How to block gambling sites

Gambling site blockers can be installed onto your personal computer, or downloaded as apps on your smartphone or tablet. They prevent access to gambling sites, and can act as a crucial part of a wider strategy to overcome compulsive gambling. Below we detail some of the most notable site blockers.

Connor Campbell Published on 20 July 2021. Last updated on 21 July 2021.
How to block gambling sites

For those with a gambling problem, knowing how to block gambling sites – be it paying for a service or using a free gambling blocker – is a potentially vital step on the road to recovery.

The Gambling Commission’s annual report for 2019 found that 0.5% of respondents were classed as ‘problem gamblers’; a YouGov survey, commissioned by GambleAware, put the number in the UK at 2.7% of the population, or around 1.4 million people.

Yet, only 9,008 people were treated for gambling problems in the UK across 2019/20, based on GambleAware’s annual report.

If you feel you have a gambling problem, starting to block gambling sites can give you time to reassess your habits, or help provide the clean break needed to stop gambling outright.

» MORE: How to stop gambling and clear gambling debt

What are gambling site blocks?

Gambling blockers are types of software that prevent you from accessing gambling sites. They can be installed or downloaded on all devices, including your Windows PC and Mac, as well as your smartphone or tablet.

Once the gambling site block is in place, you will be unable to reach most gambling sites.

However, it is important to note that these gambling blockers aren’t foolproof, and should be used as part of a wider series of anti-gambling measures.

What sites can I use to block gambling sites?

There are a number of different gambling blockers available for you to use. Below are some of the most notable options, as recommended by UK charities GamCare and GambleAware and lobbying group the Campaign for Fairer Gambling.

Gamban

If you are a UK resident, Gamban is free through TalkBanStop. TalkBanStop is a partnership between Gamban and the UK charities GamCare and GAMSTOP, designed to provide support throughout each step of the recovery process.

To use Gamban’s free gambling blocker, you first need to contact one of GamCare’s advisers through the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or via live chat on the site.

Once you have received and installed your free licence, you will be unable to access thousands of gambling sites.

Gamban also represents one of the harder breaks with gambling – the site claims that you will be unable to uninstall the software or app once it has been downloaded.

BetBlocker

Another free gambling blocker is BetBlocker, which is available to download not only on Windows PC, Mac, iOS and Android, but Linux, Fire OS and Huawei.

There are no limits to the number of devices you can install BetBlocker on, nor the number of times it can be installed for free.

After installing BetBlocker, you set your Gambling Self-Restriction period, from 24 hours up to 5 years. Once chosen, you will be unable to remove BetBlocker until the period has elapsed.

Netnanny

Netnanny is a generic website blocker and monitoring service, often used by parents to control online activity but which can also be used to block gambling sites.

A 5 device pass, covering Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Fire OS, costs $79.99 a year, while a 20 device pass costs $129.99.

Since it is not designed with the sole purpose of blocking gambling sites in mind, Netnanny may be easier for compulsive gamblers to work around than Gamban or BetBlocker.

If you are to use Netnanny, it might be worth considering having someone you trust set the ‘Parent’ password.

Can I use online banking to block gambling sites?

Alongside using gambling blockers to prevent access to those sites, you can use online banking services to freeze payments to gambling providers.

Each bank has a slightly different procedure for blocking gambling payments, but most will allow you to do so from inside their banking apps.

How to block gambling sites

Below is a guide to which gambling blocking services you can download and install for Windows PC and Mac.

To use the gambling blockers, visit your chosen site and follow their download instructions.

How to block gambling sites on Windows PC

  • Gamban
  • BetBlocker
  • Netnanny
  • Gamblock
  • BetQuit
  • Goodbye Gambling

How to block gambling sites on Mac

  • Gamban
  • BetBlocker
  • Netnanny
  • Gamblock
  • BetQuit
  • Goodbye Gambling

How to block gambling sites on a mobile

Like with your personal computer, different gambling blocker apps may only work on either iOS or Android.

These apps can be found on the App Store and Google Play Store respectively.

How to block gambling sites on iPhone

  • Gamban
  • BetBlocker
  • Netnanny
  • Gamblock
  • BetQuit

How to block gambling sites on Android

  • Gamban
  • BetBlocker
  • Netnanny
  • Gamblock
  • BetQuit
  • Goodbye Gambling

Will blocking software stop me gambling?

If you have a problem, using blocking software alone will unlikely be enough to stop you from gambling. It is just one tool that can be used to regain control.

You should also consider pairing gambling blockers with self-exclusion which will prevent you from accessing gambling platforms. GAMSTOP helps you to self-exclude from all online UK-licensed gambling providers, while the Multi Operator Self Exclusions Scheme covers in-shop betting.

What’s more, the value in talking to someone about your gambling problems cannot be underestimated.

If you don’t feel that you have someone in your life you can talk to, then contact a service like Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare or Gambling Therapy.

And if you are suffering with gambling debt, there are a number of charities which provide advice and assistance. These range from debt management plans to conversations around bankruptcy. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and help is at hand.

» MORE: How debt charities can help you out of debt

Image source: Getty Images

About the author:

Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more

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