How Does GamStop Work?

How Does GamStop Work?
Published: Jun, 03 2024
9 mins read
How Does GamStop Work?

If someone struggles with excessive gaming, they can use this program to block access to games. In this article, we’ll discuss GamStop in detail and explain how it works.

What is Gamstop?

GamStop is a free self-exclusion tool created to help manage gambling addiction. 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).

GamStop 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.

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 For British Gamblers?

All online gambling sites with a UKGC license must offer GamStop to their users as per the UK Gambling Act. Individuals can voluntarily exclude themselves from all licensed gambling websites in the UK by registering with Gamstop has proven effective at allowing British gamblers to control their online gambling habits. Let’s explore more about the Gamstop self-exclusion program.

Registration at Platform

To initiate self-exclusion, players must register on the platform. The users will fill out a form with personal details like name, address, and date of birth. You must also select the exclusion duration, usually six months, one year, or five years. Once registered, GamStop contacts its member gambling operators, who must close any accounts and prevent the user from gambling during their exclusion period.

Limited Entry to UK Casino Websites

After registering with GamStop, British gamblers cannot access or open accounts with any UK-licensed casino website or gambling app. The integrated system ensures seamless communication between GamStop and gambling operators, guaranteeing the exclusion mechanism’s effectiveness. All sites run by GamStop’s member companies will block that person from betting online or playing casino games during their exclusion period. Any existing accounts are closed, and funds reverted to the player’s bank accounts.

Absence of Casino Operator Promotions

Another notable aspect of GamStop’s operation is the absence of enticing casino promotions for excluded individuals. Self-excluded players will no longer receive promotional offers, materials, ads, emails, or contact from UK gambling operators. Without these tempting incentives, Gamstop ensures reduced chances of relapse. The absence of promotional offers and materials allows individuals the space and time to focus on recovery without the constant allure of gambling-related promotions.

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.

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.

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.

The Operational Process of GamStop for UK Casino Operators

GamStop promotes responsible gambling in the UK by offering a centralized self-exclusion service. Licensed gambling operators in the UK are mandated to integrate GamStop into their systems. The integration ensures upon registering with GamStop, self-excluded players cannot access any UK-licensed gambling operators during their chosen exclusion period.

Let’s explore Gamstop’s operational process.

Gathering Data from Gamblers

The process begins with individuals voluntarily registering on the GamStop platform and providing essential personal details. The new user must also specify the duration of their self-exclusion period. Gamstop verifies your details with one of two identity verification providers like TransUnion. GamStop compiles this data securely, creating a comprehensive database of self-excluded users. With this verification, when the self-exclusion becomes active, you cannot access any UK-licensed gambling site, even when you try signing up with details from family or friends.

Restricting Access for GamStop Registered Customers

GamStop registered users cannot log in or open new accounts at any UK-licensed gambling website or app during their chosen exclusion period. Even if a GamStop registered gambler has never signed up on a particular gambling site, that site must still restrict access. By denying access across the board, GamStop comprehensively helps users break free from problem gambling and encourages responsible gambling.

Remove GamStop Users from Marketing Databases

One of the key aspects of GamStop’s operational process involves the removal of registered users from marketing databases. These operators are not only obligated to restrict access for these users, but they also need to ensure that these individuals are excluded from marketing campaigns and promotions. Upon enrolling for the GamStop self-exclusion program, Gamstop will share your details with all UK gambling operators that you are self-excluded. These sites must remove all self-excluded GamStop users from their marketing and promotional databases, helping them recover without being bombarded by temptations to get back into problem gambling.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

  • 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.
  • You may miss out on welcome packages for new players during exclusion.
  • It doesn’t automatically block payments with credit cards to Gamstop casinos and websites.
  • 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.

How to Avoid GamStop?

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.

If, for whatever reason, the choices we previously suggested weren’t quite up to snuff, fear not! We possess an extensive selection of online casinos not connected with Gamstop that are certain to meet your criteria. Delve into our top-rated selections, and you’ll soon discover the ideal fit for your gaming proclivities.

Implications of Bypassing GamStop

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

  • Players can play on the best poker sites not on Gamstop, and win real money.
  • Players can explore new sites and enjoy more excitement through welcome packages for new players.
  • Players can enjoy more games and discover better brands like poker sites not blocked by Gamstop.
  • Play without hassle on Sites without KYC, including those with Curacao eGaming or Malta licenses.
  • Playing on an unlicensed poker site not on Gamstop, can expose you to scams.
  • Playing on a site not on Gamstop, exposes you to the risk of gambling addiction.
  • 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.

FAQs on GamStop

Does Gamstop cover offline gambling?

No. GamStop specifically applies to online gambling platforms and does not cover offline gambling activities. It focuses on self-exclusion from licensed UK-based online casinos and betting websites. To exclude from land-based UK casinos, you can use services like SENSE.

Does GamStop impose restrictions on casino pperators Beyond the UK?

No, GamStop’s restrictions are limited to licensed UK casino operators. It does not restrict casino operators outside the UK, allowing individuals to access international gambling websites not covered by the GamStop program.

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.

I’m here to share my expertise in the gambling industry with you at Since 2013, I’ve been working in this area and have built up a lot of experience. I focus on collecting online gambling sites, especially those not connected to the GamStop self-exclusion program. Check out our listings and find your perfect fit!

Harry Evans
CMO / Chief Redactor, Gambling Expert & Author
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