Having trouble finding a poker site that’s not associated with GamStop? Let me give you a helping hand.
If you accidentally signed up at GamStop or you want to get out of self-exclusion earlier than scheduled, you won’t be allowed to play in any of the UK poker sites. But I can show you how you can still quench your thirst for poker.
This article is dedicated to all poker enthusiasts who are looking for a well-regulated poker room that doesn’t belong to the GamStop group. That also means that the UKGC license is off the board, considering that all UK poker sites are now required to participate in the GamStop scheme.
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There’s nothing to worry about – the UK Gambling Commission isn’t the only reputable gambling licensing jurisdiction in the world. In fact, plenty of world-class poker platforms are licensed by the Malta Gaming Commission and Curacao, which are just as legitimate as the UKGC.
You just need to know where to look, and that’s where my expertise kicks in. I know the poker industry inside out and know exactly which operators can be trusted and which ones you should stay away from.
Here’s a recap of all the stuff you’re going to learn on this page:
- Gamstop — how does the self-exclusion scheme work?
- What next for GamStop Poker?
- Are non-GamStop poker sites legit?
- Top non-Gamstop poker sites
- How I rate each online poker room
- Final thoughts
Let’s get right into it!
What Is GamStop and How Does It Work?
GamStop is a UK national self-exclusion scheme that was created to help people with online gambling problems. It was launched in 2018 by the Remote Gambling Association and it is currently operated by a UK non-profit organisation called The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited.
How does it work? It’s rather simple. If you’re struggling with gambling addiction, you go to GamStop, submit your personal information, and choose how long you want to be excluded from gambling sites. You can choose to be banned for 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years.
Once you sign the papers and enrol in the program, you will be denied access to all gambling sites that belong to the GamStop group. And since GamStop works closely with the UKGC, that means that you won’t be able to register or play on any gambling sites licensed in the UK.
The Gambling Commission has recently made changes to their licensing conditions, making it obligatory for all online gambling operators to sign up to GamStop. That means that all gambling sites licensed in the UK are required to deny access to GamStop users.
First of all, I must say that I’m not advocating against signing up with GamStop. I applaud and even admire those who fully accept that they have a gambling problem and are willing to do something about it.
But what about those who accidentally signed to GamStop or didn’t think it through? Or maybe you were forced to do it by your employer, or maybe someone else. And what about those who got their gambling problems under control before their ban has expired?
The main problem here is that once you sign up for GamStop, the effects are irreversible — there’s no going back. There is no way to bypass the exclusion system. You can’t just go to GamStop and tell them that you want to get back into gambling and ask them to revoke your block. It doesn’t work that way.
The other problem is with the gambling sites themselves. Once you’ve signed with GamStop, a lot of poker rooms and casinos will put your name on the blacklist, effectively prohibiting you from playing on their website, forever.
But there is a way to get around the scheme and experience poker not on GamStop. If you really miss gambling, this is the best way to get some poker action. And as you’re going to find out soon, these sites are just as great and safe as their UK-licensed competitors.
Are Non GamStop Poker Sites Legit?
Absolutely. These sites are heavily regulated by some of the most respected licensing jurisdictions in the world, like the Malta Gaming Authority or the Curacao Government. In terms of safety and legitimacy, you have nothing to worry about when playing on non GamStop poker sites.
As far as the overall quality is concerned, poker rooms that are not licensed in the UK are top-notch. Most of them offer massive bonuses, worth up to several thousands of pounds — more than you’ll ever come across on Gamstop-associated sites.
Several world-renowned poker rooms are non Gamstop sites. For instance, all the top US poker rooms are licensed in Malta, Curacao, Panama, or some other jurisdiction with loose online gambling laws. Most of these places accept UK players, including the ones listed in the GamStop database.
Additionally, players in non GamStop poker sites will have an easier time depositing and withdrawing, since they don’t have to go through numerous Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures as they would if they were playing in a UK-licences poker room.
Playing in poker sites that are not on Gamstop is a great way to circumvent the GamStop block. Instead of having to wait up to 5 years for your ban to expire, you can play in a poker room that’s not a member of the GamStop’s platform.
Top Non GamStop Poker Sites
I’ve set apart a few poker sites not on GamStop that I found to be the best options in terms of the quality of games, traffic, legitimacy, support and other relevant aspects.
Feel free to check them out below!
All of these poker sites are non-UK so registering while you’re associated with GamStop won’t be an issue:
If great bonuses, fairly loose tables, and exceptional mobile poker clients sound like something that you might be interested in, I’d recommend registering with Sports Betting Poker. Online since 2012, this is one of the highest-rated poker platforms in the US.
Easy deposits, bitcoin payouts, and an abundance of poker game variants on offer – these are just a few great things that make Sports Betting platform one of the most wanted poker rooms in the world. The brand is licensed in Panama, so it falls into the category of Non-GamStop poker sites — UK players are welcomed with open arms.
- Accepts cryptocurrency payments
- Fantastic 100% welcome bonus up to £1,000
- Well-balanced traffic
- Accepts UK players registered on GamStop
How Do I Rate Non GamStop Poker Sites?
The same way I do with every other gambling site – I analyse the data gathered from in-depth industry research, compare the operators, and compile a ‘top’ list where I put the best candidates.
During my research, I look into a variety of factors, from licensing to traffic and customer support. Needless to say, I double-check whether the site accepts residents from the UK that are signed at GamStop.
Here, I’ll walk you through my selection process.
And second, if I see that the site has MGA, Curacao, or any other reputable license, this reassures me that it’s 100% safe and secure to play at if you’re worried about security or tracking for purposes of personal tracking, credit rating and so on. These licensing jurisdictions make sure that the operator treats its players professionally and fairly. That’s why I first check out the ‘restricted countries’ list to see whether the UK is on there or not and then proceed with analysing other aspects. Furthermore, the poker room must constantly offer a number of tournaments and SNG’s, even if they were for softer competition. If there isn’t a sufficient number of competitions, the operator certainly won’t get a recommendation from me. All the Non-Gamstop poker sites above provide exceptional bonuses for both newcomers and existing players. If there is a superb Rakeback deal on offer or a lucrative bad beat jackpot — the operator will climb higher or my list. The operator must have a user-friendly interface that’s optimised for all popular iOS and Android mobile phones. A downloadable client is not mandatory, but the brand must offer some means for players to play on the go — whether it be through a dedicated app or instant play mobile version of the site. All the sites I’ve chosen for my list have around-the-clock customer support that treats UK players in a professional manner. Email and live chat support are mandatory – the faster they handle customer queries, the more points they get from me.
LicensingThis is undoubtedly the most essential factor I consider when choosing a Non-GamStop poker site, for several reasons. First, if a poker site has a non-UK license, this tells me that the site isn’t connected with GamStop, and that it, therefore, accepts players registered in the program.
Restricted CountriesBeing licensed outside the UK, Non-Gamstop poker sites have every right not to accept players from the UK. Now, I’m not going to talk about why anyone would forbid UK residents from registering, but the fact is, some operators do.
Games SelectionWhen I get the legalities out of the picture, I move on to the poker-related stuff, namely the games selection. A top-rated poker room must feature several poker variants, including Hold’em and Omaha, as well as some less prevalent formats and other non-poker games such as video slots and even bingo.
BonusesAny poker room worth its salt realizes how significant it is to keep its new and existing players happy and engaged by increasing their chances to win. And what better way to keep the players motivated than by offering them massive bonuses?
SoftwareFor me personally, the functionality of the poker client is one of the most significant aspects. That’s why I choose poker sites that work seamlessly on all devices, both mobile, and desktop.
BankingA fully-equipped banking section is a must-have for all Non-GamStop poker sites. UK players must have at least several payment methods at their disposal, and the fees involved in transactions should be low to non-existent. Also, withdrawal times should be reduced to a bare minimum.
SupportWhen playing in an offshore gambling site, you’ll need someone to provide 24/7 assistance and help you out with any questions you may have regarding registration, payments, and technical issues.
And second, if I see that the site has MGA, Curacao, or any other reputable license, this reassures me that it’s 100% safe and secure to play at if you’re worried about security or tracking for purposes of personal tracking, credit rating and so on. These licensing jurisdictions make sure that the operator treats its players professionally and fairly.
That’s why I first check out the ‘restricted countries’ list to see whether the UK is on there or not and then proceed with analysing other aspects.
Furthermore, the poker room must constantly offer a number of tournaments and SNG’s, even if they were for softer competition. If there isn’t a sufficient number of competitions, the operator certainly won’t get a recommendation from me.
All the Non-Gamstop poker sites above provide exceptional bonuses for both newcomers and existing players. If there is a superb Rakeback deal on offer or a lucrative bad beat jackpot — the operator will climb higher or my list.
The operator must have a user-friendly interface that’s optimised for all popular iOS and Android mobile phones. A downloadable client is not mandatory, but the brand must offer some means for players to play on the go — whether it be through a dedicated app or instant play mobile version of the site.
All the sites I’ve chosen for my list have around-the-clock customer support that treats UK players in a professional manner. Email and live chat support are mandatory – the faster they handle customer queries, the more points they get from me.
That’s it, folks. It wasn’t so difficult to circumvent the Gamstop scheme, was it?
If you signed yourself up for the self-exclusion program, there’s no going back. But there are still dozens of reliable poker sites that provide the same quality of service like the ones that are linked with GamStop.
Non-GamStop poker sites are a haven for those who want to play in a safe and reliable gaming environment that doesn’t have anything to do with GamStop or the UKGC.
If I failed to answer some of the questions you may have regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to leave a message in the comment section below. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.