For decades, bingo has been a favourite “gambling option” among the elderly in countries all over the world. In an interesting twist of fate, bingo went mainstream a few years back when online bingo sites became popular in the UK. Today, bingo players of all ages have been commonplace in both bingo halls and on popular online bingo sites.
If you prefer playing bingo online, you probably already know there are hundreds of UK online bingo sites from which you can choose. What you might not realise is that while most of the sites are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), there are still quite a few sites operating outside of the UKGC’s purview. Why does this matter?
The GamStop Self-exclusion Scheme and Online Bingo in the UK
Officially, online bingo is considered a form of online gambling. As such, UK bingo operators are required to secure operator licences from the UKGC before they can legally offer bingo games to UK residents. After they secure licences, they are also required to subscribe to the UKGC Self-exclusion scheme.
GamStop was innovated in 2018 and mandated in 2020 by the UKGC to do one thing. The program was innovated so that UK online gamblers would have easy access to a program that could help them stay away from UK online gambling sites. Yes, the program is intended for people who fear falling victim to a gambling disorder.
Gamblers register with GamStop on a voluntary basis, no one can be forced to join. As part of the registration process, registering gamblers are the ones who decide how long they want to be denied access to UK online gambling sites. The options are few: 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years.
After becoming part of the GamStop database, registered gamblers are not allowed to use any UK gambling site that is licensed and subscribed to GamStop. That does include bingo sites.
Where Can I Find UK Bingo Sites Not on GamStop?
Let’s suppose for a moment that you fancy yourself a bit of an online bingo enthusiast. Let’s further suppose that you recently felt your bingo playing was getting out of hand and decided to seek help from GamStop. Now, you fully understand you can’t play online bingo through licensed UK bingo sites. What should you do if you suddenly decide you want to start playing online bingo again prior to the expiration of your GamStop self-exclusion?
If you really want to get around your GamStop status, you’ll be happy to learn that you do have a few options. Of course, you have always had the ability to visit actual bingo halls, but maybe you like your bingo online.
To be clear, online bingo is not very popular in other countries. While you might find an offshore site or two you can use, nothing compares to the excitement of online bingo in the UK. That excitement comes from a constant flow of bingo games and tournaments that cover lots of old and new versions of the game.
Still even rarer are bingo sites that accept cryptocurrencies as a legitimate banking option. That day might be coming soon, but it really hasn’t arrived quite yet. What does that leave?
Good news! We already mentioned there are quite a few UK bingo sites that aren’t GamStop members. The even better news is many of these non-GamStop UK bingo sites are just fine. They are safe, secure, reputable, and offer all the bingo options you probably enjoy the most. In fact, you can find plenty of bingo sites with no GamStop at NonGamStopOdds.
For a moment, it seems prudent to mention risk. When any online gambling operator in the UK decides to skip the licensing process, they have very specific reasons for doing so. Most of the time, it’s simply a money thing. Small bingo sites can’t always afford the UKGC’s fees. That’s the same reason they might avoid GamStop membership. It would be irresponsible to not mention that some operators have less than honourable reasons for not complying with regulations. If you do your research and read some reviews, you should be able to avoid these bingo sites.
As for what criteria you should use to make bingo site selections, we offer this. Most UK online bingo sites will be offering the standard fare in terms of bingo games. That includes the latest and greatest versions whatever they might be.
If games and banking options are the same, we would recommend you focus on the online bingo sites that offer the best bonuses. While it’s true that bingo operators are seldom as generous with bonuses as casino and sportsbook operators, bonuses are still available. You just have to be willing to do your research.
The best place to find the best UK online bingo sites not on GamStop with good bonuses is through online bingo review sites like Nongamstopodds.com. These sites go to great lengths to give honest reviews. If you find sites that are getting a lot of good reviews, it’s a good bet that is where you want to go.