What is Gamstop?
Gamstop is the name of a self-exclusion program meant to help players control their online gambling and prevent the risk of addiction. This scheme mainly targets the UK market, and it’s operated by a non-profit organization.
What that means, essentially, is that all online casinos regulated by the country’s central authority, the UK Gambling Commission, are required to sign-up for Gamstop. Examples include household brands like LeoVegas, Unibet or PlayOJO.
This service is free for residents of Great Britain and Ireland. To sign up, players must provide some personal information, such as current address, date of birth, e-mail address and phone number.
After a player has signed up for Gamstop, they’ll receive a confirmation e-mail and it will take up to 24 hours for the self-exclusion to come into effect.
From this point forward, you will get blocked or excluded from joining any online casino, sports betting or gambling site licensed in the United Kingdom, for a chosen period of 6 months, 1 year or 5 years.
My account was blocked at a Gamstop casino, what next?
Unfortunately, one disadvantage of Gamstop is that, once you’ve selected a minimum self-exclusion period, you can’t cancel it until the end. Aside from the obvious and legitimate reason why you got blocked (you self-excluded yourself), sometimes errors can occur as well.
Whilst we encourage responsible gambling, Gamstop is not the only way to go about things. There are a myriad of complaints online from players who got blocked for ludicrous reasons, such as winning too much.
Gamstop casinos are notoriously strict when it comes to regulations and for some players, this can ruin the gaming experience. Some examples of common Gamstop restrictions include:
Not being able to deposit using credit cards (the UK Gambling Commission banned them on gambling sites since 2020 – naturally, Gamstop participants also uphold this)
Cryptocurrency is rarely accepted
Prohibited slot gameplay features (Autoplay, Bonus Buy and Turbo Mode are some examples of features unavailable to UK players)
Stringent limits on deposits & withdrawals
Tough KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) checks
However, if you want more freedom of choice and flexibility, there are still some workarounds you can use if you’ve been blocked on Gamstop. Furthermore, even if you haven’t been blocked and you’re just looking for fewer restrictions on your play, non-Gamstop casinos can be a possible alternative.
How can I avoid getting blocked in the future?
The first way is to contact Gamstop after your minimum self-exclusion period has ended and ask them to remove the ban. Furthermore, some behaviors can also trigger red flags and additional checks from casinos, which can further result in account blocking.
For example, you should never create multiple accounts on the same casino from the same IP address (this is a breach of the terms & conditions). Same goes for creating multiple accounts to redeem the same no deposit bonus twice. Lastly, depositing or withdrawing too much in a small span of time can also send a red flag to the compliance and responsible gambling department. Another common breach is if you use a payment method that is unsupported or not issued to your legal name (for example, using your spouse’s credit card instead of your own).
For all of the above, you can try to rectify the problem by writing to customer support to retrieve your account, create another one from a new device, or use a VPN service, which bypasses your original location. Of course, cryptocurrency casinos are a great option as well, due to the high anonymity and confidentiality of these platforms and the blockchain technology in general (we highly recommend Bitcoin Video Casino).
However, as we mentioned previously, you can also get blocked through no fault of your own – false red flags happen all the time, particularly on online casinos which have automated checks. By the time a real person takes a look at your account, you could be missing a lot of valuable game time. That is why many players who have been banned from a Gamstop casino look for the next best alternative, which is non-Gamstop casinos.
The advantages of non Gamstop & crypto casinos over regular casinos
Non-Gamstop casinos are online casinos which are not required by law to participate in Gamstop. They are not located in the United Kingdom, not licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and their servers are in other jurisdictions. Most commonly, non-Gamstop casinos are licensed in the jurisdiction of Curaçao or operated by an independent company.
They could be an option for you if you’re looking for more flexibility and fewer restrictions on your gameplay and payment methods. They accept cryptocurrency and credit card deposits & withdrawals, and won’t block the slot features we mentioned previously, like Bonus Buy or Turbo Spin.
In addition, non-Gamstop casinos are less strict on customer identity and source of funds verifications, and often have bigger welcome bonuses, as they don’t have to abide by the UK Gambling Commission’s regulations on bonus offers.
The deposit and withdrawal limits are also very flexible, particularly for VIP customers or high rollers. And, of course, most importantly, the selection of games and products is more diverse: online slots, video slots, live casino, sports betting, even lottery or cybersports.
If you want to find a happy medium between the two, crypto casinos are a solid and popular alternative - they offer increased confidentiality, big bonuses and unique games, such as Dice. You can play with BTC, LTC and all the major digital currencies straight at the roulette table, retrieve your bonuses in BTC and also enjoy above average cashback compared to regular casinos – up to 20% or more.
Whichever option you go for, always play responsibly!