Last updated: 02/04/2024

Responsible Gambling

At, we make responsible gambling a priority. Thousands of people suffer from gambling addiction in the UK and we recognise that it’s a severe, life-changing situation. Our team will do whatever it can to help you engage in responsible gambling practices so you avoid going down a very slippery slope. 

Use this page as a responsible gambling resource that tells you all you need to know about the topic. We’ll explain some simple habits to gamble responsibly, talk about self-exclusion schemes and detail who might be the most at risk of irresponsible gambling. 

How To Gamble Responsibly

We live by the mantra that gambling should be a social or recreational hobby. It’s something you do for fun, without the intention of winning money. 

Problem gambling starts when you see betting as a way to make a living. Yes, you can win a lot of money gambling, but this should never be your goal or you risk falling into unhealthy betting habits. Do it for fun – and when the fun stops, stop. 

Alongside this, we advocate the following tips to gamble responsibly at all times: 

  • Join Reputable Online Betting Sites – Dodgy sites often take advantage of punters with crazy odds and bonuses with extreme wagering requirements. It’s especially important to join reputable bookies when betting outside GamStop. We’ve got plenty of full-length non-GamStop betting site reviews to point you to the most trustworthy operators.
  • Bet What You Can Afford To Lose – Understand how much money you can afford to lose when betting. Don’t bet large amounts if it means you’ll be unable to pay the rent this month. Stick to smaller wagers and only gamble when losing the money isn’t going to cause issues.
  • Set Betting Limits – Every week, set a limit for how much you’re going to bet. It could be £10, £50, £100, or whatever you like. As long as you can afford to lose it, that’s okay. You’ll now commit to only betting this much. Once your funds run out, that’s it for the week.
  • Take Regular Breaks – We recommend taking a break every 20-30 minutes. Stand up, walk around or get some fresh air. This helps you clear your mind and can stop you from betting for hours without realising it.
  • Only Bet While Sober – After having a few drinks and getting intoxicated, betting on the latest Paraguayan football league game feels like a right laugh. Avoid doing this. Only bet while sober as you need a clear mind to make the right decisions.
  • Never Chase Losses – Chasing losses is when you keep gambling after losing money, in the hope that you’ll reclaim what you lost. It’s one of the earliest signs of gambling addiction and will almost always lead to bigger losses. If you keep losing, don’t try to recover your losses. Take a break and come back another time. 

An Introduction To GamStop & Self-Exclusion Schemes

GamStop is the number one self-exclusion scheme in the UK. It was established in April 2018 and over 400,000 people are currently registered. The scheme’s purpose is to help problem gamblers take a break from betting. Once signed up, you will be excluded from all betting sites participating with GamStop. 

You choose a minimum self-exclusion term, which will be either 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. Punters will be unable to use any betting sites on GamStop until their minimum term runs out. As per UKGC regulations, every bookmaker with a UK licence must cooperate with this scheme. That means you’ll be blocked from joining hundreds of the biggest betting brands in the country. 

The Benefits Of GamStop For Problem Gamblers

One good thing about GamStop is that it helps problem gamblers exclude from many sites at once. Instead of needing to deactivate your account on every betting site, you’re immediately barred. It gives you time to take a break and get your head in the right place, overcoming your problem gambling habits. 

The Drawbacks of GamStop For Responsible Gambling 

While GamStop has very good intentions, it carries a major drawback. You’re excluded for a very long time and may feel better after a month or two. If you’re on the scheme for 5 years, you’ll be unable to bet despite being in a better place and understanding responsible gambling habits. 

Consequently, we’ve witnessed many bettors go down the route of finding betting sites not registered with GamStop. In turn, they don’t know what they’re looking for and join bad bookmakers who take advantage of them. 

If you want to enjoy sports betting not on GamStop, you must join safe and approved betting sites. Read our reviews to find the best non-GamStop bookmakers with the highest safety ratings. This ensures you can keep betting while your self-exclusion runs out – and bet responsibly too! 

What Other Self-Exclusion Schemes Are There? 

Various self-exclusion schemes exist throughout the UK and the wider world. Two of the most prominent are Gamban and BetStop. Both will help you exclude from betting sites, just like GamStop. 

Gambling Addiction – Who Is Most At Risk Of Problem Gambling?

Practising responsible gambling habits is easier said than done. Especially if you’re predisposed to being at risk of problem gambling. Research has thrown up various factors indicating that some members of the population are more at risk than others. 

We think it’s important to know these factors as it can help you understand if you may be in the high-risk category. If that’s the case, you should make an even bigger effort to gamble responsibly every time you place a bet. 

Social Factors

Individuals who grow up in stereotypically poorer neighbourhoods are more likely to gamble and have a gambling problem. Likewise, it’s common for young adults to experience gambling addiction thanks to peer pressure from friendship groups. 

Economic Factors

People with financial problems and not a lot of money are highly likely to turn to sports betting as a way of making more money. This will, obviously, lead to very bad gambling habits and gambling addiction. 

Somewhat ironically, there is also a problem amongst very high earners. Individuals with lots of money sometimes exhibit problem gambling tendencies as they wager massive amounts again and again without a care in the world. 

Biological Factors

Believe it or not, you can have biological tendencies that make it easier for you to develop a gambling problem. If you have an addictive personality and often get hooked on things easily, there’s a higher possibility you may struggle when betting. 

Spotting The Telltale Signs Of Gambling Addiction

You must spot the signs of gambling addiction before it gets too late. The sooner you’re able to recognise the problem and treat it, the easier it will be to adopt responsible gambling practices. Plus, you can avoid losing a lot more money. 

Here are the most common signs of gambling addiction to be aware of: 

  • Chasing Losses – We mentioned it before, but chasing losses to try and win back your money is a key sign of gambling addiction.
  • Gambling On Your Mind – It’s okay to think about gambling, but if you’re constantly debating what bets to place throughout the day, then it’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship with gambling.
  • Betting Too Much Money – When you start betting large sums of money in the hope of winning big, you are developing a problem. Similarly, if you bet more than you can afford, it’s a major warning sign.
  • Anger At Losses – Losing a bet should not cause anger as you’re doing it for fun. If you feel angry or aggressive after losing, you need to reach out for help.
  • Borrowing Money To Gamble – Taking out a loan to use for betting or borrowing money from friends is a serious signal something is wrong.
  • Negative Changes In Your Personal Life – Are your relationships breaking down because you prioritise gambling over seeing others? Have you been sacked from work because you were caught betting on company computers? Are you faced with a mountain of debt from gambling losses? Negative changes in your personal life can be the final straw and you must seek help immediately. 

How To Get Help With Problem Gambling

We’re absolutely happy to help in any way if you have a gambling problem. Don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll gladly give you some words of advice. 

Of course, it also helps to get professional guidance from organisations designed to assist with problem gambling. We’ve listed some companies below that will help with all manner of gambling problems: 

  • GamCare – The biggest company in the UK that’s dedicated to responsible gambling. It can point you in the direction of self-exclusion schemes or put you in contact with someone from the National Gambling Helpline.
  • GambleAware – An independent charity providing gambling education and ways to prevent bad betting habits. It has an online live chat service as well as various responsible gambling resources.
  • NHS – The National Health Service provides advice on spotting the symptoms of gambling addiction and directs you to local organisations that can help you overcome this problem. 

Responsible Gambling Features To Look For When Joining Non-GamStop Betting Sites

We’ve done our best to select sportsbooks not on GamStop with many responsible gambling features. Still, we always advise you to check a site before joining. These are the key features the site must boast: 

  • Age Restrictions – All bookmakers not using GamStop must have restrictions in place to prevent underage gambling.
  • Self-Exclusion Tools – While the bookmaker isn’t part of GamStop, it should offer some self-exclusion tools for punters to use when they need help.
  • Player Support – There must be at least one player support contact method. The more the merrier, and we highly recommend bookies with 24/7 live chat so there’s always someone to help.
  • Gambling Tips – Every bookie should have a page full of responsible gambling tips. This teaches you how to bet safely and avoid drifting towards bad habits. 

Important FAQs About Responsible Gambling

Is it responsible to use sports betting sites not covered by GamStop?

Yes, as long as you choose a credible site with responsible gambling practices. Of course, the main factor is ensuring you also follow safe gambling steps. If you bet responsibly, you’ll face no issues using non-GamStop bookmakers.

What should I do if I spot the signs of gambling addiction?

You should reach out to someone for help immediately. Stop betting, and contact one of the organisations listed above for guidance. Talking to a friend or family member can also help as they will assist you in not betting until you’ve received professional assistance.

What is the best way to gamble responsibly?

The best way to gamble responsibly is by betting for fun! Treat it as a fun game or something to do with your friends. If gambling ever stops being fun, then you should quit.

What should I do if I’m in debt from gambling?

We are not licensed financial experts so cannot give any financial advice. However, our suggestion is to talk to a debt charity like StepChange. They will help you get your finances in order and can work to bring you out of debt.

Meet Our Team Of Gambling Specialists

Hello! I’m David Goldblatt, the lead author at 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!