Last Updated on September 24, 2023
With everything going online nowadays, people are increasingly doing more of their sports betting and gambling on the internet. Compared to the local bookie or casino, these online options also come with a lot more choice and variety, as it’s all software based and it’s easier for companies to create new games and add new betting markets. Coupled with playing in the privacy and comfort of your own home, no matter what time of the day, it’s easy to see why so many people have switched over to online gambling instead.
With this growth, the government has seen the need to regulate online casinos and sportsbooks. In particular, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) set up a program called Gamstop in 2018 to help those with a gambling addiction problem. Gamstop is a self-exclusion service. Players sign up for it themselves, and it works by blocking players from accessing casino sites that have a licence from the UKGC. In 2020, it became mandatory for all UK licensed casinos to register with Gamstop. With this regulation, UK licensed casinos and Gamstop casinos have become essentially synonymous.
What are online casinos?
Before we go on, let’s answer what may sound like a stupid question. What are online casinos? Online casinos are websites that accept real money gambling, and it also includes mobile casino apps as well. Sites that offer casino games where money cannot be won don’t count, even if it looks and plays like blackjack or a slot machine. Likewise, sites with games that let you real money but don’t look like casino games will count. That means sites that offer online lottery or bingo are also considered as online casinos according the UKGC.
Since real money is involved, there are always issues concerning security and crime, just like it is offline. Scams and fakes are always out there. Various authorities issue casino licences so that players know that the site is a safe place to play. It goes without saying that you should always play at a licensed online casino.
What are online casinos not on Gamstop?
Online casinos in the UK have to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, which means that all UK licensed casinos are always on Gamstop. It’s thus not surprising to see lots of people asking what is a online UK casino not on Gamstop. It sounds like a bit of an oddity when all UK online casinos are on Gamstop through the UKGC licencing.
To keep it simple, online casinos not on Gamstop are just casinos that don’t hold a UK licence. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the site doesn’t have a licence. The internet is the world wide web after all, and there are many other places that issue online casino licences that are reliable and trustworthy. These are otherwise known as offshore casino, and although they aren’t under UK jurisdiction, they are still answerable to the law of the country in which they are based. Security standards and fairness measures for players are in place. The gold standard casino licence for non-Gamstop casinos is from the Curacao eGaming authority, and it is a well trusted one. Other casino licences you will come across include Gibraltar and Malta.
There are also online casinos that simply don’t have licences. Stay far away from these sites. They are not safe casino sites at all.
Differences between a regular online casino and a non-Gamstop casino
Other than having and not having a licence from the UK Gambling Commission, here are some of the key differences between a regular UK online casino, and a UK casino that’s not on Gamstop:
- No system-wide ban: Once you sign up for Gamstop, you will be blocked from all UK licensed online casinos. Online casinos not blocked by Gamstop may also have self-exclusion tools, but they are limited to that particular site only.
- Different payment methods: The UKGC has banned the use of credit cards in their casinos. Non-Gamstop casinos are unaffected by this regulation and you can use credit cards and e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller, if the casino is set up for these payment methods. Some may also let you bank with cryptocurrencies.
- Different Games: The bigger developers like Evolution Gaming only have their games with Gamstop casinos in the UK. Non-Gamstop casinos make up for this with games from smaller developers.
Is it safe to play at casinos not with Gamstop?
Although Gamstop casinos are held as the standard in the UK, it is still safe to play at non-Gamstop casinos provided that the site is licensed, for example from Curacao. However, for those who have gambling addiction problems, it’s best to stay away from these casino sites that are not blocked by Gamstop altogether. The difference here is that Gamstop sites have you on their block list and you won’t even be able to start, while non-Gamstop sites don’t.
Tips for finding a safe non-Gamstop site
If you’re looking to play at a casino not on Gamstop, then make sure you do a bit of research. There are plenty of fraudsters out there looking to make some quick money. Here are some tips for UK players looking for a non-Gamstop casino to play at:
- Look for a licence:
There won’t be a licence from the UK, but there are casinos with other licences, such as the from Curacao. Under no circumstances whatsoever should you deposit into an unlicensed casino.
- Read casino reviews:
See what other players have said about the casino. It can save you a lot of time and potential heartache. In particular, pay attention to what people have to say about the withdrawal or cashout process. Since this is real money gaming, you want to see how easy it will be when it comes to claiming your winnings. Here is a list of non Gamstop casino reviews.
- Start small:
Start with a small deposit. It may seem obvious, but if things don’t turn out well, then at least your loss is limited.
Yes, but make sure you choose a licensed online casino. These are regulated and ensure players’ security as well as fairness.
Non-licensed casinos are unsafe. However, there are casinos that are non-licensed for the UK but have licences from elsewhere, such as from Curacao. These casinos are safe.
Yes. There are casino games like blackjack and slots not on Gamstop that are real money games, meaning it is possible to win money playing them.
If you live in the UK, then your gambling winnings are tax free.
No. It is not illegal for UK residents to play at casinos not registered with Gamstop or the UKGC.
Yes. The Curacao e-Gaming licence was established in 1996, shortly after the internet became accessible. It has been one of the most respected licences and has served some of the biggest casino operators since the beginning. It’s known as one of the most stable regulators, meaning that the regulations are consistent so that both players and operators can know what they can count on.