If your gambling habits at a fast withdrawal casino are going out of control and draining your wallet and clock, you can put a stop to it by opting for self-exclusion. This article comes with all the details you need to know about the concept of self-exclusion and its effectiveness.
Please note that the article is written with fast withdrawal casinos that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission in mind. The information is also applicable to traditional casinos with a UKGC license. However, not necessarily to casino sites licensed in other jurisdictions.
For free, confidential advice and counselling on self-exclusion, contact National Gambling Helpline (GamCare): 0808 8020 13324X7 availability
What Really Is Self-Exclusion in Gambling?
Self-exclusion is a proactive measure taken by punters who have come to terms with the detrimental effects of their gambling habits and wish to quit by practising abstinence.
A self-exclusion program entails requesting a gambling provider to ban you from participating in their offerings by restricting access for a specific period. Consequently, you won't be able to indulge in any gambling activity on their websites or venues, thus saving you from yourself.
For online players seeking to exclude themselves from gambling, the process involves the concerned casino blocking you from accessing a player account. This makes it impossible to stake money at the casino and if it is licensed by the UKGC, you are also restricted to access games in demo mode.
Once a player opts in for self-exclusion, there is no way to opt out until the period of exclusion has expired.
What Does the UKGC Say About Self-Exclusion?
The UKGC considers self-exclusion as a tool meant for problem gamblers who wish to be supported in their attempt to stop gambling.
It further states that all gambling businesses, including casinos that pay out fast, betting sites and poker rooms are required by law to offer this option and honour the request of willing players to be denied service and prohibited from gambling for the designated period.
All such businesses must participate in GamStop – UK’s self-exclusion service for online gamblers. Should an excluded player attempt to gamble during its self-exclusion period, the gambling business in question is obliged to intervene and take reasonable steps to prevent the same.
Also, every UKGC-licensed gambling site must have its own self-exclusion tool and method in place. The procedure should allow individual players to self-exclude, either by ticking a box under their account profile or by confirming over the phone or live chat.
Before self-excluding, operators must provide sufficient information to players about the consequences of self-exclusion, and encourage them to extend their self-exclusion to other gambling sites they use.
Operators should also provide information about software available to block access to gambling websites, along with a link for further information. However, choosing to refrain from gambling via such software is a voluntary decision that a player must make without coercion.
This prevents competing gambling companies from influencing the decision of a willing player for their vested interest and allows the latter to take control of their own actions.
The UKGC also states that by choosing to opt out of gambling, a player enters into a formal agreement and upholding this self-imposed ban is entirely their responsibility.
How Do You Exclude Yourself From a UK-Licensed Online Casino With Fast Withdrawal?
Players can exclude themselves from a specific UK-licensed online casino with fast withdrawal, multiple such casinos one at a time, or all UK-licensed sites that exist, fast paying or not, at once by making a single request with the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme, GamStop.
Exclusion From a Single Fastpay Casino Website
To exclude yourself from online gambling at a particular UKGC casino, follow these 5 steps:
- Visit the official website of the online casino and log in.
- Head to the ‘Responsible Gambling,’ ‘Safer Gambling’ or ‘Help’ section.
- Follow the instructions for self-exclusion.
- Complete the registration manually.
- Wait for an email confirmation.
Should you need help, get in touch with the customer care team of the operator. Also, please note that the self-exclusion process on each fastpay casino licensed by the UKGC will be more or less similar, with very minor differences.
Exclusion From All UKGC-Licensed Gambling Websites
To exclude yourself from online gambling at all UKGC casinos at once, follow these 5 steps:
- Visit the official site of GamStop.
- Head to the ‘Register’ tab.
- Start the process and follow the instructions for self-exclusion.
- Complete the registration manually.
- Wait for an email confirmation.
An exclusion like this will ban you from all fast withdrawal casinos, as well as traditional casino sites that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
Please note that GamStop will ask for the following information during registration:
- First name
- Last name
- Date of birth
- Current address and postcode
- Any postcode(s) you have previously resided in
- Current email address(es) in use
- Email address(es) previously used
- Current mobile number(s)
- Mobile number(s) previously used
The more information you provide, the better in order to make the self-exclusion as efficient as possible.
You should have a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license or other photo ID, readily available during the registration process as verification will be needed. This is to ensure that you are who you claim to be. It’s important that the personal information you provide matches exactly with that on your photo ID.
For verification, the following documents may be accepted:
- Your ‘selfie’ photo with you holding your photo ID, which can be any of the following:
- Current UK or EEA photocard driving licence.
- Current signed passport.
- Full old-style driving licence.
- EEA member state identity card (can also be used as proof of address).
- Photographic registration cards of individuals self-employed in the construction industry -CIS4.
- Original notification letter issued by the Benefits Agency or Benefits Book.
- Firearms or shotgun certificate.
- A residence permit from the Home Office issued to EEA nationals for presenting their passport from their own country.
- National identity card bearing your photograph.
- A copy of your recently issued proof of address, which can be any of the following:
- Utility bills (electric, gas, landline phone bill, satellite television) issued within the last three months.
- Council tax invoice issued by the local government for the ongoing fiscal year.
- Current UK driving licence (only if not used as proof of identity, particularly name).
- Bank statement, building society statement, credit union statement, or passbook that has a date within the last three months.
- Solicitor's letter from the past three months confirming your recent property purchase, or a confirmation of your address from the land registry.
- Electoral Register entry.
- A statement of mortgage issued by an authorised lender for the complete previous year.
- The rent card or tenancy agreement from either the Council or Housing Association for the current year.
- Benefit book or original notification letter from Benefits Agency (but not if used as proof of identity, particularly name).
- Letters for self-assessment from HMRC or tax demands that have a date falling within the current fiscal year.
- A letter of confirmation from your GP's practice indicating your registration with the surgery or an NHS medical card.
GamStop will first and foremost try to verify you via a selfie and a UK photocard driving license. However, if you don’t own one or your selfie verification fails, you will be asked verification questions based on your credit file.
If that fails, GamStop will use a different photo ID, such as your passport for verification. If that, too, fails, you will be asked to simply proceed with the registration process until completion.
Afterwards, a member from GamStop will personally review your photo ID check and either approve your registration or request additional information from you.
After your self-exclusion request is processed and confirmed by GamStop, you can expect to receive an informative email containing practical resources and support tools to assist you.
Additionally, you will be given an exclusive account where you can update your personal information, such as your address, email, and phone number, as these details may change over time. You will also be able to extend your self-exclusion period using the same.
In case you decide not to create or set up this account, you will have to contact GamStop every time you need to update any information regarding your exclusion or even view your details.
Here’s a video by GamStop, which you can watch if you are planning on excluding yourself from all UKGC-licensed casinos, including those with fast withdrawals.
What Is the Minimum Self Exclusion Duration?
The minimum duration for self-exclusion from online gambling in the UK is 6 months. You can also opt to exclude yourself for a fixed period of 1 year or 5 years. This choice of duration is regardless of whether you play at a casino with or without fast withdrawal times.
But it's crucial to understand that this decision is irreversible. Once a self-exclusion period is in place, it cannot be cancelled until the selected minimum duration has elapsed.
Once this period is over, you will need to get in touch with the concerned online casino or GamStop and seek a removal of the exclusion. Until this is done, the ban will persist.
What Is the Rationale Behind the Minimum Duration?
Typically, experts and the UKGC agree that a minimum duration of 6 months of self-exclusion is crucial for individuals to address their compulsive gambling behaviour effectively. However, it is still a hypothesis with research on it still in its early stage.
For instance, Professor Sally M. Gainsbury of the School of Psychology and Director of Australia's only university-based gambling treatment centre has reported that research evaluating the effectiveness of self-exclusion programs by gambling operators in various jurisdictions is minimal.
She believes there is much room for improvement as well as greater cohesion between neighbouring jurisdictions. Professor Gainsbury has also stated in her research article titled “Review of Self-exclusion from Gambling Venues as an Intervention for Problem Gambling” that 12 months appear to be the most popular period of self-exclusion compared to 6 months or even 2 years.
However, she also says that while self-exclusion programs have limitations in preventing individuals from gambling, those who do utilize them report decreased gambling and increased well-being.
Another study conducted by a group of Canadian mental health and responsible gambling experts examined the effectiveness of an online tutorial in reducing the risk of harm for individuals who reinstated their access to gambling venues after completing a voluntary self-exclusion program.
Participants in the experimental group watched the tutorial, while the control group did not. The report titled “Efficacy of a Voluntary Self-exclusion Reinstatement Tutorial for Problem Gamblers” states that self-exclusion alone was associated with a sustained reduction in problem gambling.
No evidence regarding the tutorial having an extra impact on the reinstatement process could be established. Both the control and experimental groups showed a significant decrease in gambling and problem gambling during the exclusion period, which was sustained for 6-12 months after reinstatement.
How Soon Does a Fast Withdrawal Casino Process a Self-Exclusion Request?
According to the UKGC, a player who has decided to opt for self-exclusion from a certain gambling site – fast payout or otherwise – should be able to do so with immediate effect and should not be kept waiting.
So, every UKGC casino that enables quick payouts should have a defined process in place which helps willing players instantly enter into an agreement to block themselves.
However, the UKGC also states that players must be given a chance to discuss self-exclusion with an appropriate representative. While this facility may not always be immediately available, a casino operator must make arrangements as soon as possible.
If a player is determined to self-exclude and cannot wait to speak to a qualified staff member, they should be allowed to do so right away. A self-exclusion made via live chat support or as a decision made on a player’s account profile typically becomes effective within minutes. With a request sent by e-mail, it could take up to 24 hours.
Do You Have To Pay Any Fee To Self-Exclude From Gambling?
Self-exclusion from gambling in the UK is a free scheme, which every UKGC-licensed arcade, bingo venue, betting shop, casino and online gambling operator must offer. Interested players need not pay up any fee to avail of it.
Can You Browse a Fastpay Casino Site While in Self-Exclusion?
Self-exclusion does not prevent a player from visiting a fast withdrawal casino, so browsing it would still be possible. However, you wouldn’t be able to log in to any account, let alone play games and bet money.
Also, while most casino sites can be viewed entirely without the need for an account, some might give you only a sneak peek with certain functions and pages hidden. This will vary from one operator to another and has nothing to do with self-exclusion.
What Happens to the Funds in an Excluded Player’s Account?
When a UK player opts for self-exclusion from a fast withdrawal casino or another gambling site, the concerned operator must close their account and refund any money in it. Withholding funds of an excluded player can be interpreted as non-compliance with UKGC mandates.
However, although GamStop offers self-exclusion services, it is essential to note that requesting self-exclusion via this organization does not automatically entitle the player to a refund from the operator(s).
To receive a reimbursement, the player must directly contact the casino site(s) and request it. GamStop does not bear any responsibility for facilitating refunds.
Can You Play Demo Games While in Self-Exclusion?
Players in self-exclusion cannot log into an account at the online casino that has excluded them. Therefore, they cannot play any free demo games, on that particular site. This is due to the fact that UKGC-licensed casinos only allow UK residents to play their demo games if they have been age verified, which requires an account with them.
However, players can still try out games for free at fast withdrawal casinos and other gambling sites from which they haven’t shut themselves out, assuming they are logged in to a verified account.
Can a Fast Withdrawal Casino Retain an Excluded Player’s Information?
A fast withdrawal casino that has accepted the self-exclusion request of a willing player must do any of the two things:
- Ensure that their personal information is eliminated from its marketing databases within 2 days of receipt of the completed self-exclusion notification.
- Retain the information, but flag the player as some to whom marketing materials must not be sent.
Upon the completion of a player's self-exclusion period, the casino is not allowed to automatically enlist a player back in their marketing databases, regardless of the player’s decision to end the exclusion. Doing so would be a breach of the UK Gambling Commission’s requirements.
Can a Fast Withdrawal Casino Send Marketing Materials to an Excluded Player?
A fast withdrawal casino that has excluded a player upon request must take all reasonable steps to ensure no marketing material is being sent to them. UKGC considers a failure to do so as a breach of social responsibility codes.
As already mentioned, the gambling business must remove all details of the excluded player from their marketing database or flag the person as someone to whom no marketing material must be sent.
It is also the online casino’s responsibility to prevent third parties contracted to them, including affiliates who acquire players through websites, emails or SMS, from sending marketing materials to such players.
Now, despite the strongest measures taken, it may so happen that an operator mistakenly sends marketing material to self-excluded players due to the following reasons:
- Staff not following policies
- Use of manual workarounds
- Recycling old customer lists
- Technical vulnerabilities
- Failure to differentiate between self-excluded players and those who have used other gambling control tools
To prevent a recurrence, the UKGC urges casinos to take the following steps:
- Addressing single points of failures
- Removing manual workarounds
- Introducing additional checks and controls
Also, unless a player has deliberately opted to receive marketing material again, this prohibition remains in effect even after their self-exclusion period has lapsed. The UKGC reserves the right to take regulatory action against gambling businesses that fail to comply.
As an example, Sky Vegas casino received a penalty of £1.2m for sending a marketing promotion with the offer of “Bet £5 get 100 Free Spins” to 41,395 individuals who had opted out from gambling voluntarily, in addition to 249,159 people who had unsubscribed from the operator's marketing emails.
What Happens When a Player Breaks a Self-Exclusion Agreement?
If a player is able to bypass a self-exclusion agreement provided by a UKGC casino, it indicates the business's failure to implement effective procedures. The UKGC mandates that such players inform the casino of the issue and assist them in identifying areas of improvement.
Additionally, the player should inform the Gambling Commission, as this information aids in evaluating the effectiveness of the casino’s procedures. It is important to note that the UKGC holds licensed gambling businesses responsible for preventing such incidents.
Players who want to get in touch with the Gambling Commission to report such incidents must also grant them consent to disclose their information to the casino company. Also, they must let the UKGC know the following:
- Date and time of entry into the self-exclusion agreement.
- Process followed to request the online casino for self-exclusion.
- Process followed by the online casino to confirm the self-exclusion.
- Period of self-exclusion.
- Dates when gambling was possible despite the self-exclusion agreement.
- Details of contact established with the online casino since the player gambled.
Once this information is received, the UKGC will decide if any regulatory action is needed to be taken against the casino operator. However, it does not guarantee a refund for money gambled during this period.
Reimbursement is at the sole discretion of the operator. In most cases, players get a refund from gambling sites, including fast withdrawal casinos. This is because they don’t want to upset the player and get reported to the UKGC for their errors.
Do Game Providers Have Self-Exclusion Programs for UK Players?
Game providers do not accept real money bets through their websites and thus, have no self-exclusion program in place. Yet, many of them restrict UK players from accessing their demo games. As a result, even if you haven’t self-excluded, you may not be able to play the free version of games on their websites.
How Do You Know If Your Exclusion Period Has Ended?
If you are using a GamStop account, you can view your exclusion period anytime. In case you don’t have an account, you must get in touch with GamStop to know about the date of expiry of your current exclusion period.
Whatever the case, GamStop is not liable to notify you regarding the expiry of your exclusion period. If you do not terminate your exclusion after the period is over, GamStop will keep it for another 7 years.
Similar is true with individual online casinos from which you have self-excluded without using GamStop. To know when your self-exclusion is ending and to reactivate your account, you must get in touch with the respective operators. Until you do, they will keep your account closed.
However, even if you ask a fast paying casino or other gambling site to re-open your account, there is no guarantee that they will do so.
How Do You Remove an Expired Exclusion?
If you wish to cancel an expired self-exclusion via GamStop, you may reach out to GamStop from 10 AM to 8 PM any day. After receiving your removal request, GamStop will review your identity and promptly process the request if they determine that you are confident in your decision.
If the self-exclusion was made via a fast withdrawal casino or another gambling site, you must get in touch with the operator in question and ask to have your account re-opened. Please note that no requests to remove a self-exclusion prior to its expiry can be entertained either by GamStop or by individual casino operators.
How Soon Can You Gamble Online After Removing Self-Exclusion?
Once you have successfully removed your self-exclusion, you must wait at least 24 hours. This is known as the cooling-off period during which you can also change your mind.
Once this period is over, you must allow some time for the online casinos to update their records before attempting to gamble again.
If you are still unable to access your gambling account after the cooling-off period has ended, contact the online casino operator directly. It should be noted that a removed self-exclusion via GamStop does not guarantee the removal of the block from individual casino sites.
How Do You Reapply For an Exclusion?
Once you register on GamStop, you do not need to re-register if you want to opt for self-exclusion again. Put a new period of self-exclusion in place at any time using your GamStop account. If you don’t have an account, get in touch with GamStop to process your request.
The process is similar if you choose to exclude yourself from a particular UKGC casino. Your account wouldn’t be opened even after your self-exclusion period is over unless you ask for it. However, you must contact the operator if you want to reapply for a new block, regardless of the duration.
Can You Self-Exclude for Life?
Currently, GamStop does not offer the option to permanently self-exclude from online gambling in the UK. However, if you want to self-exclude for life, all you need to do is never contact GamStop to remove your expired self-exclusion period and it will keep getting extended for years.
Additionally, you have the option of permanently closing your account on the vast majority of fast withdrawal casinos. By asking a gambling operator to have your account closed for life due to a gambling problem, it is unlikely that they will ever reopen it for you.
Can You Apply for Self-Exclusion on Someone Else’s Behalf?
The UKGC mandates that no one should attempt to apply for self-exclusion from gambling on someone else’s behalf unless authorised by the concerned person and lawfully entitled to do so with a power of attorney. Thus, an online casino would not blindly exclude a player on someone else’s behalf.
Failure to comply with these regulations may result in legal consequences, including legal liability to the UKGC as well as the individual on whose behalf the exclusion was requested.
Is Every Fast Withdrawal Casino Site in the UK on GamStop?
Every fast withdrawal casino site that is licensed by the UKGC is required to be on GamStop and should definitely be there. However, not every fast paying casino that offers its services to UK players is licensed by the UKGC even though they are lawfully required to be. Thus, these casinos are not part of GamStop. Here’s a list of participating gambling companies on GamStop.
Does Self-Exclusion Work in Casino Sites Not on GamStop?
The UKGC’s self-exclusion mandates do not work on casino sites not on GamStop. So, even if a UK player has opted for self-exclusion via GamStop, these websites will always be accessible.
Normally, a non-GamStop casino would allow a player to self-exclude with it. However, it would not be a universal block and only the account at that particular casino site would be blocked.
If playing at a non-GamStop casino, it's crucial to confirm its regulatory requirements before registering, as they are subject to different regulations than those with UK licenses. These regulations may be weak and may not protect you as a player, your personal data and your funds very well.
Does GamStop’s Self-Exclusion Scheme Apply to Offline Gambling?
GamStop’s self-exclusion scheme applies only to online gambling. However, the UKGC has the following schemes in place for other gambling media:
- Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Scheme (MOSES): This is a multi-operator scheme for self-exclusion that allows players to keep away from multiple betting shops all at once with just one phone call.
Players can nominate specific betting shops from which they want to be excluded by typically identifying them as those in close proximity to their residence or workplace.
- Website: here
- Helpline: 0800 294 2060
- Self-Enrolment National Self-Exclusion (SENSE): This multi-operator self-exclusion scheme lets players exclude themselves from all licensed land-based casinos in Great Britain. Players can voluntarily register in person by visiting the casino venue or enrol via email.
- Self-exclusion by British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA): This is yet another self-exclusion scheme in the UK that lets players exclude themselves from Arcades and Adult Gaming Centres (AGCs).
Players can nominate a single arcade or multiple arcades by visiting the venue(s) in person and speaking to a member of staff to request self-exclusion. The process requires filling up a form and affixing a couple of passport-size photographs to establish your identity.
- Website: here
- Helpline: 020 3930 9769
- Bingo Industry Self-Exclusion Scheme (BISES): The UK Bingo industry offers this self-exclusion program for players who wish to be excluded from licensed land-based Bingo premises across Great Britain.
Interested players must submit a digital application form and image to the BISES database. They can exclude themselves by visiting a local bingo club or licensed high street bingo premises to speak with trained staff or by calling the premises directly.
Additionally, the Bingo Association can provide contact details for self-exclusion scheme members upon request. A player interview is mandatory to ensure that they fully comprehend the implications of self-exclusion before submitting and signing the self-exclusion form.
- Website: here
- Helpline: 01582 860921
Is Self-Exclusion Different From Timeout?
Self-exclusion is different from timeout. It is basically a facility offered by fast withdrawal casinos and other gambling sites to players who want to block themselves from gambling for the following durations:
- 24 hours
- 7 days
- 1 month
- Up to 6 weeks
However, there is one similarity – both self-exclusion and timeout cannot be reversed once in place.
What Is TalkBanStop?
TalkBanStop is a unique partnership between UK’s GamCare, GamStop, and GamBan, which aims to offer players a three-layer protection to assist them in their journey of recovery from problem gambling. This is how it works:
- Talk: Players speak to a trained adviser in GamCare for information, advice and support.
- Ban: Players use the free GamBan software to block access to UK-licenced gambling sites and apps.
- Stop: Players use the free GamStop scheme for self-exclusion from UK-licensed gambling sites.
How Effective Is Self-Exclusion?
Self-exclusion programs are designed to help those with gambling problems by excluding them from gambling venues or websites.
Some experts, however, believe that casinos offer these programs mainly to make themselves look good, rather than to help those with gambling problems. Others feel that individuals with gambling problems must take responsibility for their behaviour and make use of these programs as part of their therapy.
Eventually, deciding if self-exclusion is appropriate for one’s gambling behaviour is a personal choice that only a player can and should be able to make.
Although some people are sceptical of the effectiveness of such programs and call them a ‘toothless tiger,’ they can come in handy for those struggling to control their gambling activities. For them, this is an effective strategy to steer clear of gambling destinations that are otherwise difficult to resist.
Why Is Self-Exclusion Imperative in the Fastest Withdrawal Casinos?
The quick turnaround time of payout in the fastest withdrawal casinos can exacerbate the urge to gamble via the gratification players get from receiving their winnings quickly. This psychological effect can make it hard for players struggling with addictive tendencies or problem gambling to break free from the cycle of addiction.
By voluntarily self-excluding, these players can limit their access to these casinos and prevent themselves from falling prey to these temptations. This can also give them time to reflect on their compulsive behaviour and seek the necessary support to overcome their addiction.