GamStop vs. Internal Self-Exclusion

GamStop vs. Internal Self-Exclusion

With the increased availability of online gambling platforms, there is a growing risk of developing a gambling addiction. For this reason, the discussion about responsible gambling is growing louder, and different solutions are being considered. This article will make a direct comparison between two of the most common approaches – self-exclusion with tools provided on casino sites vs. a blanket ban on all websites through the GamStop application. Each approach has some advantages, so players should consider both.

GamStop: The Ultimate Approach to Self-Exclusion

Blocking out all gambling content with a single move sounds like a smart strategy, especially since there is an app that lets you do that easily. If you are not already familiar with it, this GamStop review will give you all the information you need to decide whether you can make use of this service.

GamStop is designed to prevent UK-based players from accessing any online casinos or sportsbooks during the self-exclusion period, which can range between 6 months and 5 years. During the registration process, the player sets the preferred period and once this is done the period can’t be shortened, although it can be extended. Following registration and activation of the service, the player is effectively banned from all gambling websites registered in the UK effectively immediately, regardless of actual membership status.

The effectiveness of this approach is impressive, but still somewhat limited. That’s because there are numerous offshore casinos without GamStop that readily accept British players. Additionally, nothing prevents the player from visiting a land-based gambling establishment. Thus, self-restricted players can circumvent the ban with relative ease if they are determined to do so. Despite this limitation, GamStop is highly recommended to anyone who feels they don’t have full control over their gambling activities on the internet.

Internal Casino Self-Exclusion: Personalised Approach

Instead of blocking all gambling websites at once with a nationwide service like GamStop, some players find it more helpful to enact self-exclusion through internal tools. A majority of online gambling providers adhere to good practices regarding problematic gambling, and have built-in mechanisms to prevent it.

Self-exclusion tools available on casino sites allow the player to take a more granular and more personalised approach to this delicate issue. Basically, the decision of when to seek assistance and what form it should take is left to the player, with an auxiliary role played by the customer support team. Sometimes it may be enough to put a weekly limit to account expenditures, while in other cases a cool-off period lasting several months would be more appropriate.

The main downside of this approach is that it doesn’t carry over across multiple gambling platforms, so a player would have to initiate self-exclusion on each of the sites where he regularly plays. There are also no guarantees that the player won’t simply migrate to a new online casino and ignore his earlier decision to stop gambling. For these reasons, internal casino self-exclusion may not be the best solution for individuals with a long track record of compulsive and financially irresponsible gambling.

GamStop vs. Internal Self-Exclusion: Comparative Analysis

Both of the methods we described above aim to achieve the same outcome, but there are many details that separate them. It’s worth taking some time to make a head-to-head comparison and highlight the advantages of each method for specific use cases.

Internal self-exclusion leaves more power in the hands of the player, which can be good for some people but may expose the most vulnerable gamblers to additional risk. A more targeted approach makes sense if only a small behavioural change is needed, and the added flexibility makes the exclusion easier to handle. Still, internal tools are limited to one website only and have little impact on the overall activities of the player.

On the other hand, nationwide services that block access to all websites represent a more robust barrier against relapses, but are far more invasive. Even if the player wants to renege on his earlier decision, that’s not so easy to do when all online casinos are blocked by GamStop. That’s why this is the recommended approach for gamblers who have lost any semblance of control and whose expenses are rapidly ballooning far beyond their financial means.


What is the main difference between GamStop and internal casino self-exclusion?

The main difference between these methods is the scope of self-exclusion. With GamStop, the ban is extended to all websites that operate under the umbrella of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Meanwhile, self-exclusion from a specific casino may only carry over to websites owned by the same group, not to the rest of the market.

Can I still gamble at physical casinos if I'm registered with GamStop?

Yes, you can still participate in games of chance while registered to GamStop if you physically visit a land-based casino establishment. This gap in coverage is one of the weak spots of this service, and it must be bridged with an alternative solution. MOSES (Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Scheme) is one such tool available to British players.

How long does self-exclusion with GamStop last?

Each user can define how long his exclusion period will last. The shortest break from gambling should be at least 6 months long, while GamStop lets you set up self-exclusion that extends up to 5 years. The appropriate period should be determined based on the player’s history of compulsive gambling, current financial situation, etc.

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