NBA Basketball betting
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Historically, basketball has been one of the most famous sports to bet on in the United States but has gained popularity in multiple European countries such as the UK. All licensed sportsbooks in the UKGC are essentially obliged to register with Gamstop; a self-exclusion scheme made for players who go through gambling dependence and cannot stop themselves from betting impulsively. Therefore, all basketball punters are required to affiliate with Gamstop if they want to start betting with a UKGC betting site. However, players who decide to go into this kind of rehab but are looking to find how to cancel Gamstop will realise that the ban is irreversible.

The idea behind how Gamstop works is that basketball bettors that go through addiction can create an account on Gamstop’s website and essentially ban themselves from possibly registering with one of Gamstop’s registered bookies for a certain amount of time such as six months, one year or two years. However, the problematic punters cannot ban themselves from signing up with an offshore bookmaker, creating a hole in the process of rescuing the gamblers that are in danger.

What is interesting about basketball in the sports betting industry in the UK is that it has increasingly gained attention, and bookmakers have grown their revenue through it. Therefore, every basketball bettor in the UK is essentially required to choose between affiliating with Gamstop or going through an offshore bookie. Basketball has gained traction, especially among the British inner-city community, where players are looking to relate to a street cred sport, such as basketball. Over the past years, we have also seen the NBA host an official regular-season game once per year in London, and the National Basketball Association has now close to 100 employees working full time in the UK. We have also seen increasingly more colleges taking their basketball teams seriously, and the D1 basketball league in England has been finally getting a significant amount of eyeballs from the basketball demographic. According to the department of culture, basketball is also very popular among the youth, currently in the UK standing as the second most played sport behind soccer for kids under 15 years olds. 

Although the objective of Gamstop may sound fair for some basketball punters, it is crucial to consider that there have been a lot of flaws that have come to the surface over time. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, regardless if a player is blocked from betting by Gamstop, he can still wager through offshore sportsbooks. A lot have argued that due to that reason, the premise of Gamstop doesn’t work. In addition, if a player decides to sign up with Gamstop, he cannot back out unless the ban expires, which can trap him into a long-term wait. Moreover, bookies related to the UKGC have a lot of credit card and crypto withdrawal limitations. Lastly, Gamstop betting sites have complicated KYC requirements and verifications to be fulfilled before being allowed to bet, incentivising some basketball players to place action with bookmakers from outside the country that have more relaxed measures.