According to gambling charity GamCare, more people are reaching out for support with problem gambling this year than ever before.
Back in June 2018 we became the first bank to let you block gambling spending from your bank account. Together with other types of support and ‘self-exclusion’, stopping gambling spending from your bank account is an important way people can choose to restrict their gambling. Close to 100,000 people have used it in the last 10 months and we’ve blocked more than 200,000 attempted gambling transactions.
We’re always looking to improve our tools and support for gambling harm. Which is why we’ve been working closely with GamCare, our customers, industry experts and people with first hand experience to improve our gambling block.
These changes will give you more control and flexibility over how you block gambling spending from your Monzo account. They also mean we now meet 87% of GamCare’s new recommendations for how banks can support customers at risk of gambling harm (up from 45% before).
If you already use the gambling block, we won’t notify you about these changes to avoid potentially triggering you, following the advice of industry experts and customers using the block. But everyone has access to these new features now.
We’ve improved our gambling block
1. Take longer to cool down
If you’re using the gambling block and decide to turn it off, you have to wait for a period of time before you get the option to switch it off and start spending on gambling again (and we can’t speed it up for you). The decision to gamble is often an impulsive one, so some extra ‘friction’ gives you the chance to think.
We’ve just added a range of longer options, so you can now choose to wait up to a year before you can make gambling transactions again.
2. Write a note for future you
You can now write yourself a reminder about why you turned the gambling block on in the first place.
We’ll show it to you if you decide to start your cooldown period, and again when that time ends and you get the option to turn off the block.
Together with the cooldown period, a reminder could help you reflect on your decision to remove the block.
3. Get better access to specialist gambling support
If you’ve told us you’ve experienced gambling harm, when you contact us we’ll send you straight to our specialist teams. They’re trained to help you with gambling harm and the support we can give you on your Monzo account. And they can put you in touch with external support too if that’s what you want.
We’re here to support you
As well as our gambling block, we have other ways to help you manage your gambling. For example, we can help you lower your spending limits, opt out of lending products like loans, or block you from making bank transfers.
If you need support with gambling, let us know through in-app chat or by using Share with Us – a tool that lets you share sensitive information with us.
And we can help you find support elsewhere too
The gambling block works best alongside other self-exclusion tools and support.
Here are some places you can find more information and get help with self-exclusion:
Block access to gambling websites and apps through the TalkBanStop partnership
Talk to an advisor anonymously 24/7 over the phone or live chat with GamCare. They also have forums and chat rooms where you can connect with people who share your experience.
Casinos and bookmakers support self-exclusion in person, and must be part of schemes that let you self-exclude from everywhere that offers the same kind of gambling in your area
We’ll continue to advocate for banks and financial services companies to better protect people struggling with gambling, through our products and services, and by using our voice in the industry.
Find out more about our research into gambling harm, the changes we’ve made and the support we’re offering customers.
Monzo Current Accounts are available to UK residents. Terms and conditions apply.