Self Exclusion With online gambling being legalized in over two dozen states, the temptation to gamble has become harder to resist for those suffering from compulsive gambling. As state legislatures loosen betting laws, states are anticipating a rise in cases of problem gambling and addiction, prompting them to allocate funds for compulsive gambling support. Enter self-exclusion limits. Since online gambling is more accessible than in-person gambling, there is a greater need for available support to those in need. One potential solution to help mitigate the risk of compulsive betting is self-exclusion lists, which make it illegal for casinos and sportsbooks to pay out winnings to individuals on the list. Additionally, it’s also illegal to send promotional information to anyone on these lists. To help prevent problem betting, individuals can learn how to utilize self-exclusion lists to make it easier to avoid temptation. What Is Self-Exclusion? Self-exclusion is the term used to describe the process of an individual requesting to be legally excluded from a particular activity. In the context of gambling, self-exclusion involves removing oneself from eligibility to gamble within a specific state. State gaming enforcement maintains self-exclusion lists to ensure that gambling operators do not accept bets from individuals who would otherwise be eligible to gamble. By enrolling in self-exclusion programs, gamblers can prevent themselves from betting at online or land-based casinos or sportsbooks. In addition to self-exclusion programs, support options for those struggling with gambling addiction include counseling, support groups, and helplines. It’s important for individuals to know that help is available and that they don’t have to struggle with addiction alone. Self-Exclusion VS Gambling Board Exclusion Individuals who add their names to a self-exclusion list typically do so to prevent problem gambling or gambling addiction. These lists are created by state gambling boards to ensure that operators do not accept bets from individuals who have voluntarily placed themselves on the list. However, gambling board exclusion lists can also include individuals who are prohibited from placing bets due to potential conflicts of interest or past fraudulent behavior. In Illinois, for example, the Gaming Board has the authority to eject or exclude individuals from casinos if their presence may compromise the honesty and integrity of gambling operations or interfere with the orderly conduct of gaming. Such exclusion is conducted in accordance with the Board’s rules. Overall, the creation and maintenance of self-exclusion and exclusion lists is a crucial aspect of responsible gambling practices, aimed at promoting safe and ethical gambling environments. How to Stop Gambling: Tools and Resources Gambling addiction can be a difficult issue to overcome, but there are several tools and resources available to help those struggling with it. Here are some of the most effective ways to stop gambling: Self-Exclusion Lists Self-exclusion lists prevent people from placing bets at online or land-based casinos within a specific state. While it’s not completely effective, it can act as a barrier for those who feel out of control. In addition to self-exclusion lists, you can set betting and deposit maximums in your online betting accounts, use online tools (such as PlayPause) to add yourself to exclusion lists across state lines, and state-provided problem gambling resources. Therapy Mental health counseling and therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have proven effective at treating addictions, such as gambling addiction. Talk therapy may help you get to the bottom of your gambling addiction and why you want to gamble in the first place, while cognitive behavioral therapy may help you work through alternative behaviors for gambling. If your relationships are suffering as a result of your gambling, you may want to consider relationship therapy. Medication Medications, such as antidepressants, antianxiety treatments, and mood stabilizers, may help treat the causes of compulsive gambling. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional to find out if you’re eligible for medications to treat compulsive gambling. Support Groups Support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, may help you understand gambling compulsions, work through the root causes of gambling, and avoid gambling triggers. Does stopping gambling cold turkey work? There’s some debate about whether stopping gambling “cold turkey” is effective. On one hand, you can draw a line in the sand: all gambling is off the table. On the other hand, we make bets on everyday decisions all the time, so it’s not easy to just stop without a plan. Some research even shows that pathological gambling recovery in the absence of abstinence may be more effective than the cold-turkey approach. What is responsible gambling? For players, “responsible” gambling means betting ethically and within the best interests of yourself, family, and friends. If you find your relationships, job, or responsibilities suffering because of your gambling practices, it’s your responsibility to seek help or treatment. Does gambling self-exclusion work? Studies show that gambling self-exclusion works. Yet, it’s not completely effective in preventing individuals from gambling in venues from which they have excluded, or on other forms. Removing the temptation to place bets is one tool that many who suffer from gambling addiction find helpful. However, removing the temptation to gamble at casinos or sportsbooks doesn’t address the cause of compulsive gambling altogether. Benefits of Self-Exclusion Self-exclusion can be a helpful resource to remove the temptation to gamble. It may help to take gambling at casinos or sportsbooks off the table, which could reduce financial, relationship, and job-related burdens. Self-Exclusion Downfalls Not every process and procedure is perfect to prevent problem gambling. Self-exclusion deals with the symptom of gambling addiction, not the cause. Studies show that self-exclusion may not be the panacea for problem gambling we want it to be. Because self-exclusion doesn’t apply to other forms of gambling, such as bingo or private games, it may not be enough. Experts advise working with a licensed therapist or counselor that uses cognitive behavior therapy or other methods to treat the root cause of the addiction. Self-Exclusion Enrollment & Removal: New Jersey Want to get on the self-exclusion list in New Jersey? Simply head over to the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s (DGE) Self-Exclusion Registration & Removal site. Click the “Register for NJ Self Exclusion Program” button. Accept the terms and conditions of the list. Fill out the form with your name, email, and social security number. Choose the time frame for your exclusion. Your name should be added. New Jersey allows you to self-exclude yourself for one or five years. If you’re unsure if a self-exclusion list is right for you, choose the one-year option and reassess with your mental health professional after a year. Or, opt out of online betting altogether (without opting out of land-based gambling) at the New Jersey Department of Gambling. New Jersey Self-Exclusion Removal Not worried anymore about problem gambling? Simply head to the Division of Gaming Enforcement Self-Exclusion Registration & Removal site. Click the “Removal From NJ Self-Exclusion Program” tab. Fill out the form (similar to the one you filled out at sign-up), and you’ll be removed from the list as long as the one or five years are over. Self-Exclusion Enrollment & Removal: Pennsylvania Want to get on the self-exclusion list in Pennsylvania? Simply head over to the Responsible Play PA site. Register for a Keystone login to create an account. Accept the terms and conditions of the list. Fill out the form with your name, email, and social security number. Log back into your account. Upload a current photo ID. Your name should be added. Pennsylvania allows you to self-exclude yourself for one or five years. If you’re unsure if a self-exclusion list is right for you, choose the one-year option and reassess with your mental health professional after a year. Pennsylvania Self-Exclusion Removal Ready to start placing bets again in Pennsylvania? Head back over to the Responsible Play PA site. Click the “Self-Exclusion Removal Sign-In” tab. Log into your account. Enter your email when prompted. Choose “Request Removal”. Self-Exclusion Enrollment & Removal: West Virginia Want to get on the self-exclusion list in West Virginia? Head down to the West Virginia Lottery Security Table Games offices. Or, submit a notarized form to the above office. Or, contact individual gambling platforms to get on self-exclusion lists. West Virginia Self-Exclusion Removal Ready to start placing bets again in West Virginia? Download the self-exclusion removal form. Fill out the form. Mail it to the West Virginia Lottery offices. Self-Exclusion Enrollment & Removal: Michigan Want to get on the self-exclusion list in Michigan? Simply head over to the Michigan Gaming Control Board website. Click on the “ Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Responsible Gaming Database Application” link. Fill out the form. Make a photocopy of your ID. Mail or email the form and the copy of your ID to the office of the Gaming Control Board. Michigan Self-Exclusion Removal Ready to start placing bets again in Michigan? Head back over to the Michigan Gaming Control Board website. Download the self-exclusion removal form. Email or mail the complete form to the Michigan Gaming Control Board website. Or, hand-deliver the form to the office.