Frequently Asked Questions on BetBlocker
How much does BetBlocker cost?
Absolutely nothing. Ever. Gambling addiction is a serious condition and one that is usually associated with financial duress. Unlike our competitors we do not believe it is right to charge individuals who already have financial issues more to get the help they need to control their condition. We do not want to profit from those with addiction issues.
What is a BetBlocker Parental Control used for?
Many parents today worry about the content their children can access while browsing the internet. While BetBlockerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s primary purpose is to help problem gamblers control their gambling activity we also provide a tool to help parents to control the sites that their children can access online. This tool allows parents to enter specific URLs that they do not want their children to access.
What does a Gambling Self-Restriction in BetBlocker do?
When you set a Gambling Self-Restriction in BetBlocker the tool will automatically restrict you device from accessing any of the gambling operator URLs in our database. We update this database on a weekly basis to ensure that you are offered the maximum possible protection.
Can I remove a Gambling Self-Restriction after it has started?
Gambling addiction is a condition that is commonly associated with an inability to control ones impulses to wager. That being the case this tool would be ineffective at preventing gambling relapses if you could disable it during a Gambling Self-Restriction. As such, once a Gambling Self-Restriction has been activated it cannot be lifted. We take go to great lengths to ensure that BetBlocker is as difficult to remove as possible during a Gambling Self-Restriction and our User Support Team will not assist you in removing the tool while there is an ongoing restriction.
How does a Parental Control work?
The Parental Control system is easy to use and quick to set up. Simply install BetBlocker, select Parental Controls and follow through the set-up process to decide which URLs you would like to restrict. When you activate the tool the restrictions will be put in place.
If BetBlocker is free, do I have to see lots of adverts to use it?
No. BetBlocker does not advertise any products or services what-so-ever. It is entirely advert free.
I want to restrict my device from accessing gambling operators. Can the Parental Controls do that?
Yes. One of the options when setting up a Parental Control is whether or not to include our list of gambling operator sites. While we cannot guarantee this is absolutely exhaustive, it represents a very high proportion of the gambling operators in business today and is updated on a weekly basis.
Who founded BetBlocker and why?
Sadly a number of malicious actors within the gambling sector have falsely claimed that they established, or are in some way associated with, BetBlocker.
BetBlocker was founded by Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service ThePOGG
in 2017. If you see anyone else claiming to have founded BetBlocker, the claims are false. This service manages complaints between players and online gambling operators on behalf of a number of regulatory agencies. BetBlocker was set-up as a way of helping those players that came to the service with a responsible gambling based complaint, specifically because the ADR was uncomfortable channelling those with gambling addiction issues to fee based blocking services.
In 2019, after seeing rapid growth in demand for the BetBlocker tool, it was concluded that it was not financially sustainable to continue to run BetBlocker as an add on to the ADR service. At this point BetBlocker was broken off from the business and established as a charity in its own right. Since this point, BetBlocker has received its funding from donations from an array of businesses in the gambling industry. This move has allowed for significant additional funding to be available to the project, improving both the function of the app itself and the user support available to assist those that need it.
Whilst BetBlocker may now be its own legal entity, the people making the decisions are still the same people that established the service. The Board of Trustees is made up of various team members from the ADR service. There are a number of employees working for BetBlocker now but but no person employed by the ADR service draws any income from BetBlocker. The charityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Governing Documents precludes any of the Trustees serving as an employee of the charity. As such the Board of Trustees who manage the service is made up of individuals giving their time freely to the project.
If you need to contact the Board of Trustees you can reach Duncan Garvie at [email protected]
. Support requests to this email address will not receive a response.
Can you remove a Gambling Self-Restriction after IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve activated it?
No. Once you have activated a Gambling Self-Restriction the only way to end it is to wait until your chosen Gambling Self-Restriction period has concluded. For ethical reasons and the protection of problem gamblers our support team will not under any circumstances assist a user to disable an active Gambling Self-Restriction.
I want to stop my child from accessing sites that provide information about or advertise gambling. Can BetBlocker do this?
To a limited degree yes. There are literally hundreds of thousands of websites providing information about gambling online today. It is impractical to generate or maintain a comprehensive list of all of these sites.
The alternative to generating such a list would be to use a keyword blocker Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this would block any page that contains specific keywords that are commonly used on gambling related websites. This strategy would result in a large number of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfalse positiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ results, sites that are blocked without being about gambling but having used certain words that fool the keyword blocker into categorising it as a gambling site. This strategy is very intrusive and can result in a lot of high quality educational resources being inaccessible.
As such we have looked to find a middle ground. We are not using a keyword blocker but have put together a list of several hundred of the gambling information and promotion sites that occur most frequently on the first page of Google (English language) for some of the highest volume search terms.
Obviously this list is not exhaustive but we feel it will give parents a good start in preventing their children from accessing age inappropriate material.
How many times can I install BetBlocker?
You can install BetBlocker as many times, on as many devices and on as many different platforms as you like. There are no limits what-so-ever.
How long can I Self-Restriction for?
BetBlocker offers a couple of different types restriction: a block restriction or our calendared restriction.
Our block restriction is a simple premise: You select a period of time that you would like to block for and activate your restriction. The block is continuous for that length of time. You can select between the following lengths of time:
- 1 day
- 2 days
- 3 days
- 5 days
- 1 week
- 2 weeks
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 1 year
- 2 years
- 3 years
- 5 years
Our calendared block allows you to schedule when you would like the restriction to switch on and off. This is useful for people who feel that gambling is problematic for them at specific times. It may be that you feel that you are prone to gambling too much at the weekends. Perhaps you would benefit from a restriction immediately after you have been paid. Maybe holidays can result in problematic levels of gambling for you. The best times for a restriction are varied and individual to each person. BetBlocker allows you to plan in advance and put your block in place at the times you need it most.
We do intend to extend the calendaring feature to allow for a restriction to be narrowed to specific hours of play, but are currently waiting on sufficient funding being received to make this upgrade.
Is it worth using BetBlocker if I'm already registered with Gamstop?
National self-exclusion schemes like Gamstop
are great programs that any player worried about their gambling should engage with (if they or a similar program are available in your country).
However, these regulator run self-exclusion schemes only extend as far as gambling sites that are licensed in that country. With hundreds, if not thousands, of rogue gambling operators accepting players without a license that will not be covered by the national self-exclusion schemes, there are cracks in the protection being offered.
Fortunately BetBlocker does not base its restriction on any individual countries licensees. In fact we try to cover all gambling operator sites with or without a license. So even casinos not on Gamstop
or Spelpaus will be restricted.
BetBlocker goes works hand in hand with national self-exclusion schemes to offer you the best possible protection for relapsing while you feel vulnerable.
Can I extend my Gambling Self-Restriction?
Yes. At any point while you have an active Gambling Self-Restriction you can go into BetBlocker and extend the length of the Gambling Self-Restriction. This will be implemented immediately.
I want to stop my child from accessing sites that contain sexual content. Can BetBlocker do this?
To a limited degree yes. There are literally hundreds of thousands of pornography websites online today. It is impractical to generate or maintain a comprehensive list of all of these sites.
The alternative to generating such a list would be to use a keyword blocker Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this would block any page that contains specific keywords that are commonly used on pornographic websites. This strategy would result in a large number of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfalse positiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ results, sites that are blocked without being about gambling but having used certain words that fool the keyword blocker into categorising it as a gambling site. This strategy is very intrusive and can result in a lot of high quality educational resources being inaccessible.
As such we have looked to find a middle ground. We are not using a keyword blocker but have put together a list of a few hundred of the pornography sites that occur most frequently on the first page of Google (English language) for some of the highest volume search terms. Within this particular industry a small number of sites dominate the search engine results for a large volume of search terms meaning that this list, while not infallible, will restrict many of the sites most commonly found when searching online.
Obviously this list is not exhaustive but we feel it will give parents a good start in preventing their children from accessing age inappropriate material.
Can I exclude from sites other than gambling operators?
This depends on the platform you use.
We include an optional list of gambling information and advertisement sites that can be included in your Gambling Self-Restriction. This will work on all platforms.
For our Windows/Apple/Linux apps, we can offer the option to enter your own custom site restrictions, but only when using the local version of the block. If you choose the VPN version customised restrictions are not possible.
Please be aware that any URL you include in your Gambling Self-Restriction will remain blocked for the entire length of the Gambling Self-Restriction. You cannot remove URLs from a Gambling Self-Restriction once it has been activated.
Our computer is a communal device. Can I restrict my children from accessing various URLs but still access them myself?
Yes. When setting up a Parental Control you will be asked to create a password. Once your restriction is activated all you need to do is open the tool and enter the password to turn the restriction off. In this manner you can have your restriction in place while your children are online and turn it off when you want to browse yourself.
What information do you collect about users?
No personal information is collected about our users. This service is used entirely anonymously. We do not collect email addresses, phone numbers, names or any other information that could be used to identify our users.
We understand that gambling addiction can be an embarrassing thing to confront. While we are happy to help you we do not need to know who you are.
We do collect anonymised data Ã¢â‚¬â€œ how many users are engaged with the tool at any given time and the make and model of handset (when contact via the in app support feature). This information is used to help us raise funding (potential donors often want to know how many people are using the service) and address user support requests in the most efficient manner.
How do I reset my password if I forget it?
Unfortunately there is no way to reset your password. We have designed this service to collect as little information about our users as possible. That includes not collecting email addresses. As we do not collect an email address, we cannot send password reset emails.
As such there is no facility to reset your password it is imperative you keep it safe if you are ever likely to need it.
Do remember that the only user that would need a password is a user that selects to Self-Exclude Forever and subsequently wants to lift their Self-Exclusion after 5 years or Parental Control users and those restrictions will be automatically lifted at the end of the selected exclusion period.
Why do I have to select a time period for a Parental Control?
The BetBlocker tool is primarily intended to help problem gamblers control their addictions. Unfortunately unscrupulous marketers within the gambling industry have repeatedly targeted this group of vulnerable individuals, viewing them as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœhigh valueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. This type of cynical, immoral and in some instances illegal activity means that we do not gather any personal information (contact details) from the users of BetBlocker. In this manner we ensure that we cannot be accused of using BetBlocker to gather marketing lists for inappropriate activities and even if our systems were to be hacked, the attacking party cannot gain contact information for individual trying to prevent themselves from gambling.
A consequence of this however is that we cannot reset your password. Without an email address to confirm the identity of the person requesting the password reset, we could not confirm that the person who set-up the tool is the person looking to remove the restriction.
For this reason the Parental Controls require you to select a restriction length. At the end of your chosen restriction period the restrictions will be automatically lifted. This means that even if you forget your password the restrictions can still be removed by simply waiting until the restriction period has concluded.
Will my Gambling Self-Restriction automatically be lifted at the end of my selected exclusion period?
This depends on the length of exclusion you select:
- If you select 24h, 2 days, 3 days, 5 days, 1 week, 2 weeks or 1 month the exclusion will be automatically lifted at the end of the period you selected.
- If you select 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 5 years the exclusion will continue indefinitely unless you specifically deactivate it.
Where your restriction period has concluded and you chose to deactivate it, the restriction will remain in place for one further week. This is called a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cooling Off PeriodÃ¢â‚¬Â and is intended to ensure that you are not acting on a potentially harmful impulse. At any point during the Cooling Off Period you can extend your Gambling Self-Restriction and the restriction will not end. If you do not extend your Gambling Self-Restriction during the Cooling Off Period the restrictions will automatically be lifted at the end of the 1 week Cooling Off Period.
Can I extend the duration of the restriction?
Yes. At any point while you have an active Parental Control restriction in place you can go into BetBlocker and extend the length of the restriction. This will be implemented immediately.
How will BetBlocker impact my battery consumption?
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve run some tests to see what impact BetBlocker will have on how long you can expect your battery to last while the app is active. The results are detailed below. Please keep in mind that these are very general tests to give an idea of the impact. Your experience may differ depending on other apps you have running on your phone, the make and model of your phone and the size of your battery.
Android (3000mah battery size):
1. Active mode Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Our testing shows that while BetBlocker is active and the phone is being constantly used to browse the internet and play games the battery life with was 14 hours. Under the same conditions without BetBlocker active the battery life was 15 hours 30 minutes. This equates to approximately a 10% decrease in battery life.
2. Sleep mode - Our testing shows that while BetBlocker is active and the phone not being used (is on but not actively doing anything) the battery will drain in 96 hours. Under the same conditions the battery life while BetBlocker was not active was 97 hours. This equates to approximately a 1% decrease in battery life.
How do the restrictions BetBlocker offers compare with those required by the various online gambling regulatory bodies?
The restrictions offered by BetBlocker represent the strongest restrictions required by a combination of the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gambling Authority:
- As required by the UKGC a Gambling Self-Restriction will automatically exclude you from all properties on a license (and thousands of other operators).
- As required by the UKGC, once a Gambling Self-Restriction has been activated it cannot be lifted until the full term of the selected exclusion has been complete.
- As required by the UKGC, Gambling Self-Restriction of longer than 6 months (we actually apply this from 2 months upward) are automatically left in place at the end of the exclusion period, can only be lifted by your explicit request and a Cooling Off Period is required where a request to lift the Gambling Self-Restriction is made.
- As required by the MGA the Cooling Off Period enforced after any request to remove a Gambling Self-Restriction is a full seven days before the restrictions will be lifted.
- How can I contact your support team?
You can email us at [email protected]
, use the form on this page or use the Ã¢â‚¬ËœContact UsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ feature in the app.
- How long will it take to receive a response?
That depends on a number of factors.
BetBlocker is a charity and we channel as much of our funding as we can to maintaining and improving the service to protect our users. Staffing is far and away the biggest expense for a small charity like ours and we look to keep the number of people employed low to ensure that funding remains available to make necessary improvement.
Our User Support Team is small. We will endeavour to respond to your request within 24 hours, but response times can vary depending on various factors, including the volumes of support requests we are receiving and the availability of a team member to respond.
- IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve contacted support, why havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t I received a response?
If you receive no response what-so-ever, the chances are that you have used our web form or Contact Us feature and forgotten to include an email address for us to contact you on. Please email us directly at [email protected]
If you do not provide an email address, we will receive your message but will not be able to respond.
As we receive regular contacts from users simply looking to request that we add a url to the restriction list or to thank us for the app, we try our best not to gather any information on those users. That does mean however that if you need a response you need to tell us where to respond to.
Someone else activated BetBlocker on my device. Can you remove it for me?
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m selling my device to someone else. Can you remove BetBlocker for me?
- I have a technical issue, will your team remove the app for me?
With the millions of possible combinations of software, hardware and network that are in use today, from time to time some users will experience technical issues with BetBlocker. While we will be more than happy to have our Development Team investigate your issue and provide a solution as quickly as possible, this may take some time. We will not remove the app unless there is no other way of resolving your issue.
- I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to wait for you to resolve a technical issue, why wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you remove the app right now?
BetBlocker is a tool specifically intended to stop users that feel access to gambling services is damaging their livesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ from being able to access gambling services. For people with compulsive tendencies related to gambling being able to access online gambling services has the potential to cause extensive damage to their lives in a short space of time.
Ultimately, based on the primary function of our tool, our priority has to be restricting access to gambling services first and foremost. Does that mean that from time to time some users will be frustrated when they are impacted by a bug that takes some time for us to resolve? Yes. But we have to make a judgement as to what is the lesser evil: leaving these users frustrated while we resolve the issue or exposing all our users to gambling services that have the potential to cause vast damage to their lives by simply claiming to have a technical issue. There's no good choice that we can make in these circumstances Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no matter what we do some people will end up unhappy - but it is better to cause some frustration than to potentially take actions that could result in someone inflicting significant damage on the lives of our users.
The severity of the user's problem isn't something that we have any scope to make an assessment of. We have to treat every user's issues as serious regardless of what they say while trying to get the service removed.
We do not like or want to cause any user frustration, but we do ask that you understand that causing frustration is the lower risk option and far preferable to someone ultimately losing money they cannot afford to lose because we tried to keep them happy in the short term rather than make the difficult choice.
Some versions of BetBlocker use a VPN to enforce your gambling restriction. While there are some intricacies in the specific set-up, for the purpose of 'local networks' your device will appear to be accessing from our VPN server, not a local connection. As such you will not be recognised as part of the local network and will not be able to access it. This means that you may not be able to access other devices on the local network Ã¢â‚¬â€œ like printers. There is nothing we can do to address this. For some platforms, using a VPN is the only way to enforce the requested restriction.
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