Online gambling, while a form of entertainment for many, can be a significant problem for others. The accessibility and ease of use, coupled with the thrill of chance, can lead to compulsive behaviors, financial troubles, and personal strife. This blog post aims to provide readers with practical options for how to block gambling sites on both PCs and mobile phones.
Respectable licensed poker sites like WPT Global offer their players self exclusion and account closure options. These options are crucial if your playing gets out of hand. Remember, help is always available for those seeking to curb their online gambling habits, whether that is online poker, slots or sports betting.
What Problems Online Gambling Can Cause
Online gambling can lead to a host of issues, such as financial debt, strained relationships, and even addiction.
Financial Strain and Debt:
Online gambling platforms are designed for continuous engagement, encouraging users to play “just one more time”. On top of this, most gambling operators bombard registered players with deposit bonus offers through email or SMS. This can quickly lead to spending beyond one’s means accumulating substantial debt. Further, the digital nature of online gambling can sometimes detach players from the real-world implications of their losses: After all, they are not handling physical money.
Some individuals might resort to borrowing money, selling possessions, or even stealing to fund their gambling habits, leading to a dangerous cycle of debt.
Excessive time spent on gambling websites can cause neglect of personal and familial responsibilities. Also, the financial troubles stemming from gambling can introduce stress into relationships, leading to arguments, mistrust, and sometimes separation or divorce. According to studies, children in households where a parent has a gambling problem often report feeling neglected and unseen.
Addiction and Mental Health Issues:
Online gambling can lead to compulsive behavior, where individuals cannot control or curb their urge to gamble, even when they are aware of the harm it’s causing them. Continuous losses can lead to despair, depression, or even suicidal thoughts. The roller coaster of wins and losses can result in severe mood swings, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.
Loss of Productivity:
Hours spent on gambling sites mean less time for work. This can lead to decreased productivity or even job losses or difficulties in academic settings for students. The preoccupation with gambling can distract individuals from essential tasks.
Erosion of Self-Control and Self-Esteem:
Repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit or control gambling can erode one’s sense of self-control and self-worth. The guilt and shame accompanying gambling debts and the concealment of the habit from loved ones can severely damage one’s self-esteem.
For those seeking ways to reduce or eliminate their exposure to online gambling, there are multiple avenues available. Methods to Block Gambling Sites include self-exclusion software to leveraging inherent browser features. Let’s explore those further:
How to Block Gambling Sites on Your PC
To start, let’s focus on methods to block access from personal computers.
Using Self-Exclusion Software
Various software options offer self-exclusion to help users abstain from accessing gambling sites. Here’s how they work:
GamStop is an example of how self-exclusion can be effectively implemented. What makes GamStop stand out from other blockers is that it’s mandatory for all UK-registered gambling sites and is free to use. Once registered, users will be blocked from all UK-registered gambling sites for a set duration.
Interestingly, not all online poker sites are covered by GamStop. While GamStop offers a comprehensive self-exclusion system for numerous online gambling sites, especially those registered in the UK, it’s crucial for individuals to be aware that some online poker platforms might still be accessible, even after activating GamStop’s blocking features.
According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, the allure of video poker can be particularly potent. The instant gratification that video poker provides – immediate rewards or feedback – is a powerful motivator. This rapid cycle can ensnare players, leading them to play continuously as they chase the thrill of a potential win. As a result, video poker one of the most addictive online gambling formats.
Currently, there is no practical way to block players from accessing online poker not on GamStop. Given this understanding, it’s essential to consider additional measures beyond GamStop. Blocking online poker sites specifically becomes a vital step in this process. Whether through specialized software, browser settings, or other exclusion methods, making sure these sites are inaccessible can be a significant move toward prevention and recovery. Making a written commitment to stay away from online gambling with a family member or a close friend is another option to consider in this case.
What about other software options? Some of the common ones include:
GamBlock: Automatically blocks access to gambling sites.Gamban: Known for blocking both gambling and cryptocurrency sites.BetBlocker: This software not only blocks gambling sites but is also free.
Using Your Browser Settings and Extensions
Most modern browsers allow users to block specific websites. Extensions, like ‘Block Site’ for Chrome or ‘LeechBlock’ for Firefox, can be installed to restrict access to gambling sites. Detailed guides are available online for each browser.
Blocking Gambling Site IPs on Router
Advanced tech users can manually enter the IPs of gambling sites into their routers to prevent any device on their network from accessing such sites. This method is robust but requires technical skills and understanding.
How to Block Online Casinos on Your Phone
Given how influential mobiles are in our lives, ensuring gambling sites are blocked on phones is equally essential. In fact, mobile gambling accounts for the highest revenue in online gambling. The ease of access and use makes them a significant temptation. Here are effective ways to block online casinos on your phone.
iPhones (iOS 12 and higher) – Screen Time
Starting with iOS 12, Apple introduced the “Screen Time” feature that allows users to monitor and limit their device usage. This feature was designed to give people insights into their smartphone habits. It offers tools to reduce unwanted or excessive screen time. Here’s how it can be utilized to limit access to gambling sites:
Downtime and App Limits: Users can set a schedule for when they want to step away from the screen. This can be particularly useful during vulnerable times, such as late-night hours when one might be tempted to gamble. Further, specific app categories, like “games,” can be limited to reduce exposure to gambling apps.
Content & Privacy Restrictions: Within the Screen Time settings, users can activate content restrictions. By setting web content limits to “Limit Adult Websites,” users can manually add gambling sites they want to block.
Always Allowed: This section lets users specify which apps and phone features remain accessible at all times. You’ll have access even during downtime or after reaching app limits. By being selective here, one can remove all gambling apps from this category.
Android Phones – OpenDNS
While Android doesn’t have a direct counterpart to Apple’s Screen Time, users can employ network solutions like OpenDNS to restrict access to gambling sites:
OpenDNS Setup: By changing the DNS servers on an Android device to those provided by OpenDNS, users can filter out gambling websites. This is achieved by adjusting the device’s Wi-Fi settings.Custom Filtering: Once the DNS is set to OpenDNS servers, users can create a free account on the OpenDNS website. Here, they can customize filtering levels and specifically block gambling domains.
Third-Party Mobile Apps for Restricting Gambling Access
Third-party mobile apps offer you a simple but effective way to block access to gambling sites on your mobile device. Often, all you need to do is install and, at times, set the parameters. They filter out any gambling-related apps or platforms. Even their messaging controlling triggers and temptations are blocked. Some of the best ones include;
A free tool designed to help users restrict their access to online gambling sites and apps. Once installed and activated, it prevents the device from accessing a vast array of gambling platforms.
Offers a robust software solution to block access to gambling websites and applications across various devices.
Originally designed as a parental control app, NetNanny can be configured to block gambling sites effectively, offering a comprehensive web-filtering system.
This app allows users to block distracting apps and websites. By creating a blocklist of gambling sites, users can ensure they don’t access them during vulnerable times.
Primarily known for its suite of productivity tools, Cisdem offers an app blocker that can be utilized to prevent access to gambling platforms on Mac. While not for mobiles, it’s a useful tool for those using Apple’s desktop OS.
Other Efficient Methods of Blocking Gambling Websites
Beyond software and phone settings, which focus on blocking gambling on devices, there are other effective ways to prevent gambling access. Here is how to block gambling sites outside the devices you use.
Asking Your Bank to Block Gambling Transactions
Several banks now offer features where you can request them to block any gambling-related transactions. This can act as both a deterrent and a safety net.
Additional Tips for Maintaining Self-Control
Password Protection and Accountability: Sharing access controls with a trusted individual can act as a deterrent from modifying settings to access gambling sites.
Seeking Support and Professional Help: Organizations like Gamblers Anonymous offer support to those struggling with online gambling.
Engaging in Alternative Activities: Picking up a new hobby or engaging in physical activities can be a distraction and a healthier outlet.
Taking Control of Your Gambling
Online gambling, with its allure and accessibility, poses unique challenges in our digital age. Yet, within these challenges lies an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and empowerment. By exploring and implementing the methods highlighted to limit or block access to gambling sites, you’re not just setting up barriers; you’re actively choosing a life centered around well-being and informed choices. These tools, when employed, serve as a testament to your commitment to personal growth and healthier habits.