Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How the UK’s Recession Could Boost Irresponsible Gaming

Coming out of the COVID19 pandemic, Brits held high hopes that they could quickly recover from the economic damage caused by the government-mandated restrictions.

The reality is there are no signs of recovery as the nation appears headed into the fall of 2022 and the possibility of a deep recession.

At a time when most people are struggling with their personal finances, it's reasonable to question the wisdom of gambling when money is needed for basic expenses. Fair or not, that's where people tend to go when there is a general sense everyone is headed for collective financial issues.

Here's the thing. Everyone needs some form of fun and excitement in their lives, especially when family and financial pressures start building. The truth is there is nothing wrong with a UK online gambler depositing a few pounds and enjoying a few sports bets or hours of casino play. However, times of financial pressure make it necessary for anyone who does gamble to do so responsibly.

What is Responsible Gambling?

The term responsible gambling means something different to each individual. With that said, there is one important rule of thumb that most reasonable people would accept as the right definition for responsible gambling.

The rule of thumb: One should never gamble with more money than they can reasonably afford to lose. This would typically be referred to as discretionary money. The term discretionary money refers to the money an individual has remaining after they have paid all of their bills and set something aside as savings.

How the UK’s Recession Could Boost Irresponsible Gambling

During difficult financial times, it's real easy for people to fall into the depths of panic. When the bills start building up and no money is available to make payments, people tend to become irresponsible with their personal finances.

For people who view gambling as a means of making money, there is always the possibility those individuals will see their gambling activities as a way to deal with their financial problems. Never mind the fact most people who gamble on a regular basis are quite aware that the odds always favor the house (casino/bookmaker). They seem to be able to look past the odds and only see the possibility of financial relief. Oftentimes, that's the start of gambling addiction.

With a recession in the UK looking inevitable, the instances of problem gambling issues among online gamblers are certain to grow to alarming levels. This is exactly what the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) foresaw when they innovated the GamStop Self-exclusion scheme back in April of 2018.

GamStop as a Problem Gambling Resource for UK Problem Gamblers

In recent years, the population of UK residents who have been taking to the internet to gamble has been trending upwards. In fact, experts report that the UK online gambling community has been growing by double-digit percentages year-over-year for over a decade with no end in sight. Factor in recessionary times with this growth, it's a good bet the GamStop database will soon be experiencing explosive growth, similar to how GamStop has become a truly popular UK startup.

Initially, GamStop membership was optional for UK online gambling operators. In March of 2020, the UKGC stepped up and made membership mandatory among all online gambling operators that the UKGC was licensing.

Most licensed operators are in compliance with this mandate. For a list of UK casino operators not on GamStop, visit

GamStop works as follows. Subscribed GamStop operators will typically provide a GamStop link in the website's "responsible gambling" section. For gamblers, participation in the scheme is voluntary and free.

There are two steps to the GamStop registration process. First, UK gamblers are required to provide personal information that will be used to identify them in the GamStop database. Second, they must choose the duration of their self-exclusion with the choices ranging from 6 months to a max of 5 years.

Once the registration application has been submitted and approved, the registered gambler will not be allowed to access any licensed/GamStop-subscribed UK online gambling sites. Furthermore, they will be blocked until their self-determined exclusion period expires. No exceptions, none!

If by chance a registered GamStop gambler decides they want to start gambling again prior to their GamStop expiration date, they may only do so through alternative options. The list of available options includes:

  • Using retail gambling resouces (casinos and betting shops)
  • Using gambling accounts under the names of trusted friends and relatives
  • Located offshore operators that cater to Brits
  • Taking advantage of the anonymity provide by using cryptocurrencies as a primary banking option
  • Using non-GamStop subscribed UK operators (see above)

Given the likelihood a UK recession could lead to an epidemic of irresponsible gambling, it's incumbent on UK online gamblers to proceed with caution. They can do that by adhering to the "rule of thumb" provided above and not hesitating to use GamStop should gambling issues become apparent.