Online gambling is expanding its global reach, set to post worldwide revenues of $158 billion by 2028. Naturally, a lot of this is down to land-based gaming venues shutting down for a significant chunk of 2020 and governments looking to plug budget shortfalls. The US is no exception to this trend.
Even though only five states currently allow their residents to bet on internet casino-style products, many more are already in the process of preparing similar legislature. Laws allowing sports betting are sweeping the nation, and many expect a similar thing to occur to platforms that offer online casino entertainment from US soil. So far, Americans living in a state that does not regulate this activity could only play at offshore sites.
With this rise of remote betting, concerns emerge about a potential increase in the number of US problem gamblers. Therefore, what follows below is an analysis of how Europe’s most developed online gambling market, the UK, handles this issue and what protection its residents enjoy when they veer off to bet on non GamStop casinos.
The UK Gambling Commission & Its Self-Exclusion Scheme GamStop
As mentioned, the UK is the most developed remote wagering market on the Old Continent. It is also its most stringently regulated one, remaining under the ever-watchful eye of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
That is a non-departmental body of the UK government that replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain, close to a decade and a half ago as the country’s sole gaming overseer. It offers firm player protection to anyone who opts to play at UKGC-licensed platforms.
Since March 2020, it implements the mandatory self-exclusion program GamStop in its arsenal of tools that curb gambling addiction. It is a nationwide database that lists every active player at casinos operating under a UKGC license. Once a UK player activates a self-exclusion band at one site, he can no longer play on any until his chosen self-exclusion timeframe expires.
Therefore, the term sites not on GamStop refers to casinos that do not have a base of operations in the UK and offer their services under a foreign license. Some Brits like sites not covered by GamStop better than many of the best GamStop casinos because the latter must implement gameplay restrictions that make online slot gameplay less intense.
How Betting Sites Not on GamStop Operate
Betting sites not on GamStop are ones run by operators who international regulators license and monitor. For example, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the top interactive gaming overseer in Europe. It supplies licenses to companies that want to offer gaming services to residents in countries with no online gambling laws. Thus, that covers much of Europe.
The MGA incorporates many of the same standards as the UKGC. However, some criticize it that it is not as strict in its enforcement of these. There is no universal self-exclusion ban active for all MGA-approved online casinos. Though, these platforms have brand-specific self-exclusion.
They also promote responsible gambling by allowing players to set deposit/loss limits. The main allure of sites not covered by GamStop is that they offer gaming products not available on UKGC platforms. Also, they supply more promotions to their user base and have perk-rich loyalty systems.
UK Gambling Platforms vs. Sites Not on GamStop
Every category of gambling platform has its pros and cons. There is no one perfect option that reigns supreme over all others. Thus, what follows below are a few of the positives and negatives of being a patron at both UKGC-approved platforms and gambling sites not on GamStop for UK players.
Benefits of UK Gaming Sites
- Slot games are less habit-forming.
- Vast assistance options for problem gambling
- Access to independent dispute services.
- No availability for debt accumulation transaction methods.
Drawbacks of UK Gaming Sites
- Less enticing VIP schemes.
- No alternative money transfer options.
- Irreversible self-exclusion.
Positives of Non GamStop Casinos.
- Immense game catalogs.
- Little to no gameplay restrictions.
- Auto-play options.
- Creative promo deals.
Negatives of Non GamStop Casinos
- No vast self-exclusion bans.
- Complaints get handled per foreign laws.
- Each site has its unique terms.
What Gambling Addiction Measures Should the US Implement?
The chief problem with the United States concerning problem gambling measures is that the country is a federal republic. That means that each US state has the power to pass its laws on how it thinks it should regulate gambling and stop people from developing a compulsion toward this activity.
Of course, US federal laws exist, but not ones connected to the issues discussed in this article. There is no national regulator that has power over each state’s licensing body. One that can require that they force their operators to feature the same nationwide anti-gambling addiction measures.
The current most realistic option is for the American Gaming Association to create its GamStop-like scheme. By doing so, it can ask all licensed US operators to participate in it.
Of course, as a sign of good faith. If the key brands operating in the US online casino market do this, that could set a precedent that other lower-ranked operators will follow. Mostly out of fear of not wanting to appear less reliable than their more established counterparts.
To Wrap Up
There is no doubt that this is a super exciting time for the US online gambling market. Regardless of what, if any, nationwide gambling addiction measures get implemented in the country concerning online betting, the future for this US industry looks bright. The UK model is interesting to analyze, but it is not entirely applicable to North America.
Factors that have impacted this are that the US does not have such an extensive history with this pastime. Both its operators and regulators have not ironed out all of the well-known kinks in this sector. Something that the UK and non GamStop casinos have done so with some degree of success.