Last updated: 01 July 2024

Patrick Bamford

Hello! I’m Patrick Bamford, the lead author and gambling expert at Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me and where I’ve come from. Like most of you, I have a fascination for gambling and love doing it in my spare time. I’ve experienced the ups and downs and spent some time on the GamStop scheme.

During my self-exclusion, I had time to reflect and realised a few flaws with the UK’s gambling laws. Mainly, punters like myself would cool down and be left with nowhere to gamble for months or years. Many of my friends turned to Black Market sites and got scammed, so I chose to take things into my own hands and learn about non-GamStop casinos and betting sites. 

It’s something that’s taken over my life for the past few years and I’m delighted to have a website where I can talk more about it. Before you read any of my work, if you’d like to know more about my journey, then feel free to read on! 

Quick Facts To Know About Me

  • Age – 37
  • Occupation – British sports writer, journalist and author
  • Education – BA in Communications Economics & MA in Economics and Political Science
  • Favourite Hobbies – Online gaming, number puzzles and watching my local football team
  • Favourite Gambling Activity – Video slots, especially Megaways slots these days! 
  • Role On This Website – I’m the head of content creation and the lead author

My Journey So Far

I know you’re expecting some crazy journey with lots of plot twists, but the truth is I’m a rather boring individual! I’ve lived in the UK my whole life and studied economics at uni, graduating with a BA from the University of Leeds in 2007. Straight after I moved to London and completed my master’s, ready to pursue a standard career in finance. 

However, during my two years in London, I discovered a love of gambling. There were loads of fruit machines in the local pubs and so many bookies on all the streets. I started dabbling here and there and started to enjoy it. I’ve always been a bit of a numbers nerd and loved online gaming, so this put me in great stead when it came to gambling. I was able to work out strategies and figure out the best ways to cut my losses or win big. 

Signing Up For GamStop

Gambling quickly became one of my favourite hobbies, especially as the online gambling industry started taking off in the mid-2000s. Unfortunately, I started taking things too far and was gambling too often. It was interfering with my work, so I joined GamStop in 2018. I was excluded for 5 years – which seemed like a great idea at the time. 

Granted, this period gave me a chance to self-reflect. I’d already kicked in my finance career and was now working as a sports journalist. It was incredibly fun, but I wanted to do more. After a few months on the GamStop program, I felt ready to bet again. So, you can imagine my surprise when I tried to cancel and they said I couldn’t for another 4 and a half years! 

Dedicating My Life To Non-GamStop Betting

I looked everywhere to find somewhere to gamble responsibly while on GamStop. This was when I started writing about casinos not on GamStop. I quickly learned which sites were safe for UK gamblers and which were not. It didn’t seem fair to keep this information to myself, so I started a blog. 

That blog grew and grew, leading to the site you’re on right now: You see, it was a boring story, but I’m glad everything happened. It’s led me to where I am today; providing you guys with information to help you bet responsibly. 

My Views On Responsible Gambling 

Responsible gambling is essential for all bettors. Trust me, I know what happens when you don’t gamble responsibly. 

It’s something I’m a big advocate for, which is why I make resources about casinos outside GamStop. I know that the self-exclusion scheme pushes people to make rash decisions after cooling off. You need to know how to find safe gambling websites and how to avoid bad gambling habits. 

If I could give you one tip to take with you through your online gambling journey, it would be this: 

Stop trying to make money when you gamble. Treat it as a hobby and just play for fun. 

Patrick Bamford Answers Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you pursue a career in online gambling?

As I’ve said, it was something I developed a passion for. My economics background meant the money side of things intrigued me and I’ve always been an avid gamer. Gambling combines the two, so I thought why not write about it and see if people care enough to read?!

What is your favourite online slot game?

Ooh, tough one. There are so many, but right this second I’m big into Divine Fortune Megaways. It’s by NetEnt and updates one of the most iconic video slots with the Megaways feature, giving you loads of ways to win.

Do you think GamStop should be abolished?

No. Self-exclusion schemes like GamStop should exist because some gamblers need to be blocked from all casino sites. A self-exclusion period can stop you from going down a slippery slope and losing all of your money.

However, I do believe the scheme could be tweaked and you should have more exclusion duration options. Too many punters will cool off for a couple of months and look at bad websites because they can’t join any traditional ones in the UK.

What would you change about the UKGC gambling regulations?

I think I would just relax things a little bit. Society proves that strict rules end up having an adverse effect in many cases. It usually forces people to do harmful things – and I’ve seen this in the gambling world. Offering punters a bit more room to breathe and regulate themselves could help a lot.