Gambling Addiction – How it Is Handled in the UK and Casinos not on GamStop

  • 2021-08-10

For a long time, many of the states in the Baltic region had very restrictive regions when it came to the online gambling space. Monopolies were often in place, meaning that consumers did not really have any choice when it came to the options that they had to choose from in the regulated market. This has been starting to change in recent years, with certain regions now opening up their gambling markets.

As this transition continues, there is a continuing learning curve as to how these operators and regulators can best battle against the chance of gambling addiction increasing. The UK online gambling market is one of the most established in the world today and the Baltic regions can often learn a lot about how the UK approaches the matter. This is going to be the main focus of this article.

The UKGC and GamStop

The UK’s gambling regulator is the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). It is in charge of issuing gambling licenses, as well as making sure that all operators are adhering to the respective rules and regulations.

One of its main focuses is making sure that people are able to gamble responsibly in a safe environment. Therefore, it regularly introduces new restrictions on operators and gamblers to make sure that this aim is being met. There are some gamblers who believe that these measures are too restrictive. However, there is plenty of protection available to players, as well as security protocols in place.

Some of the more recent types of restrictions that the UKGC has introduced include the likes of spin timers, a ban on credit card transactions, and limits on bet sizes. GamStop is a no-profit group at offers a mass self-exclusion program to people in the UK. This allows you to block yourself from every UKGC-licensed gambling site in one go. This is not reversible and can last a number of years.

How Do Non-GamStop Casinos Work?

One of the negative side effects of increasing responsible gambling controls in the UK is that it is starting to drive some players to platforms outside of the UKGC’s remit. Many people now are using platforms such as to find non-GamStop casinos to play their favourite casino games.

The main regulator for casino sites in Europe is the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). A lot of non-GamStop casinos are regulated by the MGA and are not subject to as stringent measures as UKGC sites. The MGA currently does not have a mass exclusion program in place such as GamStop. This is something that the regulator is currently working on, but it looks like it will not be rolled out for some time yet.

Most individual non-GamStop operators will offer responsible gambling tools to players. This will include the likes of cool-off periods, betting limits, deposit limits, and individual self-exclusion. It will be down to the individual to put these controls in place.

One of the advantages of non-GamStop casinos is that they generally offer a greater level of freedom to players. There will be fewer restrictions on game features, more transaction options, and bigger bonus offers. Therefore, there has been an increasing shift over to these sites as the UKGC puts in place tougher regulations.

GamStop Sites vs Non-UK Casinos

It is important to note that both styles of regulations have their merits and their drawbacks. It is up to you to decide which is going to be the best fit for a particular situation. Here is a quick overview of the main pros and cons that are associated with both UKGC-licensed sites and non-GamStop casinos:

UK Casinos

· Mass self-exclusion a possibility
· Easily accessible
· Third-party dispute resolution services
· No ability to use debt accumulation payment methods

· Non-reversible exclusion periods
· Less access to payment options and bet sizes
· Restrictions on game features

Non-GamStop Casinos

· More freedom for players
· Grater game libraries
· More payment options
· Larger bonus offers

· No mass self-exclusion
· No third-party dispute resolution offerings
· Ability to avoid GamStop

What Method is Right for the Baltic States?

This is an issue that needs thorough debate and taken with context to the individual Baltic states. One method might be suitable for one nation but not the other. There are a number of key questions and trade-offs that have to be considered. The authorities need to weigh up whether there should be more of an emphasis on freedom or the protection of players.

There is then the question of having more games available to players or putting curtailments in place to make sure that people are gambling safely. Then there is the matter of bonus offers, where you can look for bigger deals or ones that are fairer to the player base.

Each region is going to have its own trends when it comes to gambling addiction. Certain types of games might cause the most issues. Therefore, a mass curtailment of all game types might not be justifiable or necessary. By taking an individualized approach, a lot can be achieved. Over time, the authorities can monitor the performance of the current measures and decide if they are too restrictive, not restrictive enough, or just right.

An exciting time

As the Baltic regions continue to embrace a more expansive gambling environment, it is an exciting time for people in the region. They will get access to a greater level of options.
However, the authorities will be kept busy trying to figure out what the best regulatory approach is to tale with these regulated markets.

By looking at what the likes of the UK have done well and what it did not do well can be a useful way to guide the rollout of a new online gambling regulatory environment to strike the right balance between protecting players and also maximizing enjoyment levels.