Gambling in the UK is very much a part of British culture, as had been demonstrated by the adult population ever since the passing of the Gambling Act in 2005. After nearly two decades of continuing growth of the UK’s gambling industry , as many as 24 million adults participate in various forms of gambling activities. The size represents about 44% of the country’s entire population of legal-aged citizens.

To meet the ever increasing demand, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued thousands of licenses to venue owners, casino operators, platform providers, software developers and a host of vendors and service providers who all contribute to the operation of more than 200 offline and online casinos.

As the UKGC was tasked to protect the rights and welfare of consumers, the past years saw The Commission imposing numerous restrictions, particularly in the online gambling sector. Many of which are not generally required by gaming regulators of other countries.

In Internet gambling scenes, online slot games should have slower spin speeds, while bet sizes must be kept at a minimum. Online casino and sports book operators are not allowed to accept deposits paid by way of credit cards.

The most recent requirement is the integration of the free self-exclusion program run by the non profit organization GamStop. Every UK gambler must sign up for self-exclusion program, while every UKGC licensee has to be affiliated with GamStop.

As a result, many online gamblers sought the gambling platforms of online casinos licensed by regulators located in other countries, such as the gambling commission of Malta, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and those in the Caribbean region like Curacao, Antigua and Barbados. While generally known in the UK before as offshore gambling sites because their main base of operations is outside of the UK, today they are called non gamstop casinos or casinos not on gamstop.

Did the Gamstop Requirement Create a Negative Impact on UK’s Online Gambling Industry?

Although the number of gamblers in the UK are exceptionally high, majority are recreational gamblers who stake small amounts of bets on online casino games frequently or at least once a month.While a large portion of the country’s gambling public are into buying lotteries, their gambling spend represents only a small portion of the revenues that flow into the industry.

In 2020, gamstop online casinos generated a gross gaming yield (GGY) of £3.2 billion, which not surprisingly was higher than the £2.3 billion GGY of online sports betting outlets. Another sector that experienced growth is the bingo channel, being one of the online games with the fastest turnovers.

Apparently, the gamstop self-exclusion requirement did not create a negative impact in UK’s online gambling industry. During the pandemic, many who were not inclined to gamble in land-based casinos, took to gambling in online casinos. Mainly because they felt confident they are playing in well supervised and regulated online gambling facilities.

However, as far as UK’s gambling whales are concerned, gamstop gambling cannot make up for the absence of the casino tables of land-based casinos. Even before mandatory self-exclusion scheme, these type of gamblers preferred to play in offshore gambling sites, as the betting sizes are not stunted and the modes of deposit payments include not only credit cards but also cryptocurrencies.