With what appears to be a wide choice of regulated UK casinos available online, some punters may wonder why non-UK casinos are doing such big business with British gamblers.
More choice is always welcome, but is there anything about these foreign casino sites that wary users need to know before giving them a try?
Some may believe that using a bingo, casino, slots, or betting site, not on Gamstop is illegal. This isn’t the case at all, and there are many reasons gamblers seek out these alternatives to the ‘same old’ casino brands we’re all used to seeing in the UK.
This includes the increasing number of ‘spoiler’ measures imposed on UK casinos to help protect vulnerable players. Enforced delays on slots spin, limited bonuses and restricted stakes are just a few of the issues that are pushing savvy players to weigh up their options.
What is Gamstop, and How Do Betting Sites, not on Gamstop Work?
You may sometimes see non-UK casino sites referred to as non Gamstop casinos. This is because all UK casino sites are licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), and part of that agreement is to sign up for the Gamstop scheme.
Casino sites not on Gamstop are therefore simply non-UK sites, usually licensed in other parts of the world where they are not permitted to access the player data needed to take part in Gamstop.
Gamstop allows users to self-exclude from all UK licensed casino sites in one fell swoop, meaning a player will be effectively banned even from sites they have never visited.
Gamstop self-exclusions are irreversible, which can be a big help to those at risk of gambling addiction, but a source of frustration for those punters who may have made the decision in the heat of the moment.
Couple this with the measures designed to restrict gameplay, such as spin timers and bonus limits, and it’s more understandable why so many punters seek different ways around Gamstop and play at non-UK casinos.
How Sites Not on Gamstop Are Regulated
The UKGC is the regulator for UK casino sites, but what about foreign casinos? Obviously, they should be licensed and regulated to protect their players, wherever they may be.
Organizations exist across the world which regulate the activities of non-UK casino sites. Some of the most high-profile regulators are based in countries such as Curacao or Malta.
Just as with the UKGC, these licensors exist to ensure the operators adhere to rules and regulations and help to protect players’ interests.
Are Non-UK Casinos Legal to Use in the UK?
It is perfectly legal to use a non-UK casino site, even if you are in the UK. Non-Gamstop casino sites are not permitted to market or advertise to UK customers, however.
This is one reason why many of the brand names at non GamStop casinos may be unfamiliar to UK punters who are used to seeing the same bookmaker and casino brands online, on the High Street, and even on sponsored football shirts.
The irony is, without the expensive overheads of High Street stores or kit deals, foreign casinos often offer better value.
It’s important to note that many users with Gamstop exclusions have them for a reason: if you have trouble controlling your behavior when gambling, we do not recommend using a non-UK casino site to get around a Gamstop ban, even though it is legal for you to do so.
What to Expect at Non-UK Casinos
The truth is that non-UK casino sites offer a similar experience to the online gambling most punters will be used to, but there are a few differences to watch out for.
Live Casino games are often available in a wider choice, for example, catering to different languages and currencies and using multiple providers. This is great as finding a dealer you like is a big part of the attraction of Live Casino.
It’s also likely that you’ll find a few casino games you won’t find at UKGC-licensed sites, given that non-UK sites include games with an appeal to many different countries and cultures.
As well as all the usual casino classics, fast and fun gambling games from the Far East, South America, and elsewhere are available, which may never make it to ‘traditional’ UK casinos.
Gamstop Sites vs Casinos Not on Gamstop
There are pros and cons to both UKGC-licensed casinos, as well as non-UK casino sites. Let’s take a closer look:
UKGC Casinos – Pros
- Brand familiarity
- UK-based Customer Support
- Offers play in GBP
- Built-in responsible gambling tools
- Part of the Gamstop scheme
UKGC Casinos – Cons
- Gameplay restrictions (spin timers, etc.) can frustrate
- Limits on deposit bonuses and wager size
- Litle to no cryptocurrency support
Non GamStop Casinos – Pros
- No gameplay ‘spoilers’
- Bigger bonuses available
- Fewer limits on deposits or wagers
- A wider range of games, including Live Casino
- May offer more payment options, including Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
Non-GamStop Casinos – Cons
- GBP deposits may incur conversion fees
- Customer Support located abroad
- Some high profile slots may be unavailable
Are You Trying to Get Around a Gamstop Self Exclusion, or Simply After More Choice?
If you’re a gambler who enjoys standard casino games, sports betting, bingo or poker, as well as more exotic or unusual international games, there’s sure to be something to interest you at a non-UK casino site.
If you are a creature of habit and know exactly what you want to bet on and when – whether that’s a hand of blackjack, a bet on the football, or a quick game of bingo – it’s likely that the UKGC’s regulated sites probably already give you everything you want.
Remember to always gamble responsibly, though: if you have a Gamstop exclusion in effect, be honest with yourself about your reasons for opting in, and do not join a non-UK casino.