Gambling Addiction – Best Approach for the United States

As sports betting and online casinos continue to move across the United States in a legalized fashion, there is a whole lot of excitement. It seems that every few weeks there are more states opening up online gambling, whether this is passing legislation or issuing licenses.

People no longer have to rely on black market gambling operations in order to place their bets or have to visit a physical casino in order to play their favorite games. This can all be done from a click of a button if you are in a state that has legalized online gambling in some shape or form. However, there are some pitfalls that need to be accounted for.

Problem gambling is a serious issue and it can quietly creep into someone’s life before it reveals its ugly head. As each state is rolling out its own sets of rules and regulations for online gambling, there are different approaches being taken. This means that problem gambling will be addressed in different ways.

Over time, issues could arise in this regard that causes the authorities to look elsewhere for potential advice and insights. This is why it is good to use an established online gambling market such as the United Kingdom as a case study. This article will explore how the UK deals with problem gambling and if a similar type of approach can be brought over to the US market.

The UKGC and GamStop

In order to put safeguards in place on the gambling aspect in the UK, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has wide-ranging powers it is often increasing restrictions on the types of games that can be offered, limits on operators, and players. This is done with the idea of making as safe of a sector as possible.

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Some of the more recent alterations include a ban on certain types of gambling advertising, no tallowing certain gameplay features, as well as banning credit card-related gambling. There is a fine balance between introducing restrictions and driving people away to other types of platforms.

GamStop is a body that helps the UKGC in promoting responsible gambling. It is an organization that allows gamblers to exclude themselves from every single UKGC-licensed site in one go. This period will not be reversible and can be put into place for between six months and three years. It is a powerful way to help people to stop gambling for an extended period of time.   

How Do Casinos not on GamStop Work?

While it is good that at-risk gamblers are receiving more protection, it is negatively impacting a lot of people who are in control of their gambling. They are not getting the same type of experience when placing bets or playing casino games. This is why a growing number of people are making the move over to sports betting sites not on GamStop and similar casino platforms.

While they are not UKGC-licensed, they will usually be subject to the rules and regulations of another respected regulator. The main other oversight body that has a good reputation is the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Unfortunately, the MGA and other bodies do not yet have a mass exclusion program like GamStop. Therefore, people will have to exclude themselves individually from each platform that they are looking to use.

There is also the possibility for GamStop self-excluders to simply join one of these non-GamStop sites and start gambling again. This is why only people who are in full control of their gambling spending should consider signing up for one of these platforms through sites like

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GamStop Sites vs Non UK Casinos

There are some similarities and core differences when you compare non-GamStop casinos and sportsbooks to those that hold a UKGC license. Here is a brief look at some of those key points:

UKGC Casinos


  • Plenty of assistance for problem gamblers
  • Mass exclusion offering through GamStop
  • Availability of conflict resolution services
  • No debt accumulating payment methods offered


  • Restrictions on game features and bonuses
  • Not as many payment options
  • Less overall freedom

Non-GamStop Casinos


  • More available payment options
  • Big game libraries
  • Fewer restrictions on games
  • Larger bonus offers
  • Ability to implement account restrictions


  • No mass self-exclusion option
  • Can get around GamStop self-exclusion
  • No third-party dispute resolution services

What about the United States?

There is no single answer to this question. As there is an individual approach being taken by each state, there will be different situations that arise. One of the big things is making sure that people have enough freedom to play the games that they want in the fashion that they want. Otherwise, a lot of gamblers might return to black market operators, taking them off the radar of the responsible gambling systems.

There will likely also be some trial and error. Certain measures might be too strong, while others could be overly lax. It is about seeing what data and trends emerge and then reacting to them as you see fit. Using the UK as an example of what they did well and what should be avoided can save states a lot of time and hassle. It could also better help protect many problem gamblers in the long run.

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An Exciting Future

The US market is really taking off as more and more regions allow different forms of online gambling. No longer is the population stifled by strict controls on how and where they can place wagers. Once people are doing so in a responsible fashion, there is a lot to like about the burgeoning online gambling landscape in the US. By using other regions like the UK as an example, states can hopefully find the right balance between player safety and freedom.

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