Bethany discusses how to resist gambling apps and have a successful scroll-free September
Scroll Free September is an initiative run by the Royal Society for Public Health. The campaign focuses on getting all of us to take a break from social media during September, but this year it’s also a great opportunity to take a break from gambling apps.
If you would like to take a break from gambling online, for a month or even longer, here are some thoughts and tools which can help.
- Update your phone settings
One of the most tempting things about gambling apps is how easily accessible they are. You can lessen this with a variety of options:
- Remove shortcuts from your homepage – hold down the app symbol and swipe to remove. This makes an app less convenient to get to.
- Disable push notifications – go into your device settings, select ‘app settings’, find each app you no longer want notifications for, then adjust their permissions.
- Disable the app – go into your device settings, select ‘app settings’, then disable the ones that might tempt you.
- Delete the app – hold down the app symbol and swipe to uninstall. This simply means the temptation won’t be there when you open your device.
Self-exclusion is when you ask a gambling business to stop you from gambling with them for a set amount of time, usually between six months and five years. All gambling companies in the UK need to be able to offer this option to you if you would like to use it, whether they operate online or from a physical venue.
You can choose to self-exclude any time you would like to step away from gambling in general, or from a particular type of gambling. You don’t need to offer a specific reason for your self-exclusion. Self-exclusion can give you enough spare time to focus on other activities, hobbies, goals or projects, rather than gambling.
Have a look at our self-exclusion page to find the best self-exclusion options for you, including the GAMSTOP scheme, which can exclude you from accessing your accounts with online gambling companies who offer services in the UK.
- Blocking software
Blocking software can be useful if you access gambling websites and apps on different devices and want to avoid this. You can find general blocking software, which can limit adult content etc. and you can find specific blocking software for gambling sites and apps. Find out more on our blocking software page.
An independent evaluation from GambleAware found that one of the most effective versions of gambling specific blocking software is gamban. Anyone who contacts GamCare via the National Gambling HelpLine or through our treatment services will be able to access gamban free of charge for 12 months, and will be able to install it on up to three devices, e.g. their phone, tablet and PC. Talk to us now for more information.
- Avoid ads on social media
To find out the best ways of avoiding gambling or gaming promotions on social media, visit BeGambleAware.
- Talk to your bank
Some banks now have features that allow you to avoid gambling by blocking certain types of transactions. Barclays, Monzo and Starling bank all currently have this feature enabled in their banking apps.
Your bank can also help you limit how much cash you can take out in a single day if you want, which can help you save money overall.
Check out our Tools to Help You Stop Gambling leaflet for other handy advice.
Feel like you want to stop gambling altogether?
If you feel like perhaps you’re spending too much time or money gambling, you can talk to our team for information, advice and support every day of the week. They can listen to your concerns talk you through all of the options available to you for help and support.
GamCare is here for you. You can also take a look at our self-help workbook if you would like to change your relationship with gambling.