When you put the word “gambling” in the search box on Google, you will notice that the gambling industry has incredibly increased not only in the UK but also around the world. The COVID-19 lockdown is the perfect storm for the massively triggered gambling participation among the Brits, leading to the ever-growing scourge of gambling addiction. 

To deal with the rise in problem gambling, a range of tools can be used to limit online gambling activities as they block access to gambling sites and services. Some of them are available for free, whereas others may include a charge. With so many gambling-specific blocking schemes out there, which option should you try, the free or the paid one?

Free Gambling Blockers

Blocking software for free is a programme created to limit or ban your access to websites with free spin promos, online gambling operators, and other similar resources. The fact that these blockers are free doesn’t mean they are less effective in fighting gambling addiction. On the contrary, these self-exclusion schemes are excellent solutions to help different types of gamblers put control and restrict their online gambling activities.


GamStop is a national self-exclusion service operated by the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme (NOSES), a part of the government’s non-profit organisation. Released in 2018, this free service helps those who want to quit gambling by allowing them to self-exclude from licensed gambling websites and apps.

Actually, with GamStop, the players who feel developing problem gambling are advised to register at the service free of charge by providing their personal details. The validation can take 24 hours, and once it is confirmed, they can choose the duration of their ban, whether 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years. As a result, they will be prohibited from accessing all the online sites and apps operating in the UK until the period has elapsed.

As subscribing to this free self-exclusion tool is a crucial step on the way to recovery, at the end of the prohibition period, the members are required to contact GamStop to remove their self-exclusion. Otherwise, they can still join sites at https://nonstopcasino.org/not-gamstop-casinos/free-spins/ to find  attractive welcome bonus deals without deposit.


Reputed as a specialist in the prevention of gambling addiction in the UK-based market, BetBlocker is a free self-banning app released in 2019 by the POGG, a company centring on providing a review and recommending reliable gambling websites. The free blocking software can be downloaded on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, meaning that the convenient tool is dedicated to every gambler who wants to remove from gambling sites. 

BetBlocker resembles other self-exclusion tools regarding the period of time they want to be detached, but this scheme comes with more practicable features making it appreciated among the users. In fact, with this blocking gambling websites, the calendaring feature permits the users to choose their preferred specific ban periods allowing them to manage their time spent on gambling depending on their choices and needs. Apart from providing a self-restriction tool, BetBlocker’s charitable programme is also built as parental control.

Paid Gambling Blockers

Conversely to the free gambling blocking tools, some apps require the users to pay the fees on registration. Paid gambling blockers can fix the gap provided by free blockers. In fact, the software that includes a charge usually provides more features to the users, and regardless of the amount paid, their common goal is to offer a solution to be free from addiction.


This is one of the most popular alternatives to GamStop, operated by the leading national charity, GambleAware. The app was developed to help problem gamblers block themselves on gambling sites and apps in 2015 and has maintained its reputation as an effective blocking tool. 

Those who want to quit gambling are required to install the software on iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, and once it is installed, they will no longer access gambling platforms and apps. Gamban was awarded various prizes and unlike some blocking apps, it can be accessed from every part of the globe.


First started in 2000, GamBlock is one of the popular paid gambling blocking apps offering full unlimited protection to the players, small businesses, and even companies in the online gambling sector. The app is appreciated for its convenience in the purpose of banning access to the internet and mobile gambling platforms, adverts, and promotions for 1 month up to 5 years. With the advanced algorithms that can detect and block content, GamBlock can be used to ban gambling sites in all countries.


Another paid software solution that was specifically developed to block gambling websites is Betfilter, an app to help punters across European countries. In fact, the tool has provided its service in more than 43 countries and has protected thousands of players since 2008. 

As the world-leading anti-gambling organisms recommend BetFilter, the users can choose the options whether to be prohibited on the gambling platforms for 1 or 2 years. The installation takes only a few minutes, and once it is installed, it is impossible to uninstall during the ban period.


Created in 2018, ColdTurkey is a blocking solution for a family as it helps parents to control their kids from negative internet influences. Since this innovation uses different algorithms and artificial intelligence tools, the parents are able to filter and detect the content that is harmful to their children. 

In addition to being a family-wide blocking service, ColdTurkey can also be used as a blocking tool for gambling sites. With this blocking and filtering app, the users can not only ban themselves from online casinos or betting sites, but the amount of time they spend on gambling activities can also be limited.

Bank Transaction Blocking

Added to the self-exclusion schemes, many banks also strengthen the policy to reduce gambling addiction by developing new possibilities to restrict spending on gambling. With innovations in financial institutions, blocking gambling payments can be completed, whether on debit cards or bank accounts. Since there are many banks unwilling to block your transactions, you’ll need a list of those that provide such functionality for your chosen gambling platforms.


In 2018, Barclays introduced a feature to help customers ban payments with certain types of gambling companies to prevent and reduce gambling problems. Barclays has become the first high street bank to set up this measure. To further support customers, the banking financial service added additional features from which the users will have to wait 72 hours before being allowed to make payments.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group launched the gambling transaction freezes, a mobile banking app that helps customers instantly block payments on gambling sites. What’s more, to offer an additional layer of protection from possible gambling harm, the bank has also collaborated with Gamban in order to permit customers to stop access to online gambling sites by using the Gamban app.


Monzo launched an app to allow customers to block gambling transactions. In this app, those who want to turn on the restrictions should first contact the Monzo customer support team and then activate the ban. The high street bank reinforces its goal to help customers with problem gambling by cooperating with TrueLayer, a global banking platform that has broadened its banking platform to several European countries.


The largest banking and financial services institution HSBC has applied a self-exclusive policy to help its customers prevent gambling addiction by limiting their spending on gambling-related activities. Thus, the users are able to opt for blocking gambling transactions, whether on their credit cards or their bank accounts.

Concluding Thoughts

Gambling-blocking software has become an inevitable tool to help people who are exposed to gambling risk factors or suffer from gambling addiction. A wide range of self-exclusion schemes are launched in the online gambling industry, some require paid access, while others are completely free. 

Gambling is not necessarily a harmful activity, but it can be risky and can develop into an addiction habit that people and their surroundings battle to quit. Whether they choose free or paid blocking programmes to regain control of their lives, the most important goal is to prevent and overcome addiction.