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Getting your life back will be the best gift of all

Every day is a challenge when you’re suffering under the weight of gambling addiction, but the holidays can make matters even worse. Addiction often isolates its victims from friends and family. This can be especially difficult at a time when you should be surrounded by people who care for you. Plus, the added financial burdens resulting from problem gambling make the season’s expenses harder to cover.

However, the holidays are a season of hope. This the perfect time to begin your journey toward recovery through gambling treatment…but where to start?

#1. Download gamban®

An addiction is like any injury: before you can begin the healing process, you need to remove the source of pain. gamban is a leading name in blocking software for those suffering from gambling addiction. The service enables you to easily block yourself from accessing gambling sites, removing the threat of abuse.

UK-based charity GambleAware found gamban to be up to 99% effective in an independent study of blocking services. The tool works across devices, offering comprehensive coverage with the benefit of robust, non-intrusive blocking software to protect you in every scenario.

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You can download the service today for a low annual fee. Even better, in the UK, the service is free for those seeking treatment through the GambleAware network of 21 different support organisations.

#2. Register to GamStop

GamStop is the UK’s national network for online self-exclusion. GamStop will eventually be a compulsory offering for all operators under UK law. For now, though, you can sign-up for the service and be instantly blocked from accessing a wide network of gambling sites operating in the UK.

Enrolling in GamStop is an important part of the process, but it is far from a perfect solution. All these suggestions work much better when deployed together. The more friction you can put in the process, the more likely you are to succeed.

#3. “Switch-Off” payments to Gambling Sites

With a matter as dangerous as addiction, there’s no such thing as being overly-cautious. Fortunately, you can block these sites on the banking-end of the transaction, too.

Barclays recently announced a new feature for the UK customers allowing them to block transactions in certain product categories. Selected industries include a wide array of gambling outlets including websites, betting shops, and lottery tickets.

Before that, Monzo an Starling Banks already had a way to “switch-off” payments to gambling operators. You can block all payments to gambling sites, preventing you from funding an online betting account.

This is incredibly helpful but remember that no solution on its own is bullet proof. Bear in mind that it is relatively easy to switch these payments back on, in some cases. Monzo is the safest one, with a waiting period of 48h from the moment you ask them to allow gambling payments. For someone who has an addiction this cooling off period, however short, can make all the difference in fighting gambling urges.

#4 Call the National Gambling Helpline

We know that this is not an easy step. But rest assure that the person on the other end of the line is waiting for your call. Please call them on 0808 8020 133, from 8am to midnight.

A Better Life…No Christmas Miracles Required

If you or someone you love is suffering from problem gambling, now’s the time to make a change and seek gambling treatment. This holiday, you can give the gift of starting a new, gambling-free life. Take all four of these steps and start reclaiming your independence today.