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24th Nov 2022

Arsenal legend promotes new pre match ritual to stop gambling harm this World Cup

Hugh Carr

Brought to you by TalkBanStop

“It brings both me and my family a lot of reassurance”

World Cup fever is well and truly underway, with England’s 6-2 win over Iran igniting hopes of a fantastic outing at the tournament.

England and Wales are set to face off next Tuesday (29 November) in the group stages.

Pre-match rituals are key to any football experience, whether it’s lacing your boots the right way, or making your favourite snack before settling down for a day in front of the telly.

But some fans may be finding it difficult to not engage in old pre-match rituals, particularly those who have dealt with gambling issues in the past.

That’s why former Arsenal legend and pundit Paul Merson is leading a campaign to make fans aware of TalkBanStop – a partnership between GamCare, Gamban and GAMSTOP – that helps people stop gambling online.

Merson himself has been open about his past gambling issues, and is an avid and active user of Gamban.

The FA Cup winner has gone so far as to say that the service saved his life.

“I use Gamban myself and it brings both me and my family a lot of reassurance knowing I will be unable to place bets from my phone,” Merson said.

“It’s so different these days watching big games and tournaments, years ago you would have to go to the bookies to place a bet but now your phone acts as a walking casino, the temptation is constant.

“With the games now coming thick and fast, Merson highlights a new pre-match ritual that people can add if they are struggling with gambling through the World Cup in the form of TalkBanStop.

By speaking to an advisor on GamCare’s Helpline, getting a code for a free Gamban licence and signing up for GAMSTOP, people can put the barriers in place to ensure gambling doesn’t get in the way of the games ahead.

Here’s how the three pillars work;

Talk: By speaking to one of GamCare’s trained advisers on the National Gambling Helpline (over the phone, live chat or on Whatsapp), gamblers and their loved ones can access expert information, advice and support.

Ban: Gamban’s software blocks access to thousands of global gambling sites and apps and is now being offered free to anyone contacting the Helpline.

Stop: GAMSTOP self-exclusion prevents access and creation of new gambling accounts with all online gambling operators across the UK, free of charge.

Merson talked openly about his experience in a short film along with Away Days’ Ellis Platten and Liverpool defender Gilly Flaherty.

If you’re struggling with the temptation to gamble this World Cup, TalkBanStop is here to help.

By putting in place multiple layers of protection – contacting GamCare, downloading Gamban for free and signing up to GAMSTOP – you can give yourself the best chance of avoiding gambling as the tournament progresses.

Go to and take your first steps to stopping now.