Over the last decade, the UK gambling sector saw a boom due to online gaming and smartphones. These technologies gave punters access to more events than ever before, but it also brought a rise in problem gambling. This has seen regulators and government clamping down on the sector, which means less freedom and choices for bettors.
British punters are increasingly looking further afield for their gaming experience and non GamStop casinos are providing a potential alternative. Sites not on GamStop can expose UK gamblers to choices and benefits like they had before these new restrictions. This article breaks down some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with using foreign gambling sites.
What are Non UK Casinos?
The non UK casinos we refer to are those which are setup in foreign countries, and therefore not regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). With the move from physical gaming sites to online, businesses found it easier to move to locations that offer a better business environment and a better climate.
Consumers in the UK will find that they are still regulated to a high standard by the appropriate bodies in their country.
The UKGC has also introduced GamStop regulations to assist with responsible gaming issues. The not-for-profit enterprise was setup to enforce a new self-exclusion scheme that bars users for longer periods of up to 5 years. Non GamStop casinos do not have to follow UK rules, but they will still offer smaller levels of self-exclusion if required.
Alongside the exclusions, the UK authorities also clamped down on the marketing of gambling and this led to reductions in bet sizes and gaming choice. These regulations can be beneficial for problem gamblers when they have an inability to control their playing habits, but it means that everyone must accept a more restricted online casino experience.
Examples of Non GamStop Casinos
Some punters are aware that many betting companies moved their operations to countries like Gibraltar or Cyprus. There are now South American jurisdictions that are also becoming a home for these sites. Curacao, Costa Rica, and Panama are three examples of destinations that you can find casinos not on GamStop.
These countries offer a lower tax regime and a lower cost of living. This benefits the corporation setting up, but also allows staff to work in a country that is less expensive than the UK.
In March 2021, Costa Rica topped a list of the best retirement destinations, with the report calling the country, the “Switzerland of Central America”, noting that the country is a peace-loving democracy with friendly people.
Security at Non UK Casinos
How can you distinguish which non GamStop casinos are secure? The first thing to look for after you choose the right country is to see who regulates and tests the casino and the random number generator that it employs.
Online casinos that submit their games and systems regularly for audits are more likely to be secure than those who are weakly regulated or operate without a license. Beyond the games, the casino site needs to have strong security with firewalls and SSL. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer and is a method for ensuring secure communication on the Internet. You will need to have a secure channel to log in to online casinos and to pass on your personal information to the casino. SSL is one of the most common methods used to transmit your data in an encrypted fashion.
Payment Options at Non GamStop Sites
One of the benefits of using non GamStop casinos is the use of additional of deposit options.
International casinos often allow a larger selection of deposits, including credit cards, which have also been banned from the UK. This is an option if you want to keep casino deposits off your bank statement.
The rise of cryptocurrency is also an important issue for some UK gamers now and they would like to use their coins to bet on sports. This is unavailable in the UK, but non UK casinos are now offering deposits in Bitcoin and other cryptos.
The only drawback when using non UK sites is that they may not offer GBP deposits. This is something that you need to check when signing up. Withdrawal fees are another thing to consider, and these will be printed in the terms and conditions.
Bonuses and Promotions Outside of GamStop
One of the biggest draws for British punters moving to casinos outside of the UK is getting access to large, and more generous, bonuses and promotions. UK casinos have been forced to cool their marketing efforts in order to not show gambling as a glamorous pursuit. This just means that new customer bonuses and regular promotions are weaker.
In non GamStop casinos in the overseas countries, there are bigger bonuses, more frequent rewards, and specialist perks such as VIP rooms. Customers should refer to the terms and conditions to ensure they understand the requirements.
Customer Support at Non GamStop Casinos
Customer support is another area where the best non UK sites can offer a good service. Users should consider the time zone difference and ensure that the lines will be open when they are playing. This is not an issue with the one-hour difference in Cyprus or Malta, but it will be different in South America.
Multiple languages will be offered and ensure that English is covered in order to have access via email, or chat if you wish to apply self-exclusion, or deal with account matters.
For UK gamblers, making the switch to non GamStop casinos abroad, there is a growing list of options. The key things you want to look for are a casino regulated by a reputable gambling authority in their country. Outside of this, you want to take security very seriously and ensure that the sites use firewalls and SSLs to protect your data.
The casino sites outside of the UK can offer access to a wide range of benefits with less restrictions, but there are many things to consider when deciding if these sites for online gambling are right for you. Remember, these alternative online casinos should never be used to bypass GamStop exclusion when they have been applied for solutions to problem gambling.