It can be challenging to acknowledge to oneself or others that a gambling issue may exist. Fortunately, there are resources and organisations ready to assist, and one effective strategy in fighting gambling addiction is the ability to restrict access to online casino sites.
In this informative video by Irishluck.ie, Seánie, the host and resident casino adviser, presents a comprehensive guide on blocking online casino sites across various devices and platforms, including Apple, Android, and even your WiFi router. Furthermore, he explores unconventional approaches such as preventing your bank from facilitating gambling transactions and obtaining additional support for addiction.
What is Gambling Addiction? What is Problem Gambling?
Gambling addiction represents itself in both the online casino world and in brick-and-mortar casinos. Gambling addiction is also known as pathological gambling, gambling disorder, or compulsive gambling. It is an unhealthy obsession that gambling businesses count on. Gambling problems are the result of an impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers can't control their instinct to gamble, regardless of the impact gambling may have on them, their loved ones, and others. Gamblers will bet if they are broke or flush, up or down, losing or winning.
On the other hand, problem gambling disrupts your life. This form of gambling addiction occurs when you are preoccupied with gambling, and you spend all your resources, like time and money, on it. For example, you use your funds for betting instead of paying the bills. Gambling problems can manifest in various ways, often spiralling out of control unless you get some help and support.
You can look up symptoms and understand your situation if you think you have a gambling problem. The key is to take an interest in addressing the issue and taking the necessary steps to advance your healing process. It is crucial to remember that you are not powerless or out of options and that there is always an option to choose better for yourself. There are many resources and tools that can help you minimise gambling and its effect on your life. One of the most notable organisations for addressing gambling issues is GambleAware. This charity commissions prevention and treatment services for addicts. The organisation helps people make informed choices about their gambling.
Another notable organisation is Gamcare, which delivers gambling support to needy people. They also have a partnership with TalkBanStop, combining practical tools and support to help gamblers stop gambling and start the road to recovery. The appropriate controls and tools can set you on the right path. One of the most significant steps you can take is blocking casino sites on your computer, phone, or tablet - wherever you play. You can do this through Gamban, an app that blocks access to gambling websites and apps worldwide.
Let's take a closer look at this.
Quick Answer: Blocking Casino Sites
There are various ways to block casino sites. We will take you through the following:
- Types of gambling site blocking software.
- Self-exclusion from gambling on Android phones.
- Blocking gambling sites on iPhones.
- Preventing access to gambling sites and apps on Windows.
- Blocking gambling sites on Google Chrome.
- Using Gamestop for self-exclusion.
- Blocking your bank account from making gambling transactions.
Types of Gambling Site-Blocking Software
There are two types of blocking software available:
- General software: this can block any site. People often use it for parental controls and safer browsing.
- Gambling-specific software: this targets online gambling sites. It is designed to ensure you get blocked from accessing betting websites.
We will mainly focus on the latter.
Self-Exclusion Software for Android
Android phones include popular brands like Samsung, Huawei, Sony, Google Pixel, and Nokia - they all share the same basic software.
You can download three applications for self-exclusion programs on your phone. Self-exclusion is a service that restricts people with gambling addictions from accessing casinos and other gambling sites.
- GamBan: As mentioned above, Gamban blocks all apps and websites, including niche ones like cryptocurrencies and e-sports betting. You can register with Gamban on as many devices as you like without paying an extra fee. Gamban offers a cool-off feature and an exclusion feature.
- Gamblock: this can be used on Windows computers as well. This comprehensive solution offers airtight protection that even VPNs and proxies cannot bypass. Once you install the software, you can't remove it for the chosen period you initialised it. The software has several subscription options, with the annual subscription costing €137.
- Betfilter: This is another gambling-specific software. It blocks all gambling sites, apps, and servers on all your devices.
- NetNanny: This is a general blocking software with parental controls for kids. It offers website blocking, internet filters as well as app blocking capabilities. The screen management feature can be used as a cool-off feature as well.
Blocking Casino Sites on iPhones
You can use GamBan on iPhones, as it also works on iOS. You can download it from the Apple store. The second option is to use the paid version of NetNanny for your iPhone.
Blocking Websites on Windows
To block websites on Windows, you can use the following options:
- Gamblock: the software offers protection that can't be bypassed or uninstalled for the chosen period.
- NetNanny: the paid service works well with Windows.
- Betfilter: Use this to block all gambling websites on your computer.
- Betblocker: Also compatible with Mac and Linux, this software is free for everyone, everywhere. You can restrict yourself in advance; no registration is required, and the setup takes only two minutes of your time. The Calendering option allows you to prevent yourself from messing up in advance.
Blocking Gambling Sites on Google Chrome
On Google Chrome, you can use an extension to block websites. One of the best extensions is BlockSite. This general extension will allow you to block any website for any period. You can remove distractions, block adult content, and customise your browsing environment accordingly. On the other hand, you can go into the Google Chrome settings to block gambling sites. You can use the blocklist and allowlist for basic URL management, including the following features:
- Allowing access to all websites except the ones that you block.
- Blocking access to all URLs except the ones that you have allowed. You will use the blocklist to block access to all URLs and then use the allowlist to enable access to a limited number of URLs.
- Defining exceptions to restricted block lists.
- Allowing the Chrome browser to open up applications.
With this feature, you can block all gambling websites while allowing access to other URLs.
Bonus: blocking sites on the router
This one will take a little more knowledge and time. But if you put your mind to it, you can make it work. First, you need to know the IP addresses of the gambling sites you want to ban from your computer. You can also use the parental controls on your router if you have them. Blocking the sites on your router will prevent you from accessing the sites altogether. However, the downside is that you can easily remove the controls yourself if you have a moment of weakness. You can also contact your internet service provider to remove your account from adult sites. Sometimes, providers can even hook you up with anti-virus software that blocks gambling sites.
GamStop for Self Exclusion
Once you're on the road to recovery, you could probably relapse. Many triggers in the world can make it difficult to tunnel your way out of an addiction. However, using the correct resources can make the process easier, if not completely painless. GamStop is a self-exclusion responsible gambling scheme that will prevent you from accessing accounts with all British-licensed online gambling websites. The service is free from six months to almost five years. In addition, the service will ensure that you do not receive any marketing messages or emails. Granted that the nature of the software is a little restricted, but if you've been using British-licensed websites in Ireland and need help, this is an extremely helpful tool for prevention.
Blocking your Bank Account from Making Gambling Transactions
Blocking your bank account might sound extreme, but it can be necessary for some people as a preventative measure. Many banks offer a blocking service for gambling transactions. You can use this service to limit gambling spending or prevent it altogether. If you feel like you are addicted and spending way too much money on gambling, to the point that it's affecting your finances detrimentally, this can be an excellent option for you.
Different banks offer various blocking features, like:
- Offering a card-locking feature that opens a new tab for gambling transactions.
- Blocking debit card payments to gambling websites and apps by opening a new tab within their banking app.
- Offering customers various support tools like financial tracking, personal support, and advice.
- Offering access to Gamban licences to block online gambling.
- Freeze and unfreeze different types of transactions on their debit cards.
- Add or remove gambling restrictions on their debit cards.
- Cool-off periods where customers can lift a restriction, but the transactions will still be declined until the time it is active has ended.
- Allowing customers to block certain types of transactions without freezing their cards entirely.
- Block gambling transactions on their account through the app. If customers want to unblock them, they have to contact customer support.
Other Ways to Address Gambling Addiction
Blocking casino sites is one way to address a gambling problem. You need other methods to supplement you on your journey as well. This includes:
Reaching Out To Support Groups
A great example is Gamblers Anonymous. This is a 12-step program with a sponsor who is a former gambler who has had experience with addiction and can provide you with unique insight and guidance about the process of overcoming addiction.
Reading up on other people's accounts of how they overcame their problems
These stories can be a good source of inspiration and nudge you along the way.
Identifying why you gamble
Is it a way to self-soothe? If so, you need to learn how to relieve your unpleasant feelings in a healthier way, like exercising, seeing a friend that does not gamble, taking up a new hobby, or learning some relaxation techniques.
Curating a support network
Reach out to friends and family for help. Create a safe space where you can share without feeling judged.
Volunteering for a good cause
Sometimes, anonymity in a big gathering and doing something important helps. Sign up at a dog shelter (hello, dopamine release) or for a clean-up drive. When you spend time doing something meaningful, it can take your mind off things while being productive.
How do you know you have a gambling problem?
Gambling is a covert addiction disorder. Sometimes, you don't pick up on it until family or friends point it out. However, family and friends may have little idea of what is happening to you until it is too late. And sometimes, you may not want to acknowledge the problem even when you subconsciously know you are in trouble. This may be because you feel shame or guilt, which overrides all other instincts.
How effective are casino-blocking sites?
Gambling software like Gamban is the most effective solution to block access to online casino sites. They have a 99% success rate.
Is all blocking software free?
Blocking software is, more often than not, free. But some of them come with paid additional options like a cool-off feature.
How else can I address my gambling problem?
Blocking software is only the first step in your recovery from a gambling addiction. You can reach out to support groups for help as the second step. You can also divert yourself with productive activities that reduce stress and have a good impact on your body.
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