Responsible Gambling App BetBlocker Approved As Charity In UK
Responsible gambling app BetBlocker has been approved as a charity in the United Kingdom.
BetBlocker is an app that can be installed on devices, allowing them to self-exclude from gambling. Once enabled, users select the length of their exclusion period, and the app will restrict the user’s device from access any of the gambling websites available in the UK.
Founded by Alternate Dispute Mediation Service ThePogg.com, the app was created as part of an effort to support players who wish to tackle their gambling behaviour by self-excluding from websites. Currently, the app is linked with over 6,000 gambling operators with more sites added on a regular basis.
ThePogg.com manager Duncan Garvie said in a statement: “The project has proved to be far more popular than we ever expected and has expanded far beyond the original user base it was intended to help. It has become abundantly clear that the service that BetBlocker offers is one that a large number of people could benefit from.”
“There are many organisations, both charitable and businesses, within the gambling industry that see providing assistance to those experiencing gambling addiction as a priority and we have no doubt that cooperation with other groups will help ensure that BetBlocker continues to grow and develop in a manner that ensures that it offers the most useful service possible.”
Rather than charging a fee, which Garvie has stated would be against the project’s intention, BetBlocker will reportedly reach out to businesses and charities for partnerships, support and funding. Garvie explained that the app will focus on partnering with other firms who are committed to raising awareness of responsible gambling.
The app, which has already been downloaded over 40,000 times, is completely free to use, but users are urged to make small donations when they can either through the website or via the Amazon Smile program. He explained: “We will accept donations from players where they choose to give, but the best action players can take to help the BetBlocker project is to contribute to us via the Amazon Smile program.
This program allows Amazon users to trigger a small additional donation to BetBlocker at no extra cost to themselves every time they purchase something through an online retailer. With enough people making small contributions in this manner, we can ensure that BetBlocker remains available for anyone who feels they need support to control their gambling.”
Responsible Gambling in the UK
The news comes as businesses, charities and the UK government have been working to raise awareness of responsible gambling. Last week, HSBC launched a restriction tool which customers of the bank to block gambling transactions, preventing them from spending money on betting sites and online casinos.
Days earlier, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) introduced its Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS) to UK betting shops. The system uses a real-time algorithm to monitor a player’s behaviour and once triggered, forces the players to take a break during a ‘cooling-off’ period and alerts staff members.
Meanwhile, several of the UK’s top gambling operators pledged their commitment to five new responsible gambling measures after a group of cross-party MPs published a report calling for tighter online gambling regulations. The group called for a maximum slot bet limit, restrictions on VIP accounts, as well as an end to credit card use at gambling sites.
Lastly, Natwest announced at the end of October that it will be offering support to gambling addicts at high-street branches across London, the Midlands, East and South-East of England. The bank has partnered with charity GamCare to offer the discreet service, using floorspace at some of its bigger branches.