UK online gamblers are blessed. They are blessed to have unfettered access to many of the top online gambling operators in the world. It begs the question, “Why would any UK online gambler choose to gambler through an offshore gambling site?”. It’s a valid question.
The reality is there is a viable explanation for some of the online gamblers who take their gambling activities abroad. Many of them are looking for a good online gambling alternative because they are living under a self-exclusion agreement they made with the GamStop Self-exclusion scheme. Let’s take a closer look at why offshore gambling sites offer such a good online gambling alternative.
Before any discussion takes place on why UK online gamblers like offshore options, it might help for you, the reader, to understand how the GamStop program works.
This is a program that was introduced by the UK Gambling Commission several years back. It’s a voluntary self-exclusion program that lets gamblers request to be blocked from having access to any and all licensed UK online gambling sites. The self-exclusion periods can run from 6 months to 5 years.
For gamblers, the registration process is free and easy. All they have to do is provide some very basic personal information and submit the registration for approval. Once approved, all member UK gambling sites are supposed to block any attempts a GamStop registered gambler makes to gamble online.
There are two issues with this program that warrant scrutiny. First, licensed online gambling operators are not yet required to subscribe to the program. Second, excluded gamblers still have plenty of ways to get around their GamStop self-exclusion. That list includes:
- Registering with online gambling sites that don’t verify personal information
- Partnering with someone else for a shared gambling account under the partner’s name
- Gambling in retail settings
- Using Bitcoin casinos that offer total anonymity
- Pursuing online gambling activities offshore
Why Offshore Gambling Sites
Of all the options listed above, the last one (offshore gambling) is most prevalent. Why is that?
To better understand why so many UK gamblers are taking their online gambling activities into other jurisdictions, we should look at the advantages of doing so. First and foremost, they are plenty of quality online gambling operators operating out of other countries. Many of them are heavily regulated and offer many of the same betting options as one would get from a top UK online gambling operator.
Second and maybe most importantly, offshore casinos that accept UK players are very welcoming to such gamblers. For sure, UK gamblers have a reputation for being very astute gamblers who simply go about their gambling activities without creating issues. Offshore gambling sites also like the fact that UK gamblers have a lot of discretionary income they can use for their online gambling activities.
Issues UK Gamblers Might Face When Gambling Offshore
Of course, no solution is without issues. If a UK gambler decides to gamble offshore, there are issues they might encounter.
The biggest issue is funding their offshore gambling accounts. The UK government does not allow UK gamblers to use debit/credit cards to gamble abroad. That can be very limiting to online gamblers who strongly prefer that funding method. That leaves them with only two realistic funding alternatives: cryptocurrencies and international eWallet accounts.
Another major issue has to do with risk. A lot of the licensing bodies in other parts of the world have very loose operating guidelines for online gambling operators. Without proper accountability, it’s easier for offshore gambling operators to “bend the rules.” When rules are bent, it’s not likely that gamblers from other countries are going to get the protection they deserve.
To be fair, the UKGC does this as well. While they will strongly advocate for UK residents when disputes arise, they aren’t as interested in helping online gamblers from other countries.
If you are blocked by GamStop and decide you want to gamble online again, you have to decide whether or not gambling offshore will work for you. As part of that process, you would want to assess the risk of gambling in other jurisdictions as opposed to choosing one of the other options we offered on the list presented above.