There is little doubt that the online gambling industry has been growing by leaps and bounds for close to a decade. There is nothing wrong with that because online gambling is a fun and exciting form of adult entertainment in the hands of the right people. That raises the question, “Who are the wrong people?”
Within the online gambling industry, the wrong people would be the individuals who lose control over their gambling activities. The closer these people get to gambling addiction, the closer they get to personal and or financial ruin. That’s something no one wants to see, even online gambling operators.
In the UK, all licensed online gambling operators are required to subscribe to the GamStop Self-Exclusion scheme. This is a creative problem gambling solution that allows problem gamblers to ask UK online gambling operators to cut them off. For the most part, GamStop works very well. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the UK for UK residents.
Self-Exclusion Software Programs
For the rest of the online gambling community, problem gambling resources are few. In most cases, problem gamblers are limited to using software program solutions that include a self-exclusion feature. Such software can be a great tool to fight temptation from such incentives like free chips, bonus offers, and other promotions used to attract gamblers.
For online problem gamblers, the three best self-exclusion software solutions are Gamban, BetBlocker, and Net Nanny. Since each of these programs operates differently, a discussion of all them seems prudent.
Gamban is a software product or app that blocks access to any website that can be identified as a gambling website. Of course, that includes online casinos, sportsbooks, bingo sites, horse race betting sites, lottery sites, and online poker rooms. It also blocks sites that include betting news and handicapping information, as well as commodity and crypto trading websites.
The software or app is available by one-time subscription. For smartphones and tablets, the app is fully compatible with the Mac OS, Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems. Once the product has been downloaded, it’s permanent and cannot be uninstalled.
Gamban is device-specific. It will only work on devices that have been designated during the subscription payment process. It only takes 5 minutes to download. Once established, the software and app have a good record of blocking gambling-related websites.
There is one negative related to Gamban. It’s device-specific. If a problem gambler wants to keep betting, doing so is as easy as using another device.
BetBlocker is another software and app solution for problem gamblers. Unlike Gamban, there are no fees associated with using BetBlocker’s products. The distribution of the product is managed by a group of problem-gambling organizations that are more than happy to offer it for free.
Other than being free, BetBlocker works much like Gamban. It’s device-specific. The app is fully compatible with the Mac OS, Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems. It blocks any websites that appear to be associated with the online gambling community. Once it’s downloaded on a device, the installation is permanent and the program cannot be removed.
There are two features that differentiate BetBlocker from Gamban. First, BetBlocker allows users to predetermine a period of self-exclusion. They can request a self-exclusion period of 24 hours at a minimum, up to a lifetime self-exclusion. For what it’s worth, the UK’s GamStop scheme also allows gamblers to choose a self-exclusion period (6 months, 1 year, or 5 years).
Second, BetBlocker offers a parental control option. This allows for a third party like a parent or wife to control the device’s self-exclusion period without putting a permanent block in the system. The third party can maintain control up to the point they decide to relinquish that control and remove their password.
Note: BetBlocker is not perfect. If a user inadvertently gets access to a gambling-related site, they can contact BetBlocker and the software provider will add the site to their list of blocked sites.
Unlike Gamban and BetBlocker, Net Nanny was not created as a gambling self-exclusion tool. Instead, it was created as a tool that allows parents to control which sites their kids can access. It also includes a feature that allows parents to set limits on the amount of time their kids can access the internet or specific websites.
Yes, it is a viable self-exclusion software or app tool for problem gamblers. However, there are reasons why Net Nanny is not the best self-exclusion option.
First, the program can be uninstalled with the proper password. Second, there is no filter that identifies gambling sites. The person controlling the product has to designate which sites need to be blocked. Finally, and like Gamban and BetBlocker, it is device-specific.
In conclusion, if you have a gambling problem, self-exclusion programs and software programs work but don’t offer enough protection. You owe it to yourself to also consider getting therapy and joining Gamblers Anonymous. For more information, your favorite online gambling sites should be providing access to problem gambling resources.
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