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A Guide to Self-Exclusion

For those struggling with a gambling problem, the first step—admitting that there is a problem—can be the toughest. For others, however, the typical approaches to getting a problem under control, like counseling and peer support groups, simply don’t work.

For those unfortunate folks, the only answer may be self-exclusion. So, let’s discuss what self-exclusion is, how it works, and how to get onto the list in your area.

What is self-exclusion?

Self-exclusion, or voluntary exclusion, is a program that allows you to ban yourself from gambling in your state or area. You will find your accounts with online casinos blocked, and if you attempt to play at a land-based casino, you may have your money confiscated, be trespassed from the property, or even face criminal action if you keep going back.

Because they possess such stringent consequences, self-exclusion programs are almost always managed by state agencies. So, the gaming regulator in your state is likely the organization handling self-exclusion in your area.

How to self-exclude at US online casinos

Because self-exclusion is handled at a state level, each legal online casino state has its own approach to the question. So, let’s walk through how all six of the legal online casino states offer voluntary exclusion to their residents.

New Jersey self-exclusion

New Jersey’s self-exclusion program resides with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the Garden State’s gaming commission. Under the auspices of the program, it is possible to choose whether you are excluding yourself from all gambling activities in the state or just gaming that takes place online. In addition, you will choose between a five-year term on the list or lifetime placement.

Pennsylvania self-exclusion

Self-exclusion in PA is managed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, unsurprisingly. If you wish to apply for placement on the list, you can call 717-346-8300 or visit the PGCB’s self-exclusion website. Pennsylvania allows players to self-exclude for one year, five years, or a lifetime term. In the course of registering, you must also acknowledge that your presence on the list may cause you to be cross-banned at other gambling outlets and institutions in the state.

Michigan self-exclusion

Self-exclusion in Michigan is a bit trickier because almost all of the state’s casinos are operated by sovereign tribal entities. So, the best thing to do is seek out the individual self-exclusion options from the casinos or other locations closest to you. If you live in and around the Detroit area, you can make use of the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s self-exclusion list, which provides coverage from the three (and only) commercial casinos in the state.

West Virginia self-exclusion

In West Virginia, the West Virginia Lottery maintains the West Virginia self-exclusion list. Placement on the list bars you from participating at any of the five casino locations in the state. In addition, you cannot access any of the online gaming options, either. If you want to make use of this option, fill out the self-exclusion request form at your nearest casino, or mail the form to the WV Lottery office in Charleston.

Connecticut self-exclusion

Responsible gambling services in Connecticut are primarily rendered by the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. The CCPG coordinates its activities with the Connecticut Lottery and the two casinos in the state, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.

Connecticut’s self-exclusion program allows players to place themselves on the list, rendering them unable to gamble online or in-person.  However, because the state’s two casinos are tribal locations, you will have to apply individually to each property to be excluded.

Delaware self-exclusion

Gambling and responsible gambling in Delaware is under the purview of the Delaware Lottery. Thus, the First State’s self-exclusion program is housed and managed by lottery officials, who serve as de facto gaming commissioners in the state. However, please note that one requirement of the program is that you submit your request in person to the Delaware Lottery office in Dover. You must schedule an appointment and deliver the request during normal business hours.

Other US self-exclusion programs

Self-exclusion programs can vary by state depending on gambling legalization, the availability of resources, and the jurisdiction’s overall attitude toward gambling. Even if a state doesn’t keep its own self-exclusion list, you may find individual agencies (the lottery, the racing commission, etc.) maintain such lists.

Every state with legalized online gambling in the US has different rules regarding placement on their list. But as the name “self-exclusion” suggests, only the gamblers can place themselves on a state’s online casino or in-person casino list. If you are planning to sign onto a list, be prepared to provide official identification, fingerprints, and/or a photo.

No. Only the person in question can apply to a self-exclusion list.

Each state varies. Terms can last anywhere from six months to lifetime placement.

In most cases, yes. However, the process for removal from a self-exclusion list depends on the state. In some states, you cannot legally be removed. Be sure to understand the terms of your placement on a list before you complete your registration.

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