Football's Gambling Addiction: Expert on betting sponsorship
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After struggling with a gambling addiction, Jack Symons created Gamban in 2015, a tech product which blocks gambling platforms on all of one’s devices. He has turned his business into a success story, helping tens of thousands of people as well as turning over millions of pounds.
Mr Symons told the story of how his own addiction to gambling was the catalyst for the start of Gamban.
He said: “I found it difficult to commit to stopping gambling. Your phone or computer is always with you, and it’s so easy to gamble.
“I used lots of different barriers and I found that nothing was really designed for what I needed.
“So, I made a very simple program on my computer that blocked me from being able to access gambling sites, and just having it felt like I was liberated,” Mr Symons explained.
He believes that being involved with a project that is so close to his heart has aided the business’s success.
Mr Symons said: “I’ve always been involved in technology, and the chance to merge a tech product with a problem that I have first-hand experience with seemed like a natural fit.
“I think that’s partly why this has been so successful. It’s been quite cathartic to channel that into a product that helps thousands of people.”
Gamban now works in partnership with gambling companies, banks and regulators in order to help those suffering with addictions get off gambling platforms.
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“Over time, it’s become clearer that protecting people is the most sustainable and safe thing for the industry,” Mr Symons said.
The product blocks a huge number of gambling sites from all of one’s devices, helping people to take back control. Mr Symons detailed some of the platforms that are blocked by installing the app.
“We block gambling, poker, bingo lottery, casinos, slots, all those kinds of products, as well as cryptocurrency and day trading platforms.”
“We’ve designed it so it’s very difficult to remove,” he added.
The growth of Gamban has been impressive, as the company has built a strong foundation and is now producing big returns.
Mr Symons said that Gamban currently has around 80,000 users, and added that “our year-on-year growth is about 100 percent.
“We’ve gone from very humble revenues in 2017 to a projection this year of about £2.5million,” he said.
However, he says that there has not been sufficient change from gambling operators to help solve the issue of addiction.
Referring to some of the statements and commitments made by companies as “lip service”, Mr Symons went on to say that “some operators show a little more integrity, but the industry can only be as responsible as its least responsible operator”.
“I found it harder to sign up and invest £10 into a crowdfunding campaign than I have done in the past signing up and spending several hundred pounds gambling,” he added.
Whilst Mr Symons does not feel that having first-hand experience with a problem is essential to succeed in solving it, he does say that working towards a cause that is meaningful “can help through the difficult days and keep your motivation up”.
He also emphasised the importance of “a great, encouraging team” as a key cog in the success of Gamban.
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