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National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program Will Launch In California This August

Starting next month, California gamblers can voluntarily self-exclude themselves from the state’s more than 60 cardrooms for free.

Self Exclusion
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J.R. Duren Avatar
3 mins read

Starting next month, California gamblers can voluntarily self-exclude themselves from the state’s more than 60 cardrooms for free.

That opportunity will be possible thanks to idPair and their National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (NVSEP). idPair, Inc. funds the NVSEP a free voluntary self-exclusion in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and Tennessee.

The NVSEP is working closely with the California Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG). idPair CEO Jonathan Aiwazian said in an idPair news release that the program has big things ahead in the Golden State:

NVSEP is singularly focused on expanding free and simple access to voluntary self-exclusion to those who need it. This announcement has the potential to help many of the tens of millions of people who either call California home or make it a travel destination and need a free and effective way to protect themselves.

PlayUSA reached out to idPair and gambling research and tech firm for comment about NVSEP’s California launch but did not receive a response.

Key takeaways

  • The National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program will launch a cardroom self-exclusion program in August in California.
  • The program will cover the cost of notarization for gamblers who want to mail in their self-exclusion application rather than signing up in person.
  • In-person self-exclusion registration and cost are two notable hurdles for problem gamblers who want to self-exclude. Self exclusion is a basic component of responsible gambling.

CA program clears hurdles by allowing mail-in self-exclusion

Self-exclusion programs are widely available in gambling markets across the country. They allow problem gamblers to ban themselves from gambling properties for months, years, or permanently.

But what makes California’s gambling environment difficult for card-room gamblers is that they either have to sign up for self-exclusion in person or pay for a notarized mail-in self-exclusion application.

The first option forces them to enter an environment that potentially triggers them into a relapse. And that, CCPG Executive Director Robert Jacobson, can be a deterrent.

In California, gamblers can clear the in-person hurdle by mailing in a self-exclusion application. However, they have to get their application notarized, which creates another hurdle: cost.

NVSEP removes that hurdle by paying for notarization costs. The program essentially removes the two biggest roadblocks for self-exclusion, a benefit that could be the make-or-break for problem gamblers, Jacobson said.

“For someone suffering from an addiction – especially one which causes severe financial hardships – each added barrier or cost makes it that much more difficult for them to take that first step on the road to recovery.

NVSEP’s offer of free notarization services for those enrolling in California’s self-exclusion program removes a significant barrier, potentially having a tremendously positive impact on countless Californians dealing with gambling addiction by making one of our most vital prevention and recovery tools more accessible.”

CCPG Executive Director Robert Jacobson

Another benefit of the NVSEP program is that gamblers can submit one application that will self-exclude them from all cardrooms rather than having to fill out an application for each individual venue.

A 2023 study published in the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health pointed to past research that indicated problem gamblers have a hard time with applying multiple times and, among other things, the money that the self-exclusion process requires.

“Most participants complained about the time-consuming and complicated process of self-exclusion programs,” the study noted.

“Shame and embarrassment were also concerns when visiting multiple venues for self-exclusion. Moreover, non-excluders also identified the time, transportation, and money needed to complete the process of exclusion as significant barriers.”

J.R. Duren Avatar
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J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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