Background: Surgical resection is the cornerstone of curative treatment for gastric cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate reasons for and patient- and tumor characteristics that are associated with refraining from surgical resection in patients with potentially curable gastric cancer. Materials and methods: Between 2015 and 2017, all patients with potentially curable gastric adenocarcinoma (cT1-4a-x, cN0-3-x, cM0) were included from the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR). Patients were divided into a resection (RG) and a no-resection group (nRG). Reasons for not undergoing resection as registered by the NCR were evaluated. Using multivariable logistic regression analyses, patient and tumor characteristics associated with refraining from resection were assessed. Results: Of the 1679 analyzed patients with potentially curable disease, 1127 patients (67%) underwent resection, and 552 patients (33%) did not. Most common registered reasons for refraining from surgery were patient refusal (25%), low performance status (23%), comorbidity and extent of disease (both 10%). Factors associated with not undergoing resection were: age ≥80 years (OR 4.77, [95%CI 2.27–10.06], p < 0.001), low Social-Economic-Status (SES) (OR 2.68 [95%CI 1.31–5.46], p = 0.007), WHO performance status 3–4 (OR 10.48 [95%CI 2.41–45.73], p = 0.002) with several accompanying comorbidities, unclassified Lauren classification (OR 3.93 [95%CI 1.61–9.56], p = 0.003) and overlapping/diffuse tumors (OR 3.51, [95%CI 1.54–8.05], p = 0.003). Conclusion: A third of patients with potentially curable gastric cancer did not undergo resection. Most frequent registered reasons for refraining from surgery were patient refusal, performance status, comorbidity and extent of disease. Additionally, multivariable analyses identified higher age, lower SES, and poor tumor characteristics as associated factors.