Despite not having the destructive effects of drugs, problem gambling has become a legal threat with the power of rewiring our brains and making us addicted to the thrill of uncertain outcomes that only gambling can provide.
In the UK 200,000 people are registered as severe problem gamblers. Figures in this regard increases as Covid-19 backlashes our regular way of life and turns us socially distant, and online gambling fills the gaps. The situation has caught the attention of guard those who struggle against addiction while those suffering the compulsion simply switch from live to remote betting in order to get their dopamine fix.
As the UK Gambling Commision looks for other ways to protect people, adding an extra layer of protection for vulnerable public and gamblers who are aware that they are losing something more than their flutters is imperative. Online self exclusion becomes the only option to surely put a stop to problem gambling before sheer will becomes insufficient.
Two self-exclusion services, Gamestop and BetBlocker come as the first options to consider. While both are free, their reach and procedure to help you prevent problem gambling do have their difference. One thing for sure, is that both are designed to not let you down in your path to recovery.
GAMSTOP is a free service that allows UK residents from Great Britain and Northern Ireland to apply for self-exclusion from all gambling companies licensed within these territories.
The self-exclusion program works by making a personal registry. After filling the required information you will be asked to select your self exclusion period which can range from 6 month, or one to five years. Once you submit your request an email will confirm all the details and you’ll be self-excluded in the next 12 hours.
How does GamStop Self-Exclusion Work?
After requesting your self-exclusion GamStop will cross all the information you have filled with the licensed gambling operators they have in order to block access to those accounts and make you available to create new ones. However during your exclusion period you’re still able to contact gambling operators in order to retrieve any funds you might have in their accounts.
Keep in mind that you will need to update every relevant change you might have, like switching address, changing last name, and even using a new email address. Not compelling with those updates will (along with other desmenuer actions) break the self exclusion, which can lead to desastreus results. However, gamblers could still play at several reputable non-Gamstop casinos that provide their services for UK players. Fortunately, Gamstop offers other resources to help you overcome the initial abstinence phase and pass the temptation to blow everything you’re fighting for.
The Terms and Conditions of Gamstop can’t be more clearer “once you have completed your registration, you will not be able to deactivate your self-exclusion until the end of your minimum exclusion period”.
However, once the minimum duration period (the one you selected in your registration).
has elapsed, the self-exclusion will remain in force until you return to GAMSTOP to ask for it to be removed. After meeting these conditions you will have to wait for another 7-days, followed by a 24-hour cooling period, just to ensure that you are in full control.
Who keeps Gamstop free?
Gamstop is operated by a not for profit organisation called The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited. To enhance its effectiveness, the UKGC has made mandatory to any aspiring operator to adhere and fund the self-exclusion scheme if they had intention to had serious business in the UK,
Gamstop Scheme Features
- Gambling operators must comply to protect their customer,
- Gamstop offers advice and resources to keep your comprise to recover from problem gambling.
- It instantly blocks you from every licensed operator in the UK no matter the device used.
- The exclusion is limited to certain parts of the UK.
- You must keep updating any change to maintain the self-exclusion effectiveness.
- Self exclusion does not protect you from being a target of gambling advertisement
- The scheme is limited only to the UK gambling jurisdiction making offshore operators a threat.
- Not intended for people with bendable will.
BetBlocker is a cost and advert free app dedicated to putting you on distance from online gambling and all of its risks. The app offers 2 solutions against gambling sites: self-exclusion. As the main feature of BetBlocker restrains complete access for over 13,109 gambling websites until date, without any possibility of lifting it unless a password is imputed or the exclusion period ends.
Parental control is based on the same principles as its more radical self-exclusion mode. The only difference is that you can switch features between “free mode” and blocking to deny access not only to gambling content but also other sites that can be harmful or inappropriate for the device’s users.
How does the App Work?
Once you download and install Betblocker you must select the restriction periods for self exclusion or parental control, which range from 24 h up to five years or forever. Only parental control can be deactivated before the time period expires thanks to a password you previously created.
To avoid any possible access to gambling sites and undesirable content, BetBlocker relies upon keywords to filter content. In fact you can also include certain URLs to block with the exclusion mode. Keep in mind that you must wait until the exclusion period ends in order to access these URLs again.
Where I can Install BetBlocker?
BetBlocker can be installed across the depicted platforms as many times, and on many devices you want without restriction. Because the app is very simple yet effective in its purpose, resources like memory and battery consumption won’t be hindered and even noticed by users.
Why is the App Completely Free?
BetBlocker is an effort from an online gambling dispute resolution service that was approved as a charity to protect customers and vulnerable users from problem gambling. Even though BetBlocker donations are obtained from gambling operators, personal data sale is inexistent, not only due to morale issues but also because the servers don’t hold any personal information of BetBlocker users.
- Blocks access to gambling companies licensed in the UK and abroad.
- It pass unnoticed in your devices
- Offers proteccion not only for gambling but also other inappropriate or harmful content.
- You might erase the app but the exclusion is still prevalent.
- Selling the device won’t remove the exclusion
- Problem gamblers can access other devices that don’t have the app installed
- BetBlocker is still in beta phase so troubleshooting might occur.
- Support won’t help you retrieve your password if you lose it.
After weighing what Gamstop and BetBlocker have to offer, we personally consider that BetBlocker offers greater protection against problem gambling relapse. But, instead of relying on a sole source, why not take both?
Increasing your protection against problem gambling should be your priority especially in dire times like this.
If you have a fledgling will, and even under lockdown away from the UK the app won’t allow you to access any kind of gambling service. Furthermore, if you manage to put your hands over another device the Gamstop will prevent you from derailing from your purpose.
Finally, while we don’t encourage acting on behalf of someone else, if you have a close relative or friend suffering from problem gambling and is unwilling to take the step, sneaking to their devices and installing BetBlocker as part of an intervention process might be the only way to help them self-exclude.
Even if loathing is all you can receive, they will end thanking your dareness.