Should the US Emulate UK’s Anti-Gambling Addiction Scheme – GamStop?

The US is amidst an online betting revolution following the Supreme Court repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. After this law disappeared into the annals of history, multiple US states utilized the option of allowing sports wagering to their residents, which also caused many regions to reconsider their stance regarding online casino gambling.

Currently, only five US states allow it, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and New Jersey. However, multiple US territories are looking into the possibility of permitting casino-style entertainment to their citizens over the internet. With interest in online gaming being at an all-time high, laypeople and experts have expressed concerns concerning what steps the US market should take in curbing the incoming spike of instances of gambling addiction in the US. Nevertheless, where some look at this situation as a potential societal issue, others see a business opportunity. Below, an analysis follows how the UK and casinos not on GamStop aim to stop online gamblers from facing the negative consequences of playing games of chance over the internet. The provided information can also get utilized by parties interested in branching on into launching an enterprise that deals with promoting responsible gambling.

The UK’s Mandatory Self-Exclusion System (GamStop) Explained

The UK is the most developed gambling market in Europe, and its regulator is the UKGC, a non-departmental government body that came into existence in 2005 with the passing of the Gambling Act. In March 2020, it formed an official partnership with The National Online Self Exclusion Scheme for the latter’s database named GamStop to tie into all UKGC-licensed sites. From March 2020, when a UK online gambler activates a self-exclusion ban at an UKGC-regulated online casino, he can no longer play at any other UKGC-approved platform until his self-exposed ban expires. The UKGC allowed this option due to mounting public pressure for this body to do everything in its power to stop Brits from developing a compulsion towards wagering activities.

In February 2021, the UKGC followed up its outlined player safety trajectory by imposing a new set of gambling restrictions. These included the removal of the auto-play function, incorporating spin timers, and lowering max wager limits. Most experienced interactive gamblers found these constraints restrictive, causing them to migrate to foreign platforms or casinos exempt from Gamstop.

What Are Non GamStop Casinos & How They Operate

Non GamStop casinos like those offered on platforms like this are gambling sites that function outside of the UK’s borders, meaning there are platforms that the UKGC does not license. Nevertheless, casinos not registered with GameStop still accept Brits. Most regulators of old and new non GamStop casinos are in small countries that seek to reap the tax benefits from allowing companies to provide gaming services over the internet. The majority of such regions entered this industry when it was in its inception or slightly after it. For example, Curacao is a leading regulatory territory of non GamStop sites, and its premium master license holder, Curacao eGaming, has been active in this sphere since 1996. In Europe, the Malta Gaming Authority is the top interactive gaming overseeing body of platforms that supply online slot action to a global clientele.

MGA-licensed sites have no universal self-exclusion database. Yet, they do offer site-specific self-exclusion bans and several responsible gambling features like the ability for users to set deposit/loss limits.

Non GamStop Sites vs. UK-Based Operators

Every method of regulation has its advantages and disadvantages. No one is superior to others. It is up to individual players to decide which one better aligns with their gaming preferences. The lists below detail the main pros and cons of both regulating systems.

Pros of UK-Based Online Casinos

  • Universal self-exclusion.
  • No accessibility to debt collection payment methods.
  • Access to independent conflict resolution services.
  • Player safety guaranteed.

Cons of UK-Based Online Casinos

  • Scarcer gaming libraries.
  • Irreversible self-exclusion bans.
  • Obligatory wait times between slot spins.

Pros of Non GamStop Casinos

  • Vaster game catalogs.
  • Richer promotions.
  • No gameplay limitations.
  • Freedom to customize gambling restriction levels.

Cons of Non GamStop Casinos

  • Conflicts get resolved via foreign laws.
  • No universal self-exclusion.
  • Less player protection.

What Approach Should the US Adopt?

It stands to reason that a universal self-exclusion system would trump a limited one. However, due to the nature of the US’ organizational structure, such a program is currently impossible to implement. The DOJ’s 2011 interpretation of the Wire Act of 1961 allows US states to bring forward their online casino legalization in the form they see fit. So, each one has its regulator that caters its rules to the liking of its state’s residents. Moreover, no federal body coordinates all the US regulators, and no organization ties all American operators together. For a nationwide gambling addiction program to go live, it would take the government to mandate one. Or two or more of the nation’s top operators to decide to implement the same one and lead by example.

Entrepreneurs could develop such a software solution and wait until congress squeezes operators and forces them to ensure they lower Americans’ exposure to gambling to a level where players do not risk suffering drastic emotional and financial consequences from this pastime. That should happen as more people get into playing games of chance over the internet. Alternatively, developers could shop this solution online, hoping that some industry entities will see its implementation as a chance to snag some positive press and improve their overall public reputation.

To Sum Up

Despite what anti-gambling addiction scheme the US chooses, the future looks super bright for this market, as it just pulled in over $44 billion in revenues in 2021. Moreover, these are exciting times for the online gambling industry in general. Business savvy individuals should look to take advantage and get in on this fledgling sector while it’s still growing at a dramatic pace. The fact that over three thousand non GamCare casinos exist on the World Wide Web, and new ones continuously spring up is proof enough of just how much demand there is at the moment. Anti-gambling addiction software just may be a product that could be an underrated business opportunity few are considering.

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