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How to Block Gambling Sites

how to block gambling sites

The internet is a powerful infrastructure that permeates the world – but at the same time, it’s also remarkably easy to tinker with it. If you wish to know how to block all gambling sites, all you need to understand is that it’s more than just possible. In fact, you have an entire toolkit made up of browser extensions, mobile apps, desktop software, network solutions, and payment blockers that you can leverage to end all access to online casinos, bingo sites, and bookies.

The solutions range from setting up a block toward gambling operators in your bank’s mobile app to selectively blacklisting the IP addresses of known gambling websites in your router’s settings. There is always a way for everyone – and we’re going to guide you through them all.

Need for Blocking Gambling Sites

The need behind blocking gambling sites on your devices can differ from person to person. Responsible management of your finances and the emotional well-being of your loved ones are instrumental to a successful life.

And it’s not rare that gambling problems interfere with these goals. As such, gamblers might look for ways to block gambling sites entirely to stop the temptation to dive back in. Whether you wish to block them on your PC or you constantly find yourself asking how to block gambling sites on my phone, the reasons could be many – but the solutions are the same.

Types of Blocking Software

Typically, you would block your access to gambling websites by setting up software on them. There are four main types of software primarily and we’re going to talk about them all. Ever wondered how to block gambling sites for free without having to resort to extremely technical measures? Well, you’re at the right place. Setting up and configuring these is quite straightforward. Before we discuss the exact considerations of each, here’s a brief overview of all four:

Type Description Typical Features
Browser Extensions Browser extensions are add-ons or plugins that can be installed directly into web browsers. These tools can block access to specific websites. Site blocking, customized whitelisting and blacklisting, block timers, and password protection.
Mobile Apps Mobile apps designed for blocking gambling sites operate on smartphones and tablets. They provide on-the-go control over access to online gambling platforms. App-based blocking, device-wide blocking, usage reports, and syncing across devices.
Desktop Software Desktop software applications are installed on a computer and provide robust features for blocking access to gambling sites. They often offer additional tools to monitor and manage internet usage. Comprehensive site blocking, scheduling, reports and analytics, and password protection.
Network Solutions Network-level blocking solutions operate at the network level, affecting all devices connected to a specific network. These solutions are often employed by organizations or families seeking to control access across multiple users. Network-wide blocking, customization, reports and logs, and setting up user permissions.
  • Browser Extensions
    Browser extensions are convenient tools. They are excellent when it comes to improving internet browsers with the ability to block specific websites, including gambling sites. You can customise the list of blocked sites, set timers for blocking, and even add password protection for added security. This type of self-exclusion is ideal for those seeking a quick, accessible, and customisable approach to limit their access to online gambling platforms directly through their preferred web browsers. Note that extensions are called add-ons on Firefox and extensions on Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Opera.
  • Mobile Apps
    Mobile apps designed for blocking gambling sites provide on-the-go control over access to online casinos and betting platforms on smartphones and tablets. These apps typically offer device-wide blocking, particularly useful as you can’t set up extensions on mobile browsers. Mobile apps are a practical choice for you if you want comprehensive control over your access to gambling sites on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Desktop Software
    Installed directly onto your computer, these applications provide comprehensive site blocking across all browsers, scheduling options, detailed reports on internet usage, and password protection for added security. Desktop software is particularly suitable for those who primarily use computers for internet activities and might use apps and multiple browsers to access gambling websites. Desktop software saves you the trouble of setting up extensions on multiple browsers.
  • Network Solutions
    Network-level blocking solutions operate at the network level, affecting all devices connected to a specific network. You (or the network administrator) can set up a block that affects all devices connected to the network (mostly a router) such as phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, whether wirelessly or with an ethernet cable. They offer a centralised control and a uniform approach, ideal for a broader and more systemic approach to website or IP address blocking. Note that you will need to know the websites before you can block them. Anything you don’t add to the block list manually can still be accessed freely.

Browser Extensions and Website Blockers

Now that you have a clear understanding and overview of the various methods you can use to block gambling sites, we will discuss the exact tools you can use. You can’t fully know how to block yourself from gambling without knowing about the exact tools that help you do this. That’s why we have done the research and prepared a guide for each of the four methods.

Browser Extensions

First of all, let’s have a look at the browser extensions or add-ons that you can use. These extensions are all free and offer unlimited blocking for as long as you want. Note that not all extensions work on all browsers – check the compatibility to find the best option for you.

Browser Extension Compatibility Description User Rating
StayFocusd Chrome and Edge Restrict the amount of time spent on time-wasting websites. Can be used to blacklist gambling sites too. 4.5/5 (Chrome)
5/5 (Edge)
BlockSite Chrome, Firefox, and Edge Unlimited blacklisting, focus mode, scheduling, and category-based blocks for distracting websites. 4.4/5 (Chrome)
3.7/5 (Firefox)
3.5/5 (Edge)
LeechBlock NG Chrome and Firefox Simple and free tool to block up to 30 sites with predetermined time periods or time limits. 4.9/5 (Chrome)
4.8/5 (Firefox)
WasteNoTime Chrome and Safari An older tool that allows you to set time quotas and instant lockdowns. Not Available

Website Blockers

Next up we have website blockers. These blockers are universal and work on British sites for betting not affected by GamStop as well, which is a plus. Website blockers can be either downloaded and installed or enrolled in. Ultimately, they do the same job of blocking your access to certain gambling websites.

Website Blocker Platform Compatibility Pricing
Net Nanny Windows, macOS, and iOS Approximately £32 for 1 device, £44 for 5 devices, and £72 for 20 devices.
GamStop All platforms, apps, and devices Free
Gamban Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Windows £2.49 per month or £24.99 per year. Free through TalkBanStop for UK residents.
BetBlocker Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, iPad OS, FireOS, App Gallery Free (UK-based charity)

Mobile Apps to Block Gambling Content

A few of the website blockers we listed above have apps for phones as well – and we’re going to cover them through the lens of a mobile gambler who finds themselves asking how can i block gambling sites on my phone reliably and for good. This also works if you’re wondering about how to block gambling sites on iPhone, as well as iPad, and Android. Just check the compatibility section in the table below.

Mobile App Platform (Android/iOS) Pricing
Gamban Both £2.49 per month or £24.99 per year. Free through TalkBanStop for UK residents.
BetBlocker Both Free (UK-based charity)
Net Nanny Only iOS Approximately £32 for 1 device, £44 for 5 devices, and £72 for 20 devices.

How to Install Mobile Apps to Block Gambling Content?

  • Choose the Right App
    First, you need to choose the right app. Check the device compatibility, features, pricing, etc. before you decide. Once decided, you’re not ready to install.
  • Access Your Device’s App Store
    Now, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search for the app. If you enter the name correctly, the first hit will be the exact app from the official developer. Note that you could see some ads of related apps before the actual results, just ignore those.
  • Tap on the “Install” or “Get” Button
    Click on the Install or Get button to install the app on your device. Once downloaded and installed, the icon for the app will appear on your phone.
  • Open and Set Up the App
    Launch the app by tapping on the app icon and registering a new account. If you have already registered previously, login instead with your previous credentials.
  • Configure Blocking Settings
    Head over to the settings of the app to set it the way you like. Different apps provide different controls, while some provide no controls at all. Check all settings and tweak it to your preference as much as you want.
  • Activate the Block
    Once it’s all set, you’re ready to activate the block. Turn it on and you’re good to go! To test, open a gambling website you know and see if it’s blocked. You can also try to open well-known casino sites and bookies to double-check.

Network-Level Blocking Solutions

Network-level blocking is a more advanced step and may involve some technical knowledge. It’s not as easy and convenient as installing an app and activating the block. However, if the pros outweigh the cons, you should definitely give this a spin. For example, if you find yourself wondering how to block myself from gambling sites across all devices without needing to set up different apps and extensions, this is the right solution for you.

This way, you don’t need to worry separately about how to block gambling sites on android and on your PC, for example. Note that network-level blocks can be set up by accessing your router’s interface as well. You can also get in touch with the internet service provider (ISP) to request a block to certain websites.

Solution Compatibility Ease of Setup
OpenDNS FamilyShield Routers, PCs, smart devices, and servers. Fairly complicated depending on what router you have.
CleanBrowsing All devices. Very easy as it’s web-based.

Steps to Implement Network-Level Blocking

  • Choose a Blocking Solution
    The first step is to choose between the two options. Do you want to use the OpenDNS FamilyShield, a free service that needs you to go through router configuration using the provided instructions? Or, would you rather pay a subscription fee to protect your network using a few clicks?
  • Access Router Settings
    If you choose OpenDNS or to manually blacklist websites or IP addresses at the router level, you will need to access your router settings. Different router manufacturers and product lines have different interfaces. You can access these settings by opening a web browser and entering the login URL and default IP address of your router. If you don’t know this or can’t find it on the router, you might need the help of a technician. If your router was provided as part of your internet package, you can get in touch with your ISP for clear instructions.
  • Configure DNS Settings
    Once you’re in the router settings, navigate to the DNS settings. DNS is the service that controls how devices connect to the larger internet and all of its resources. To block certain websites, it’s important to edit these DNS records so your router knows which IP addresses and domains to block when a device on the network tries to access them.
  • Customise Filters
    In the DNS settings, you will need to customise the filters. Whereas CleanBrowsing does it automatically for you, OpenDNS FamilyShield will give you instructions on how to manually customise these filters to block certain types of websites or specific websites.
  • Save and Reboot
    Once you have customised the filters to block all that you wish to block, save your DNS and router settings and turn off the router. You can also turn off the switch from the wall. Wait 15 seconds and turn the router back on. Now, the settings have been set up and you can try opening the blocked sites – your router will automatically block you from accessing them. This will apply to any device connected to the router, whether wirelessly (Wi-Fi) or with an ethernet cable, like a PC. Note that this doesn’t affect any device when it’s on a different network or when your data is on.

FAQs

Why should I consider blocking gambling sites?

Blocking gambling sites can be essential for individuals looking to control or eliminate problem gambling behaviours. It helps prevent impulsive decisions, manage time effectively, regain financial control, and foster a healthier relationship with online activities.

What are some effective ways to block gambling sites?

Effective methods include using website blocking software, browser extensions, mobile apps, desktop software, and network-level solutions. These tools offer various features such as site blocking, customization, and reporting to suit different preferences and needs. Check compatibility, key features, convenience, and pricing to decide on the best solution for you.

Can I block gambling sites on my smartphone?

Yes, you can block gambling sites on your smartphone. Mobile apps designed for this purpose can be installed from your device’s app store, providing on-the-go control over access to online gambling platforms.

Are there any free tools to block gambling sites?

Yes, several free tools, such as BetBlocker and Gamban (limited features in the free version), offer basic blocking functionalities. Browser extensions are also free, and so is the network-level solution of OpenDNS FamilyShield. Finally, GamStop’s self-exclusion is also free for all UK residents.

How do browser extensions for blocking gambling sites work?

Browser extensions work by integrating into internet browsers and allowing users to block access to specific websites, including gambling sites. Users can customise the list of blocked sites and set timers or time limits. Blacklisted sites will simply not open unless you remove the extension from the browser or whitelist the site.

Can I set up gambling site blocks for a specific time period?

Yes, some blocking tools, such as browser extensions and desktop software, allow users to set up specific time periods for blocking access to gambling sites. This feature is helpful for those who want temporary restrictions. Conversely, some tools also allow you to set time limits for specific websites, ensuring you don’t gamble over a certain period of predetermined time.

Will blocking gambling sites affect my other internet activities?

Blocking tools are designed to target specific sites, so they should not significantly impact other internet activities. These tools run in the background and block access to certain domains, which does not consume any meaningful amount of internet bandwidth to slow down or negatively affect the rest of your internet use. Some software, however, might slow down your device as they are always running – this will depend on your device’s configuration and the software or app in question.

How do I unblock a gambling site if I change my mind?

All of the methods we listed can be uninstalled, turned off, or customised to whitelist the sites that you had blacklisted. The GamStop self-exclusion, however, works differently. Once set up, you must wait out the cooldown period before you can remove the block and access gambling websites.

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