Responsible gaming charity BetBlocker shed light on Greentube’s donation earlier this year, with the funds expected to help push more changes to its iOS mobile app.
BetBlocker depends on charitable donations from stakeholders in the industry, government and business interests, and individuals who wish to support them in the battle against gambling problems.
The interactive division of Novomatic made the donation as part of its annual research , education and treatment initiative, conducted as part of the UKGC-required voluntary funding model by which it supports work to advance player safety measures and research into the treatment of gambling damage.
BetBlocker officials gave more detail in a media statement about the changes to be felt as a result of the donation: “Every penny that is donated to BetBlocker is spent on improving or maintaining the app. The Greentube donation is being invested in making the iOS app more challenging to bypass.
“Every operating system has its own policies for developers that create different challenges to producing an effective and robust restriction. The simple facts are no operating system wants to allow any developer the facility to lock their app in place on the user’s device.
“Malicious developers could exploit this functionality to develop virus or malware that once on a device could not be removed. But the very purpose of BetBlocker is to place a restriction between users and reengaging with gambling. One that cannot be removed when the user is vulnerable to relapsing. This makes our job in developing an effective service a challenging one.”
BetBlocker also addressed “a startling lack of knowledge about the tools able to help players engage with online gambling in a responsible way.”
In research conducted before global lockdowns started, the charity found that over the last four weeks 46 percent of the people surveyed had been gambling, with 96 percent of all online gaming reported to have taken place at home.
In fact, only six percent of those surveyed had ever excluded themselves from a gambling company, with 53 percent of those surveyed claiming they did not know what self-exclusion was or was involved.
It was added: “With such a high proportion of those engaging with online gambling unfamiliar with the tools available to help them engage with gambling in a healthy manner alongside the likely increased engagement that will result from lock downs, it is more important than ever that the entire industry works together to promote responsible gambling and protect vulnerable players.
“Further supporting the supposition that the lockdowns could result in increased problematic gambling behaviour, since the beginning of March, BetBlocker has seen more than a 40 per cent increase in traffic visiting our site.
“Alongside this we have seen at least a fivefold increase in user contacts looking for assistance to remove the app so they can return to gambling. This clearly indicates that there is increased interest in a tool to help restrict online gambling.”