For many of us, gambling is a way to entertain ourselves and spend some spare time and money for the thrills of winning. But as any player knows, the experience is addicting and may easily lead to serious issues affecting your financial situation and even your relationships.
Even though there is always an option to simply stop playing, this option is not always as easy. The good news is that there are self-exclusion tools designed to help you stop spiraling into the abyss, if you’re at a point where you cannot stop spending more than you can afford. The Gambling Promo Codes team explains your options below, striving to keep things fun and entertaining.
What Is Self Exclusion?
The term self exclusion is quite literal: it implies that you exclude yourself from online gambling. The main option for excluding yourself from playing at online casinos or sportsbooks is through signing up to special lists.
These lists exist in various jurisdictions all around the world, and gambling operators within the same jurisdiction are forbidden to accept registrations or bets from the players signed up to the self exclusion program.
The way these lists work may have some intricacies and variations in different countries, but the general approach is the same everywhere.
The obvious flaw of the system is that it does not prevent the player from registering at international or offshore online gambling venues outside of their jurisdiction, but it is still rather efficient for two reasons:
- It helps you set a psychological block preventing you from gambling
- You know not to trust offshore gambling sites, so the desire to join them will not be as strong
Self Exclusion Options
It is important to distinguish between two different kinds of exclusion that exist in the gambling industry. As described above, you can exclude yourself from playing by adding your name to the list or directly on the gambling site.
Website and gambling board exclusions, however, are entirely different concepts. A website may prevent you from playing there by issuing a ban on your account and preventing you from registering a new one. It might happen due to various violations of the site’s Terms and Conditions.
It is also possible to get excluded from playing by the gambling board of your country. The approach varies dramatically depending on the country you reside in, but in general, such bans are only applied to players who are proven to have cheated on gambling sites.
The difference is rather obvious, as one concept refers to you deciding to stop gambling, while the other implies you have been banned from it by operators or authorities.
Other Tools You Can Use to Control Your Gambling
Even though the term itself refers to a particular concept of interactive lists, there are multiple tools you can use to control your gambling addiction or to limit your spending on gambling sites.
Setting Limits on Your Accounts
All licensed betting sites and iGaming operators offer responsible gambling tools that allow you to set various limits on your accounts. For example, you can choose a specific amount of funds as your weekly deposit limit, and the casino won’t accept transactions that exceed it.
These tools are especially efficient if you only have one online platform you gamble on, but you can benefit from it even if it’s not the case. When registering on a new platform, configure these limits right away to avoid overspending.
Considering gambling addiction is a mental issue, therapy is a viable option to control it. You can find therapists who specialize in gambling addictions and are willing to help you both understand the reasons behind the issue and to resolve it.
While for some players joining support groups might be a repelling concept, it surely is an efficient tool for others. Becoming a part of a group of like-minded people struggling with the same issues might empower you to resolve the issue.
Does Self Exclusion from Gambling Work?
Self-exclusion works, but its effect is limited. As mentioned, the authorities behind self-exclusion lists do not have control over every gambling place in the world, and the opportunities to indulge in gambling will always be there.
Joining the lists, however, still proves to be helpful for many players. While not entirely removing gambling from the picture, it significantly limits your opportunities and makes it easier to control your addiction. For many players, it becomes an embodiment of their mental block and a solidification of their decision to stop playing.
How to Find Gambling Self Exclusion Lists?
Self-exclusion programs are implemented differently all around the world. This section will feature tips for joining these lists in the following regions:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
In the US, self exclusion programs are different in every state. In general, you will need to visit the official website of your state’s gambling authority, find the self exclusion list there, and sign up for it.
Once again, there are some unique intricacies with the procedure in different states, so it is important to read the details for your specific area.
The United Kingdom has a special program called GAMSTOP. It covers the vast majority of gambling sites and apps registered in the country, offering you multiple configurations for enrollment.
GAMSTOP also offers various means of additional support, helping you to contact your bank, suggesting qualified therapists, or connecting you with support groups for players suffering from gambling addiction.
New Zealand has a rather unique system of gambling self exclusion. Instead of one country-wide authority, it has local multi-venue exclusion coordinators. You can find them on the official website of the program.
The benefit here is that each case is reviewed individually by these coordinators, although the obvious drawback relates to their limited abilities to exclude you from all gambling venues.
An interesting fact: in New Zealand, gambling venues are obliged by law to exclude you from playing there, in case they consider you have a gambling problem.
The situation in Canada is rather similar to the one of the US, as each Canadian province has its own gambling authority and its own gambling exclusion program.
The authorities of most provinces offer you an easy way to enroll with an option to choose the duration of your self exclusion. In most provinces, you will be offered to enroll for three months, six months, a year, three years, or five years.
Australia has clearly drawn inspiration from the UK, as its self-exclusion program is called BetStop, and it works similarly to GAMSTOP.
It is a national register that allows you to prevent yourself from playing at any gambling or betting sites and apps licensed in the country.
Useful Resources for Self-Exclusion
Whilst there may be different schemes operating in different countries there are still help resources and tools available on each of these websites regardless of whether the actual self-exclusion scheme is usable. Sites well worth exploring if you suspect you have a gambling addiction and are looking to self-exclude include: