Online gambling is an entertaining pastime enjoyed by many players. Millions of gaming enthusiasts gamble with no issues every day, but sometimes, this seemingly harmless vice can degenerate into gambling addiction. This is when you no longer have control over your gambling behavior and the money you’re staking. Casino operators recognize this and have come up with a system of tools that can help. But, these are not self-exclusion and, in many cases, aren’t enough to give you the help you need.
Taking some time to cool off to gather your thoughts can be a good idea, but sometimes, a statewide ban on gambling activities and promotions is the way forward. This self-exclusion feature excludes you from receiving any online gaming services for a specified period, giving you the time you need to get well again. Now, online casino gaming is available in five jurisdictions; each has its own rules and regulations on how it administers self-exclusion. In this article, we give you the information you need when using self-exclusion in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and Michigan.
What Is Self-Exclusion?
Self-exclusion is sometimes misunderstood, which leaves players at a loss, as you cannot utilize something you do not understand. A common misconception is to equate self-exclusion with the cooling-off period. Cooling off happens at the casino level, leaving you with some account access.
Self-exclusion is more restrictive than this. It is taking yourself away from gambling action entirely for a specified period. Self-exclusion does not leave you with any access to your account. It also blocks any adverts or promotional materials from reaching you. While the casino site implements the cooling-off period, when you are dealing with self-exclusion, it is the regulator who is in charge.
Types of Self Exclusion
They are different types of self-exclusion that you can impose on your account. Which one to use depends largely on the level of addiction you want to combat. Here are your options:
- Self-imposed limits: Before opting for full-on self-exclusion that will take away all your online gambling privileges, you can use self-imposed limits to help you keep in line with your goals. Players are free to set limits on the amount wagered, deposited, and spent in the casino. You can also set daily time-based limits that specify the hours you can engage in online gaming.
- Casino exclusion: Usually, players have a challenge with one form of gambling. If your weakness is on casino sites, you can request your exclusion from all such gambling sites in the future. The great thing about self-exclusion is that you need not go from one casino to another requesting this. Once you sign up for self-exclusion, they ban you from participating in any casino activities within the state you signed up for. This exclusion will only end either when you request again or the period expires.
- Video game terminals: Video game terminals are a relatively cheap gambling type. These games do not require any skill and have very low barriers to entry for new players. These facts make video game terminals perfect fodder for players suffering from gambling addiction. Online casino game regulators in registered jurisdictions allow players to exclude themselves from video game terminals.
- Daily Fantasy Sports: DFS is an exciting form of gambling that many players take part in. But, while the name may excite new players and entice them to engage, the risks of gambling addiction are also real here. If DFS addiction is threatening your online gambling health, you can use the channels available in your jurisdiction to enlist for self-exclusion.
Responsible Gambling and Problem Gambling
Many players take part in online gambling with no issues at all. If you can keep a cool head and stay the course, gambling can be the ideal refresher after a hard day’s work. Responsible gambling is key if you are to keep it fun. Do not gamble with money you can’t lose, don’t treat gambling as an investment, and treat wins as bonuses. By following these and other sound, responsible gambling principles, you can stay on top of any bad online wagering habits that may pop up.
There are instances, however, when following principles just isn’t enough. There are times when the only viable option is to step aside and let things cool off. The thing about gambling addiction you need to realize is that it usually gives signals. Online casino operators have checklists you can go through and identify problem areas before they become an issue. You need to have enough discipline to self-exclude if necessary. This is a way you can protect your overall well-being.
Self-Exclusion in the Real World
Self-exclusion is a useful tool. It allows you to take a break and realign yourself with your goals before proceeding with gambling. You can also have peace of mind when you permanently self-exclude, knowing that you will never have access to gambling products and advertisements in the future.
Positive Aspects of Self Exclusion
It’s never a good thing when you are excluded from something that others are enjoying. Having to self-exclude doesn’t make it any easier. But there’s no shame in self-exclusion when it comes to online gambling. It is not a sign of failure on your part. Gambling addiction is a disease just like any other. That’s why self-exclusion is a good thing and carries the following positives:
- It blocks out adverts and other promotional communications that can entice problem gamblers.
- Not worrying about logging in to a casino gives you peace of mind.
- It gives you the space you need to beat problematic online gaming behaviors.
Negative Aspects of Self Exclusion
While the benefits of the self-exclusion system are plain, some demerits have given operators something to think about. Players have been left on many occasions also inquiring if it is all worth the hassle. We have listed some cons below:
- The self-exclusion system is not foolproof. There are instances where players could possibly slip through the cracks before the stipulated time.
How Long Will I Be on the Casino Self-Exclusion List?
Well, it depends. When you enroll for self-exclusion you select the period during which you wish to be excluded. There are various options, it can be as short as 1 or 5 years, but you can also opt for permanent exclusion. Your name will remain on the self-exclusion list until the period you select expires. You can also actively seek to remove yourself, but this process is more involved than enlisting.
Who Manages and Enforces Self Exclusion?
Self-exclusion effectively bans you from taking part in gambling activities on all platforms within your state. Clearly, this is too broad a task to leave in the hands of individual operators. That’s why you find state regulators are in charge here. For more on online casino sites and the entities in charge of self-exclusion in registered jurisdictions, you can check out the list below:
- NJ: New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
- PA: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
- WV: West Virginia Lottery
- MI: Michigan Lottery
- DE: Delaware State Lottery Office
How Do I Place Myself on the Self-Exclusion List?
Since independent states administer their own self-exclusion programs, you will find variations here and there. But, the overall result is the same. To make full use of self-exclusion in the state where you are playing from, you need a clear understanding of how to enlist and also remove yourself from the program. Below, our gambling experts have put together what you need to know to use self-exclusion effectively in jurisdictions where online casino gaming is legal.
Players in New Jersey have numerous options with which to enlist for self-exclusion. The first one is enlisting through the online casino site. You can also use the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement website to select the period you wish to be excluded. For the last two options, you need to enlist in person. Registration for self-exclusion is conducted at the New Jersey Racing Commission office or the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement offices on Tennessee Avenue.
If you are hailing from Pennsylvania, you also have online and in-person options when enrolling for self-exclusion. You can visit the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board website and review the options at your disposal. You can also call the office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling to set up an in-person appointment. Once you have a date, you need to visit the PGCB offices to register for self-exclusion.
Like other online casino jurisdictions that have legalized gambling services, West Virginia also runs a self-exclusion program. You can use this program to step aside for one year or permanently. Taking part in this program is effortless. You need only provide the director of the West Virginia Lottery with a written request. The self-exclusion registration options in West Virginia may be fewer than what we’ve seen in other jurisdictions, but the outcome is the same.
To sign up for self-exclusion in Michigan, you need to make use of the responsible gaming tools in your casino. Head over to the “My Account” section and follow the easy prompts on self-exclusion. You can also contact the Michigan Gaming Control Board and request self-exclusion. Helpful support representatives will assist you and ensure that you cannot take part in gambling activities in the state.
To enroll on the Delaware self-exclusion list, you need to obtain and complete an application form. You can get the form by calling the Delaware Lottery Office in Dover, or making the trip and collecting it in person. Another option is to visit their website and download it from there. After you have filled out the form, you need to then take it to the Delaware Lottery Office in person. The regulator will also ask you to produce a government-issued photo ID.
How Do I Remove Myself from the Self-Exclusion List?
It is not uncommon for players to end self-exclusion. This can be because of a variety of reasons. Regulators recognize this and allow you to come back in, but only after jumping through a few hoops.
You can request deregistration from the self-exclusion list straight from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) website. Another option is also to visit the NJDGE offices in person and request that your name be delisted from self-exclusion.
In Pennsylvania, you can remove your name from the casino self-exclusion list before exclusion period expires. You can easily do this by visiting the PGCB website and following the simple prompts. However, this is not the case with other self-exclusion types. If you enrolled for self-exclusion from daily fantasy sports or virtual gaming terminals, you have to see the expiration period through.
Removing your name from the self-exclusion list in West Virginia is straightforward. You need only petition the director of the West Virginia Lottery. You will, however, need to put this in writing for your request to be honored.
Self-exclusion in Michigan can also be cut short. Once you feel you’re ready to get back to gaming, you can contact the Michigan Gaming Control representatives and request readmission.
During the application process, you are given options for how long you wish to self-exclude. You can select either one year, five years, or permanent self-exclusion. If you opt to self-exclude permanently, you cannot be readmitted. But if you go for 1 or 5 years, you can visit the Delaware Lottery Offices in person after the exclusion period has expired, and request that they take you off the list.
Can I Place a Family Member on the List?
No. Self-exclusion is exactly as the name implies. You exclude yourself. You cannot opt for self-exclusion for a friend or family member who is suffering from a gambling addiction. Enlisting in this program is voluntary and cannot be done on someone else’s behalf. If a friend or family member is suffering from this addiction, there are numerous support services at your disposal that can help. You can help by encouraging them to make use of these confidential services.