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BetBlocker granted UK charity status

Industry responsible gambling tool BetBlocker has confirmed that it has been listed as a charitable entity within the United Kingdom, supporting its strategy to support those at risk of problem gambling behaviours.

BetBlocker, which recently launched on the Amazon Fire OS operating system, allows individuals to block access to over 6,700 betting sites.

This project has been funded and developed by the Alternative Dispute Mediation service, ThePOGG.com Ltd. The aim is to help players who’ve used the service and shown signs of a possible gambling addiction.

Duncan Garvie, Manager of ThePOGG.com, commented: “We started BetBlocker to assist vulnerable players, who were complaining about gambling operators to us. The project has been far more popular than we ever expected, and has expanded well beyond the original base it was intended to help. It has become evident that BetBlocker’s service is one that many people can benefit from.

“With a fast-growing user base, sustaining this project is a challenge that can’t be met by ThePOGG.com alone. With over 40,000 downloads across the various platforms, plus a user base of several thousand users on the mobile apps alone, this is a project which needs to be recognised in its own right if its going to maximise the number of people it can help.”

Set to utilise an ‘exact match’ system, the app’s developers have launched a system which only restricts sites that are confirmed to be related to a gambling url, as opposed to a keyword frequency system which may result in ‘false negative/positive’ pages.

It is hoped that users will be able to report sites and apps that have not been restricted by the app’s system.

When opting into the Gambling Self Restriction tool, users can choose their own restriction length, anywhere from 24 hours to 5 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.

In addition to regulated operators, users can also restrict black market gambling services that would normally ignore players’ responsible gambling requests.

Garvie highlighted that BetBlocker could have started charging a fee for its use. However, he felt that was unfair when such vulnerable individuals are likely to have little money.

How to donate

As part of its attempts to reach more people in need, BetBlocker is looking for partners with a strong commitment to responsible gambling. While player donations are accepted (this can be done by emailing donations@betblocker.org), ThePOGG.com’s manager said that the best way to contribute is via Amazon Smile. This program enables Amazon users to send small contributions when purchasing something, at no additional cost to themselves. This can be done here.

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