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The pros and cons of the Gamstop program in the UK

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If you’ve ever played at any type of real-money site, such as an online casino or bookmakers in the UK, then chances are you’ve heard of Gamstop program. 

Gamstop is a UK-based, government-approved self-exclusion program. And its sole purpose is to help gamblers learn betting habits through a period of self-exclusion from real-money sites. 

Players are able to choose their own self-exclusion period, from 6 months to 5 years. Which makes Gamstop adaptable to players’ individual needs. 

Additionally, Gamstop works with all UK-based gambling sites. So, when you start your Gamstop subscription, you’ll be banned from accessing all UK-licensed sites, bar none. Until your self-exclusion period has come to an end. Making Gamstop an inclusive program which aims to take out the will-power element of trying to stop gambling. 

However, as with everything in life, there are pros and cons to registering with Gamstop. So today, we’re going to look at each of these in a little more detail. 

Pros of Gamstop 

Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the upsides of joining the Gamstop program.

No willpower needed

As mentioned, all UK-licensed gambling sites in the UK are legally obligated to be part of the Gamstop program. Therefore, when you register with Gamstop you’ll ban yourself from accessing any real-money site that operates in the UK. 

Meaning, you don’t have to contact each one individually in order to self-exclude. Which takes out a lot of hard work on your part. 

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Plus, it means you don’t have to use your willpower to resist the temptation of gambling at online sites. As you simply won’t be able to! Which is great news for players who struggle to resist the urge to gamble. 

There’s a self-exclusion period to suit everyone 

Whether you want to give yourself a small break from gambling, or quit completely, there’s a self-exclusion period that’s right for you. 

Gamstop offers players the chance to self-exclude for a period of 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. And it’s up to you which one you choose. 

Therefore, players who want a good rest from gambling tend to choose the 6 month period. Whereas, players who know they need to stop gambling for a long time, if not permanently, will opt for the 1 or 5 year option. So there’s a time period that matches each player and his/her needs. 

Gamstop is free and confidential 

Another great aspect of Gamstop is that it’s completely free to use. And even offers additional support through their website. Including access to groups, websites and free-phone numbers for when you need some extra help.

Furthermore, Gamstop is both voluntary and confidential. Meaning that nobody, including your boss or bank, needs to know you’re part of the program. 

Gamstop won’t affect your credit rating 

Finally, a lot of players worry that joining a program for gamblers might have an effect on their credit rating. However, because Gamstop is confidential, it means your bank won’t be notified. So your credit rating will not be affected. 

That said, regular deposits to real-money sites are often frowned upon by banks and other lenders. So, it’s a good idea not to make deposits via your bank or debit card, if you’re considering applying for credit in the near future.

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You can still gamble at casinos not on Gamstop 

If you’ve registered with Gamstop and have had a change of heart, then there are still options available to you. 

Gambling sites not on Gamstop are simply ones that are based overseas. And, as they’re not UK-licensed, this means they’re not obligated to be part of the Gamstop program. Therefore, a lot of players opt for non Gamstop casinos, while they’re waiting for their self-exclusion period to end. 

Furthermore, one of the major perks to playing at a non Gamstop casino is that online casino operators outside of Gamstop can offer better bonuses to their players, as they are not as restricted. So, oftentimes, players actually prefer non-Gamstop casinos over UK-licensed ones anyway.

Cons of Gamstop 

Now it’s time to take a look at the possible downsides of Gamstop. But, in truth, we can only really find one reason why Gamstop might not be right for you. 

You can’t cancel your subscription 

One of the reasons Gamstop is so successful is that players can’t terminate their self-exclusion period early. But, while this is great in terms of going ‘cold turkey’, a lot of players want to return to their favourite hobby before their self-exclusion period has come to an end. 

Therefore, this makes Gamstop a little restrictive. And players who want to gamble again will have to either wait until their subscription has finished. Or seek out non-Gamstop casinos overseas. 

However, as we’ve seen, for a lot of players finding a casino not on Gamstop is easy. And can also offer better opportunities than those found in the UK.