Using Starling's Gambling Controls

Using Starling's Gambling Controls

Hannah Timoney

Sep 14, 2020 2 min read
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Starling is a digital, mobile bank, similar to Monzo and Revolut. Just like many banks now have, Starling offers gambling transaction blocks to its users. It was in fact the first UK bank to introduce this gambling block, meaning customers could block all payments made to gambling or betting merchants with one switch. Unfortunately, this block does not apply to purchasing a lottery ticket at a newsagent, as the merchant does not come under the gambling umbrella. So, how does it work?

How to block gambling with Starling

Blocking gambling with Starling is as simple as one button. Under the ‘Card and Currency Controls’ in the Starling app there are the toggles to disable contactless, ATM withdrawal, online payments, mobile wallet, freeze your card, and the gambling block. Simply activate the block and any payments you attempt to make to any business holding a gambling license will be blocked. You will receive a message confirming your block has been activated and is in place.

If you try to use your card to make a payment associated with gambling while your card is blocked you will receive a message to say ‘Your £- transaction at - was declined because you have asked us to block transactions at gambling establishments.’ This allows customers a peace of mind that there is an extra helping hand managing their money, and helping them reach financial goals.

Turning off the gambling block

While the gambling block is on Starling will block all payments made to merchants associated with gambling or betting. If you want to turn off the block, you can do this through the app, in the same way as you turn it on. However, you should be aware that it will still take 48 hours for the block to be lifted. This is what is known as ‘positive friction,’ and allows the user some extra time to consider the need for gambling. The block, and the delay in removing it makes betting or gambling on impulse more difficult. 

Spending insights

A key feature of the Starling banking app is the spending insights tab. Here, transactions are grouped by category, from Groceries to Lifestyle. Starling also has a separate category for Gambling, allowing customers to quickly control and understand their spend on gambling, and help them to budget appropriately. Once you have checked your spending insights and figure out where you could use some extra help, it might be time to check out Starling's spending limits option.

Where can you find other support?

If you feel you need more support, going further than gambling blocks and spending limits, there are other groups and services that can help you. Both GamStop and Gamban can help you stop accessing gambling sites, while GamCare provides information about other software you can use for self-exclusion. Why not check out our Responsible Gambling guide for more information?

Gambling is fun as long as it remains safe and responsible, so we hope this guide helps you find the best way for you to keep yourself gambling responsibly and enjoying the time you spend spinning the reels or daubing your way along the page!


Hannah Timoney

Hannah has written news articles and lifestyle blogs for three years. Venturing into the gambling industry Hannah is writing gambling content for Online Bingo and has written content for Lodgis Paris.