How to block online gambling sites on your computer
Blocking online gambling sites on your computer
Getting addicted to gambling can literally ruin your life. So, why not prevent future ruin by blocking online gambling sites from your computer?
A number of different software filters to block gambling websites are currently on the market. We talk here with the creators of Problem Poker, about gambling online and how their software can help you. If you are in recovery from compulsive gambling, here are a few reasons you should think about using Problem Poker. You are invited to ask questions about blocking online gambling websites at the end.
NOTE: Problem Poker offers a FREE Problem Poker download (until April 2012) to the first 500 people who answer an online survey.
Because these creators have a mission: Problem Poker wants to help you help yourself.
ADDICTION BLOG: Compulsive gambling psychiatric diagnosis is a hot topic in the addiction community. So, rather than make a case for compulsive gambling as a problem, let’s talk numbers. How many people do you estimate have an online gambling problem? For example, how many people gamble online at least once per day? And how many gambling websites are out there on the internet?
PROBLEM POKER: While hard number are always difficult to ascertain Zynga in their SEC 10K filing claims they has 33.2million online poker players… of course Zynga does not use real money(yet) but it shows the broad appeal online gambling has. The interesting number is, 50% of North American High School and College students have played on free play online gambling websites and 9% of North American youth have gambled online for real money. It is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce age restrictions. Below is a breakdown of known gambling websites from 1998 through present, and facts on internet gambling.
- 650 gambling websites established by the end of 1998
- 1800 gambling websites established by the end of 2002
- 2500 gambling websites established by the end of 2006 (peak)
- 2332 gambling websites currently in operation
- Internet gambling has rapidly grown into a $12 billion dollar annual industry.
- Estimates of between 14 and 23 million active players.
ADDICTION BLOG: Online casinos have made state and federal laws that ban gambling difficult (if not impossible) to enforce. But casinos are very powerful business entities, especially locally. And gambling operations have been historically linked with mafia organizations. Has the software that you’ve created been on the casino radar? Have you received any negative feedback from the industry?
PROBLEM POKER: Initially we reached out to several online casinos, and they have been less than enthusiastic concerning our software. I believe that until there is an outcry from users, health providers or government they will only pay lip service to any gambling prevention tool. In other words, casinos and online gambling websites don’t really want you to stop gambling altogether.
In Europe, there are recommendations for gambling websites in terms of providing responsible gambling resources, and we are trying to assist several countries in meeting their local responsible gambling requirements.
ADDICTION BLOG: The software is based on self-management, where people block their own access to websites and Problem Poker holds the key to entry. Do many people “relapse” and request access to gambling again. In these cases, what is your response?
PROBLEM POKER: It is our company policy, that once an individual, friend, family or medical provider signs up for an exclusion period, they are excluded period. We are contractually obligated to keep individuals from accessing gambling websites during their exclusion period. We do get phone calls and emails from individuals trying to have us send them an uninstall key. But typically we just remind them of the reason they signed up. Our Sponsorship Pal program assists in mitigating the gambler’s relapse by alerting friends, family or medical providers of any attempt to access gambling related websites.
Evidence suggests relapse of problem gambling is 3 to 4 times higher with Internet gamblers versus non-Internet gamblers. Relapse prevention is key in treating individuals with online gambling addictions. In today’s world, people need their computer for school and work, short of removing all access to computers in from their life, our software is a solution that works.
ADDICTION BLOG: A close family member has a problem with gambling. So, the first thing that I actually thought of was installing the software for them. In other words, trying to control someone else’s gambling with or without consent. Does this strategy work for family or loved ones of problem gamblers? What’s been your experience working with family or friends that buy the software for a gambling addict?
PROBLEM POKER: Yes, it works for medical providers, families and friends. The Sponsorship Pal program is an optional feature that is included with each purchased service subscription. During installation, a user is required to enter an email address of a “sponsor” of their choice. During browsing, if a user repeatedly attempts to access websites relating to online gambling, Problem Poker software will send a message to the sponsor notifying them of the attempt.
The sponsor may be a significant other, a friend, or a provider of addiction help services. This functionality may be used for identifying those who possess a progressive form of gambling addiction. We are currently working with wellness centers across the country, setting up out-patient relapse prevention programs; helping wellness keep track of their patients once they leave the facility and re-enter society.
ADDICTION BLOG: There are other gambling filters out there on the market. Some with a one-time licensing fee, others with an annual fee. But Problem Poker is a monthly subscription. What benefits does Problem Poker offer to users that justify the monthly fee?
PROBLEM POKER: We are in the process of reconfiguring our programs to an annual subscription model. When we first launched the Problem Poker we did not know if a gambler would self-exclude them self for extended periods of time; but after meetings with medical advisers we realized that gambling addiction is like alcohol addiction, you’re never cured but it can be controlled. Within the next 30 days we will switch to this new pricing plan as we reintroduce the product with some upgraded features and functions.
Problem Products is currently offering no change limited time subscriptions as a community service until April 30, 2012. These no charge software subscriptions for Problem Poker software are fully functional products . This offer extends to any gambler who’s willing to take the proactive first step towards freedom of their addiction to online gambling. Friends, family or concerned individuals can also take advantage of this offer. This limited time offer is for new users, and only available to the first 500 individuals that complete an online registration form.
ADDICTION BLOG: Have you gotten feedback from the 12 step community and Gambler Anonymous on the software? I understand that 12 step groups usually do not officially have no opinion about outside matters, but have you received any anecdotes or quotes from GA sponsors who receive email alerts when sponsees try to gamble?
PROBLEM POKER: Many of our users also participate in 12 step programs. We believe that individuals trying to overcome gambling addiction must use all available tools; our products are a very important tool when used in conjunction with other addictive compulsive programs.
ADDICTION BLOG: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
PROBLEM POKER: The Mayo Clinic’s recommendations for treating gambling problems are:
“There’s no proven way to prevent a gambling problem from occurring or recurring. But if you have risk factors for compulsive gambling, avoiding gambling in any form… Getting treatment at the earliest sign of a problem may help prevent a gambling disorder from becoming worse.”
Problem Products is dedicated to helping and we believe individuals suffering from online gambling addiction, need treatment promptly. They need immediate responsiveness, and also they need prevention assistance immediately. The ability to download and install Problem Poker software is a necessary step in rehabilitation. Seriously, we are here to help them help themselves.
Blocking online gambling questions
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