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The UK Gambling Commission is dedicated to protecting online gamers from common gambling pitfalls like scams, lost funds, and problem gambling. One way it does this is through the self-exclusion system Gamstop, which shuts gamblers out of all Gamstop casinos to prevent impulsive and harmful gambling. However, despite this obvious benefit and the popularity of Gamstop casinos, many online casino players find the Gamstop system highly restrictive. This is why non-Gamstop online casinos are growing increasingly popular by the day. But how exactly do these two gambling providers differ? Here is a look at the differences between Gamstop and online casinos. 


The most fundamental difference between Gamstop and non-Gamstop online casinos is how they are regulated. As mentioned, Gamstop casinos are monitored and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. The Commission launched the system to address the rise in problem gambling that came with the increased access to online casinos caused by mobile gaming. Over the years, it has implemented even stricter limitations so that operators must join Gamstop if they want a UKGC license. 

In contrast, non-Gamstop casinos have to get their licenses elsewhere. Since they cannot operate without regulation, most of these providers turn to reputable offshore regulatory bodies like the government of Curacao and the Malta Gaming Authority. These bodies ensure that non-Gamstop casinos operate ethically, legally, and fairly. If you need more information about these casinos and how they are regulated, you can find it here, along with guides on gambling on non-Gamstop casinos.



Many online gamers assume that Gamstop casinos are more reliable because they are regulated by the UKGC. This is partly true – you can always trust a UKGC-licensed casino because the regulator goes above and beyond to protect players. In fact, the Commission regularly imposes penalties on casinos that violate consumer safety regulations and keeps a very close eye on gambling activities. It constantly revises and improves the rules so that a license from the Commission is a sure mark of credibility.

This is not to say that non-Gamstop casinos are unreliable. These offshore sites still operate under a license, usually issued by an offshore regulatory body. However, since how these bodies operate can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is important to verify the validity of a non-Gamstop casino’s license. Unlike with Gamstop casinos, you need to do your homework to ensure a casino is credible.



The UKGC uses the Gamstop service to provide problem gamblers with avenues for self-exclusion from all Gamstop gambling sites. The measures used in the pursuit of safe gambling can vary from limited maximum stakes for some bets and games and extended wait times between spins to irreversible self-exclusion periods. Simply put, once you get locked out of Gamstop casinos, you cannot access them until the exclusion period has expired.

In contrast, non-Gamstop casinos do not use the self-exclusion service. Some individual sites offer self-exclusion tools and programs designed to limit betting activity. However, these are usually controlled at the site’s discretion and do not extend to other casinos. If you self-exclude from one non-Gamstop casino, you can still access other non-Gamstop sites. Some sites do not offer these programs at all.



The UKGC only recognizes and monitors Gamstop casinos, with non-Gamstop casinos being considered “offshore” providers. However, contrary to popular belief, non-Gamstop casinos are not illegal in the UK. UK residents can either play on UKGC-licensed sites or use offshore providers. That said, non-Gamstop sites are sometimes prohibited from marketing directly to UK residents. But this rule is rarely implemented because it is difficult to determine how a player got onto a site. This then means that both types of sites operate legally within the jurisdiction. 



By definition, non-Gamstop casinos feature fewer limitations than Gamstop casinos. They do not regulate how many spins you can make, your maximum bets, or wait times. They also do not limit transaction amounts, which makes them very attractive to high rollers. Moreover, bonus and promotion offers are often more lucrative on non-Gamstop casinos, with these providers also offering more extensive game libraries. 


Confirmation Process

Offshore online casinos often have simpler confirmation procedures. You can usually complete the verification stage of the account creation process within a day. On the flip side, joining a UKGC site can be a hassle. The verification process is very rigorous and typically requires a lot of paperwork submission. It can take several days. That said, both providers take verification very seriously. Extra measures are usually taken to exclude minors and prevent access to questionable parties.


Financial Transactions

Non-Gamstop online casinos often allow multiple transaction methods for site withdrawals and deposits, including credit cards, debit cards, and cryptocurrency. However, due to recent updates to UKGC regulations, some of these methods are not available on Gamstop casinos. 



Many players appreciate the credibility, protection, and safety that come with UKGC regulation. However, for players looking for a lot more freedom in their gambling activities, non-Gamstop online casinos are a more feasible option. It all comes down to your gambling preferences and whether or not you can handle problem gambling on your own.



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