Pennsylvania, USA - The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has recently announced the launch of a new self-help tool that allows individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from participating in iGaming (internet-based gaming) activities for casino-like games and sports wagering. Along with the announcement, the PGCB has posted the application and instructions for self-exclusion on their website.
The concept of self-exclusion has been very successful in helping gaming regulators across the United States prevent and treat compulsive gambling. It has also been very helpful to thousands of people who have struggled to overcome gambling addiction. In the case of the new iGame Self-exclusion Program, a person has the option of barring himself/herself from iGaming for a year, for 5 years, or for a lifetime.
Once a person puts his name on the self-exclusion list, gaming facility operators must refuse that person’s wagers and deny him gaming privileges. They must also refuse any application that person might make for player club membership as well as complimentary goods and services. Furthermore, online gaming operators must ensure that the people on the list do not receive any targeted mail, solicitations, player club materials, telemarketing promotions, or any other iGaming-related materials from them.
The PGCB has stated that although they modelled their new iGaming Self-exclusion Program after the existing Casino Self-exclusion Program, it is a completely separate scheme. The PGCB is mandated to oversee all aspects of the casino industry in the State of Pennsylvania, including sports wagering, which is currently being offered at eight locations across the state. Their oversight mandate also includes other gaming initiatives that are expected to be launched in the months ahead.
According to Nanette Horner, PGCB Director of Compulsive and Problem Gambling Enforcement, self-exclusion is just the first of many programs to be made available to those who suffer from gambling addiction. “The Legislature, the Gaming Control Board, and the gaming industry realize the need to take responsible measures to assist people who have compulsive-gambling and problem-gambling issues,” she said.
Horner also added, “Frequently, the person who is in the best position to seek assistance to control the problem is the person afflicted. That is why the self-exclusion program has been so successful in other states which offer gambling. The Gaming Act requires the Gaming Control Board to protect the people of Pennsylvania, and the self-exclusion process is one of the most effective tools available to do that.”
Other than denying privileges and refraining from sending solicitations and promotional materials to individuals on the self-exclusion list, gaming operators may also ban those individuals from entering their physical locations in some jurisdictions. If a person on the list managed to gamble for whatever reason, that person will not be able to collect any winnings or recover any losses in any way, for the duration of the period that he/she is on the self-exclusion list. Those winnings will instead be remitted to the Gaming Control Board and deposited into the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund.
Additional information about the iGaming Self-exlusion Program as well as about Compulsive and Problem Gambling is available on the Gaming Control Board website.