How to remove Gamstop? That’s the question for many gamblers who have found themselves wanting to change their mind about its exclusion services. Luckily, there are ways around Gamstop’s hardline, all-or-nothing approach to online gambling.
Gamstop can be a huge help to those who need it, but sometimes it can lead to unexpected and unwanted problems. If you are looking for a way around Gamstop’s exclusion, you should make sure it is for the right reasons. If this is the case, a few easy steps is all it takes:
- Select a non-Gamstop site from our list below
- Register for the site in the usual way as a new customer
- Make a deposit and play
7 Best Ways to Get Around Self-Exclusion with Gamstop
Getting around Gamstop and its exclusion system is not as difficult as you may think. UK players will probably have seen Gamstop’s logos before, given that all gambling sites licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) must sign up to its services. But just because a site isn’t licensed by the UKGC, that doesn’t mean the quality of your experience has to suffer! If you’ve used UKGC-licensed sites before, you’ll probably be able to find everything you liked about them on another, newer and more interesting site.
Here are seven methods to consider:
1. Sign up with casinos that remove Gamstop
The internet is filled with great gaming sites that are not licensed by the UKGC, not signed up to the Gamstop program, and therefore accepting new players who may be excluded on other sites. Just because they’re not licensed by the UKGC doesn’t mean these sites don’t have a lot to offer the discerning gambler: many feature exactly the same games, odds and markets that you’d find at their big-name rivals, as well as other gambling opportunities that you may not have come across before.
We’ve collected some of our favourite sites here, specifically looking at those which replicate the choices and features you’d expect to find with the biggest brands, and where it’s possible to sign up as a new player in minutes. Bear in mind that this applies not only to online casinos, but also for sports betting, poker, bingo and more.
2. Join no verification casinos online
Not every online casino requires verification, especially when creating a new account, meaning you can be online and playing in no time at all. Most will need some kind of authentication when it comes to withdrawals, though, for the purposes of combating fraud and money laundering, so always read and check the fine print when signing up to a new service. It’s better to be prepared than to experience some unexpected shocks!
3. Register in a friend or family member’s name
When you bypass Gamstop by creating an account in the name of your friend – or a partner, for example – its systems will not exclude you as the account will have no direct relation to you or your identity. In this way many gamblers are able to continue using sites even after an exclusion period has started. It’s important to be aware of two things, however: 1) only by using anonymous payment methods to fund the account, such as Paysafecard or cryptocurrencies, can you continue to keep your identity hidden, and 2) using an account in someone else’s name is likely to be in breach of a site’s T&C, and may result in penalties if the activity is discovered. Creating an account in someone else’s name without their knowledge or consent may also lead to serious legal issues, and should never be considered.
4. Visit a physical casino
We know there’s a reason why so many gamblers prefer their action online, from the convenience of having an ‘always on’ casino or bookie on their phone, to the lower limits available online, to the appeal of being able to play their favourite games in just their pyjamas if they want to! Land-based casinos don’t have these advantages, but can be lots of fun in other ways. They do not subscribe to the Gamstop exclusion scheme, but instead have their own similar voluntary program, known as ‘SENSE’. Therefore a Gamstop exclusion has no bearing on your ability to gamble at a physical casino, and depending on where you live this may be the simplest and fastest way to play.
5. Wait till your self-exclusion period has passed
Gamstop’s voluntary self-exclusion scheme gives users a choice of three time frames: 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. Once you sign up, there is no way to undo the decision until the period of exclusion is over, which is why so many gamblers seek other means to play, such as those on this list. Once the period is over you will be able to use all the sites you previously used before, though you will be required to formally request your removal from Gamstop before you can do so.
6. Use VPN to play casino through any jurisdiction worldwide
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, allow their users to alter the geographical location where the internet ‘thinks’ they are. You may have heard of people using a VPN to watch TV streaming sites from other countries, such as US Netflix, for example. In this way it is possible for you to appear as if you are playing from another location, so casinos and gaming sites that are traditionally blocked for UK users would be available to you. Some sites may apply penalties to users they suspect of using VPNs, however – especially UKGC-licensed sites, which may well ban your account and seize your funds – so always have all the information you need before making a decision like this.
7. Register at a Bitcoin or Crypto Casino
The issue of how to stop Gamstop revolves around your identity, as it is your name and address which is used to limit your access. Therefore, anonymous accounts such as those popular on cryptocurrency casinos would not be subject to the same limits. Cryptocurrency casinos often use Bitcoin as their primary currency, but many will accept other cryptocurrencies too, and you’re likely to find these ‘no ID casino sites’ usually offer the same features and options as you’d find anywhere else. Before depositing it’s worth making sure that anonymous withdrawals are possible, as it may not always be the case.
Why Stop Gamstop: Pros and Cons
To stop Gamstop being available for those that need it is never in question: it provides a useful service for many gamblers seeking to control their behaviour. But for many others it can be an overly restrictive scheme. If you are an experienced gambler who knows your limits and are seeking unlimited access to the games and activities you enjoy, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of using the voluntary service, or whether to take steps to avoid Gamstop altogether.
Advantages to Removing Gamstop
To cancel or remove Gamstop altogether is not possible, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to continue gambling while serving a voluntary time out. But moving to non-Gamstop casinos and gambling sites offers more benefits than simply being able to continue gambling, such as:
- New games, new providers and new experiences. The UKGC-licensed sites you’re used to tend to share a lot of the same games between them, so it can be rare to find something truly new or different on these big name sites. When you’re open to the entire world of online gaming, you’ll unearth some gems you’d never have come across otherwise!
- More anonymity, more security. ‘No ID casinos’ and those focused on cryptocurrencies often allow you to stay completely anonymous, which has many advantages. For example, they can’t sell your personal data to spammers or hackers if they don’t actually have any of your data!
- Wider choice of offers and bonuses. New player sign-up bonuses are the best, right? Well, there are hundreds of new online casino sites out there offering great offers, and you can make use of them all. Plus, without expensive high street stores to maintain or national marketing campaigns to pay for, these smaller names are often able to pass on their savings to customers, making their promotions even more attractive and profitable for their players.
Drawbacks to Undoing Gamstop
Cancelling Gamstop completely may not be achievable, but working around its restrictions certainly is. When evaluating the downside to removing Gamstop as a restriction to your gambling, however, it’s important to question the reasons you signed up to Gamstop in the first place. If your situation has changed then it’s worth reviewing all your options, but if not you should consider the drawbacks to removing Gamstop and its effects:
- Addiction problems. Gamstop was designed as a serious attempt to restrict access to gambling sites, and if you self-excluded due to concerns over gambling addiction then working around the restriction to continue gambling is not in your best interests. If your situation has changed, and you feel you have greater control over your gaming habits, then you’re the only one who can make that call. But if you’re merely trying to feed an addiction, do not seek an alternative to Gamstop.
- Negative impacts on finances, debt and credit rating. Never gamble for more than you can afford to lose, as it may affect your life in serious and long-lasting ways. This includes a potential negative effect on your credit score, which could in turn affect your ability to get credit in the future.
FAQs on How to Bypass Gamstop
By now you can see that there are in fact plenty of ways around Gamstop for players and gamblers willing to look beyond the obvious limits of UKGC-licensed casino and betting sites. The information above should give you plenty to help you make up your mind, but if you still have questions these FAQs should help to fill in the gaps:
I've just self-excluded with Gamstop, can I change my mind?
No. Gamstop’s voluntary self-exclusion measures are irreversible, so once you have opted in it’s impossible to opt out again. Even if your circumstances change, or you learn to exercise better control over your gambling habits, it is an act that cannot be undone. The shortest time period available for Gamstop self-exclusions is six months, but they can last for up to five years.
Is there an easy way around Gamstop?
Yes, and it’s easier than you might think. Gamstop’s restrictions only apply to sites regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), so any site not licensed by the UKGC will allow Gamstop-listed users to register and play. This includes sites licensed by non-UK regulators such as Curacao. Other alternatives include visiting a physical casino (which are not subject to Gamstop’s restrictions), using anonymous sites or VPNs. See above for more possibilities.
I'm registered with Gamstop – can I still gamble?
Yes, although you will not be able to gamble at any site licensed by the UKGC, as they must enforce Gamstop’s time-limited bans as part of their licence requirements. There is a wide choice of sites not licensed by the UKGC, however, such as those listed above, most of which feature attractive welcome offers for new players. Additionally you can take up one of the other suggestions, such as using a cryptocurrency site, a physical land-based casino, or a VPN.
Does Gamstop prevent all gambling activity in the UK?
No. Physical, land-based casinos are not subject to Gamstop’s requirements, and will not prevent anyone from playing due to them serving a Gamstop exclusion (physical casinos subscribe to a different system, called SENSE). It is also possible to play the National Lottery during a Gamstop time out (but not any National Lottery Instant Win games). Alternatively, you can join non-UK casinos and betting sites.
Is it possible to unregister from Gamstop?
To unregister from Gamstop is the dream of many a player who has clicked a button in haste, but technically this is not possible, as Gamstop enforces the blanket ban across all UK sites for the full duration of the period you selected when you self-excluded. While you cannot unregister from Gamstop, it is possible to gamble at alternative sites as Gamstop only applies to UK casino and betting sites.
Are these methods 100% reliable?
In truth, some methods are more reliable and effective than others. Visiting a physical casino or signing up with a non-Gamstop site are the most effective methods to continue playing, as so many casinos and betting sites exist that you have a wide choice and can pick and choose to find the right one for you. Playing under a friend’s name or using a VPN to get around Gamstop carry more risks, as both would be usually be considered breaches of a site’s Terms & Conditions, and as such may incur penalties.
Will Gamstop work if I change my name, address or other details?
Possibly not. Gamstop requires you to inform them of any change in your personal details, including any changes to your surname, residential address or email address. Without informing Gamstop of any changes, it may not be possible for Gamstop to uphold your ban and you may find yourself once again able to gamble at Gamstop sites. However, if you are going to the extreme lengths of legally changing your name to get around Gamstop, this may be a symptom of gambling addiction. Furthermore, lying about your personal information when registering for an account could at best be seen as a breach of a site’s Terms & Conditions, and at worst possible fraud.
What if none of these methods suit my needs?
We hope the solutions to how to get around Gamstop we’ve detailed above give you lots of options, and at least one of our suggestions should work for you. If none of these suit your particular case, you may need to see out the terms of your self-exclusion before gambling online once more.
What are the most popular responsible gaming schemes in the UK?
When it comes to self-imposed restrictions on online gaming, betting and gambling, each site will usually offer its own responsible gaming tools and features. Gamstop is the big name within the UK that takes a blanket, cross-platform approach, applying exclusions to all participating sites. A similar program exists for physical casinos, which is called SENSE. The two schemes do not share data or customer lists, so signing up with one does not result in being signed up to both. A further organisation, called Gamcare, offers free support and advice to those facing gambling addiction issues.
How long does a Gamstop exclusion last?
Gamstop offers a choice of only three options when it comes to self-exclusion: six months, one year or five years. Upon conclusion of an exclusion period, users must request removal from the Gamstop list before being able to play again.
My Gamstop exclusion expired. Where does that leave me?
Once a Gamstop self-exclusion period has elapsed, whether it was for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years, it is necessary to get back in touch with Gamstop in order to have the restriction lifted – it will not automatically revert to letting you play once more. Once you have successfully requested for your access to these sites to be reinstated, you will usually be able to play on any UKGC-licensed sites.
My Gamstop period is over but I still can't gamble. Why?
To remove Gamstop and its restrictions, once your exclusion or time out period is complete, it’s necessary to contact Gamstop and request your limits be removed. However, some customers have found that even after the Gamstop ban has been lifted some casino and betting sites are less than enthusiastic about accepting new players that have previously self-excluded. If you experience problems of this nature when trying to register with a site, we recommend contacting their customer support by email – or live chat, if available – and explaining your situation directly.
What are the most popular ways around Gamstop in the UK?
Our list above details several ways to get around Gamstop and its hardline approach to exclusion. Of all the options, probably the easiest is to sign up with a non-Gamstop site; you can check the site’s ‘About Us’ page – or simply read our handy reviews – to find out more about each online casino or betting site, as well as the bonuses you can receive as a new player.