In a surprising turn of events, a recent study done by researchers indicated that a lot of UK online gamblers are making the choice to gamble offshore. It begs the question, “why would online gamblers who have easy access to hundreds of the best online gambling sites in the world choose to gamble elsewhere?”
It’s a question that boggles the mind. At the same time, it’s a question that warrants an answer. Here are what we believe are the main reasons UK online gamblers are choosing to play casino games and bet on sports offshore while rejecting what UK operators have to offer.
Avoiding UK Gambling Commission Restrictions
There is very little doubt about the notion that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the most strict gambling regulatory body in the world. They are heavily involved in the monitoring of activities of gamblers and operators at every level.
To be clear, the strictest rules and regulations are directed at online operators. These restrictions often result in operators not being able to provide gamblers will reasonable access to certain types of advertising, gaming options, and banking options.
When UK online gamblers feel gambling restrictions are too restrictive, they will take their online gambling activities elsewhere. When it happens, online operators have very little recourse because of UKGC restrictions.
Using Offshore Online Gambling Accounts to Get Around GamStop
One of the key restrictions the UKGC has tried to put on operators is a mandate that they subscribe to the GamStop Self-exclusion program. At this point, it’s only a mandate, but all indications are the UKGC is looking to make GamStop membership mandatory. They want to make is a key provision for all online operators to secure and or maintain a UKGC online gambling operating license.
GamStop is a voluntary self-exclusion program that allows problem gamblers to request online operators to block them from having access to any UK online gambling site. The gambler sets the exclusion period at 6 months, one year, or five years. The program works well, but it’s only applicable to UK online gambling sites that have subscribed to the program.
Sometimes, a UK online gambler will register with GamStop only to decide they want the ability to resume their online gambling activities. Since they won’t be able to gamble on GamStop member gambling sites, they have to seek alternatives.
Key Alternatives to GamStop Gambling Sites
For some loyal UK online gamblers, the best alternative is to stay with UK gambling sites but use non GamStop casino sites listed on NonGamStopWager. The risk with this option is their operator of choice might eventually have to register with GamStop, forcing all registered GamStop gamblers to again get shut out.
That’s why the offshore option is often very attractive. Offshore online gambling operators have no affiliation with GamStop, which results in all UK gamblers having a clear path to resume their online gambling activities.
There are three issues that UK gamblers might encounter when they go offshore. First, they might have to use a VPN to get access to a gambling site of interest. Second, they could run into account funding issues if a particular offshore gambling site offers limited banking options. Finally, some offshore jurisdictions offer very little protection for foreign gamblers when disputes arise. That puts pressure on foreign gamblers to make sure they select legitimate operators with strong reputations.
The good news is many countries in Europe oversee top-quality online gambling operators. In fact, some of the best online casinos and sportsbooks originate out of other jurisdictions. Yes, the UK has legitimate competition from other countries in Europe and parts of Asia.
Seeking the Benefits Bestowed to UK Online Gamblers by Offshore Operators
When UK online gamblers use UK gambling sites, they are pretty much anonymous unless they are noted high rollers. They tend to get lost in the crowd because popular UK operators have tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of customers. With that many customers to support, many UK operators focus their marketing efforts on new and existing customers who they consider to be high rollers.
When UK gamblers go offshore, they are usually treated with enthusiasm. There is a reason for that. Gambling is such an intricate part of UK culture that UK gamblers tend to spend a lot of money gambling online. With the promise of big money coming in, offshore operators often welcome UK gamblers with open arms.
This is very apparent because offshore online operators are investing a lot of money towards the recruiting of UK gamblers. They market to large groups of UK players with the promise of special bonuses and VIP treatment at every step along the way. When an average online gambler is suddenly greeted with VIP treatment, they become very loyal to their host websites.
As online gambling increases in popularity throughout the world, this is a trend that is likely to continue. For UK online operators, losing customers to offshore operators is becoming a reality of doing business in the UK.