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BetBlocker launches app for problem gamblers

11 July 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The team at BetBlocker are very pleased to announce the launch of the latest new feature to help their users control damaging gambling impulses – the addition of the restriction of gambling related apps on Android devices.

Manager of BetBlocker, Duncan Garvie, had this to say about the new feature:

“With more and more people accessing gambling via their mobile devices it is more important than ever that there is a resource available for those who feel that gambling is getting on top of them to take action to help themselves limit their exposure to this addictive activity. Restricting gambling apps further improves our service for Android users, limiting one more avenue of access.”

BetBlocker is a free tool that users can download onto their internet capable devices that will restrict the device from accessing over 5.9k gambling operator websites. This most recent update (version 10.2) will see Android users also restricted from accessing over 1k gambling related apps in the Play Store. Even if the app is installed before BetBlocker is activated, the user will not be able to access the app once a restriction is put in place.

When setting up a Gambling Self Restriction users can choose their own restriction length, anywhere from 24 hours to five years. Once activated the user will not be able to deactivate the restriction until the full selected restriction period has concluded. Users can also choose to include gambling information sites in their restriction, to ensure that they are not exposed to advertising for gambling or other sites that might challenge their self-control.

There are several other software type tools available on the market that look to achieve a similar outcome to BetBlocker, but all of these currently charge users a subscription fee for access. When asked about this, Mr Garvie had this to say:

“Gambling addicts all have one thing in common by the time they are looking to place barriers between themselves and gambling services: they’ve lost too much money. Many of the user we’ve interacted with via BetBlocker support are in dire situations, often resulting in them being unsure where they are going to find money for food, shelter and clothing for themselves and their families. Any price barrier to this type of service is going to be too high for these users and ultimately ensure that the most vulnerable and desperate users are the ones excluded.”

Alongside this, BetBlocker uses an ‘exact match’ system rather than ‘keyword frequency’ restrictions. Keyword frequency restrictions look to scan each page before it loads, which can slow browsing speeds, and restricts pages that contain certain keywords. This can ultimately result ‘false positives/negatives’ where pages being restricted that are not actually gambling pages, simply because they discuss a theme or topic related to gambling or gambling pages are missed where they don’t contain the focus keywords. The exact match system ensures that only URLs that are confirmed to be gambling URLs are restricted.

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