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Gambling addiction is a very serious issue that has become more and more prevalent in recent years. One of the reasons for the rising rates of gambling addiction is because there has never been a time when gambling has been so accessible to people.
Countries all across the world are expanding gambling laws to allow all sorts of different offerings. This includes in the United States, with states across the nation gradually expanding gambling laws. While this expansion is great for people as they can access a wide range of gambling options in a legal manner, there are concerns about how this expansion will impact on gambling addiction numbers.
The US authorities can look at established gambling markets in order to see what these jurisdictions do well and what they can improve upon when it comes to gambling addiction. This article will look at how gambling addiction is dealt with in the UK.
The UKGC and GamStop
The main regulator of the gambling sector in the UK is the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). It is in charge of handing out licenses to operators and making sure that they are going to be complying with the rules and regulations for the UK gambling sector.
It also introduces restrictions as it sees fit in order to cultivate a gambling environment that is as safe as possible. Some of the different restrictions that have been put into effect in recent times include cutting max bet sizes, introducing spin timers on slots, and banning credit cards as a way to fund gambling.
The UKGC gets help from different types of organizations in order to reach its goals. One of these parties is GamStop, a not-for-profit group. Its role is to offer mass self-exclusion for people. This means that in one go, a person is able to self-exclude themselves from each and every gambling platform that is licensed by the UKGC.
This is an effective way for people to block themselves from gambling for an extended period of time. One this self-exclusion is put in place, there is no reversing it until the person has completed the entire term of exclusion.
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How Do Non-GamStop Casinos Work?
One of the consequences of the UKGC introducing more restrictions on the gambling sector has been the increasing popularity of overseas casino sites. These are often called non- GamStop casinos. These are platforms that will not be regulated by the UKGC. They will often have a license from some other respected regulators, such as the Malta Gaming Authority. Others might have associations with loose regulators or have no license whatsoever.
A lot of the non-GamStop casinos do have their own individual self-exclusion programs and account restriction tools. However, there is currently no mass self-exclusion option such as what is offered by GamStop. There are numerous reasons why people are moving over to these types of casino sites. In general, they offer a lot more freedom to players. This is in the form of larger game libraries, bigger bet limits, more lucrative bonuses, and a wider collection of transaction options.
Naturally, a big concern is that people who are a part of the GamStop self-exclusion will be bypassing their self-exclusion by using these platforms. This is something that concerns the likes of the UKGC as they try to find the right balance between keeping gamblers safe and driving people to non-GamStop casinos. Click here for more information on non-UK casinos.
GamStop Sites vs Non-UK Casinos
When it comes to any type of gambling regulation, there are going to be pros and cons associated with that given approach. Here is a quick overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches taken by UKGC-licensed platforms and non-GamStop casinos.
Pros UK-Licensed Casinos
- Widely available
- Mass self-exclusion is a possibility
- Third-party conflict resolution is an option
- No debt accumulation payment options
Cons UK-Licensed Casinos
- Non-reversable self-exclusion
- Plenty of restrictions on players
- One size fits all approach
Pros Non-GamStop Casinos
- Greater levels of freedom
- More payment options
- Bigger game libraries
- Not many game restrictions
- Wide range of bonuses
Cons Non-GamStop Casinos
- No mass self-exclusion
- No official third-party conflict resolution offering
- Ability to avoid GamStop self-exclusion
What Method is Right for the United States?
As the United States continues to expand its online gambling framework, it is a very exciting time. However, there still needs to be consideration given to promoting safe gambling. By providing more people with access to legal gambling options, it is more than likely that gambling participation rates are going to rise. Therefore, it is important that protections are in place.
There are numerous trade-offs associated with creating a safe gambling environment. You want to provide enough freedom to players while still making sure that they are kept protected. You also want them to get access to a wide range of games while still not being exposed to potentially damaging game features.
Finally, you want them to have a flexible range of payment options without them falling into extreme debt because of their use of certain types of payment options. There will likely be some trial and error when it comes to creating the ideal framework. However, the US authorities will have the luxury of seeing what has been working in regulated markets like the UK for some time and what can be changed and improved upon.
A Huge Wave of Change
There is no doubt that there is a huge wave of change taking place in the United States gambling sector. People are now getting access to a high-quality range of gambling options. The authorities in most states look like they are well aware of the need to protect at-risk gamblers while still making the gambling process enjoyable and easily accessible to the vast majority of people.