How Does Gamstop Work?

Harry Evans
November 14, 2022
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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.

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.

Read to find out what is Gamstop and get an overview of Gamstop, how it operates, and how long it lasts.

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:

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:

  • loot boxes in video games;
  • gacha in games like Genshin Impact;
  • virtual sports and racing;
  • eSports;
  • 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:

  1. Promoting the service through social media, media, support providers, sports clubs, and operators.
  2. Simplifying the signup procedure.
  3. Working together with support organisations such as GamCare, Samaritans, and National Debtline.
  4. 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:

  1. Customers want the option to turn off access to games for a more flexible period – less than 6 months or more than 1 year.
  2. Customers want gambling sites to explicitly show links to GamStop and other tools to regulate gambling aspirations.
  3. The organisation will want to make it easier for consumers to get support of all kinds, from financial to psychological.
  4. The organisation needs to figure out how to deal with unlicensed gambling sites that are not connected to the scheme.

How to Apply for the Gamstop Exclusion?

You need to go to the “Register” page on the GamStop site. Then:

  1. 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.
  2. The service then asks additional questions to identify yourself.
  3. You will then receive an email, through which you will confirm your account.
  4. 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.

Look for a betting site not on gamstop, and enjoy your favorite casino games without restrictions. You can play poker not registered with Gamstop on the best poker sites not on Gamstop.

Implications of Bypassing Gamstop

Players looking to bypass Gamstop and continue playing during exclusion have an edge while carrying some risks.

Pros

  1. Players can play on the best poker sites not on Gamstop, and win real money..
  2. Players can explore new sites and enjoy more excitement through welcome packages for new players.
  3. Players can enjoy more games and discover better brands like poker sites not blocked by Gamstop.
  4. Play without hassle on Sites without KYC, including those with Curacao eGaming or Malta licenses.

Cons

  1. Playing on an unlicensed poker site not on Gamstop, can expose you to scams.
  2. Playing on a site not on Gamstop, exposes you to the risk of gambling addiction.
  3. Bypassing Gamstop beats the personal responsibility of adhering to the exclusion program. Must be self-aware and on play if they can manage their urges.

How Gamstop Works with Gambling Companies

In 2021, the UKGC introduced regulations and requirements for online betting platforms in the UK to adopt self-exclusion programmes. All UK-licensed gambling companies must adopt Gamstop. 

Gamstop exclusion programs are designed to promote responsible gambling and ensure problem gamblers get help. Gamstop scheme works with gambling websites by having a shared database where Gamstop users can self-exclude for specific periods. 

After registering for the free exclusion service, you will be blocked by Gamstop from accessing Gamstop casinos. You will not register, sign in, or play on those sites. Gamstop self-exclusion works with all Gamstop casinos with a UK license.

How Effective is Gamstop?

You can use Gamstop effectively and overcome your gambling addiction. All gamblers who feel they are experiencing addiction or gambling problems are encouraged to adopt Gamstop exclusion.

The UKGC’s requirement for Gamstop self-exclusion on Gamstop casinos enables players to use Gamstop and cool off. Gamstop self-exclusion is effective for those who don’t bypass the programs.

By taking a break from online gambling, problem gamblers can get sobriety and handle their addiction. The exclusion period allows players to seek addiction counseling and limit the negative effects of gambling addiction. You can practice responsible gambling by excluding for six months, one year, or five years till you deal with the addiction.

What Does Gamstop Cover and What Doesn’t?

The Gamstop scheme is geared towards online gambling websites with a UKGC license. Gamstop exclusion only covers online betting UK-licensed operators. If you register with the scheme, you will be blocked by Gamstop. 

Both old and new players can register with Gamstop. The exclusion doesn’t work on offline casinos and gambling companies. Land-based casinos use another scheme called SENSE. SENSE used identification methods like biometrics to block excluding players from land-based gambling establishments.

Gamstop partially covers some National Lottery games like instant win games. It doesn’t cover the draw games like the Lotto game. You cannot enjoy the Gamstop scheme on a site, not on Gamstop. The self-exclusion service doesn’t cover websites without a UKGC license like poker sites without Gamstop.

Does Gamstop Work with Addiction?

Gamstop is an effective measure to promote responsible gambling. The exclusion period is very helpful in helping gambling addicts to take a break. The service allows players to sign up to deal with their addiction willingly. Complimentary efforts like therapy, increasing awareness, outreach programs, and being part of a support system can help manage the addiction. 

The free can help you gamble responsibly and not let your habits get out of control. Players registering with Gamstop can choose various exclusion periods depending on the level of addiction. If your case is severe, you can opt for one year or a five-year exclusion. You can also limit payment with your bank’s credit cards. This will reduce the likelihood of registering with non-Gamstop.

The exclusion period helps ensure you don’t gamble without giving yourself time to recover from the addiction. It can also prevent relapses by extending the Gamstop exclusion after the expiry of the minimum exclusion period. You can use it with other programs and services to help addicts recover from their addiction.

What Details Should Gamstop Have to Stop Gambling?

When registering with Gamstop, you must provide your ID photo, an address, and the details you used to register with betting websites. You can provide phone numbers, credit card details, or email addresses.

Gamstop will prove your identity using third-party verification service firms like TransUnion and Onfido. You will also have to indicate your full name, birth date, and mobile number as part of the self-exclusion process.

The service will use these details to remove your name from databases of gambling websites. After self-exclusion starts, you will automatically be blocked by Gamstop from accessing the sites with a UK license.

Does Gamstop Send Letters?

Gamstop self-exclusion assists players by allowing them to self-exclude from online betting activities. To self-exclude, a punter has to register for the free service willingly. During self-exclusion, Gamstop doesn’t send any letters to excluded players. In addition, Gamstop will not contact you after the minimum exclusion period expires. If you want to deactivate the exclusion, you must initiate the process by contacting them or through your online account.

The Pros and Cons of Gamstop

Like any program, Gamstop has pros and cons.

Pros:

  1. Ability to close access to games for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years.
  2. 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.
  3. Service reduces gambling addiction.

Cons:

  1. The programme is only available to UK residents.
  2. The service only works with England and Northern Ireland sites.
  3. You may miss out on welcome packages for new players during exclusion.
  4. It doesn’t automatically block payments with credit cards to Gamstop casinos and websites.
  5. The ban cannot be changed or cancelled once enabled.

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.

FAQs 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 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. You can also check the list of poker sites, not on Gamstop, and pick the most ideal.

  • 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 poker sites without Gamstop, casinos, bookmakers, bingo halls, slot sites, etc.

  • Do Non-Gamstop casinos hold licenses?

    Of course, they do. Choose sites with licenses from regulators like Malta, Gibraltar, and Curacao eGaming. You may also see sites with licenses from Sweden, Belgium, Estonia, and other countries.

Author Harry Evans

Hi, I'm Harry Evans, who has lived in the UK for many years. I decided that I would devote my free time reviews and evaluations of various online casinos for my readers so you can chose only the best online casinos not on Gamstop.