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Casinos Without GamStop Promoted by Predatory Affiliates

by Glenn Baird - April 21, 2020

It was announced yesterday that the UK House of Commons would be holding an inquiry into how current industry frameworks are supporting problem gamblers in the country.

This comes a few months after the National Audit Office produced a report called “Gambling regulation: problem gambling and protecting vulnerable people”. The report concluded that the UKGC needs to be begin acting more proactively to prevent vulnerable gamblers from becoming problem gamblers, but in in order to do so it would require substantial funding before such measures are likely to have much of an impact.

In order to meet the demands set by mainstream media outlets like the Guardian the UKGC have dished out 2 huge fines within as many months, with the £13m penalty given to Caesars at the start of April for failures within their VIP schemes the highest sum ever paid out to the regular by an operator in the UK to date.

All operators licenced within the UK must now be signed up the GamStop self-exclusion programme and can no longer accept deposits into their accounts via credit card payments. Add to this new age verification systems and bans on demo games in the country and it would be unfair to say that regulator has not been implementing change within the industry.

Just this month VIP schemes were made exclusive to over 25s but only after significant background checks can prove that the customer can afford to make the sizable bets expected from such programmes. Next on the mainstream media’s hit list would appear to be a cap on the maximum spend per bet.

But, as Casinomeister has already pointed out there appears to be no pressure from the mainstream media to call out affiliates and operators who look to profit from gamblers desperate enough to search for casinos that are not signed up to the GamStop scheme.

If you don’t already know, GamStop is a programme that all licenced operators in the UK must be signed up to. The scheme allows players to self-exclude which should then automatically see them unable to play at all other casinos in the UK.

However, casinos that are not licenced in the UK can still offer their highly unreputable services within the country and as they are not properly licenced they do not need to worry about signing up to GamStop.

An article published by Casinomeister titled: Casinos not Blocked by GamStop – Unethical Marketing by Rouge Affiliates, drew attention to the problem months ago and since then those rouge affiliates have only gone on to create more content by developing more search terms that are designed to lure vulnerable gamblers to play at unlicensed casinos.

This is what the UKGC should be focusing on. This should be the priority, of not just the country’s gambling regulator but of the mainstream press as well. Targeting search terms like “casinos without gamstop” is predatory behaviour that seeks out the most vulnerable of gamblers.

The irony with the GamStop scheme is that when you have a list of reputable licenced operators supporting self-exclusion you inevitably have a list of the opposite, a list of those who are not licenced and as such, a list of operators who do not offer self-exclusion.

All those rouge affiliates then need to do is to organise that list on their website and anyone desperate enough can sign up and play at an unregulated casino.

Solutions

This may be a bleak picture but there are answers to the questions we are raising and there are actions that problem gamblers can take that can help through this loophole in the system.

Some banks in the UK are allowing their customers to self-exclude through them. By changing the source of the block you can ensure that your money will not make its way to any operator, licenced or not.

There is technology out there that can help with this too. The BetBlocker app can be installed on most devices, costs nothing and prevents the user from accessing any operator on a vast database that contains both licenced and unlicensed casinos.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland sits to the north-west of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom shares a border with The Republic of Ireland and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel. The population of the UK is approaching the 67.6 million mark leading to a fairly densely populated land mass. The gambling sector in the United Kingdom is entirely regulated and licensed by the UKGC – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Should players resident In the UK wish to gamble with foreign based operators there is no history of this being treated as a criminal offence, but high levels of protection exist for UK residents playing with UK licensed operators.

Disclaimer:

The above information is what we believe to be the the legal status of online gambling, however information on this topic is limited and hard to find. We accept no liability for any errors or ommissions. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure that they know the legality of online gambling in their country before engaging with any online gambling service.