Are casinos outside the UK safe for UK players?


The problem of gambling has recently hit UK news, forcing the UK gambling regulator UKGC to tighten measures regarding access to gambling sites for those with an irresistible craving for the activity. At the same time, non uk casinos have dramatically increased in popularity, which is not surprising at all. While all restrictions benefit certain individuals, they are responsible for creating a less enjoyable gambling experience for casual players who are able to control their cravings for gambling. Thus, this situation leads many players to look for gambling sites other than GamStop, as such sites are extremely safe and have much more to offer than casinos participating in the self-exclusion programme.

Who regulates non-GamStop casinos?

Non-GamStop casinos are gambling sites that are not headquartered in the UK and whose operations are not controlled by the UKGC. They are platforms that offer their services all over the world. Essentially, a casino without GamStop is a casino with a gaming licence from an international regulatory body such as the Malta Gambling Authority, a Curacao licence holder, the Panama Gambling Control Board, etc.

All of the above organisations are reputable and have been in the industry for decades which is why such sites are extremely safe and offer only a positive gaming experience. Curacao eGaming is the most reputable of all gambling licence holders and has been in operation since the field’s inception, since 1996. The MGA came into existence in 2001 and the Panama Gaming Control Board was founded in 2002. Thus, most offshore licensors have more than twenty years of regulatory experience.

Operators obtaining a licence from these organisations must go through a similar procedure to that followed by the UKGC. They must also have their main office in the country of their licensor. In this way, they can remain under its supervision. Casinos that are not owned by GamStop must undergo a financial check that guarantees their liquidity, and all their games must undergo regular third-party checks that guarantee honesty.

Is it legal to play at non-GamStop casinos?

It is very important to understand that non-GamStop casinos are 100% legal and safe. People from dozens of countries use them every day. They only do not have a UKGC license. Therefore, they cannot officially advertise their services or offer them to UK residents. However, the authorities do not waste time prosecuting players who choose to play on offshore platforms. Many see this as a waste of public resources and the choice of online casinos is a personal choice for everyone. The gambling sites not featured on GamStop are different from the UKGC sites. As such, each of them can provide players with many reasons why they are a better option than a UK-licensed operator.

Any legal consequences associated with players engaging in real money gambling on non-UKGC sites fall on the provider, not the users. That said, given that these platforms do not participate in such extensive exemption systems, they should only be used by those who can resist the temptation of chasing losing bets and know when to call it quits. It’s worth noting that almost all online casinos allow players to set deposit/loss limits and have self-exclusion options.

What to expect from casinos not blocked by GamStop?

In essence, the sites on and off the GamStop network are very similar. Online casinos may have different designs and organisational schemes, but their basic fundamentals remain pretty much the same. This is because few software vendors provide operators with the infrastructure needed to run their businesses. Moreover, some companies have dozens of online casinos in their portfolio targeting different markets. They may have a UKGC-licensed site and an identical site targeting players from other regions.

The difference between the two categories of platforms is due to UK regulation, which is much stricter than in other countries. For example, in April 2020, the UKGC banned the ability to use credit cards for online gambling. The country also has restrictions on bonuses and gaming.

GamStop sites vs. casinos not represented on GamStop

There is no such thing as a perfect gambling site, because no one site can accommodate everything. The same goes for the categories of online casinos. Each one has its pros and cons. Things that make it unique and attractive, and elements that discourage players.

Below is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the two casino types mentioned.


  • A wider selection of games.
  • Easier identity verification procedure.
  • More attractive bonuses.
  • VIP programs with more perks.
  • More payment methods.
  • More cryptocurrency options.


Operators not so strictly checked

Internationally licensed platforms offer advantages such as more generous promotions, a wider choice of payment methods, more games and so on. They are richer in content than UKGC casinos, so naturally players want to use them as a gaming option. However, they are not under as strict government oversight as the UK sites. If players feel comfortable spinning the reels on offshore platforms, they don’t have to worry about their own safety, as all platforms have gambling licences and protect their players reliably.

Helen Miller

Helen Miller is a freelance writer at Usevoucher. She covers personal finance topics in a syndicated column that appears in Financial Planning Magazine. Her work has been featured by Market Watch, Digital Journal, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and Yahoo Finance. Helen has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles.