Gambling Self-Exclusion Schemes in the UK | Guide

Patrycja Patrycja Knows ins and outs of Bingo, Casino & Specials Betting
Updated Updated: June 25, 2020
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Gambling in the UK has been a popular entertainment activity for tens of years. Predicting the correct result of an event or winning some money thanks to a few clicks on your computer or mobile phone can bring pure excitement.

Gambling is great fun but, if not controlled properly, can lead to highly addictive behaviours and cause harm. 

Fortunately for the well-being of players, the UK has some of the strictest gambling laws in the world. Casinos and bookmakers are required by law to offer their customers tools and features that promote responsible gambling and help those who might need extra support.

What is a self-exclusion scheme?

Self-exclusion is a process available to all players who wish to refrain from gambling for a set length of time. Every casino player and bettor engaged in online gambling activities, either in online or brick-and-mortar environments, can request an operator to exclude from their services for a chosen period of time.

How to self-exclude from gambling?

Online players who wish to stop gambling and be ensured they won’t be able to access gambling sites should visit GAMSTOP. It is available as a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme to residents in the UK and NI. It covers a large number of gambling websites, but not all yet. Soon all the gambling portals registered in the UK will be required to join the national scheme by the Gambling Commission. Until then, a player who registers with GAMSTOP will be excluded from gambling websites that they have already signed up to.

In order to register with GAMSTOP, you will have to visit their official website and provide your:

  • date of birth
  • e-mail address
  • postcode

After you have registered with GAMSTOP, you will be excluded from gambling with online gambling companies licensed in Great Britain.

You might also find self-exclusion schemes offered directly by gambling operators. They vary depending on casinos and bookmakers’ terms and conditions, so always check “Responsible Gambling” pages on the websites you decide to gamble on.

For how long can I self-exclude?

If you decide to register with GAMSTOP, you will be excluded for a period of:

  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 5 years

The length of self-exclusion depends on your choice. Once it has elapsed, the self-exclusion will remain in force, unless you have asked GAMSTOP to be removed from the list and have gone through the required process.

If you decide to proceed with the self-exclusion program offered by a single operator, you can find options to exclude for anything from 24 hours to 5 years or permanently. Make sure you carefully read the details, as every casino and sportsbook feature different possibilities!

How to self-exclude from land-based casinos and sportsbooks?

As our guide to self-exclusion provides information focusing on online players, we recommend that everyone who wishes to refrain from gambling activities offered in brick-and-mortar venues should do further research. Don’t worry! Land-based casino and sportsbooks allow players to self-exclude themselves in a similar manner to online operators. 

All companies offering to gamble in licensed premises in the UK (arcades, bookmakers, bingo and casinos) must be part of a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. Thanks to this agreement, you can make a single request to self-exclude from all premises that offer the same type of gambling (for example, betting shops) in your area, rather than asking every each of operators to exclude from their services individually.

For further information, please visit official websites of SENSE, Bacta, Bingo Association and other organisations that will help you self-exclude from gambling in land-based venues.

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