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The UKGC & GamStop – Keeping Brits Safe from Non GamStop Casinos

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Erik Mclean
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Gambling has a long and storied history in Great Britain, with horse racing being the favored betting option for Brits since the sixteen century, despite facing opposition from social reformers and evangelical Protestants. After the Second World War, bingo halls grew in popularity in the UK. They quickly became the predominant wagering option, with the Gambling Act of 2005 paving the way for casino-style resorts and internet betting in the new millennia. Now, online slots and sportsbooks dominate this landscape, with 47% of the British population gambling at least once per month.

Due to the rise of his pastime’s popularity, concerns have arisen regarding more and more Brits falling prey to the temptation of quickly turning a dime with little effort. Per YouGov estimates, around 2.7% of adults in Great Britain have a compulsion toward this activity. That percentage has resulted in the UKGC taking a fiercer stance in the war against the proliferation of problem gamblers. Its chief weapon in this fight has been GamStop, a mandatory self-exclusion program aimed to help anyone facing this issue not continuously fall prey to its dangers. Below, an analysis follows concerning how the UKGC and other British entities are trying to keep online gambling primarily an entertainment-based activity, particularly with the allure of non GamStop casinos looming over players’ heads.

The UKGC Explained

The UKGC is Britain’s all-encompassing gambling regulator founded in 2007, whose birth got outlined in the 2005 Gambling Act as the body intended to replace the Gaming Board for Great Britain. Its job is to license and monitor all companies that offer gambling services on UK soil, both in the land-based and online sectors.

The UKGC has a reputation for being Europe’s most stern regulator, tightly looking after British players. International industry overseeing bodies like Curacao eGaming and the Malta Gaming Authority has been around longer than the UKGC and implement many of the same security measures but are not as diligent in scrutinizing their licensors. These and other regulators based in smaller countries like Panama and Curacao are the ones that license casinos not on GamStop, which offer their services to UK citizens. The main allure of a non GamStop casino is that it allows more player freedom because it does not implement the same gameplay restrictions that site approved by the UKGC must put into place.

How Does GamStop Operate

In short, GamStop is a nationwide database that all UKGC online casinos plug into to find out which players they can let bet on their sites and which they must reject. GamStop is a network that notes every player with an activated self-exclusion ban on a UKGC-licensed gambling platform. Once a person has done so, they cannot continue betting at any site whose operating entity is in Great Britain until their self-exclusion period elapses.

Participation in the GamStop program became obligatory for all UK gambling sites in March of 2020. Though, the implementation of this scheme had been in the pipe since mid-2017. Alas, it kept getting postponed until it finally got a release date set for 31st March, as part of the Commission’s initiative to reduce gambling harms. The UKGC followed up the introduction of GamStop with new anti-gambling measures in early-2021, which included the removal of auto-play functions and the introduction of lower max wager limits.

UK sites not on GamStop do not adhere to these restrictions, which is why many players find them attractive. That said, they only should get sought out by those that can control their impulses. Naturally, that also includes individuals that do not have an active self-exclusion ban.

More Resources That Aid with Problem Gambling

UK residents do not solely rely on the UKGC to help them cope with their current or developing gambling addiction. Multiple non-for-profits organizations do their part in aiding all those that are brave enough to ask for their assistance.

GamCare is likely the most famous charity of this kind, established in 1997, providing support across England, Wales, and Scotland. It offers a 24/7 hotline, a live chat, and a message board where concerned parties can get help from professionals and others in the same situation as them. GamCare also supplies information regarding money management, self-exclusion, and blocking software. Regarding the latter,  GamBan is an established app that works with GamCare, and it acts as a safeguard, restricting access to gambling sites to those who have chosen to stop betting but may lack the willpower to resist their urges.

BeGambleAware is an organization similar to GamCare, providing many of the same help options. It is notable in that it is proactive in funding research concerning problem gambling. BeGambleAware works with the NHS to produce public health campaigns on a national scale. Nevertheless, it also offers practical local solutions. The Charity Commission regulates its activity in England and Wales.

Players also always have the option of contacting their bank and asking them to place a hold on all gambling-related transfers. That is a more traditional anti-gambling measure that is very effective.

UK Casinos vs. Gambling Platforms Not on GamStop

As discussed, non GamStop casinos get favored by those that wish to have more options on their quest for riches via online betting. Nonetheless, this variety comes at the price of less player protection. Though UK laws say that only companies based in Great Britain can offer gambling services to the country’s residents, there is no history of authorities prosecuting those that choose to play at offshore sites. There are zero indications that this will happen anytime soon. Thus, Brits have enjoyed non GamStop casinos for over a decade without fear of facing prosecution. Again, in no way should anyone see these platforms as a way to bypass an activated self-exclusion. Only those that can keep a clear head when wagering should use them.

Final Thought

There is no doubt that 2020 was not a good year for the gambling industry. UK’s gross gambling yield fell from £14.1 billion in 2019 to only £5.9 billion in 2020. Nonetheless, the online sphere not only persevered but thrived. So much so that stats now show that 63% of UK gamblers prefer betting over the internet. Regardless of the method used, parties interested in testing their luck on games of chance or sporting events should remember to engage in this activity responsibly, only wagering what they can afford to lose. If they feel that they can no longer control themselves and remain within the limits of their gambling budget, seeking professional help should be compulsory. It is in everyone’s best interest.

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Best Games to Come In 2022

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There is a common quip in the gaming and game development world that new games’ release dates are more of suggestions than a sure thing. This is because no game ever makes its initial release date. But gamers have come to terms with delays and understand that it’s part of the game development process. However, this does not keep us from getting excited about the new titles slated to be released later this year.

This piece will look at the best games you should expect before the year ends. So if you’re ready to possibly get your hopes up for no reason, keep reading to learn more.

1. God of War

God of war is a quirky game set in a world inspired by the Norse mythology and was initially released in 2005. The game has gone through a few iterations over the years, which has only improved its gameplay. The current title does an excellent job at developing its characters and establishing their backstories, pulling you into the game and engaging you even more.

In addition, the musical score does an even better job at accentuating important moments in the game. That’s why we are so excited about the new revamp slated for later on this year. We are sure the stories and music will only get better, and we don’t even need to mention the gameplay. Sony always kills it.

2. Call of Duty

When duty calls, you have to answer. This is one that never disappoints. Its action sequences are as engaging as ever, and the graphics are every graphics designer’s envy. Betway also found that playing COD helps you burn as much calories as a long walk, with a 90 minute gaming session elevating your heart rate to 90+ beats per minute and helping you burn up to 180 calories.

So you can now enjoy your gaming sessions and don’t have to worry about missing the gym. And with a new release this year, we have more than one thing to be excited about.

3. Last of Us

Another title that is excellent to play is Last of Us. It’s set in a decaying post-apocalyptic world and stars two characters—a child accompanied by an adult. However, the story is not about the dilapidated world but about these two characters and their struggle to survive this world.

This is one we hope the development gods here us and release as expected. We cross our fingers and hope it makes its release date this year.

4. A Plague’s Tale

Set in a corps-ridden world, plague-infested rats and inquisition soldiers who have it out for the two orphaned sibling protagonists. The game’s setting does an excellent job of making the main characters empathetic as you witness their struggle from a third-person perspective.

However, the gameplay is not that engaging, and the obstacles are neither challenging nor compelling. We are glad the makers are revamping this one and getting a second chance at taking another crack later this year.

5. FIFA 23

FIFA is a classic game that never disappoints. It has been a favorite for many, and FIFA 23 is expected to be the most popular iteration of the francise yet.

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2022 World Series of Poker® Hall of Fame Finalists Announced

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Following a two-week nomination period, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) has announced the highly anticipated list of ten Poker Hall of Fame nominees. Inducting one new member annually, the ten nominees will be considered by 32 living members who will allocate a ballot of ten total points to determine the 2022 Hall-of-Famer. The finalists are as follows:

 

  • Josh Arieh
  • Layne Flack
  • Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
  • Kathy Liebert
  • Mike Matusow
  • Lon McEachern & Norman Chad
  • Michael Mizrachi
  • Brian Rast
  • Matt Savage
  • Isai Scheinberg

 

There are three new finalists in the 2022 class including four-time WSOP bracelet winner, Josh Arieh, and Las Vegas residents Kathy Liebert and Brian Rast.

 

The induction ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 10 in tandem with the final table of the Main Event at Bally’s & Paris Las Vegas. All living Poker Hall of Fame members are invited to freeroll into the $1,979 No-Limit Hold’em tournament, with the buy-in priced in honor of the Hall of Fame’s founding year. This event will be open to all players. Each participating Hall of Famer will have a bounty corresponding to the year they were inducted into poker’s most exclusive club. The 2022 inductee will be announced during the event.

 

For more information on the Poker Hall of Fame, visit http://www.wsop.com/pokerhalloffame/.

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QTech Games bolsters its offering with CQ9 Gaming integration

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Emerging-markets leader extends its premier portfolio with more top slots from an emerging Asian force in multiplayer video content

QTech Games, the number-one games distributor across all emerging markets, has announced its latest premium partnership with Asian video content and slots supplier, CQ9 Gaming.

Under the terms of the new agreement, CQ9 Gaming’s GLI-certified portfolio – comprising top-quality slots, arcade, and table casino games – has been integrated for QTech Games clients and their players, providing another cutting edge to a powerhouse platform recognised for bringing the finest online games to market across developing territories.

Popular CQ9 titles include Good Fortune, 1945, Kronos, Zeus, Lucky Fishing, and many others which harness the appeal of multiplayer fish games, arcade games, not to mention multiplayer online board and card games. This ever-evolving production line will help QTech Games strengthen its comprehensive spread of gaming verticals, central to QTech ONE™, its definitive one-stop shop for global operators.

The deal organically broadens CQ9 Gaming’s global footprint, accessing a fresh scope of growth markets for accelerated expansion. As the fastest-growing distributor over the past few years, QTech’s platform is localised for each region with native mobile apps, robust reporting and marketing tools, and 24/7 local-language support.

Ulf Norder, CCO at QTech Games, said: “We’re excited to be teaming up with CQ9 Gaming whose stunning graphics and gameplay chart near the pinnacle of the marketplace. The QTech Games platform is equipped with the best games from the world’s leading suppliers – and CQ9 now joins this branching tree.

“CQ9 Gaming may only be a young company, but they’ve already managed to build a strong fan-base in Asia and are moving on to conquer previously untapped markets in Europe and LatAm. Their titles run off an agile HTML5 gaming engine, meaning that you can access them either via desktop or mobile devices, even if the casino doesn’t currently offer a dedicated mobile app.

“Wherever you set your scene in this ever-changing landscape, our platform champions a mobile-first mantra, packed with all the best localised games that cater to varied cultural tastes. By way of instructive example, if you don’t offer the fish game in China, there’s no chance of becoming successful. And it’s a similar story with the Andar Bahar in India. CQ9 understand the demand for regional specificity throughout Asia and beyond, making them a logical and long-term ally with which to team up.”

A CQ9 spokesperson added: “This deal significantly broadens CQ9 Gaming’s international influence, opening up ‘margin’ markets from Eastern Europe and Latin America for diversified growth.

“CQ9 is one of the leading video slot suppliers in the Asian market with more than 100 titles under our belt. We’re steadily working on extending that reach and establishing ourselves in Europe and CIS-facing territories, and QTech’s broad spread of emerging-markets access means we can achieve this with dexterity while also consolidating our existing Asia-facing audience.

“Our goal has always been to design intuitive and interactive live-dealer experiences that are customised for every generation of mobile end-user. Since QTech Games is a defining distributor across Asia and other unexploited regions, we can’t wait to see how our games connect with different and diverse player profiles.

“At a time of refined localization techniques, QTech Games is really delivering on their brand promise of customising high-class content for varied cultures. This is what keeps them at the forefront of relevance for all kinds of players in the bubbling melting-pot of emerging markets.”

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