Gambling Addiction – What Lessons Can Be Learned from the UK?

As each month goes by, it seems that more and more states in the US are legalizing the likes of online poker, sports betting, and online casinos. In recent years, there has been a widespread relaxing of restrictions around all different forms of gambling.

This has been accelerated following the COVID-19 pandemic as state governments look to make up budget shortfalls in any way that they can. Therefore, gamblers across the country now have access to a lot of great online gambling options or they will have access in the near future. While there is a lot to like about this form of expansion, you also need to be careful about certain aspects.

One of the biggest areas of concern is that of problem gambling. As there is easier access to gambling, there is expected to be a rise in the number of people who run into problems with their gambling.

As this is such a new sector in the US, extensive supports might not yet be in place to protect these at-risk people. Therefore, lessons can be learned from other regions that already have been dealing with these types of issues for a few decades. This article will look at the way that the authorities in the UK handle responsible gambling. 

The UKGC and GamStop 

The main regulator of the gambling sector in the UK is the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) this body is tasked with making sure that only reputable parties hold gambling licenses and that all of their operations are above board.

The UKGC also is tasked with ensuring that there is a framework in place that encourages gambling in a safe and responsible manner. As time goes on, it continually makes changes and tweaks to the rules to make sure that it is constantly striving towards achieving this goal. There has also been a recent government review of important gambling legislation to make sure that it is fit for this digital age.

Some of the recent measures that the UKGC has taken include banning credit cards for gambling purposes, curtailing VIP programs, as well as introducing extensive anti-money laundering checks. As there is so much to cover, the UKGC often relies on other parties to give them a helping hand.

One of these parties is GamStop. This non-profit group provides a self-exclusion program for people who are looking to block themselves from gambling any further an better manage their budgets. This will cover every single site that the UKGC licenses, so it is a great way to quickly take a step back. These periods of self-exclusion can last for between six months and three years, being non-reversible once you have signed up to it. 

How Do Casinos Not on GamStop Work? 

Some people are getting a bit fed up with the constant restrictions that are coming into place in the UK. This is curtailing their ability to play their favorite casino games in a fashion that is the best fit for them. As a result, they have started looking at alternative options.

The main alternative is those online casinos not on GamStop. These platforms will not hold a UKGC license, often being regulated by another oversight body like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Therefore, you will not have to face a lot of the same types of restrictions. Players will have access to bigger game libraries, larger bet sizes, and more lucrative bonuses.

One of the downsides to using casinos not on GamStop is that they will not be a part of any sort of mass self-exclusion programs such as GamStop. Therefore, you will need to lock yourself from each individual platform if that is something that you need to do.

You will normally get access to the usual types of account restrictions tools on MGA-licensed sites, such as cool-off periods, deposit limits, and betting limits. However, people who have been self-excluding from UKGC-licensed sites will be able to get around their GamStop self-exclusion by utilizing casinos not on GamStop. Discover more about non-GamStop casinos at

GamStop Sites vs Non UK Casinos 

Just like with most things, there are certain positives and negatives that will be associated with both UKGC-licensed platforms and casinos not on GamStop. Here is a quick look at some of the distinct characteristics of both of these types of offerings: 

UKGC Casinos 


·  Extensive support for problem gamblers

·  Access to GamStop mass self-exclusion

·  Availability of third-party conflict resolution services

·  No ability to use debt accumulation payment methods like credit cards


·  A lot of restrictions on players

·  No reversal of self-exclusion 

Non-GamStop Casinos 


·  Much greater level of freedom

·  Large game collections

·  Fewer bans on game features

·  Wider availability of payment options

·  Extensive account restriction tools


·  No mass self-exclusion program

·  Able to get around GamStop self-exclusion

·  No third-party program to file disputes 

What System is Best for the United States? 

As the United States online gambling market is so new, there will more than likely be a lot of lessons learned in the coming years. States will be able to see certain trends appearing as time goes on. These trends might show that there need to be changes made when it comes to protecting at-risk gamblers. Additionally, issues like protection from cyber attacks may be important when considering a quality online gambling service provider.

On the other hand, the numbers could remain low, showcasing that the current measures in place appear to be working as they were intended. The US states have the ability to look at more established online gambling markets such as that in the UK in order to get some guidance on the best approach to take when dealing with problem gambling. 

A Safer Environment 

There is no doubting that there is a lot to be excited about as online gambling spreads across the US. It takes people away from the shady black-market operators and allows them to deal with a regulated sector that has plenty of safety measures in place.

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