Self Exclusion Online – Why and How to Opt Out of Gambling?

It's generally agreed that responsible gambling can be a fun and profitable pastime. The key word there is 'responsible'. Many players have a problem with that, simply not knowing where to draw the line. This is where self-exclusion programmes come in. In a day and age when gambling sites are springing up like mushrooms, such programmes are more than needed. Now that we know they exist, the question becomes: How effective they actually are? We're here to get busy and provide answers to this and the many questions surrounding self-exclusion and the establishments that control it.
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What Does Self Exclusion Mean?

The term, also known as ‘voluntary exclusion’ has reference to government or individual casino-level policies that tackle the issue of problem gambling. Facilities or jurisdictions who have legislated such policies, empower players with the legal option to withdraw from gambling altogether. To initiate the procedure, a player must fill in an application and wait for its approval. Provided that the request is approved, the applicant’s name will be added to a self-exclusion list of names and that person will be effectively banned by all operators who have joined the self-exclusion programme.

Despite the straightforward procedure, how effective those programmes are is up for debate. Some experts in the field of online gambling are expressing strong opinions suggesting that casinos only participate in self-exclusion programmes to show social awareness rather than to help problem gamblers. Tact behaviour or correct understanding for the needs of players who went too far – it’s hard to decide where the operators stand on the issue.

Even so, it’s not fair to generalise because as much as the same principles lead them, not all operators treat their customers the same way. The fact of the matter is that the UK Gambling Commission has set down inflexible rules defining what is and what’s not an acceptable course of action for the gambling operators when a player wants to self-exclude, which leads us to our next point.

As per the definition provided by the Gambling Commission, individuals must be supported in their decisions to abstain from betting activities. This essentially means that non-conforming gambling facilities are violating the law with their actions or lack thereof. Our personal experience leads us to believe that licenced operators have proper procedures for customers willing to self-exclude, so if you’re playing at one of our recommended sports betting sites, you should have no problems with that.

What Is a Self Exclusion List?

How Does the Self Exclusion List Work?

The Self-Exclusion list is essential for the whole scheme to function as expected. It’s the register containing names and photos of players participating in the programme. Though there is a record of people who have gambled while their name is on the list without any consequences, the punishment can be pretty severe in some countries. If nothing, the thought of ending up in jail should be enough of an incentive to not break the self-exclusion agreement. What’s more, chips, money, and other tokes won while still on the list, could be confiscated.

Getting your name on the list is the first step to start taking part in the scheme. Only after you’re officially in, can the bookies and casinos begin taking the necessary precautions to prevent you from gambling. Of course, the most important thing is that the person signing in is doing so of their own volition. That’s why applications are only to be filled and signed by the person willing to self-exclude.

How Long Does Self Exclusion Last?

It’s up to each player individually to decide what period they want to spend away from gambling activities. Typically a self-exclusion agreement lasts anywhere from six months to five years. The minimum period is set at the hard-and-fast six months so that the person seeking remedy will have ample time to get help. On its own, self-exclusion might not be enough to keep you in the straight and narrow, but it’s mandatory for everyone tempted to live beyond means because of gambling. By and large, half a year is enough time rethink one’s view on gambling, but you can ask for a renewal of the self-exclusion agreement at any time. The same organisations that have the authority to put your name on the self-exclusion list can extend the time it stays there should you want to.

How to Self-Exclude from Online Gambling

Gamstop Supports UK Problem Gamblers

Generally speaking, there are two ways to ban yourself – to ask for assistance from each company individually or to use a scheme that will get you excluded from multiple gambling operators. If you’re using the service of a licenced operator, you should be able to find the ‘Responsible Gambling’ banner somewhere at the footer of their platform. Alternatively, you can search the help section for instructions on how to start the self-exclusion process.

Players who struggle to control their financial outlay know all too well how easy it is to register a new account and start betting anew. For them, it’s more of a disadvantage than convenience. There are multi-operator self-exclusion schemes like GAMSTOP to counteract potential irresponsible behaviour. With their help, problem gamblers can quickly and easily self-exclude from the service of many operators in one go. The plan is available to UK and NI residents on a continually expanding list of operators.

As is, the impressive number of names suggest a global initiative, and rightly so – the goal is GAMSTOP to become a nationwide self-exclusion scheme soon. Until that goal is a fact, you’ll have to self-exclude manually from the companies that don’t support the initiative. All operators holding a remote gambling licence, provide the necessary facility for you to self-exclude.

Self Excluding from Betting Shops Near You

All licensed gambling companies that operate legally on the territory of the UK are obliged to take part in multi-operator exclusion schemes. An establishment dealing with the subject matter is MOSES – Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme. This organisation is a body handling self-exclusion requests providing end-to-end secure service. Besides officialising one’s wish to stay away from gambling, this body can modify an existing agreement including renewing it or adding premises.

Basically, the way it works is punters submit their photos on the website of the organisation, which are then distributed to the specified betting shop operators. The staff of the specified shops is made aware of the new additions to the self-exclusion list through the submitted photos. Once the procedure is set in motion, the staff is legally obligated to prevent players from breaking the self-exclusion agreement.

UK Gambling Commission is strongly urging players who have found loopholes in the system and have gambled while self-excluded to report back. The aim is with a view to finding potential shortcomings within a company’s self-exclusion procedures. Volunteers will have to provide the information concerning the agreement along with their personal details, as not all operators treat their customers the same way. The fact of the matter is that the UK Gambling Commission has set down inflexible rules defining what is and what’s not an acceptable course of action for the gambling operators when a player wants to self-exclude, which leads us to our next point.

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