The suite of responsible gambling tools that Ohioans have access to is more robust. Ohio is now the second state to offer a free year of Gamban’s gambling app and website blocking service free of charge to anyone who wants it.
In addition to the state’s existing self-exclusion program, gamblers in Ohio have protections that are the same as in a few other states and can be accessed without cost. Such programs are just a part of the necessary interventions to assist people with gambling-related behavioral issues, however.
Ohio finalizes partnership with Gamban
Following the example of neighboring Pennsylvania in March, the Ohio Lottery Commission has made an identical deal with Gamban. Through the commission’s Time Out Ohio responsible gambling division, Ohioans have free access to Gamban for a year.
Gamban is software that blocks online gambling apps and websites on most devices that can access the Internet. The restriction includes both regulated and unregulated gaming sites for people in Ohio. At this time, Gamban blocks device users’ access to more than 700,000 gambling opportunities worldwide.
Gamban got its start in the United Kingdom in 2018 and has since spread to other places in Europe like Norway. Gamban also has an office in New Jersey. After the free year expires users who started the service through Time Out Ohio can elect to continue with Gamban for $3.49 per month or $34.99 annually.
Ohio has a self-exclusion program for people who wish to restrict their access to physical casinos and racetracks in the state. The combination of those two programs essentially means that anyone using both would face serious difficulties in accessing gambling opportunities.
At the same time, even that level of protection is not absolute. Other interventions are necessary to truly address gambling-related pathologies for people who struggle with them.
Addressing the issue, not just the symptoms
As Robyn McNeil of Bonus.com points out, some operators of unregulated online casinos have specifically designed themselves as attempts to circumvent blocking software like Gamban. It’s a classic cat-and-mouse game but one that can be harmful for people with gambling-related behavioral issues.
For that reason and more, people who deal with such pathologies are best off if they seek additional assistance. In a discussion about the role of dopamine in gambling-related behavioral issues, Pedro Romero, Lic Psy, PGDip, MBPsS, MBACP, and Cert TIHR talked about the need for mental healthcare:
“When you have someone who suffers from excessive gambling, there is stuff going on in their life, they have an undiagnosed problem, but they feel better when they gamble, and it gets out of hand, the best thing we can do is to promote mental health overall. If you hurt your knee, you go to the doctor. It’s the same thing with your mental health.”
At the same time, Gamban is not only for people who struggle with gambling-related behavioral issues. The software is available to anyone who wants to restrict their access to online gambling for any reason or combination of reasons.
Regardless of motivation, Gamban is another tool that people can use to protect themselves from potential harm related to gambling. People in Ohio can try it for themselves free of charge now.