Protection and Support

Advice on how to protect minors and useful support agencies.

Protecting Minors

US legislation is varied state to state and, in many cases, still being formed. In the UK, Bookmakers and casino operators are required by law to prevent children from gambling under the Gambling Act 2014.

Most betting shops and other brick and mortar gambling establishments run a Think 21 policy, which demands photographic ID from any customers that look younger than 21.

It is harder to prevent children from gambling online than in person, but operators take several measures to ensure customers are 18 or older and 21 or over in the USA.

Betting sites will run age verification systems to prevent children from setting up accounts.

Sometimes a search may be undertaken with a third party to verify that they are of a legal age.

These gambling sites are banned from appealing to children, and operators make it clear in their terms and conditions that underage gambling is illegal. However, the system is not foolproof and parents are also encouraged to take steps to ensure the safety of their children:

Measures To Ensure Safety For Your Children

  • Protect your gambling accounts with password access, and keep your username, password and deposit details out of reach.

  • Do not save passwords or use any form of auto-fill.

  • Log out of betting sites when you are finished playing, and keep your mobile devices locked.

  • Do not leave minors near your devices while a betting site is running.

  • Limit the amount of time your children spend online and check their activity on a regular basis.

  • Educate your children about the pitfalls of underage gambling.

There are also a number of third-part parental controls that you can use to monitor or restrict your children’s online activity:

Net Nanny (UK) – this parental control filtering software protects children from adult and inappropriate content while browsing. It allows you to monitor your family’s digital habits, protect them from harmful content, limit screen time and block apps and websites.

Cyber Sitter (UK) - this software has been providing a safe and family-friendly browsing experience since 1995 and bills itself as specialising in peace of mind. It blocks adult oriented sites, forces safe-search on search engines and updates daily.

Cyber Patrol (UK) - this brings Net Nanny and Content Watch together to filter the internet, mask profanity and pornography and manage unwanted content.

Kidlogger (USA) - this allows you to monitor your children’s online activity. This system allows you to block apps, schedule access to games, read SMS and more.

Qustodio (USA) - this provides concerned parents with intelligent tools to help supervise kids online, powerful monitoring tools and parental controls for screen time, adult content and games.

Support and Advice

You can gain valuable help from a number of organisations that provide free and confidential advice for anyone struggling with a gambling problem:

BigDeal (UK)

BigDeal is a place for young people to find information and support related to gambling, either for themselves or someone they care about.

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BeGambleAware (UK)

This organisation offers a wealth of advice on responsible gambling and provides free, confidential help either online or over the phone. You can learn about more about gambling, check if you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, and find tips on how to stay in control.

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Gamban (UK)

Gamban is an easy to use application that blocks online gambling on different devices. It offers a secure, reliable, and affordable option to stay away from gambling sites and apps, helping those with a problem to fight the urge.

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GamCare (UK)

This registered charity offers confidential, non-judgemental support for anyone affected by problem gambling. Advisors work from 8am to midnight, seven days a week, and you can call them or Live Chat online. There are also group chat and forum functions, providing a safe space for problem gamblers to explore the situation and find support from others in similar situations.

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Gambling Therapy (UK)

This is a global service offering free, practical advice and emotional support to anyone affected by problem gambling. It also offers support forums and Live Chat advice, along with information on problem gambling.

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Gamblers Anonymous (UK)

GA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other in a bid to solve their common problem. It offers the hand of friendship to anyone who is looking to try and stop gambling, via a range of different meetings.

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Gordon Moody Association (UK)

This is a registered charity that provides residential support and treatment for anyone people that are severely addicted to gambling. You will find advice, education and therapeutic support, along with information about how to take control of your gambling.

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National Debtline (UK)

The National Debtline is an independent charity, dedicated to providing free debt advice by phone and online. You can work out your budget, figure out how to deal with debt and devise the best solution to your difficulties.

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Betfilter (UK)

Betfilter’s software has been specifically designed to stop people gambling. The firm has worked with people suffering from gambling problems and tested its software on them. It promises simple installation, discretion and only relevant blocking.

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National Problem Gambling Clinic (UK)

The National Problem Gambling Clinic’s mission is to advance existing models of treatment and develop new models of psychological therapies for gamblers. It offers individual psychological support, behavioural couples therapy, support groups, psychiatric reviews, medication and aftercare.

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National Council on Problem Gambling (USA)

Serves as the national advocate for programs and services to help those affected by gambling. NCPG aims to improve the health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of gambling.

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American Addiction Centers (USA)

Provides quality, compassionate, and innovative care to adults who are struggling with addiction and mental health disorders.

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (USA)

The agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioural health of America.

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This free, confidential helpline is open 24 hours a day. Offers immediate answers to questions and provides crisis counselling. You can set up an appointment if that suits better.

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GAM Talk (USA)

A supportive community and online support for gambling issues. Helping people with gambling issues. You can join this community for support, to share ideas, attend chat sessions and more.

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