Gamstop is a fairly new initiative, designed by regulator, lawmakers and healthcare experts with the sole purpose of protecting vulnerable players. Gamstop has become one of the most trusted self-exclusion schemes ever to see the light the day. Today, I will take a loser look at what it is and what inherent upsides and conversely – downsides – there are to it.
The truth is the self-exclusion scheme can help you get your gaming habits under control and at the same time it can be a bit of a pest if you self-exclude once for a short period of time, as some sites might be reluctant to take you back later.
With this in mind, I will help you understand what the scheme is and how it works in the United Kingdom, and also – refer you to different sections where I will be addressing all most popular questions concerning the platform.
So, What Is Gamstop to Begin With?
Gamstop is a tested new way to help the community overcome dependency on gambling via gambling sites not on GamStop and specifically excessive gambling. The solution is helpful and ground-breaking as it allows to create a unique profile across the entire UK for each player who registers.
In other words, if a gamer shows on one bookmaker or a casino, but has self-excluded, the operator will know and not allow him or her to proceed with the registration. The solution is also omnipresent, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and establishing a safety net that guarantees the 130,000+ registered players a safe environment.
All of this sounds great until we address a few things that are nevertheless part of Gamstop. First, registrations can be forceful, i.e. someone could register you if they thought you are playing too much without objectivity in the matter.
Besides, once you register, you might be blacklisted by gambling sites in the UK as they would probably be a little less excited to have a player who has registered to limit their gambling habits.
Now, if you do have a genuine reason to want to be on Gamstop’s self-exclusion list, such as thinking about harming yourself or having suffered a financial loss that you cannot compensate, the scheme is definitely the right solution for you.
Besides excluding, though, I strongly recommend you turn to the NHS and GamCare’s official help line which will help you address the issue head on.
Upsides and Downsides
To get a better read of what the self-exclusion scheme is, I have decided to briefly list some advantages and disadvantages of the system. My opinion is that Gamstop is designed as a genuine way to protect those most vulnerable members of our society and gambling community. Yet, there are some rough edges to smooth out still.
- Gamstop is a genuine way to exclude yourself and control your gambling habits if and when the need is.
- The website comes with additional materials to help you recognize and more importantly understand the problem in its entirety and seek adequate help.
- You can choose the period over which you want to exclude yourself from gambling at all UK licensed websites.
- You may be registered against your will by someone who has access to your information and be forcefully excluded.
- The self-exclusion scheme could potentially lead to a blacklisting by certain brands in the UK which aren’t always inclined to accept an individual who had self-excluded.
- Gamstop is not without faults and can be dodged if this is something a player really wants to do.
How Does Gamstop Work?
Gamstop is intuitive in the sense it involves players and makes them recognize there is a problem. As the popular psychological adage goes – the first step to solving any problem is admitting that you have a problem.
And so, the self-exclusion scheme has been designed with the same idea in mind. In essence, players are free to exclude themselves from any betting and gambling contests across every licensed gambling site in the United Kingdom.
The blanket ban is handy, efficient and quick, enforced within a day and effectively stopping you from gambling. To register, you will need to verify your identity by providing all identifiable information, such as names, address, age and so on.
Gamstop has the highest standards of protecting your personal information, so you can trust the organization with your sensitive data and not worry about it. Once you have registered, you will be able to pick from a period during which you want to self-exclude.
The shortest period is six months and the current are five years, although, if you want to extend this period, you can contact the organization and ask for a lengthier restriction if you prefer.
In most cases, players can just re-new their exclusion once it’s over. In fact, you will need to state that you don’t want to be excluded any more at the end of the so-called cooling down period as well, or it will just extend.
The logic behind self-exclusion is that a lot can change in the time you are not actively gambling. You may learn to control your hobby or even seek professional help if this is indeed the reason why you seek to limit your gaming habits.
What Happens When You Self Exclude?
When you finally self-exclude, you will have a 24-hour grace period to log in and withdraw all your funds or just have a final go at the games. Following the 24 hours, though, you will be automatically logged out of all accounts you may have at any network gambling site.
Furthermore, attempting to register yourself at a UK casino or bookmaker and specifically a partner of Gamstop’s will be met with a refusal during the self-exclusion period. Bookmakers will scan the database of excluded players and block you from proceeding with your registration if the exclusion is still in place.
Enroll Yourself on Gamstop Today – A Few Simple Steps
Understandably, becoming a part of the self-exclusion scheme is a straightforward process that doesn’t take too much time at all. First, you need to visit the official website where all the information, terms and conditions are provided in detail. Once you are familiar with the minutiae, which is incredibly accessible, I must say, you can proceed to applying to become pat of the self-exclusion page.
Simply go to the registration page and click on the “Start” button, which begins the process. Now, what you need to do is fill out the questionnaire, log in your personal information, as I have mentioned before, and click on the confirmation email. You are officially able to restrict your gambling now. I hope this is for the best and precisely what you need at this point.
Want to Avoid Gamstop? This is an Option
If you have registered to prevent yourself from spending too much gaming as real-life responsibilities continue to pile on, this is commendable and you shouldn’t be looking into ways to suspend this prematurely.
However, it sometimes happens that people who look to avoid self-exclusion in the UK are responding to some extenuating circumstance. For example, you may have been registered by a family member without a good reason for that or you could have been registered in the past, with the exclusion now over, but still leading to a number of bookies and casinos turning you down upon registration.
In such cases, your only option is to find trustworthy gambling sites that operate outside of the UK and still have the same track record and emphasis on protecting player well-being as do the best Gambling Commission licensed operators.
With this said, I still want to remind you that avoiding this scheme must only stem from correcting a wrong and if you want to gamble before you have come to terms with your gambling habits, you should look up a health professional instead of giving in to your vice.
Can You Get Out of Gamstop Ahead of Schedule?
Officially, you’re not encouraged to suspend your self-exclusion ahead of schedule. The reasoning behind this is simple. You may have changed or the circumstances may have changed, but by requesting a pre-mature lifting of the cooling down period, you are de facto affirming that your need to gamble is stronger than your ability to patiently wait the period out.
When this happens, you can still try to talk to Gamstop directly, but don’t be too surprised to receive a firm denial, regardless whether the reason is legitimate or not.
The upside is that this refusal won’t really in any way influence your social rating with Gamstop and the organization won’t have their eye on you or recommend you for an extension or suspension from gambling.
Yet, if you really want to get some recreational gaming going, you can turn to some non-UKGC licensed operators that meet the same standards. One thing you could try to stay closer to home, though, is to contact a casino and see if they can strip the ban for you.
They might be inclined to do so if you have a clear social gaming history and have never bet or gambled to excess, which his still a determining factor.