Self-exclusion is a vital aspect of gambling, and some regulations oblige casino operators to provide such measures. Essentially, self-exclusion allows players to take a break from gambling voluntarily. In the UK, GamStop is the most popular program and a license requirement for all operators licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
Other jurisdictions have unique requirements, and virtually all casinos offer self-exclusion programs of one form or another. Below is an overview of the GamStop self-exclusion scheme, participating sites, and how to register for the program.
What Is GamStop?
GamStop is a voluntary self-exclusion scheme introduced by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). All operators with a UKGC license must participate in the GamStop program by conducting thorough ID verification and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process during player account registration and log-in.
GamStop is a mandatory license requirement by law but is only required of casinos licensed in the UK. Players can register on the GamStop database to self-exclude from all UKGC online casinos. The minimum self-exclusion term is six months, but players can also choose one year or five years. Once on GamStop, players will be blocked from UKGC casinos and sportsbooks within 24-hours of registration and will only regain access once their term expires.
Which Sites GamStop Covers?
As aforesaid, GamStop was introduced by the UKGC, which oversees all gambling activity in Great Britain. The UK Gambling Commission requires all casinos to participate in the national GamStop scheme. Participation allows casinos to sync player details with the GamStop database during account sign-up and log-in. If a player is registered on the national self-exclusion, they are automatically blocked from accessing the site.
GamStop covers all gambling websites (casinos, slot sites, poker sites, bingo sites, sportsbooks, live casinos, mobile casinos, etc.) licensed by the UKGC. However, UK players have access to many offshore casinos and gambling sites, so you can still bet while on GamStop. If a casino grants you access to real money games while actively registered on GamStop, you can determine that it’s not licensed by the UKGC.
No law prohibits UK punters from joining offshore casinos, which means players have access to numerous online casinos that don’t use GamStop limits and sportsbooks. Moreover, GamStop only applies to online gambling sites, so players can still bet on land-based casinos. If you are determined to take a break from all UK casinos online and offline, consider signing up for the Self Enrollment National Self Exclusion (SENSE) program.
SENSE is the GamStop equivalent used for land-based casinos. You can also take a break from all forms of online gambling by installing blockers across the devices you use to play online. There are various game blockers, but the most effective options require a fee, unlike GamStop and SENSE, which are free self-exclusion schemes.
How to Register In GamStop?
The GamStop registration process is quite simple and takes a few steps, as shown below.
- Visit GamStop Website – GamStop registration is completed online, and you can sign-up on your smartphone, tablet, iPad, or computer. Simply visit the official GamStop website and navigate to the registration page.
- Review Information – The GamStop website features information to help you understand the program. We recommend reading the existing details before you sign up, considering registration is irreversible once completed. You can look up covered sites to determine if your current casino is a participant. If you don’t find your casino, then it isn’t part of GamStop. You can use other self-exclusion tools, such as Gamban, Gamblock, NetNanny, Betfilter, etc.
- Sign-up – Once you learn about the GamStop scheme and its implications, you can proceed to complete registration. You should provide enough information during sign-up to help make the self-exclusion effective. You’ll need to enter your real name and date of birth, current address, postcode, email address, and mobile number. You’ll also provide addresses and postcodes of places you lived in the past, as well as email addresses and mobile numbers you have used in the past. To register, click on ‘Sign Up and enter your information, then submit the form.
Your GamStop registration will take 24 hours to become effective. Once this duration expires, you won’t access any gambling website registered in the UK until you serve the self-exclusion term. GamStop provides three terms (6months, 1year, and 5years), so you can choose as desired.
Since you’ll be effectively blocked from all your accounts with UKGC licensed gambling websites, it is vital to ensure you transfer any funds in your account before registration. GamStop isn’t responsible for returning funds held in casinos. Some sites limit how long funds can remain unused on the platform, so the best option is to withdraw your balances from all accounts then register on GamStop.
GamStop registration is a straightforward process, and your status takes effect within 24 hours, blocking you from all UKGC online casinos and sportsbooks. Unfortunately, GamStop participation won’t shield you from offshore websites. The scheme only works for UK gambling operators, specifically online gambling platforms. It is vital to consider other options if you want total self-exclusion from all online offers worldwide. You can also register on GamStop alternatives available in other countries, such as the Swedish SpelPaus and Danish ROFUS programs.