It is an extremely exciting time in the United States as legal gambling starts to spread across the region. More and more states are now opening up their eyes to the many benefits that are associated with allowing different forms of gambling. Each state has the ability in its own right to decide which approach is best suited to its situation.
With people having more access to gambling options, there is also a concern that levels of problem gambling might increase. While some states have tried to put in measures that will hopefully counteract such a rise, there are still a lot of unknowns. This is why state lawmakers are looking at established gambling markets in other regions in order to get a bit more guidance in this regard. This article will look at how some of the established gambling markets in Europe have been handling the issue of problem gambling.
The UKGC and GamStop
Perhaps the most established gambling sector is in the UK. It has been around for many years and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is one of the most respected gambling regulators in the world today. It has carefully developed a regulatory framework for licensees that aims to create as safe a gambling environment as possible. It makes sure that all operators are acting in an above-board manner.
There are also new restrictions that the UKGC brings into place when it sees areas of the gambling sector that need changing. With so many developments coming to the space, it can be difficult to keep up to date with everything.
Among the changes that the UKGC has brought into place in recent years include the likes of banning certain game features, restricting bet sizes, and stopping the use of credit cards for gambling transactions. The UK government is also currently reviewing chief gambling legislation in the country with the aim of bringing it in line with the digital age that we are in.
One of the big allies for the UKGC is GamStop. This is a non-profit group that provides a mass self-exclusion offering that covers every single UKGC-licensed site. With just a couple of clicks, a person can be excluded from using every single UKGC-licensed site. This is a non-reversible measure and can be put in place for months or years. It is a powerful tool when someone is trying to regain control over their gambling behaviour.
How Do Non-GamStop Casinos Work?
As well as the regulated UK market that is looked after by the UKGC, there are also casino sites in Europe that fall outside of the UKGC’s remit. These will often be regulated by another body, such as the Malta Gaming Authority. This is an internationally recognized regulator with a track record of monitoring online gambling sites.
Then there are licenses handed out by the government of Curacao which isn’t necessarily very stringent when it comes to oversight. Finally, there will be certain casino sites that do not hold any type of license whatsoever.
According to this website, non-GamStop casinos are now being used a lot more frequently by people in the UK. This is because they generally do not have as many restrictions in place when compared to UKGC-licensed platforms. It usually is expressed when you see the larger game libraries, bigger bet sizes, and bonuses, as well as a wider range of payment options.
One of the big dangers of casinos not on GamStop is the role that they play when it comes to gambling addiction. As they are not licensed by the UKGC, they are not a part of GamStop. This means that people who have excluded themselves through GamStop will still be able to gamble through new non-GamStop casinos. While these platforms will usually have their own individual self-exclusion offerings, there is currently no mass self-exclusion service on offer.
GamStop Sites vs Casinos Not on GamStop
Just like with any approach, there are going to be different pros and cons that are associated with the different types of casino sites that are on the market today for people in the UK. Here is a brief look at the main pros and cons associated with each major type:
Pros UKGC Sites
- Easily accessible
- A part of GamStop
- Third-party conflict resolution offerings
- No debt accumulating payment options
Cons UKGC Sites
- One size fits all type of approach
- Non-reversible self-exclusion periods
- Strict restrictions on players
Pros Non-GamStop Sites
- More payment options
- Bigger game libraries
- More expansive game features
- Larger bet sizes and bonuses
Cons Non-GamStop Sites
- No mass self-exclusion
- Lack of third party dispute resolution
- Ability to avoid GamStop exclusion
What Method is Right for the United States?
The United States is in a good position as it is able to look at other established gambling markets to see what it can work on. The UK presents plenty of good examples as to what can be done in order to create a safe gambling environment. The US authorities can also look to see why people are starting to move over to non-GamStop casinos online in some cases.
There is a fine balance to strike between providing plenty of freedom to players while also having enough protections in place. This is something that the US lawmakers are going to have to tweak as time goes on. For many, it will likely be a trial and error kind of approach that has to be taken.
Striking a balance
There is no doubt that it is a very exciting time for gambling expansion in the United States. As more and more states legalize different forms of online gambling, gamblers can be better protected as they no longer are using black-market gambling options. With a bit of time and effort, a lot can be done by US lawmakers to find a good balance between safe gambling options and providing tons of freedom to players.