, you don’t have to worry about a Gamstop registration showing up on your credit file. The ID checks that are conducted by Gamstop aren’t visible to lenders on your credit report. Also, you can be calm while playing at online casinos that don’t require ID. You should be more concerned with whether you can afford to gamble, as missed payments and defaulted loans can do a lot of harm to your credit score.
✉️ Gamstop expired. What to do?
After your self-exclusion has expired, your accounts won’t be automatically reactivated. You’ll have to contact Gamstop via live chat, email, or telephone and instruct them to deactivate your self-exclusion if you feel like you’re ready to start playing again. However, if you’d still like to keep away from gambling, you can extend your self-exclusion for a further 6 months, 1 year or 5 years.