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How self-exclusions via Gamstop works
If you’ve never heard of Gamstop, it’s an UK-run NGO setup to support real-money players who need to take a break from gambling. Players can sign up for free and choose their own self-exclusion period from one of three options. After that, they will be banned from accessing any real-money site in the whole of the UK, until the self-exclusion period has ended.
Founded in 2018, Gamstop is an NGO whose full name is The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited. The Gamstop program is available to UK residents only. And all UK-licensed gambling sites are legally obligated to be part of it.
So, when you sign up to Gamstop and self-exclude, you won’t have access to any real-money gambling sites in the UK at all, until your self-exclusion period ends.
So, how long does Gamstop last? Well, actually, that’s up to you.
Players who sign up can choose to self-exclude for a period of 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. And once your registration is complete, your Gamstop subscription comes into effect upto 24 hours after. It’s worth noting at this point that you cannot undo your Gamstop subscription.
How to register with Gamstop
Registering with Gamstop is easy. You simply visit the website and go to the ‘Register’ tab, which is at the top of the page. From there, you complete the following steps:
- Fill in your personal details: these include your full name, date of birth, current address, current phone number and current email address
- Complete previous personal details info: Gamstop will also request details of any previous addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses etc. which might have been used to create previous accounts with gambling sites. It’s a good idea to fill this in too, to get the most out of the service. But this step is optional
- Choose your self-exclusion period: select 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. Remember, this cannot be undone
- Complete registration and wait for confirmation email: confirmation can take a few minutes. But, once you get an email confirming your registration, your Gamstop self-exclusion period will come into effect within 24 hours
Exclusion times for Gamstop
Gamstop makes it easy for players to quit gambling for the amount of time that’s right for them. So, in answer to the question ‘how long does Gamstop last?’, players can choose from 6 months, 1 year or 5 years of self-exclusion.
So, let’s take a look at each of these time periods and consider which one is best for which types of players.
The shortest period that you can choose is 6 months. Which is perfect for players who need a break. But who want to enjoy gambling again relatively soon. During this time, players can spend a decent amount of time away from the temptation of gambling at real-money sites. And it can be just enough of a gap for someone to create better habits, and return to their hobby shortly after.
Taking a break from gambling for a full year is quite a commitment. So this time period is for players who know they need some serious time away from playing at real-money online sites. And who have probably formed some pretty bad habits and/or got themselves into financial struggles.
So, for many players, they might not return to gambling at all after such a long time away from it. But they still have the option to enjoy gambling again, after the year has elapsed. So this is the perfect middle ground for people who want to come back to gambling eventually.
The longest self-exclusion period with Gamstop is 5 years. And, in all honesty, this is for players who know they need to kick their habit once and for all.
With a 5 year ban, most players will not return to gambling again once their self-exclusion has ended. So this is the best option for people who have a real gambling addiction.
What happens when the Gamstop exclusion ends
No matter the amount of time that players choose to exclude for, the process for ending your Gamstop subscription is the same. In order for your ban to be lifted, you must call Gamstop on their free-phone number.
Once you’ve called the team at Gamstop, and they’ve confirmed your self-exclusion period has ended, you’ll be able to gamble at UK-licensed sites again. However, if you don’t call them, the ban will stay in place.
If you self-exclude by mistake
Signing up to Gamstop is quick, simple and convenient. But there’s also no going back! So you have to be sure it’s what you want when you register.
So, what happens if you register by mistake? Let’s find out.
Can you cancel Gamstop once you’ve self-excluded?
The short answer is no. Once you’ve completed your registration, you cannot cancel your Gamstop subscription. After all, that’s the point! In order for the service to be effective, the ban cannot (and will not) be lifted until your self-exclusion period has fully elapsed. Meaning, there’s no going back.
So, before you sign up and choose your self-exclusion period, be sure it’s what you want.
You can still play at non Gamstop casinos
If you find that you want to gamble, but your Gamstop subscription is still in effect, you can opt to play at offshore casino sites.
As Gamstop is a UK platform for UK residents, it has no jurisdiction outside of the UK. Therefore, overseas casinos are not part of the Gamstop program. And a lot of them welcome UK players.
So, if you sign up to Gamstop and change your mind, offshore operators are your only avenue of online gambling, until your Gamstop self-exclusion period has come to an end.