The UKGC and GamStop – Constantly Looking Out For Gamblers

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The gambling space in the UK has been evolving significantly over the past couple of decades. While for many years people relied on bookmaker shops and physical casinos to place sports bets and play their favourite casino games, there has been a significant shift over to online gambling platforms.

As technology has improved, the online experience has caught up and even surpassed physical gambling in many ways. The abundance of choice and easy access are two of the glaring areas where online gambling outperforms its physical counterparts.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is in charge of making sure that people gamble responsibly. With people having more access to gambling than ever, it has been putting in place measures over the past few years to try to protect players as much as possible. 

What is the UKGC? 

The UKGC is the regulator for the region’s gambling sector. It is one of the industry’s most respected regulatory bodies across the world today. As well as making sure that gambling operators are doing everything above board and are not havens for the likes of money launderers or fraudsters, the UKGC places a big emphasis on responsible gambling.

Unlike some other major gambling regulators, the UKGC has very extensive player protection measures in place. These include enforcing strict customer verification checks, a ban on credit card transactions for gambling uses, and curtailments on certain types of game features. 

How does GamStop Work? 

To protect gamblers, the UKGC relies on the cooperation of other organizations. One of these is GamStop. This non-profit company offers a wide-ranging self-exclusion service for people who want to take a break from all gambling.

A person can join this program for either six months, one year, or three years. This means that with just a few clicks of a button, they can block themselves from every single UKGC-licensed gambling site. This is not something that can be undone, so a person will have to see out their term before returning to gambling.

Every operator that has a UKGC license needs to be a part of GamStop. Unfortunately, there are ways in which people can get around GamStop self-exclusion. This is usually done by looking at overseas online casinos. These non-UK casino sites do not fall under the jurisdictions of the UKGC or GamStop.

While many of these platforms offer legit games and are safe to use in terms of honouring their obligations, GamStop self-excluded gamblers can still use these platforms. This is something that can cause a lot of problems as people struggle with their gambling behaviour. 

Other Resources to Aid in Problem Gambling 

As well as the UKGC and GamStop, there are other organizations that do their part to protect problem gamblers. These bodies come in many different shapes and forms. However, they each have the end goal of helping people take back control over their gambling.

Numerous gambling-related charities provide resources and support to people who may be going through a tough time. The likes of GamCare and BeGambleAware do a great job in this regard. They are also at the forefront of commissioning new studies to gauge the extent of problem gambling across many different areas.

This ultimately helps the UKGC and the UK government to change their rules and regulations for the gambling space. The UK government has been conducting a review of the region’s key gambling legislation since the end of 2020. A wide range of changes is expected in order to bring the Gambling Act of 2005 up into this digital age.

Other groups of organizations that help protect gamblers are those that supply different forms of blocking software. There are numerous companies that allow you to download software to your desktop computer and/or mobile devices that will block 99% of gambling sites. If you try to access one of these platforms, you will be blocked from doing so.

Some other measures that you can take in order to get a hold of your gambling include instructing your bank to not process any transactions from your account to an online gambling platform. This can be a simple, but effective way to reign in your gambling.

Finally, most gambling operators these days will have a range of account restriction features that can help a person to control their gambling. These likes of deposit limits, betting limits, session time limits, and loss limits are all frequently seen.

You can often enact a session reminder or a cool-off period. Each operator will also usually have their own individual self-exclusion program. Therefore, there are a lot of different parties that are promoting responsible gambling to people in the UK. 

Some people looking for alternatives 

There is no doubt that the UKGC takes its responsibilities very seriously when it comes to player protection. It is constantly looking at ways to make the gambling experience even safer. While this is great in a lot of ways, there are some people who do not enjoy the restrictions.


This is why some responsible gamblers are now looking at alternatives to UKGC-licensed sites to play their favourite casino games. They are moving towards non-UK casinos using resources like the comparison site non-gamstop-casinos.com for UK players, where the rules are a bit less strict. These sites are often still licensed by a respectable regulator and often have a large collection of games. However, it is vital that someone who has self-excluded through GamStop is not using these platforms as a workaround to their exclusion. 

Enjoying gambling in a safe way 

The UKGC is taking a great job in protecting problem gamblers and quickly identifying areas of possible risk. This has led to both the physical and online gambling spaces becoming a lot safer in recent years. While there is plenty of entertainment to be had from gambling, it is still important that people do so responsibly.



Image Credit: Pixabay License – Free for commercial use


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