National Council on Problem Gambling Praises FanDuel, Unibet for Self-Exclusion Tools

Posted on: March 26, 2021, 10:20h. 

Last updated on: March 26, 2021, 12:19h.

March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The country’s leading advocacy group seeking to limit societal harms caused by gambling is celebrating two leading interactive casino and online sportsbook operators. 

problem gambling NCPG FanDuel Unibet
Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, is seen here during a 2019 interview. He says iGaming operators, including FanDuel, are taking a role in combating gambling addiction. (Image: Sightline Payments)

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) thanked FanDuel and Unibet this week for incorporating Gamban into their online platforms. Gamban, a UK-based software firm, allows users to easily block access to thousands of regulated and unregulated gambling sites.

FanDuel is currently the largest real-money internet gaming provider in the United States, its internet sportsbook and iGaming product operational in 10 states. Unibet is live online in five states. 

Companies Taking Proactive Steps

Each state that has online gaming and/or sports betting has required operators to offer gamblers various tools to help them control their play. One common offering is a “cool-down” period, wherein a user’s account is suspended for a certain length of time.

States with commercial gambling also have self-exclusion lists. Once a person adds their name, casinos are not legally allowed to welcome that individual to gamble. 

But with the proliferation of online gambling, many sites which are offshore and unregulated — and essentially illegal — problem gamblers have numerous avenues to relapse and gamble. Gamban makes it much harder to do so from their homes or mobile devices.

Gamban offers a monthly subscription of $3.49 per month or $2.92 per month for annual subscriptions. The app is continually updated to add new gambling websites and can be installed for one cost across all of a customer’s personal devices.

FanDuel and Unibet, however, are covering the subscription fees for users who take advantage of the gambling blocking product. 

“Educating customers about the importance of gambling responsibly and within limits is a business imperative and ethically the right thing to do,” said Carolyn Renzin, FanDuel’s chief risk & compliance officer. “Offering Gamban’s software to those customers signaling they need help adds another layer of protection for our customers, our program, and to the industry.”

Permanent Installation

Gamban works on Windows and Mac computers, and Android and iOS devices. But before one installs Gamban, be aware that the gambling preventative cannot be deleted from the computer, smartphone, or tablet. 

Gamban is a permanent installation, the company saying that the app “is designed to protect people who have gambling addictions,” meaning they are likely to change their mind after installation.

In order to protect our customers from relapse, we do not allow customers to remove Gamban from heir devices,” the company explains.

Though gambling is widespread in the US, the NCPG says just one percent — or two million adults — are estimated to meet the criteria to be categorized as having a “severe gambling problem.” Another two to three percent have a mild or moderate gambling problem.