Trends come and go in the online gambling world but one seems destined to stay for some time. Non-GAMSTOP gambling sites are making headlines as new ones appear each month. They provide a unique opportunity for bettors to gamble outside the GAMSTOP scheme. We’ll talk more about what this means in the article below, but there’s a bigger topic up for debate.
What are the legal repercussions of using casinos not on GAMSTOP?
It’s a question many are keen to find the answer to, but it’s perhaps not as interesting as you think. In truth, there are virtually no legal issues when using these casinos. A site like Casino Gam features many casinos not registered with GAMSTOP that are 100% legal and safe for people to join. People assume that the casinos on websites like this are illegal, but that’s a common misconception taken from a misunderstanding of gambling laws.
In this post, we endeavour to explain why non-GAMSTOP sites aren’t technically illegal and what you can do to avoid issues when using these platforms. It all starts with the GAMSTOP scheme itself.
What is GAMSTOP?
GAMSTOP is one of many free tools provided by the UK Gambling Commission to help combat problem gambling. It launched in 2018 and gives gamblers a way of self-excluding when they wish to take a break from betting.
All betting sites allow self-exclusion, but GAMSTOP is different. Instead of blocking yourself from one website, it blocks you from using all casinos registered with the GAMSTOP scheme. As it turns out, there are nearly 130 participating companies, each with multiple casinos or betting sites under its name.
While using GAMSTOP, you’re forced to select a self-exclusion period. This can be any of the following:
- 6 months
- 1 year
- 5 years
You will be banned from using your account on any GAMSTOP site for your chosen period and can’t create new accounts on those platforms either.
What are casinos not on GAMSTOP?
A casino not on GAMSTOP is simply an online gambling platform that does not participate in this scheme. It won’t be on the GAMSTOP register, meaning it won’t follow the rules outlined in the programme.
These casinos don’t have to block players from creating accounts, even if they’re on the GAMSTOP register. Players in this scheme can therefore use these websites to gamble during their self-exclusion period.
How does the law relate to non-GAMSTOP casinos?
You’ll recall we stated that you won’t face legal repercussions when using non-GAMSTOP casinos. That’s because they are – by and large – legal online casinos. The big mix-up comes from the fact that players can use these platforms while being GAMSTOP members. It seems like an illegal act, but it isn’t.
Why? Because all casinos aren’t obliged to cooperate with GAMSTOP. Indeed, it’s a UK scheme enforced by the UK Gambling Commission. The only laws or regulations relating to this state that all online gambling operators in the UK must register with GAMSTOP. This was enforced by the UKGC in 2020 to get all online casinos under its jurisdiction to cooperate with the new programme.
Consequently, casinos outside the UK and without a UKGC licence are not legally required to register with GAMSTOP. Some choose to, but it is perfectly legal for them to operate without doing so.
Does this mean all casinos outside GAMSTOP are legal?
No. It also means you won’t 100% avoid legal issues when using casinos outside GAMSTOP.
Some casinos are illegal as they’re made by scammers and aren’t properly registered companies. Additionally, many legal non-GAMSTOP casinos can throw legal conundrums your way depending on their terms of service.
As a general rule, you should use due diligence when selecting casinos not on GAMSTOP and check countless reviews or testimonials to see if a site is legitimate. You’ll easily be able to determine if you’re using a legal site.
Secondly, be sure to read the terms of service paying close attention to two things:
- If the site permits people from your country to use it
- If you are of the minimum age set by the casino operator
In that case, you will not run into legal complications if you’re of age and join a site that lets people from your country create an account. The good news is that most online casinos not on GAMSTOP accept players from around the world, including the UK, and have a minimum player age of 18.
Conclusion – Non-GAMSTOP casinos are widely legal
We’ll round off this post with a summary of the main points. Non-GAMSTOP casinos are widely legal and you shouldn’t face major legal issues when using them. The only caveat is that you must research a provider to be sure they’re not a black market site owned by a scammer. In terms of UK gambling laws, nothing states that you can’t join sites outside GAMSTOP, nor are there laws stopping you from doing this while self-excluding.