GamStop is a free-of-cost self-exclusion system for resolving the issues of compulsive gambling by over-indulgent gamblers, licensed in the United Kingdom (UK) and regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The problem of excessive gambling on online gambling platforms is curbed by allowing the players to self-exclude themselves at their own will by selecting a suitable self-exclusion period, following the process of registration on the GamStop site.
What is GamStop?
GamStop is a step towards responsible gambling by providing an option to players for self-exclusion from online gambling sites, as provided by operators, who are authorized with the GamStop Scheme. GamStop was developed by The National Online Self Exclusion Scheme Limited (NOSES), a non-profit organization, and was fully functional from March 2020, in the UK. Besides operating only in the UK, non GamStop casinos without exclusion services are also under the purview of GamStop and UKGC.
What is the duration of the Self-Exclusion Period?
Usually, the self-exclusion period lasts for a certain period of time (Minimum Exclusion Period) and this duration can be for:
- 6 months
- 1 year
- 5 years
How to know about the expiry of the Self-exclusion period?
The status of the duration of the self-exclusion period of a player can be checked by logging in to the GamStop account of that player. This is needed to be checked once in a while, as GamStop is not liable to inform the player about the expiry of the period.
What happens after the Self-Exclusion Period is over?
It is seen that the players are not allowed access to the gambling sites already previously registered, even after the completion of the self-exclusion period. Despite several attempts to log in, a player might not be able to play, as the player might still be excluded and not allowed to enter the gambling site by the operator. This poses a problem and creates confusion amongst the players.
Saving of Personal Data by GamStop
The players are asked to enter various personal details like name, address, email address, contact number, etc. while registering on GamStop. This data is stored and kept by GamStop for the chosen self-exclusion period by a player (ranging from 6 months to 5 years). However, the expiry of the exclusion does not happen instantly.
Can a player bypass GamStop to get rid of these problems?
A player can opt for the following processes to get rid of these problems faced during the termination of the GamStop self-exclusion period:
- The player can use VPN (Verified Proxy Network) to bypass the GamStop self-exclusion scheme. VPN allows the player to access gambling sites blocked by a particular country.
- The gambler can enter the non GamStop gambling sites where casino games can be played and GamStop registration is not required.
- Self-excluded players can gamble by logging on to sites where verification is not needed, that is No-Registration Casinos, where the names of the players will not be registered.
- Another option for the players to bypass GamStop registration is by gambling with cryptocurrency at unregulated casinos. No further personal detail is needed to be entered on these sites.
What can be done to remove GamStop self-exclusion?
First and foremost the player needs to find out whether the self-exclusion period is over or not. In case the player is not able to log in to that particular account, that player can contact GamStop. If it is found that the self-exclusion period is over, the player should contact the GamStop Helpdesk. The process of removal will be initiated once the identity of the player is verified and confirmed. Generally, it takes a day for the process of deactivation and the subsequent removal of the self-exclusion period of a user after the verification step is completed.
Is it possible for the player to gamble after the self-exclusion period ends?
The player should wait for 24 hours for the process of deactivation of the self-exclusion to be completed. If a player is unable to log in to the previously accessed gambling site, the player should directly contact the gambling companies for removing the block on their sites. It is found that once the self-exclusion period gets over in GamStop, the gamblers are unable to access their accounts and have to go through a series of arduous processes for the removal of this self-exclusion scheme.
GamStop is quite an effective tool in controlling the adverse effects of compulsive gambling amongst gamblers. The opinions of the gamblers who want to stop gambling from the community vary based on their experiences of the expiry of the GamStop self-exclusion period.
Many players are unable to log in to the gambling sites after the period gets over and have to follow numerous difficult steps to regain access to enter the sites. However, a part of the gambling community believes that GamStop registration is useful in exercising restraint in the excessive gambling habits of gamblers and is essential in maintaining a responsible gambling environment.