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How to Get Around GAMSTOP: A Comprehensive Guide

Kane Pepi
Last updated: | 12 min read

GAMSTOP is a self-exclusion program for UK players. It’s now compulsory for all UK-licensed gambling sites to implement GAMSTOP restrictions.

If you’re currently in the midst of a self-exclusion period, this guide explores how to get around GAMSTOP in 2024. We cover some of the common methods used, alongside the risks to consider.

Understanding Gamstop and Self-Exclusion


Founded in 2018, GAMSTOP is a self-exclusion program to help problem gamblers in the UK. Initially, UK gambling sites were not legally required to join the program. This meant that self-excluded players could simply open an account with a non-participating platform.

However, in March 2020, the Gambling Commission made GAMSTOP participation mandatory. This means that all UK-licensed platforms must prevent GAMSTOP-registered players from gambling.

So how does GAMSTOP work?

In simple terms, problem gamblers can self-exclude themselves from all online casinos and sportsbooks in the UK. Previously, players would need to self-exclude at each individual platform. Considering the Gambling Commission licenses over 200 providers, this made the self-exclusive process unrealistic.

In contrast, GAMSTOP requires players to make just one self-exclusion request. In doing so, they’re immediately self-banned from all UK gambling sites. According to GAMSTOP, the minimum self-exclusion period is six months. The maximum period is five years.

GAMSTOP self-exclusion

After choosing a self-exclusion period, GAMSTOP will collect some personal information. This includes the player’s full name, date of birth and home address. This is crucial, as it ensures self-excluded players are restricted when trying to open a new gambling account.

However, as we explain in more detail later, some players will use variations of their personal information to bypass GAMSTOP restrictions. The reason for this is simple; GAMSTOP self-exclusions are irreversible. So, if you opted for two years, you won’t be able to gamble with any UK-licensed platform until this passes.

In addition, once the self-exclusion period passes, you won’t immediately be removed from GAMSTOP. Instead, you’ll need to ask GAMSTOP to remove your restrictions via the telephone. After that, there will be a 24-hour cooling-off period. This means you’ll need to wait an additional day before you can resume any gambling activities.

Is It Possible to Reverse or Cancel GAMSTOP?


Many self-excluded players ask the question: Can you reverse GAMSTOP? The simple answer is no, GAMSTOP restrictions cannot be amended under any circumstances.

This means a six-month exclusion requires at least six months to pass before you can gamble again. This is stated in the GAMSTOP terms of use. The only exception to this rule is if somebody added you to GAMSTOP without your knowledge. In this instance, GAMSTOP states that they can be contacted directly.

However, GAMSTOP likely receives many requests from self-excluded players, claiming they didn’t initiate the ban themselves. Therefore, GAMSTOP will consider each request on a case-by-case basis.

On the other hand, if your self-exclusion period has passed, here’s what you need to do:

  • First, contact GAMSTOP by telephone explaining your self-exclusion period is over.
  • You’ll be asked some questions to ensure you’re no longer struggling with gambling addiction.
  • After you’ve spoken with GAMSTOP, you’ll need to wait 24 hours before you can gamble. This is known as the ‘cooling-off’ period.
  • Finally, once the 24-hour period has passed, you can join or re-join any UK-based gambling site.

Common Methods Used to Bypass Gamstop


We’ve now answered the question: How to cancel GAMSTOP? Next, let’s explore how to get around GAMSTOP restrictions in 2024.

Note: The methods discussed are commonly used by self-excluded players. However, we are in no way endorsing any of these methods.

Utilizing Non-Gamstop Casinos

The most common way of​​ getting around GAMSTOP restrictions is to use a non GAMSTOP casino. In simple terms, this means using a gambling site that doesn’t participate in the GAMSTOP program. However, we established earlier that all UK-licensed casinos must recognize GAMSTOP restrictions. This has been the case since March 2020.

As such, you’ll need to use a casino that isn’t licensed by the Gambling Commission. Now, it can be daunting using an offshore casino that isn’t regulated in the UK. After all, you won’t benefit from the Gambling Commission’s oversight. That being said, there are plenty of legitimate non-GAMSTOP casinos and sportsbooks.

Mega Dice games selection

Many are regulated by other established gambling bodies. For instance, some non-GAMSTOP casinos hold a Curaçao e-gaming license. This is in association with the Curaçao Gaming Control Board, which was founded in 1999. What’s more,

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best non-GAMSTOP casinos in the UK:

  • Mega Dice: Established in 2022, Mega Dice is a Curaçao-regulated casino and sportsbook. It offers thousands of casino games, including live dealers, slots, and video poker. The Mega Dice sportsbook is renowned for offering competitive odds around the clock. Mega Dice doesn’t have a KYC process, nor does it recognize GAMSTOP. Mega Dice also approves withdrawal requests instantly. New players will receive a 200% deposit bonus up to 1 BTC (about £33,000), plus 50 free spins.
  • Vave: One of the best betting sites not on gamstop, Vave is a safe platform that doesn’t recognize GAMSTOP. There is no KYC process; Vave only needs an email address. First-time players will receive a 1 BTC sportsbook bonus with 5x wagering requirements. Vave also offers casino games. This includes slots, table games, live dealers, and instant wins.

Although using a non-GAMSTOP casino is a popular solution, it’s important to consider the risks. Crucially, you won’t be protected by the Gambling Commission if something goes wrong. The Gambling Commission can only assist with providers that it licenses. And once again, all licensees must participate in GAMSTOP.

Another consideration to make is that you’ll be using an offshore gambling site. This means that GBP payments might attract FX fees. This is something to check before opening an account. You should also make sure that the non-GAMSTOP casino offers games from reputable software providers. Examples include NetEnt, Microgaming, and Betsoft.

Does GAMSTOP Affect Your Credit Rating?

  • When exploring is there a way around GAMSTOP, you might be concerned about your credit rating.
  • This is because GAMSTOP sometimes runs a search with a credit agency to verify your identity.
  • Importantly, this is a ‘soft’ search, meaning it won’t appear on your credit report.
  • This means that being on GAMSTOP has no impact on your credit score.

Creating a Shared or Family Gaming Account

Still wondering how to get around GAMSTOP? Let’s move on to the second method. Some self-excluded players are known to open an account in a family member’s name. This is because GAMSTOP only covers the specific individual, and not family or household members.

That said, although you shouldn’t have any issues opening an account, avoid claiming a welcome bonus. This is because the gambling site might view the new account as ‘bonus abuse’.

The terms and conditions will usually state something like this:

“This bonus is limited to one per household or shared house/IP address.”

In addition, it’s important to consider the ethics of using a family member’s name to gamble online. This is especially the case if you haven’t asked for their permission. In fact, if you open an account without authorization, this will be considered fraud.

Engaging in Land-Based Gambling

According to GAMSTOP, self-exclusion only applies to online gambling sites. This means that you can gamble in land-based venues, such as:

  • Casinos
  • Betting Shops
  • Bingo Halls
  • Horse and Greyhound Tracks
  • Lotteries and Scratchcards

However, while land-based venues will enable you to gamble, the experience isn’t as seamless as playing online. After all, you’ll need to visit your preferred venue in person just to place a bet.

William Hill

Gambling online is a lot more seamless. You can use your preferred payment method, whether that’s a debit/credit card or e-wallet. Moreover, you’ll have access to a much larger range of games. For instance, UK betting shops are legally restricted to just four fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), as explained in a House of Commons report.

In contrast, many non-GAMSTOP casinos offer thousands of games. This usually covers many variations of slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and video poker. Online gambling sites also offer significantly more sportsbook markets when compared to betting shops. You’ll likely find more competitive odds too.

Using VPNs to Bypass Geolocation Restrictions

When researching how to get around self-exclusion, we found that some non-GAMSTOP casinos automatically block UK IP addresses. This is because of increased regulation from the Gambling Commission, which requires UK players to use UK-licensed providers.

The common workaround is to use a virtual private network or VPN. Put simply, VPNs allow players to hide their true location. It’s simply a case of choosing which country you want to appear you’re from.

  • For instance, suppose you find an online casino that’s based in Canada.
  • If the casino only accepts Canadian IP addresses, you’ll face geolocation restrictions.
  • However, using a VPN will make it appear you’re visiting from Canada.

The drawback here is you might be breaching the casino’s terms and conditions. This will be problematic if a KYC process is required. After all, you’ll need to submit a government-issued ID and proof of residency.

In addition, some online casinos specifically prohibit VPNs. This is largely due to bonus abuse reasons. As such, this method might not be the most suitable when exploring how to bypass GAMSTOP. For more information, check out our guide on the best VPN-friendly casinos for 2024.

Cryptocurrency Payments and Crypto Casinos

One of the best ways to get around GAMSTOP restrictions is to use a cryptocurrency casino. This links to our earlier discussion on non-GAMSTOP providers. The reason is that many non-GAMSTOP casinos specialize in cryptocurrency payments. This usually includes Bitcoin and some of the best altcoins, such as Dogecoin, Ripple, and Ethereum.

Before explaining why cryptocurrency casinos offer a solution, let’s briefly explore how things work.

Instead of depositing funds with a debit/credit card or e-wallet, you’ll be transferring cryptocurrencies to the casino. You’ll be given a unique wallet address, which is a long string of numbers and letters. After making the transfer from a private wallet (like MetaMask or Electrum), the cryptocurrencies will appear in your gambling account.

Using crypto to bypass GAMSTOP

Crucially, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not legal tender. This means that cryptocurrency-centric casinos rarely have a KYC process. Instead, players can gamble anonymously, meaning no personal information or ID documents. This allows you to gamble online even if you’re on a GAMSTOP restriction.

Here’s a quick recap on the best Bitcoin casinos that aren’t GAMSTOP participants:

  • Mega Dice: No KYC requirements – just an email is needed to register. Deposits and withdrawals made with cryptocurrencies are processed instantly. Thousands of casino games and sports betting markets are available.
  • Vave: Another hybrid gambling site offering casino games and sports betting. Vave offers a huge 1 BTC bonus to new players. You’ll also find a comprehensive loyalty program with plenty of perks.

Although cryptocurrency casinos do not recognize GAMSTOP, some risks need to be considered. First, not all cryptocurrency providers are legitimate. Some are outright scams. This is why the best decentralized gambling sites are regulated by a reputable licensing body. Mega Dice, and Vave hold a Curaçao e-gaming license.

Another consideration is that cryptocurrencies can be intimidating for beginners. Therefore, it’s wise to learn how cryptocurrencies work before proceeding. You should also remember that cryptocurrencies are volatile.

For instance, suppose you deposit £1,000 worth of Bitcoin. You request a withdrawal four days later for the same amount. Since making the original deposit, Bitcoin has declined by 20%. This means you’ll only get £800 back, even though you initially deposited £1,000.

One more consideration is that mistakes can be costly. If you transfer cryptocurrencies to an incorrect wallet address, the funds will be unrecoverable.

All that being said, cryptocurrency casinos offer many benefits. Not only can you bypass GAMSTOP restrictions but you’ll be able to gamble anonymously. Many providers offer instant payouts too, so you’ll receive your winnings in minutes.

Legal and Ethical Considerations


We’ve discussed some potential solutions on how to get around GAMSTOP. However, it’s important to take a step back and consider the risks. After all, if you are self-excluded with GAMSTOP, this is likely because of problem gambling.

Therefore, using one of the workarounds discussed can lead to even greater financial difficulties. If you do decide to proceed, you should also explore the legal ramifications. For instance, opening an account in a family member’s name without their knowledge is fraud.

Using a VPN to bypass geoblocking restrictions isn’t necessarily a crime. However, some online casinos prohibit VPNs, so do bear this in mind. What’s more, you might run into problems if the account requires a KYC process.

Cryptocurrency casinos alleviate this risk. But you should still consider whether online gambling is the right step to take when you’re on a GAMSTOP restriction.

Alternative Solutions to Gamstop


GAMSTOP restrictions will prevent you from gambling with an online casino that’s licensed by the Gambling Commission. But what about land-based gambling venues?

Previously, you’d have needed to self-exclude yourself at each individual location. This entailed handing each venue a passport-sized photo and a completed self-exclusion form. However, in reality, there are thousands of gambling locations in the UK. This made self-exclusion challenging.

GamCare help

That said, several programs can help you self-exclude from entire industries.

As per the GAMSTOP website, here’s what’s currently available:

For instance, visiting self-exclusion.co.uk will help you self-ban at all UK betting shops. The key drawback is that enforcement can be challenging. After all, there are no ID requirements when gambling small amounts with cash. Betting shops are simply too busy to check if every customer is currently self-excluded.

Therefore, additional safeguards are necessary. Ultimately, the best option is to contact GamCare. This is the UK’s leading gambling addiction organization, and it’s completely free. You can speak with a trained professional via live chat or telephone.

FAQs

Can you cancel GAMSTOP?

No, once you’ve self-excluded with GAMSTOP, it cannot be reversed or canceled.

Is there a legal way around GAMSTOP?

You’ll need to wait until the GAMSTOP self-exclusion period passes. The only workaround is to use a land-based venue (e.g. betting shops) or a non-UK casino site.

What are the risks associated with attempting to bypass GAMSTOP?

Bypassing GAMSTOP with a non-UK casino site can be risky, as you won’t be protected by the Gambling Commission. Ultimately, gambling while on GAMSTOP can result in greater financial harm.

How else can I control my gambling behavior if not through GAMSTOP?

Consider joining the following organizations for self-exclusion outside of GAMSTOP’s remit. BATCA (arcades), SelfExclusion.co.uk (betting shops), BingoAssociation.co.uk (bingo halls), and SENSE (casinos).

How to Get Around Gamstop Bottom Line


In summary, we explored some of the ways to get around a GAMSTOP restriction. This includes using a land-based venue or simply joining a casino based outside of the UK.

However, if you can no longer control your gambling, it’s best to seek additional help. GamCare should be the first port of call. It’s a free service that offers professional support via live chat or telephone.

References