E-Sports betting has seen a surge in popularity over the last few years and it has also aligned with another trend, which is the move of UK gamblers to non-UK sites. Betting sites not on GamStop are free from the lengthy self-exclusion scheme, but also the restrictions that are being applied to gameplay in the UK industry. Gambling on the outcome of video game soccer, or a role player fantasy may seem strange to some punters, but it has become a competitive billion-dollar industry. Should you consider using non-UK bookmakers?
We lay out the advantages and disadvantages of using both options in this article:
How Does E-Sports Betting in the UK Work?
The UK has been an important destination for the fast-growing e-sports gaming trend. Electronic Sports League UK organise events across the country that cater to fans and they regularly host sellout crowds. Popular games include League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone and Overwatch. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has become the top e-sport in the UK however, large audiences are also drawn in to watch players compete in the soccer franchise FIFA. Making bets on human players using their skills in FIFA will appeal to fans of the beautiful game and will bring a very similar experience to betting on the real Premiership teams. Fans can study the form and track record of talent in the same way that they can check the latest goalscoring exploits of their favourite players in the Champions League. Role player games such as League of Legends have a different structure and there are odds available for the first kill of the game, or the winner of particular levels etc.
UK consumers will find a large selection of UK betting sites catering to the e-sports market and they will be fully regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. The only problem with this has been a clampdown on the industry by the UKGC in recent years. The GamStop scheme was brought in to tackle problem gambling and UK residents can sign up for free and get a self-exclusion from all UK betting sites for up to five years. The regulators have also expanded their rules to other areas of the gaming industry, with one example being the removal of credit card deposits. Tackling problem gambling was necessary and inevitable, but for those who are comfortable with their gambling habits, it can become restrictive.
How Do Non-GamStop Betting Sites Work?
While technology led to a rise in UK gambling sites, it also made it easier for gaming businesses to setup offices in locations that offer a more suitable environment for taxes and climate.
These sites are still regulated by the relevant body in their jurisdiction, with popular destinations being Malta, Gibraltar, and Cyprus. Malta is regulated by the MGA and the country still has close ties to the UK after being a former colony. The Mediterranean destination is also a member of the European Union and therefore, they are required to operate to high standards in KYC and money laundering. The advantage for UK punters in using these options is that the sites don’t have to adhere to UK GamStop rules. Bettors will also find that betting sites not on GamStop have a professional environment which is similar to that of UK sites.
Outside of the European nations, there has also been growth in Central American sites offering their services to the UK. Curacao and Costa Rica are two examples, and it is perfectly legal for UK consumers to sign up with them. The UKGC are careful about the marketing of such sites and this is why they remain unknown to most. Sites not on GamStop can be easily found in Google searches and they offer an alternative experience to the UK companies.
Alternative E-Sports Gambling Options
E-sports betting with foreign sites can also offer a wider range of deposit options. This has started to include cryptocurrencies and will appeal to those that have seen a surge in their coin holdings. The in-game experience will also be new to punters, with certain games using their own virtual currency, and this can be traded for in-game purchases. Weapons, accessories, and loot boxes are examples of what can be bought with virtual currency. Loot boxes are surprise crates that contain rewards and power-ups, but the buyer doesn’t know the contents until they are purchased and cracked open.
These virtual currencies can also be traded in third-party marketplaces, where you can also buy the latest accessories, in what is known as skin betting. These virtual items can even be used to play games of chance such as blackjack or roulette.
Gambling in the UK and Non-GamStop Sites
There are advantages and disadvantages of the UK sites and those not on GamStop. We have listed some of the most common below:
Pros of Using UK Betting Sites
- Well-known brand names
- GBP deposits always
- Good selection of e-sports
- Regulated by the UKGC
- Third-party dispute support
Cons of Using UK Betting Sites
- Limits on deposits
- No credit cards allowed
- GamStop exclusion other restrictions
- No support for cryptocurrencies
- Limited bonus options
Pros of Using Non UK Sites
- Larger welcome bonuses
- Wider selection of currencies
- Larger game libraries than UK gaming sites
- Self-exclusion still an option
- Wide range of funding options, including crypto
Cons of Using Non UK Sites
- Sites are used as a GamStop loophole
- May not provide GBP deposits
- Separate regulatory body from the UK
- Limited access to third-party dispute support
- Customer support time zone difference
With the UK Gambling Authority clamping down on UK betting sites, punters are increasingly looking at other options and this has seen growth in the usage of betting sites not on GamStop. UK sportsbooks still offer access to the growing e-sports market, but the environment is beginning to get more restrictive with UKGC rules. These have gone beyond GamStop and have affected deposits and gameplay.
If you are new to the world of e-sports betting, or have made bets on the games previously, it is worth considering the non- UK sites.