If you play mobile games within the UK, you may have heard of Gamstop – it was an initiative launched in late 2019 aimed at helping reduce the exposure problem gamblers may have to mobile betting and casino sites, it is a self inclusion scheme meaning that users would have to register to the service themselves and assign the time limit in which they would like to be blocked from the service – but in a relatively short amount of time the initiative has went from something that seemed quite nonintrusive to help, to something that has become mandatory and found controversy extremely early on.
The first bit of controversy came around how the initiative handled marketing material – many users were complaining that although they signed up, they were still receiving emails and texts promoting deals that were currently ongoing and marketing emails aimed at getting them to play again – so although they were unable to access the sites and services, they were still receiving all the deals. As of right now this is still true and not something that has been changed which has raised concerns as the second controversy around the initiative has also now been realised – as of April, it has become mandatory for gaming operators within the UK to register with the initiative or risk losing their gaming license, taking from what had been an optional choice to something that is now highly regulated and also something that has forced many operators in to a position in which there may be no other choice than to register elsewhere just to continue operating at the full capacity they had before.
Fortunately for those looking to use online casinos or betting services but are either already on the gamstop schemes or just don’t approve of how the initiative is being handled, there are other options available. There are many that have chosen to register outside of the UK in places such as Malta and Gibraltar – these countries typically have slightly more relaxed gaming regulation and focus on consumers – these sites also have a number of other benefits other than just being outside of Gamstop restrictions. One of these benefits is anonymity – many of these sites will allow you to register anonymously and pay with different methods such as crypto so that credit card and ID isn’t required.
A question being raised now is whether or not Gamstop restrictions could begin to extend outside of the UK – as of now if sites outside of the UK want to register they can but it isn’t mandatory, and as there is no regulation they would make it mandatory internationally this may not ever happen, but as gambling continues to be an issue for some we may see these sites aren’t blocked by gamstop currently change from being registered elsewhere move in to the fold – this may change in the future. For now, however, there are plenty of options for those looking to safely gamble outside of gamstop if they are in the UK.