How Does Gamstop Work?
Gamstop is designed to control the addiction to gambling. If someone has an issue with excessive gaming, then they can shut games off using the scheme.
There are other ways to cope with addiction: ad blocking, support from a psychologist, and services to help close debts. But in this article, we will talk in detail about Gamstop and how it works.
What is Gamstop?
This programme was launched in the UK and Northern Ireland in 2018 to help troubled gamers. It was created through the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme (NOSES) and the Remote Gambling Association (RGA).
The programme is essentially a service that closes off access to gambling sites and helps combat addiction. It only works in the UK and on sites based in the UK.
Consequently, if you choose to gamble on an offshore gambling brand that is not subject to UK gambling laws, you can avoid the impact of this scheme.
How Does Gamstop Work?
It’s entirely free and available to all UK residents. However, you need to sign up and enter the details to make it work.
You will then receive a mail with the tools and necessary support. Then, within 24 hours of registering, the service will cut off access to gambling sites for 6 months, a year, or 5 years. It depends on your choice.
Then, you won’t be able to change the game ban time or unsubscribe in any way. It is a measure to increase the effectiveness of the service.
The integration of Gamstop into the industry
The scheme only works with online casinos and bookmakers based in England. All casinos and bookmakers licensed by the English Commission must participate in it.However, who doesn’t participate? They are:
- National Lottery;
- Land-based casinos;
- Betting kiosks;
- Casinos and bookmakers that are not licensed by the English regulator and therefore are not required to participate in the scheme.
Gamstop trends at certain events
The Gamstop scheme will have to consider all new trends if it plans to remain effective. Cryptocurrencies, which offer anonymity and fast transactions, have already come into play today. Through digital coins, players can successfully evade the programme.
In addition, VR technology is developing. Plus, some experts are already starting to talk about the smartwatch gaming industry. After all, apps, including online casinos, can be installed on the watch.
And there are new products that are difficult to classify as casinos. Nevertheless, they have gambling and sports betting mechanisms.For example, these include:
- lootboxes in video games;
- gacha in games like Genshin Impact;
- virtual sports and racing;
- slots with skill elements and more.
All of these threaten to quickly reduce Gamstop’s effectiveness to zero unless the organisation comes up with new recipes to combat addiction.
In 2020, the organisation developed a strategy that will change its approach in the following areas:
- Promoting the service through social media, media, support providers, sports clubs, and operators.
- Simplifying the sign up procedure.
- Working together with support organisations such as GamCare, Samaritans, National Debtline.
- Improving support services.
All these are designed to make the organisation more efficient. However, note that the official strategy does not consider the impact of technology such as cryptocurrencies, virtual reality, and more.
Effects of Gamstop during a global pandemic
The gambling business increased instantly during the pandemic for several reasons:
- Technical reasons, such as easy access to online sites;
- Emotional: such as people’s desire to distract themselves from their troubles.
In December 2020, the resource registered its 170,000th user. It is not to say that the programme is going well, with a total estimate of around 1.2 million people in the UK. Nevertheless, it is also a success.
The programme has taken on more customers in many ways because of the pandemic. Many people tried the games for the first time or started playing more often during the lockdown. The quarantine also led to a higher need to gamble. The reasons were: isolation, boredom, lack of positive emotions.
Public perceptions and attitudes towards Gamstop
Those who have signed up with the scheme attest to the positive impact the service has had on their condition. One: Problem gamblers get the necessary “cooling off” from games. Two: clients get support from other professionals, making the addiction heal quicker and more effectively.
Nevertheless, some players do not want to register in the scheme or cheat the system by playing at offshore casinos not on GamStop. There are more and more such people, as evidenced by the increase in search queries on sites not registered with GamStop.
Gamstop feedback from experts
GamStop conducted expert research in 2021 and came to the following conclusions:
- Customers want the option to turn off access to games for a more flexible period – less than 6 months or more than 1 year.
- Customers want gambling sites to explicitly show links to GamStop and other tools to regulate gambling aspirations.
- The organisation will want to make it easier for consumers to get support of all kinds, from financial to psychological.
- the organisation needs to figure out how to deal with unlicensed gambling sites that are not connected to the scheme.
How to Apply for Gamstop?
You need to go to the “Register” page on the GamStop site. Then:
- Enter the details from the driving licence or other identity documents. You need to enter the name and surname, birth date, postal address, phone number, residential address.
- The service then asks additional questions to identify yourself.
- You will then receive an email, through which you will confirm your account.
- There will be instructions and the necessary tools in the same letter.
Twenty-four hours after registration, the service will close access to English online casinos and bookmakers.
If you have changed address, mail, phone number and other data – data must be updated in your GamStop profile.
It should be noted that self-exclusion does not guarantee a refund of money deposited at sites. You should contact your online casino or bookmaker for that.
How to Avoid Gamestop?
The easiest way is not to register with the system at all. It is possible because the service is voluntary. No one will enter you into it against your wishes.
But if you happen to be on the register but want to play – then look for foreign sites that operate under a non-English license. Choose platforms with permits from Malta, Curacao, Belgium, Finland, Sweden and other countries.
The Pros and Cons of Gamstop
Like any program, Gamstop has pros and cons.
- ➕ Ability to close access to games for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years.
- ➕ The service works on all gambling sites based in England. No need to contact each gambling brand separately. Service closes all gambling sites at once.
- ➕ Service reduces gambling addiction.
- ➖ The programme is only available to UK residents.
- ➖ The service only works with England and Northern Ireland sites.
- ➖ The ban cannot be changed or cancelled once enabled.
How To Get Yourself Out Of Gamstop
You will have to wait until the blocking period you set when you signed up for the service has expired. After that, there is no other way to get out of Gamstop.
FAQ on GamStop
❓What is the working mechanism of GamStop API?❓
From 31 March 2020, all UK-licensed gaming operators must embed the GamStop API into their websites and applications. The mechanism is built into the gambling brand’s software platform. This way, it can automatically verify registered members. As a result, every customer of a gambling brand can find a link posted on a gambling website and register with GamStop.
❓Does Gamstop affect credit rating?❓
No, the program only disables access to gambling sites. However, the service does provide support from National Debtline, StepChange, Citizens Advice, GamCare. The specialists of these services will help you sort out your credit history.
❓Can I get deposits back if registered with Gamstop?❓
No, you need to connect the staff of the platforms where you have had profiles.
❓How to find out how much time you have left on Gamstop gambling?❓
Go to your profile on the GamStop site and take a look at the time countdown.
❓How to gamble with Gamstop?❓
Look for foreign offshore sites that operate under a non-English license. Such as casinos and bookmakers who operate under licenses from Malta, Curacao, Sweden and other countries.
❓Are there any casinos not on Gamstop?❓
Of course, there is an extensive list of online casinos not on GamStop.
❓Which gaming sites are not covered by Gamstop?❓
Check it out with our ranking. You will find all the information about the gaming brands there. You will see casinos, bookmakers, bingo halls, slots sites, etc.
❓Do Non-Gamstop casinos hold licenses?❓
Of course, they do. Choose sites with licenses from regulators like Malta, Gibraltar, Curacao. You may also see sites with licenses from Sweden, Belgium, Estonia and other countries.