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Last updated: 10/04/2024

How Long Does GamStop Last? Understanding Your Self-Exclusion Options

How Long Does Gamstop Last

Sometimes, it’s wise to take a break from betting to let your mind cool off. Programs like GamStop make self-exclusion easy and accessible to all users, giving you the tools to take your health and safety into your own hands. However, it’s essential to know what you’re signing up for before you get started. 

In this blog, you’ll find everything you need to know about GamStop. From how long does GamStop last to alternatives you might want to consider, our experts have done the research so you don’t have to. Scroll down to get the lowdown now.

GamStop: A Self-Exclusion Solution

GamStop is a UK-based self-exclusion program that helps gamblers take control of their gambling through restricted access to casinos and betting sites.

The free program was created in 2018 and has since helped over 400,00 users manage their behaviours. 

Does GamStop Limit Access To All Gambling Sites?

No. GamStop only limits your access to UKGC-licenced gambling websites. Since March 2020, the UK Gambling Commission and GamStop have come together to ensure all GB operators participate in the exclusion scheme. 

The only UK exceptions to the GamStop scheme include low-risk games (e.g. Lotto and Euro Millions). You can self-exclude from these games by contacting the independent lottery operators. 

There are some non-GamStop betting sites and casinos. These operate without licence or with non-UK regulations.

The Duration of GamStop

Now you know the basics, let’s dive into the real question: How long does GamStop last?

GamStop offers three different exclusion periods. These include:

  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 5 years

These self-exclusion periods are final. You can’t cancel your self-exclusion until it ends. Plus, when your self-exclusion period ends, you must call GamStop and request its removal. If you don’t, it will remain in place for another length of time.

Once you confirm your exclusion, it can take up to 24 hours to begin. So, don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to work instantly.

Can You Extend Your GamStop Period?

If you’re using GamStop to help you self-exclude and find the tool helpful, you might be interested in extending your exclusion. Luckily, GamStop makes it easy to continue self-excluding. 

If you have an active self-exclusion running, you can add a longer period at any time. You can also add more length when you’re at the end of the exclusion simply by not requesting it to be cancelled. 

You can also add one anytime if you don’t have an exclusion running. You can do this by creating a GamStop account and following the self-exclusion instructions. 

How to Self-Exclude With GamStop

Creating a self-exclusion with GamStop is quick and easy. Follow the steps below to active your gambling ban:

  • Visit the GamStop website and sign-up for an account – Make sure you give honest information to ensure you are accepted. The website asks for a date of birth, address, and contact information. 
  • Verify your identity – Once you’ve uploaded your details, you must verify yourself to check your eligibility for self-exclusion. Sometimes, proof of ID or address is required. 
  • Select your exclusion period – The options for GamStop self-exclusions include 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years. Remember that you can’t cancel GamStop self-exclusions and will only be able to access non-UK betting sites.
  • Confirm your exclusion – After choosing your time, you need to officially confirm the exclusion. Then GamStop will notify all UKGC gambling websites and prevent you from accessing their content.

And then you’re all done! Whenever a user starts with GamStop, the organisation sends out helpful support resources to help them on their journey. These include places to seek help for addiction, related counselling services, and advice on managing gambling habits. 

You don’t have to use these extra resources. But they can be beneficial if you’re open to them.

Alternatives to GamStop

GamStop is one of the most famous self-exclusion tools on the market. However, it’s not your only option. Here are some alternatives you can use to control your gambling.

1. Gamban

Gamban provides gambling-blocking software that helps you curb your gambling behaviour by restricting your access to gambling websites and apps. In contrast to GamStop, Gamban is an actual software tool you download. 

Not only does GamBan block gambling websites and apps, but your Gamban app allows you to track your stats. Watching your progress is easy, from how long you’ve been gamble-free to how much time and money you’ve saved. 

However, Gamban only offers a seven-day free trial. After this, you can choose between an annual or monthly subscription.

2. GamCare

Another fantastic port of call is GamCare. This UK organisation has been helping gamblers since 1997 through structured support, awareness, and access to caring and non-judgemental services.

GamCare operates the National Gambling Helpline. You can speak to a professional adviser via phone or live chat 24/7, seven days a week. GamCare also operates a WhatsApp helpline, forum, and chatrooms to help you connect with others in a similar position.

If you’re interested in a personalised or more human approach to gambling addiction, GamCare is a powerful resource to explore.

3. TalkBanStop

Want the best of the above? TalkBanStop could be the option for you. 

TalkBanStop is an initiative between GamStop, GamCare, and Gamban that provides free tools and advice to support your self-exclusion journey. With this service, you can access personal support from trained advisers at GamCare, Gamban’s blocking software, and GamStop’s UK-wide self-exclusion services. 

This is great for gamblers who want assistance from all organisations. However, if you’re not interested in talking to advisers or don’t want to download extra software from Gamban, you might be better off only focusing on GamStop.

4. Transaction Blocking

Alongside working with external self-exclusion organisations, you can set up gambling blocks on your bank account. These tools are a common aspect of gambling recovery and are especially effective with GamStop services.

Bank gambling blocks are available from most UK banks and block any transactions categorised as gambling. This includes online and in-person transactions.

Typically, bank transaction blocks are applied at the card level. If you use multiple cards, you must set up individual blocks for each. 

Blocks are set up via online banking, calling your bank, or visiting the bank in person. Gambling blocks are sometimes called ‘gambling restrictions’ or ‘card freezes.’ You’ll find these under ‘merchant control’ or ‘card control’ settings. 

All gambling transactions on credit cards are banned for UKGC gambling sites as of 2020. Only non-UK betting sites accept credit cards.

The Importance of Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is a term that refers to behaviours, practices, and tools that aim to minimise the harm of gambling. These ensure gambling remains entertaining rather than compulsive. 

Some of the principles of responsible gambling include:

  • Informed decision-making and acknowledgement of risks
  • Self-awareness among gamblers
  • Setting gambling limits (e.g. time or budgets)
  • Regulatory measures (e.g. licences and KYC checks)
  • Support and assistance
  • Responsible advertising 

Embracing responsible gambling is critical if you want to stay safe while betting. So, alongside learning how betting odds work, make sure you take time to understand how to practise safe and responsible gambling.

The Benefits of Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling comes with plenty of benefits to the bettor. The main perks include better well-being, preventing addiction/compulsive behaviours, and reducing financial harm. 

However, the benefits of responsible gambling go further than the individual. Responsible gambling initiatives set by casinos and sportsbooks show the ethical obligation of the company. This promotes social responsibility and provides a more positive effect to the community. 

Likewise, responsible gambling actions build trust between bettors and gambling operators since there’s a safe and transparent environment. 

Responsible gambling initiatives also help companies comply with regulations like UKGC rules.

Seeking Help for Gambling Addiction

If you’ve noticed that gambling no longer feels fun, has become compulsive, or is negatively affecting your relationships, work, and finances, it might be time to seek external help. 

Seeking help for gambling addiction can be a challenging process. But the first step is to acknowledge the problem and reach out for initial support. When you’re ready, there are plenty of non-judgemental and anonymous resources available.

The best places to seek help include:

  • Gambling organisations and charities (e.g. GamCare)
  • Independent gambling counsellors or therapists
  • Support groups for those affected by gambling (e.g. Gamblers Anonymous)
  • Financial assistance or bank gambling blocks
  • Self-exclusion programs (via individual websites or GamStop)

There’s no one fits all routes for gambling addiction. However, the most important thing is taking the first step if you feel that gambling is no longer positive for your life. With assistance and effective tools, you can rebuild your well-being and finances.

Conclusion: Taking Control of Your Gambling Habits

Keeping yourself protected when gambling isn’t as simple as some think. However, with the right information and tools, you can take control of your gambling habits and decide on a strategy that works for you. 
Hopefully, this blog on how long does GamStop last has answered your questions. If you want to learn more about gambling, visit the Non-GamStop Betting blog for expert-approved content.

Meet Our Team Of Gambling Specialists

Hello! I’m David Goldblatt, the lead author at BettingNonGamStop.com. I’m an experienced sports journalist who transitioned into making online gambling content in the mid-2010s. It’s something that fascinates me and I’ve always loved the way sports betting can make any event more exciting!

When I’m not researching the latest non-GamStop bookies, I’ll be playing football in the park or watching the local cricket club with my mates. I’m a massive advocate for responsible gambling, so feel free to message me if you need help. Other than that, I hope you enjoy my stuff and can find some trustworthy betting sites to join!