When a UK online gambler comes to the realization they may be headed for gambling addiction, there are steps they can take to protect themselves. In fact, there are two very good options available to any UK online gambler who is truly committed to abstinence from their online gambling activities.
In the eyes of many UK online gambling experts, the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) GamStop Self-exclusion scheme might be the best option in terms of being an “assisted” problem gambling resource. If a gambler feels emboldened to manage their own self-exclusion, Gamban might be the right responsible gambling alternative to the GamStop program.
Since both of these self-exclusion options operate differently, let’s look at each individually as a means of seeing how good of an alternative Gamban might be.
The GamStop Option
GamStop is the brainchild of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). It’s strictly a voluntary program that falls under the control of the gamblers themselves. The program is easily available to any UK online gamblers who feel they need to avoid online gambling for some period of time.
At registration, UK gamblers are asked to provide personal information and select a self-exclusion period. Once the registration has been processed and approved, the GamStop database goes to work, blocking the GamStop gambler’s attempts to access their existing gambling accounts. It will also block their attempts to open any new accounts if they use any of the information they provided during the registration process.
To be clear, GamStop is considered an “assisted” program because the GamStop database enforces the self-exclusion program unconditionally. As a reminder, GamStop only stops access to UK online gambling sites that are licensed by the UKGC and subscribed to the GamStop scheme.
The Gamban Option
With the Gamban self-exclusion option, it’s the gambler who will need to manage the integrity of the program. Here is how the program works.
If online gamblers want to block their access to UK online gambling sites, they would only need to download the Gamban program, pay the fee, register, and activate the program. Upon doing that, the gambler’s electronic device will no longer be able to access any websites that can be identified as sites that provide gambling content. It’s that simple.
The con of the Gamban option is the fact it’s device-specific. In other words, it only works on the device or devices on which the subscribed program was downloaded. To get around this self-exclusion, all the excluded gambler would need to do is gamble while using other electronic devices not connected to Gamban.
Is Gamban a Good Alternative to GamStop?
Either one of these programs would be adequate for a gambler who is truly committed to taking a break from their gambling activities. Unfortunately, a lot of gamblers will take the self-exclusion plunge, only to have a change of heart at some time in the future.
To be fair, GamStop is always the best option when it’s available. That raises the question, “when is GamStop not available.”
One of the ways that GamStop blocked gamblers can get around their GamStop self-exclusion is to locate and use UK online gambling sites that are not on GamStop. A list of UK casino sites not on GamStop available at NonGamStopOdds.
If an online gambler is using a non-GamStop operator and then decides they need help, GamStop will not be an option. That’s exactly the point in time when Gamban moves to the head of the class as the best self-exclusion option. In fact, Gamban might be the only available option.
Other Ways to Beat GamStop
It’s worth noting that locating and using a non-GamStop online gambling site is only one of several ways a GamStop gambler can get around their own self-exclusion. Some of the other ways to get around GamStop.
- Locating and using crypto-only gambling sites – Crypto-only gambling sites support the anonymity afforded crypto users through the blockchain. As such, crypto-only casinos don’t do much in terms of identity verification.
- Go with traditional retail gambling options – If a GamStop gambler wishes to honour their online gambling self-exclusion, it doesn’t exclude them from visiting retail casinos and betting shops.
- Partnering with a friend or relative to open a new gambling account – Since GamStop is gambler-specific, there would be nothing that would stop a GamStop blocked gambler from partnering with a trusted friend or relative and opening a new online gambling account. The GamStop gambler would only need to make sure the account was opened under their partner’s identity.
- Using online gambling sites that are licensed in other countries/jurisdictions – In a pinch, UK online gamblers will always have the option of opening online gambling accounts with operators that are regulated in other countries. In fact, there are a lot of said online gambling operators that offer access to offshore gamblers specifically from the UK. In some cases, the UK gambler might need to use a VPN to gain access.
With the exception of the retail gambling option from above, Gamban would be the best and perhaps only self-exclusion option for online gamblers who feel the need to take a holiday away from the rigours of their online gambling activities.