Finding the will and courage to stop yourself from visiting a bingo site or any gambling website is a powerful statement. Whether a person is conquering their gambling addiction or is setting a good example for others, there are valid reasons to stop gambling. This article will help you block all bingo sites from your computer and mobile device.
⚠️ If you are facing issues due to gambling, please visit begambleaware.org to seek some qualified advice and help about the self-exclusion process.
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How to Block All Bingo Sites for Free
How can I exclude myself from all bingo sites through your computer or phone? Surprisingly, there is a wide range of services and methods to block out any bingo or gambling site that does not cost anything. Here are ways you can block all bingo sites to increase your self-esteem and find control over your life.
Sign Up with GAMSTOP
GAMSTOP is a free service to block out online bingo rooms and other gambling sites for UK residents. GAMSTOP comes from the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited, a non-profit organization that is looking to prevent problem gambling by cutting off the source.
You simply register with GAMSTOP to start your self-exclusion among online bingo sites. Provide the service your current address, birth date, active email address, and active mobile numbers. After your registration, you will receive an email with useful tools and other services that can assist you in quitting gambling. 24 hours after your registration, the GAMSTOP service kicks in to prevent you from visiting any licensed online bingo site within the UK for 6 months, a year, or 5 years.
A minimum period is a part of GAMSTOP when you can stop the service. This period is provided to individuals who feel they have better control over their gambling habits or are financially stable enough to try a couple of bingo games. To cancel the service during the minimum period, you can call a GAMSTOP staff to stop your self-exclusion. You also have the option of extending your GAMSTOP services through your account page without having to call a support line.
Ask Your Bank
An alternative method to cutting off your access from any gambling site is to block your gambling payments. Certain banks can stop transactions made to a bingo site by blocking the merchant code on your credit card. This process can also be used on secondary cards, allowing parents, guardians, or partners to prevent their loved ones from spending money on online bingo.
Call your bank to request a block on your credit card or debit card for online bingo sites. For other bank companies, you can set the block yourself through their mobile app.
Once the block is set, you will not be able to use your cards on a licensed online bingo site. You can still use your cards on other vendors such as groceries, electronic stores, and much more. It is important to note that this block is not permanent and you need to set the period of your self-exclusion.
If you receive a replacement card, it will not have the self-exclusion service like the one set on your credit card or debit card since they will have different numbers. Should this be the case, you can call the bank or use your banking app to set the self-exclusion period again.
BetBlocker is free network blocking software that acts as a firewall to your computer or mobile devices against online bingo sites. This software can block other online bingo sites that are not covered by the GAMSTOP services or are operating outside of the UK. You can even add other bingo sites that are not a part of BetBlocker’s list.
You can download the software from BetBlocker’s website and install it onto your computer. There are also mobile versions of the software you can download from the official iOS and Android app stores. Once installed, you have the freedom to block bingo sites for a specific period. Once active, the software will not stop until the self-exclusion period ends. You will not have access to the restricted online bingo sites even if you were to uninstall BetBlocker.
Being free software would mean there are limitations when it comes to BetBlocker such as the software crashing at certain times. While the developer consistently updates the software, it can still encounter various issues and crashes. In addition, reaching a technical support line to get help for the app can be very difficult since there are a few staff who can assist users.
Configure Your Browser
One of the multiple solutions on how to self exclude from all bingo sites is already in front of you, your browser. Popular browsing apps have add-ons or extensions that can block bingo sites. These extensions are easy to find through the browser app store or a quick Google search.
An example of these extensions is Block Site for Chrome. After adding the extension to your browse, just add the URL of all bingo sites and online casinos you know. Block Site is also available for Firefox with the same function of manually entering the address of bingo sites you want to block.
Being a browser extension means that you can still access bingo sites through alternative browsers that are not configured to block any bingo sites. In this case, you find their respective Block Site extension and set it to that browser. Otherwise, you can uninstall any alternative browser when you need complete self-exclusion on your computer.
Browsers on mobile devices do not use an extension as their desktop computer counterpart, but it does have apps that can also exclude you from bingo sites. A mobile version of Block Site is available through the Google Play Store and Apple Store. Just like its desktop version, just enter the URL of all bingo sites you know through the mobile version to have your Android or iOS browser block them.
Setup Your Router
Cutting off bingo sites straight from the source of your home’s network is an effective solution to self-exclusion. Nearly every router is capable of blocking out specific websites, including bingo and gambling sites. This is usually an efficient tool among relatives and roommates living with someone going through a gambling addiction.
To configure your router, you need to access its configuration page through your browser. This method usually involves typing a specific IP address, which you can find on the manual of your router, on the URL. Once you are within the routers setup page, find the security or browsing tab. From here, find a bar where you can type the domain name of the bingo sites you want to block. Certain routers let you block a website via keyword blocking.
With the restriction in place, you will not be able to visit a bingo site from any device that uses your home network. Loved ones or friends can also place a password on the router configuration page to prevent anyone from removing the restrictions.
Problem Gambling & Gambling Addiction Are Serious
Gambling is as harmful as eating fast food regularly. While the problems do not appear during the first few months or years, it eventually becomes large enough that it affects a person’s lifestyle. For numerous individuals, it is only after a strained relationship or staggering debts that they realize they have a problem. If you are in need of help, get in touch with the National Problem Gambling Clinic.
Gambling addiction is an impulse-control issue, which makes a person unable to control their compulsion to wager. Even if they know their choice of playing bingo will hurt them financially or further distance themselves from people they love, people who experience problem gambling will continue to play.
There is a broad misconception of thinking that problem gambling is like a light switch. Anyone who is losing money from playing bingo should be able to stop on the spot since they no longer have any cash to spend. However, those with problem gambling find ways to get more fuel for their addiction such as signing up for more debt or asking money from others.
If not taken care of, gambling addiction can further degrade a person’s mental health, leading to depression, stress, and anxiety attacks. Self-exclusion is a short-term solution to problem gambling. Individuals going through this issue are recommended to find help among their loved ones or seek a therapist for a long-term answer to this issue.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
Below are signs to look out for if you suspect your friend, relative, co-worker, or yourselves is going through gambling addiction.
Playing Bingo with Money Issues
Bingo players tend to stop when they go through their budget or bingo bankroll. However, gambling addicts will keep on playing even when their wallets are empty. These people will find ways to sustain their unhealthy lifestyle such as signing up for loans.
Concerned Relatives and Friends
Individuals with gambling addiction tend to have noticeable behavioral changes. This includes avoiding contact with relatives or friends or showing a lack of self-esteem during working hours. It is hard for those going through problem gambling to be aware of their behavior. Fortunately, they will likely garner the attention of loved ones and acquaintances.
When minutes turn to hours and hours turn to days while playing bingo, that person likely has a gambling addiction. Their only goal is to get win every bingo games they play while nothing else matters to their life. A gambling addict’s urge makes them continue playing even when they are drowning in debt.
UK Self Exclusion: FAQ
Why should I exclude myself from all bingo sites?
When you believe gambling is affecting your personal life, finances, and career, you should consider blocking all bingo sites. Self-exclusion is also a good way for anyone to get more control over their lifestyle.
Is GAMSTOP a free service?
GAMSTOP is a free online self-exclusion service that is backed by a UK non-profit organization. You will also receive free technical support from the company.
How can banks stop me from playing in all bingo sites?
Most major credit cards and debit cards can block the merchant codes of bingo sites, preventing your cards from transacting with these gambling sites.
What are problem gambling and gambling addiction?
Both problem gambling and gambling addiction are mental disorders. Individuals suffering from these issues regularly play bingo even if it is affecting their physical and mental state.
Can blocking all bingo sites help someone get over their gambling addiction?
Self-exclusion is just a short-term solution to get over gambling addiction. Those who are going through problem gambling should seek help from their loved ones and professionals to correct their unhealthy habits.
Should anyone be concerned with problem gambling if they are rich?
Money does not make any difference to those with gambling addiction. When problem gambling is left untreated, nearly everyone will face financial issues in the future.
Self-exclusion is a powerful statement among people with gambling problems. Fortunately, there are numerous additional methods for you to block bingo sites on your computer and mobile device to add layers of protection against any gambling impulse you may have.