Gambling harm is a concern in the UK and many other countries with regulated or non-regulated gambling. In the United Kingdom, punters have access to various tools and platforms to block gambling transactions.
The UK Gambling Commission also offers national solutions, like GamStop for players willing to take voluntary breaks from all kinds of online gambling and SENSE (Self Enrollment National Self Exclusion) for land-based gambling. Players can also explore game blockers and other self-exclusion schemes. Here’s an overview of the best ways to block gambling-related transactions.
Use the Block Gambling Transaction Feature
The British financial sector has joined hands with the gambling commission to make it easier for British players to protect their bank savings and credit limits from gambling. This new feature allows players to block gambling transactions from their bank end, meaning the bank will instantly identify and cancel all transaction requests if the recipient is a known gambling operator.
So using bank limits you will not be able to use online casino with credit card deposits that are available for UK players. The feature is one of the best ways to automatically block gambling-related transactions from your bank account. However, it only applies to banks, meaning players can still send money to eWallets and crypto wallets, from which they can fund their gambling account. Nonetheless, the feature creates a huddle in the process, especially for players without a digital wallet. It can also be the model for online banking firms looking to support the push for responsible gambling.
The gambling block feature works in the same way across all banks that have adopted it. Essentially, it allows the player to block the bank card or credit card from being used to complete gambling transactions. Once activated, the bank will run tests before each transaction and terminate the operation if the request is from a gambling operator. Popular UK banks with the gambling block feature include Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, MBNA, HSBC, Monzo, Starling Bank, Natwest, Barclays, Santander, and Danske Bank.
Join GamStop Self Exclusion Scheme
GamStop is a national self-exclusion program designed by the UK Gambling Commission for all casino sites and online sportsbooks operating under its license. Basically, every online gambling website with a UKGC license must participate in GamStop or risk losing its license. Operators collect user information during signup, login and when making deposits and withdrawals.
Also known as KYC (know your customer) or ID verification, the process allows operators to get enough information about the player’s name, address and contacts. They then match the information with what’s available on the GamStop database, which British players can voluntarily register to be listed on for free. If a player’s information is active on GamStop, the casino will automatically block them from signing up, logging in or completing a deposit.
GamStop offers a free way to block gambling related transactions to online casinos and sportsbooks licensed by the UKGC. The player can visit GamStop official website to register and add their name to the self-exclusion database. You can choose a minimum exclusion term of six months or go for one year or five years.
Once on GamStop, you’ll be blocked from all UKGC sites within 24 hours and can’t get off until your term expires. However, players can continue to gamble on non-UKGC (offshore) websites and land-based casinos. Players can join SENSE (Self Enrollment National Self Exclusion), the GamStop equivalent for land-based gambling operators.
Use a Reputable Game Blocker App
The block gambling transactions only works on select banks, and GamStop can’t protect players from sites with offshore licenses, considering UK punters have the freedom to play anywhere. Fortunately, there’s a solution for blocking gambling transactions to offshore casinos and sportsbooks, and it involves third-party game blockers.
These software programs/apps detect and block access to all gambling websites and marketing information. Some apps are free, while others involve a subscription. They are using different technologies to limit your access and you will not be able to use most of the payment methods. Once installed, the app will run in the background, examining all websites before opening. If the site is an online casino or features gambling related content, it will instantly be blocked. Popular game blockers include Gamblock, Betfilter, BetBlocker, Gamban, and Net Nanny.
How it Works
Game blockers use one of two mechanics; database and sophisticated algorithms. Most blockers use a database containing the gambling sites and apps available for players in the UK. They also allow punters to add new sites to the database to help maintain the app’s credibility and efficiency in blocking all existing and new gambling sites.
Once the app is installed, players cannot access any website in the database. Other apps use sophisticated algorithms to inspect websites and apps for gambling-related material and instantly block them. Players can install the blockers across their mobile and desktop devices.
Using Internal Blockers
Most online casinos and sportsbooks have internal self-exclusion schemes that players can use to take temporary breaks from gambling. These features can also block gambling transactions. For instance, some sites feature deposit/loss limits players can use to set maximum monthly deposits or losses.
Once the limit is reached, the player won’t make another deposit or bet on real money products within the specified duration. Internal blockers and self-exclusion schemes only work for the casino in question, and each site has unique options. Players concerned about their gambling spends can participate in such schemes across all casinos they use to bet.
Blocking gambling-related transactions is one way to go about regaining control over your betting patterns. The best solutions and technologies are described above (bank blockers, GamStop, apps, internal blockers). Players can also seek professional help to resolve the underlying problems causing compulsive gambling behaviour. Seeking help can help mitigate the adverse effects of gambling and kick start the recovery journey.