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BetBlocker vs GamStop

betblocker vs gamstop

The rapid rise of online casinos and other digital betting sites has put anyone with an Internet-connected device at risk of gambling addiction. Industry stakeholders have thus laid out the principles of responsible gambling (or ‘safer gambling’) to fight this growing problem that affects both the players and their families.

The safer-gaming concept involves the commitment of several parties. It could be the banks refusing to process our card when our spending relates to gambling. Or it could be us players deciding to live by the responsible gambling principle called ‘self-exclusion’ and restricting ourselves from betting-related spending.

In the United Kingdom, players on self-exclusion now use services and tools, such as BetBlocker and GamStop, which promote responsible gambling principles and help control excessive-betting behaviour. This is welcome news, given that there are some 350,000 adults in the country whose addiction to gambling needs to be stopped immediately.

General Info

The self-exclusion solutions in the UK aren’t only for gambling addicts, or for the 2.5 million others who are at risk of becoming such. These are also for approximately 7% of the population who don’t gamble but are nonetheless affected negatively by their loved ones’ wagering lifestyle.

There are various reliable self-exclusion solutions currently serving England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Two of the best ones now are BetBlocker and GamStop, which we’re comparing and contrasting below to help you see which is the right one for you.

GamStop

GamStop is the responsible-gaming service run by the England-based not-for-profit organisation National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited. It’s a no-cost system that will let you block yourself from most online-gambling sites in the UK. There are, however, British casino brands not with GamStop at the moment. The list of non-GamStop betting sites includes Golden Mister Casino, Lucky Carnival Casino, Rabbit Win Casino, Royal Lama Casino, and Tropical Wins Casino.

Launch DateApril 2018 (soft launch)
Number of Registrations>400K
Websitehttps://www.gamstop.co.uk/
Support ServicesPractical controls
Opportunity To Cancel SubscriptionNone
Parental ControlsNone
User Feedback89% of users find registration and system use easy; some are concerned about data-retention policy

BetBlocker

BetBlocker is the free-of-charge service operated by the Scotland-based charity of the same name. It’s a mobile app that restricts your device from accessing more than 75,000 gambling sites worldwide, including those available in the UK. This safer-gambling tool is meant to be easy to use, although many BetBlocker app reviews on Google Play and the App Store have given it a low rating, mostly due to technical issues.

Launch Date2017
Number of Registrations>7.5K
Websitehttps://betblocker.org/
Support ServicesNone
Parental ControlsYes
User FeedbackEasy to use for some, not working properly or interfering with other device functions, for others

Comparison of BetBlocker and GamStop

We’re regularly asked by readers in the UK whether GamStop is more effective than BetBlocker, or vice versa. We also often receive questions like, ‘Is GamStop anonymous?’ and ‘Is self-excluding through BetBlocker permanent?’ To help you decide which of these two solutions could address your specific issues on effectiveness, data privacy, and user experience, here are some important facts you need to be aware of:

Feature GamStop BetBlocker
Service Type Website Mobile app
Cost Free Free
Availability UK-wide Worldwide
Exclusion Periods 6 months to 5 years 1 day to 5 years
Purpose To allow people to self-exclude from licenced gambling sites in the UK To help players restrict or limit their gambling activities in the UK and other parts of the world
Additional Features Emotional support, debt support, family support Calendaring (restriction in advance), parental control, anonymous data collection

Service Type

GamStop is a self-restriction website that asks you to fill out a digital form with your personal details, including your current address and mobile phone number. It will then share your name and other relevant information about your self-exclusion status with gambling operators. Meanwhile, BetBlocker is a downloadable mobile app available for both Android and iOS devices. It doesn’t require you to register, which means that neither this service provider nor the gambling operators will not have access to your personally identifiable information.

Cost

GamStop is free to use, and it doesn’t have any hidden charges tied to the self-excluding players’ registrations. The organisation behind it can afford not to charge for the services because they enjoy the endorsement of the UK Gambling Commission and get their operating funds from the gambling industry. BetBlocker is also free to use.

Customer Support

Whether you use Net Nanny or BetBlocker, you’ll have the opportunity to seek assistance from a customer support team at any time. Net Nanny’s contact options include email and contact form. If there’s an agent available at the moment, you’ll get a response in a couple of minutes. These two modes of contact are also available at BetBlocker. It doesn’t have premium features, so you have no upgrade fees to worry about. It relies solely on grants from institutional benefactors and gifts from individual donors.

Availability

GamStop will only be available to you if you reside in Great Britain or Northern Ireland. It’s the national self-exclusion service that the UK Gambling Commission are requiring all gambling and lottery operators in the country to participate in and support. BetBlocker is also available to self-restricting gamblers residing in the UK. However, its reach extends to other countries within and outside of Western Europe. Outside of the UK, it’s governed by the rules of the Malta Gaming Authority that hold worldwide jurisdiction when it comes to gaming activities.

Exclusion Periods

GamStop will offer you duration options of 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years. Note, though, that this non-anonymous service by GamStop involves retaining your personal information seven (7) years after your self-exclusion period has ended. This policy overrides your privacy rights. BetBlocker has more choices, including 24 hours, 1 week, 1 quarter, 1 semester, 1 year, or 5 years. You could even ban yourself on particular days, such as weekends when you tend to wager too much whilst you’re at home.

Purpose

The GamStop self-exclusion scheme will enable you to block yourself from gambling sites that hold UK licences. It’s a long-term service designed to make you kick the gambling habit for good. BetBlocker self-restriction scheme could help you to stop gambling altogether, or to limit your betting activities whenever you feel that you’re going overboard. It’s a tool you can switch on and off, depending on how you wish to manage your appetite for risk, and it’s something you can depend on even when you’re abroad.

Additional Features

On top of the practical controls, GamStop could provide you with the latest information on specialised hotlines, clinics, and centres for emotional support, debt support, and family support. Some of the resources are contact details of Gamblers Anonymous, Financial Wellness, and the Six to Ten Project. As for BetBlocker’s additional features, you’d be pleased with ‘calendaring’ that lets you set your days off from betting, and with the app’s anonymous data collection. If you’re a dad or mum of an at-risk minor, the parental controls will help you.

GamStop vs BetBlocker: 4 Similarities

Despite some differences in their style or process of helping you minimise or end your gambling activities, GamStop and BetBlocker have several things in common. First is that they’re both free to use, from registration to the lifting of your self-restriction. Second is that they both offer a variety of exclusion periods to suit your no-more-gambling goals. Third is that they both offer ease of registration. And fourth is that they both have safeguards for the prevention of new accounts and ‘gaming the system’.

Free to Use

As explained above, GamStop won’t cost you a penny to join. It has enough resources to welcome any and all self-excluding UK players to the network, free of charge. After all, it’s funded by the licensed gambling operators themselves, which are required by law to uphold responsible-gambling principles and support this scheme. Similarly, BetBlocker won’t bill you for going through self-restriction. It also relies entirely on the good graces of contributors.

Variety of Exclusion Periods

GamStop and BetBlocker each have a range of exclusion periods designed to make you stop gambling temporarily, semi-permanently, or permanently. GamStop gives three options: 1) 180 days or 6 months; 2) 52 weeks or 1 year; and 3) 60 months or 5 years. BetBlocker gives fourteen (14) options, the minimum period being 1 day and the maximum being 5 years.

Ease of Registration

Both GamStop and BetBlocker are committed to helping solve the gambling problem in the UK as soon as possible. This is why their registration process is quick and easy. For GamStop, you need about ten (10) minutes to sign up, by keying in your personal information and ticking the confirmation box. For BetBlocker, you only need a couple of minutes to download and install the app.

Prevention of New Accounts

GamStop and BetBlocker both have measures in place that prevent cheating through the creation of new or multiple accounts. For GamStop, one of the primary measures is counter-checking your personal information, including bank details, with the listed gambling companies. The gambling companies, for their part, check with GamStop if you’re on self-exclusion. For BetBlocker, the measures include locking the app during self-exclusion, making it impossible to disable or uninstall the tool.

Alternative Comparative Reviews of Self-Exclusion Tools

As we’ve said earlier in this review, GamStop and BetBlocker are only two of the best self-exclusion services and tools currently available to fight the UK’s excessive-betting problem. The others that self-restricting players in Great Britain and Northern Ireland consider using are BetFilter, BetStop, Gamban, GamBlock, and Net Nanny. Each one of these has its pros and cons for different types of players. We’ve compared one with another to help you see which is the perfect fit for your lifestyle and current situation.

How Effective Are BetBlocker And GamStop: Users Feedback

BetBlocker and GamStop are two of the most popular solutions to Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s gambling problems thus far. Their purpose of blocking European casino sites for the UK players on self-restriction or self-exclusion is noble, but are they effective? To get a feel for these services and tools, we’ve compiled the following reviews:

GamStop Reviews

  • I used GamStop for my self-imposed ban for half a year. Signing up was a tad cumbersome, since I had to give my current and past postcodes, e-mail addresses, and mobile numbers, many of which I couldn’t recall. I embraced this, though, because it was part of the difficult journey to freedom from inveterate gambling. But there were fun moments during my weaning-off time, particularly when I called the string of online casinos I’d joined. I asked them to return the funds that were still in my account, and they obliged, so I got rich doing that! Fast-forward 104 weeks, and I’ve fully recovered. Huge thanks to GamStop!
  • A while ago, I decided to abstain from online betting for 12 months. I self-referred using GamStop, but the addict that I was, I looked for ways to place bets online whilst on exclusion. I tried to get round the exclusion and succeeded just by changing my personal info. I was not happy with myself for cutting corners, and I was more disappointed that GamStop was not working well enough for smart alecks like myself. The scheme has since improved, I hear. My concern now that I am 100% reformed is my personal information still being kept by GamStop. I am not comfortable that my privacy could be compromised.

BetBlocker Reviews

  • I got addicted to online casinos at the height of the lockdowns in 2020. This was chiefly due to the loneliness of working from home, all by myself, and the grief of losing certain loved ones to the coronavirus. An aunt who knew my situation suggested I should download BetBlocker to stem this worsening problem. I heeded her advice, first taking baby steps by self-restricting for a day and then two, before advancing to weeks at a time. To break the block-restricting monotony, I sometimes calendared my breaks. I would continually use the app until 31 December 2022, the day before I declared myself 100% ‘clean’.
  • BetBlocker: easy to download but hard to put up with. The app does its job of blocking gambling sites, but the software could use a lot of improvement. I find it odd how quickly the developers respond to negative reviews on Google Play. They say that Play Store reviews should not be used as a support desk and that they should be e-mailed instead. But when I sent them a message asking for technical support because the app had slowed my device terribly, I never got a reply. If you must install BetBlocker, start with the 1-day exclusion and see if the app has made your phone or tablet go awry.

Conclusion: Which One to Choose?

GamStop and BetBlocker are interoperable, so you can use them both simultaneously and in harmony. However, if you feel like choosing just one service or tool to resolve your gambling issues, your decision must depend on your current situation and lifestyle goals.

For example, if you’re in the UK, without plans of going abroad in the near future, and with hopes of forgetting gambling permanently, GamStop will make for a fine solution. But if you’re always travelling to foreign lands yet want to take some time off from your wagering activities, BetBlocker will be a great choice. We thus advise you to read GamStop’s and BetBlocker’s terms and conditions, to understand their self-exclusion or self-restriction schemes better.

FAQ

How does BetBlocker differ from GamStop?

BetBlocker differs from GamStop in various ways, and one of its unique features is anonymous data collection. Unlike GamStop that isn’t anonymous, BetBlocker doesn’t ask for your personal information, much less share it with the gambling operators and retain it for years. Also unlike GamStop, it has parental controls in place.

Can BetBlocker be used for a temporary break from gambling?

Sure! You can give yourself a temporary break from gambling using BetBlocker. You could even calendar these breaks with the mobile app, like you would an alarm clock, and set them days or weeks in advance. Short-term options include 24 hours, the minimum period you can set the app for; 2 days, such as weekends; and 5 days, such as workdays.

Does GamStop require any payment?

No, GamStop doesn’t require any payment at any point of your participation in the network. This is in light of upholding the principles of responsible gambling and helping excessively betting players recover from their addiction to gambling. GamStop gets its financial resources from the gambling companies licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.

Can BetBlocker and GamStop be used together?

Definitely! BetBlocker and GamStop can be used together, especially if you’re serious about minimising or eliminating your gambling activities within and outside of the UK. BetBlocker could shield you from unlicensed gambling sites and rogue casino brands not with GamStop. Meanwhile, GamStop would give you extra protection from loopholes and vulnerabilities of the mobile app.

Is it possible to remove BetBlocker or GamStop exclusions early?

No, it isn’t possible to remove BetBlocker or GamStop exclusions early. For BetBlocker, you have no option to disable the tool or uninstall the mobile app during your self-restriction period. For GamStop, you’re not allowed to cancel your self-exclusion request or get yourself ‘delisted’ in the middle of self-exclusion. Consider all options available before you make a decision.

What happens when the exclusion period ends?

When your exclusion period ends, you may choose to renew or not. For BetBlocker, you could uninstall the mobile app and reinstall it; there’s no limit to the installations you make. For GamStop, be aware that the network’s system will retain your personal information for seven (7) years, from the time your exclusion has ended.

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