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GamCare Advocates for Improved Awareness and Accessibility of Gambling Blocks in Banking Sector

GamCare, a prominent organization providing support for individuals affected by gambling-related issues, is urging banks to take proactive measures to enhance awareness and accessibility of gambling blocks. The call comes as part of an ongoing effort to provide better protection and assistance to vulnerable consumers who may be at risk of developing gambling problems.

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The primary objective of gambling blocks offered by banks is to prevent financial transactions associated with gambling activities when customers are deemed to be at risk of harm. However, GamCare's research has revealed that many individuals only become aware of these blocks after experiencing substantial financial losses due to their gambling behaviors. This highlights the need for greater promotion and education around the availability and benefits of gambling blocks.

Jonathan, an individual who has successfully overcome the negative impacts of gambling, shared his perspective on the importance of gambling blocks. He emphasized, "The gambling block offered by my bank has been a key pillar in my recovery, but more publicity is needed to raise awareness of bank gambling blocks, especially amongst those struggling with their gambling. Having this block in place, coupled with self-exclusion from online gambling, gives me breathing space and a sense of security, especially when big sporting events are on." Jonathan's testimony underscores the positive impact of gambling blocks in supporting individuals on their journey to recovery.

In addition to promoting awareness, GamCare has identified a significant challenge in the inconsistent naming conventions of gambling blocks across different banking apps. Deelan Maru from the Behavioural Insights Team noted, "Our analysis of bank gambling tools shows that gambling blocks have inconsistent naming conventions across different banking apps. For example, one bank may call it 'card freeze', whilst another would place it under 'merchant control' or 'restriction' settings – ultimately causing ambiguity and confusion for the consumer." This lack of consistency can create barriers to understanding and utilizing the protective features, hindering their effectiveness in safeguarding customers.

To address these issues, GamCare suggests that banks offer gambling blocks in intuitive locations within their apps and adopt consistent naming conventions across the finance sector. By doing so, banks can increase awareness and encourage the adoption of gambling management tools, ensuring that more vulnerable customers are effectively protected from the harms associated with excessive gambling.

Furthermore, GamCare has been actively collaborating with various partners to raise awareness about problem gambling. The recent partnership between GamCare and The MMA Fan Podcast, presented by Blake Harrison of The Inbetweeners, demonstrates a joint commitment to promote responsible gambling and provide support to those in need.

In conclusion, GamCare's call for banks to improve awareness and accessibility of gambling blocks highlights the importance of proactive measures in protecting vulnerable consumers. By increasing public awareness, ensuring clear and consistent information, and implementing user-friendly features, banks can play a crucial role in preventing gambling-related harms and fostering a safer gambling environment. Collaborative efforts between support organizations, industry stakeholders, and media platforms can further amplify the message and ensure that adequate support is available to those who need it.



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