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The Rise And Shortcomings Of Gamstop – 2024 Guide

Those who actively use online casinos and betting sites within the UK will know what Gamstop is – the self-inclusion program was launched in late 2018 to curb the growing number of problem gamblers within the country. Still, it didn’t start without teething issues that have seen many find the shortcomings in the program.

Marketing slip

The most significant issue that is still prevalent even now is how the initiative handled marketing materials. The initiative by design should effectively blacklist user’s information. Any personal information that has been given over to the gaming operator should. Therefore, be unavailable, but that wasn’t the case. Very early on, there had been numerous reports and complaints that marketing emails and texts were still getting through to those who the initiative itself was deemed problem gamblers.

Users would later discover that they are only blocking their participation within the services and not their personal information. So while they weren’t able to actively use the site, nothing was done to exclude any personal details from being used, which led many experts to doubt the effectiveness from the beginning.

Mandatory mistake

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At first, the initiative was only a voluntary scheme. Operators within the UK could choose whether or not they would choose to sign up with Gamstop, while many did relatively early. Some did not come under the guise that was a voluntary choice to go alongside the initiative’s self-inclusion nature. However, that quickly changed as of April this year it was made mandatory for all UK operators to register themselves or be at risk of losing their gaming licenses. This has been a spell of bad news for the operators within the UK as it removes a choice. With that, it may impact many of their loyal customers but has provided an opportunity for those elsewhere.

There are a growing number of casinos not registered with Gamstop at These are often registered outside of the UK in countries such as Malta and are not required to register with the UK based initiative. It may seem a little counterintuitive for those who register with the initiative to look for a way to get around it. However, once your self includes, it can be not easy to get yourself removed from the list – when you first sign up, you’re instructed to give an amount of time that you’d like to be excluded for.

If you choose to end this time early, you must be in contact directly via a phone call with the Gamstop customer service team and explain why you’d like to remove yourself, which can be denied in some cases. This does lead to some looking for an alternative, and that’s exactly what non-GameStop casinos provide, and often with a little cherry on top to encourage more players to use them.

Big bonuses

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On of how these services encourage new users is to offer bigger bonuses than may be found elsewhere. Deposit matching and bonuses are a common one as you’re rewarded for depositing a more substantial sum of money, but also other freebies to encourage users such as more free spins on the slots or some freerolls on the roulette. It is still essential to check for licensing to ensure you’re using a licensed casino to stay safe while using these services, but there will also be hundreds of reviews on the more popular sites available.

Access anonymously

Another favorite feature for many is the ability to access these sites anonymously. Many of these sites may not require any form of identification to register, unlike many casinos at home. Still, they also offer you opportunities to deposit funds differently – methods such as eWallets and cryptocurrency provide newer users concerned with privacy the ability to register, deposit, and play anonymously.

A growing number of operators

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As Gamstop continues to grow and the number of users within mobile gaming and mobile casinos continue to grow, the number of non-GameStop casinos is also increasing to capture this increasing market. Because of this, there are an extensive range of sites and the variety they offer to provide everyone with an opportunity to find something that fits their style, needs, and desires. Shop around for your favorite site, read plenty of reviews, and test their free features to find something that best fits you.

Since its inception, more than 130,000 people have signed up for the self inclusion program. Still, there have been growing fears that during the coronavirus lockdown period, the number of users would go up. Data from the gaming operators suggests this has been true, as many have been experiencing a significant surge in traffic and daily users. Whether this remains the same after lockdown periods end is not a certainty.

Still, it can be sure that many new players will stick around for a longer-term. Of those 130,000 people, a reported 73% have chosen to register for the maximum amount of time, five years, which may also increase in those registered to non-gamstop casinos outside of the UK. There have been efforts to prevent this. Measures to reduce the number of online advertising casinos can due during this period have been widely used. In some countries, it was even enforced and banned through the last few months – although it hasn’t reached those measures within the UK, it is clear that efforts are being taken to reduce the growing number.

Whether you are registered to the service and are looking for a way around the block, or just don’t agree with how the initiative is implemented, it is important to remain safe. As always, make sure that you are gambling responsibly, and if you do feel it is getting out of hand, make sure to get some help to reduce your exposure.

About Vinnie Wright