Most people can enjoy regular sessions of online gambling without experiencing any negative repercussions. However, there is a small group of people who are vulnerable to addictive behavior. For them, too much online gambling could lead them right into a gambling disorder.
As an adult, it’s your responsibility to know your limitations in all parts of your life. When it comes to online gambling, responsible gambling behavior will dictate that you limit your online gambling bankroll to whatever amount you can afford to lose. As a rule of thumb, that amount should be the discretionary income you have remaining after you have paid ALL of your bills and put something aside for savings.
If by chance, you find yourself starting to experience issues with controlling your online gambling behavior, it’s going to be up to you to take steps to protect yourself.
Your best personal option will be voluntarily blocking yourself from accessing online gambling sites. In the following sections, the discussion will focus on two ways you can achieve this goal.
How to Block Yourself From a Licensed UK Online Gambling Site
In the UK, online gambling operators are required by law to secure a license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). After securing that license, operators are further required to subscribe for membership with the GamStop Self-exclusion scheme.
The UKGC innovated GamStop back in 2018. They mandated operator membership in 2020. The intent of the program is to provide online gamblers like you with a way they can request help getting blocked from accessing online gambling sites in the UK.
Should you want to register for self-exclusion, you will be happy to learn that you can do so voluntarily and with ease. During the registration process, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your legal and full name
- Your age and Date of Birth
- Your email addresses
- Your home address
- Your phone numbers: cell and home
As you might have guessed, these are the same pieces of information you would have provided when you opened your UK online gambling accounts. This information will get fed into the GamStop database. Should you try to access an existing gambling account or set up a new gambling account with any of this information, you would be immediately blocked.
As for how long you would be blocked, that would be up to you. During GamStop registration, you are the one who would choose the length of your self-exclusion period. Your choices would be limited to 6 months, one year, and five years.
Does GamStop work? Yes, it works quite well until your self-exclusion period ends. However, the program is not full proof because it only includes UK online gambling operators that are UKGC-licensed and GamStop-subscribed. That leaves several ways you could still gamble online should you be motivated to do so before your GamStop period expires. Here are some of your options:
- Crypto-only casinos and sportsbooks do not identify gamblers because of crypto anonymity.
- Open a UK gambling account with a partner under the partner’s identity
- Use offshore gambling accounts in countries that welcome Brits
- Locate non-GamStop casinos and sportsbooks that are still operating in the UK
Should you want a non-GamStop online casino account in the UK, here are some non GamStop online casinos that are quite safe and reputable. Some of them are UKGC-licensed, and some are not.
What if you want to be blocked but don’t have access to the GamStop program?
How to Block Yourself From Any Identifiable Online Gambling Account
If you really want to stay away from online gambling accounts and websites, GamStop will only be of value if your account or accounts are with licensed operators in the UK. If you are using offshore or other non-GamStop options, you would have to go in another direction. We would recommend the GamBan software.
GamBan is a software program that you would load directly onto the device or devices you use for your online gambling activities. You can purchase the software through the GamBan website. The program falls under the category of “website blockers.” Other similar options would include Bet Blocker, BetFilter, Freedom, and Net Nanny.
Once you purchase the program and complete the download process, the last step would be to initiate the software. Once you do that, you would no longer be permitted to access any websites that can be identified as having gambling content.
There are issues of note with this option. First, the block would be permanent. In other words, you would never be able to remove it from the device or devices on which you downloaded and activated the program. Of course, that would only be a problem if you suddenly had a change of heart or gave the device to someone who wanted to gamble online.
Another issue you would face is each purchase is only applicable to one device. In other words, it’s a device-specific software program. If you gamble online with several devices, you would have to pay several fees. That could get expensive.
Finally, GamBan only works to keep you from gambling if you are committed to doing so. Should you have a change of heart, you could still gamble online by borrowing or buying another device that doesn’t have GamBan.
Of course, the easiest and cheapest way to ward off online gambling is to self-discipline or block gambling transactions at your bank. This will stop gambling rather quickly and gently. You would have to be completely committed to stopping if you were to simply choose to stay away through sheer willpower. Unfortunately, most problem gamblers do not have that kind of willpower. That’s the nature of gambling addiction. For optimum protection, a combination of GamStop, GamBan, and old-fashioned willpower should do the trick.