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Football Betting Not On Gamstop

Football is the most popular sport in the world. There may be a dispute among a minority as to what to call it (Americans prefer to use the term ‘soccer’), but its pre-eminence as the king of sports across the globe is not seriously challenged.

And this means that it is also Number One in the charts for sports betting. People love having a flutter on their favourite team, competing in its various domestic leagues and cup competitions. If that team is successful, there could also be continental competitions such as those organised by UEFA to bet on too.

Then there are also national teams to follow. It sometimes seems as if every self-respecting football fan feels it is their patriotic duty to bet on their national team to win the FIFA World Cup – even if (especially if) like England, it has happened only once in nearly a century of competition.

In-play betting has increased the popularity of betting on football still further. If you are a United Kingdom resident, it is virtually impossible to avoid the gruff cockney tones of Ray Winstone imploring TV viewers to “bet now” on just about any aspect of the game. From the basic bets like the final score or next scorer, to obscure minutiae of the game such as the number of offsides or throw-ins; today just about any bet is possible.

Needless to say, there are countless sports betting websites and portals which compete to accept your stake money as you chase the dream of winning with your team or nation. Many people use big name established bookmaking and online betting portals.

But there is an alternative. Many online sports betting companies choose to operate outside standard licencing systems, such as that provided by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This is often referred to as betting ‘not on Gamstop’, as Gamstop is a fundamental part of the UKGC’s licencing requirements.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing to place your football stakes with these alternative non-UK licenced websites and portals?

What is the UKGC and Gamstop?

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is the UK government organisation responsible for regulating the gambling industry. This includes all types of gambling, such as bingo, casino and all kinds of betting, both in the real world and online.

The UKGC produces a long list of rules and regulations which gambling companies must promise to follow in order to be allowed to take part in the UK gambling market. These cover things like advertising, marketing, age restrictions, stake limits and much more. They also include complying with the Gamstop scheme. This is a mechanism which allows people who feel they have a gambling problem to self-exclude from all UK licenced online gambling sites, not just the one they happen to be playing or betting on.

It is possible though to place bets online with sites and portals which are not regulated via the UKGC, but with other official licencing authorities which are based elsewhere. In many cases, these alternative sites are licenced via the Netherlands administered Caribbean island of Curacao.

Football Betting Sites not on Gamstop – advantages and disadvantages

There is one vitally important factor to bear in mind when considering the use of non-UKGC regulated gambling sites. If you are already registered with Gamstop, or even suspect that you may have any kind of gambling problem, then switching to a not on Gamstop site is not a good idea for you. If you have already self-excluded or even considered doing so, then it is not recommended to consider any of these alternative sites. If you are tempted, it is a good idea to seek further advice or even professional help.

On the other hand, there are several valid reasons why trying a not on Gamstop betting site to place your football bets may be a good move.

Advantages of Football betting not on Gamstop

  • Fewer KYC Requirements – New customers on UKGC licenced betting sites are required to go through lengthy bureaucratic checks before joining. Sometimes these are carried out when registering. More often, they occur when making a first withdrawal. These ‘know your customer’ (KYC) checks are required by the government in order for you to prove you are who you say you are, and that you have a valid address and bank account.  These checks can make registration and the withdrawal of your winning bets a slow and laborious process. Choosing a Curacao licenced site can massively speed things up, particularly for the first claim.
  • Different Payment Options – All UKGC compliant sites are banned from accepting credit cards as payment for placing bets. These are not banned by the Government of Curacao, so it is often possible to place bets on a Curacao licenced site using your credit card. Other payment options may also differ from those you are used to, offering a wider variety of possible deposit choices.
  • Better Bonuses and Promotions – UKGC licenced sites are limited by strict rules as to the promotions which they are allowed to offer. ‘Free’ bets may be more likely to be available on a Curacao licenced site, as are other promotional offers and loyalty schemes.
  • Greater Variety of Available Bets – Simply by broadening the number of possible options available, you are likely to find new kinds of bets, or even alternative sports and competitions, when compared with sites which cater purely for the UK market. Curacao licenced sites tend to be more focused on the American market, so this alone adds to the variety. Certainly fans of football in both the US and Canada, and Central and South America may find a greater variety of leagues and competitions to bet on.
  • More competitive odds – Again, simply by broadening the pool of available sites, it may be possible to find more favourable odds for your chosen bets. This is especially the case with bets on international football competitions. For example, if you are a supporter of any of the ‘home’ United Kingdom nations, it may be possible to find better odds for backing your national team, compared with sticking to a UKGC licenced site.  This is simply because of the sheer volume of bets a UK licenced site will be expected to receive. Loyal English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh fans will bet on their side, which means that betting companies need to take precautions just in case of the unlikely event that any of them triumph. It may not be likely, but if any of them win, the bookies will face a major pay-out – far more than if, say, France, Germany or Spain win. By placing your bet with a more internationally trading site licenced via Curacao, you could find more generous odds.

Disadvantages of Football betting not on Gamstop

  • No UKGC protection – Not being regulated by the UKGC brings some advantages for punters, but also some disadvantages. You may cut down on the admin and pay-outs may be quicker, but a Curacao licence offers you little in the way of consumer protection when compared with a UKGC one.  The UKGC is also far more active in ensuring that gambling companies’ Terms and Conditions and trading operations are fair and not unreasonably biased in the bookmakers’ favour.  You are unlikely to get much support in the event of a dispute either. This is more likely to be a problem in the first place, because Curacao licenced sites tend to lack the customer support facilities of many of the UKGC licenced sites.
  • Not suitable for players with a gambling problem – Curacao licenced betting sites are unlikely to offer much or indeed any support to players who encounter gambling problems. Clearly, Gamstop’s self-exclusion measures will not work, and other gambling welfare organisations such as GamCare and the Gamban app are also unlikely to be supported.
  • Different Payments – You may get to pay by credit card on some sites, but other payment methods frequently seen on UKGC licenced sites are likely to be missing. PayPal, for example, is regularly available on UKGC regulated sports betting portals, but it is not allowed on Curacao licenced sites. The reasons for this are complex, but the root of it is that Curacao licensees tend to be focused on the American market. Rules regarding online gambling are very different in the United States, and the federal government has banned the use of PayPal as a method of payment for gambling in its market (rather like the UK government has banned the use of credit cards within its jurisdiction).
  • Data protection – UKGC regulated sites must comply with UK and EU data protection laws. This is not the case with Curacao licenced sites, although they may be in compliance with US laws. It is clearly vital that important customer data such as e-mail addresses, passwords and financial details are kept safe and do not end up being used by unauthorised fraudsters and scammers. The standard of data protection may not be as high as you would expect from a UK / EU compliant site.

Are Football betting sites not on Gamstop safe?

Risk is always relative. This is part of the attraction of gambling in the first place. The UKGC does offer protection which other licencing bodies do not. This means that it is always a good idea to do your own due diligence. This could involve consulting reputable review sites like this one. It is also a good idea to check for poor online reviews.

Although offshore betting sites like those licenced by the Government of Curacao do inevitably add an additional element of risk to your online bet, they can generally be regarded as reliable. As with any form of gambling online, you should take a cautious approach. As an example, it is always good idea to start with low stake bets when beginning to play on a new or unfamiliar site.

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