California To Join National Self-Exclusion Program, Offering Free Support for Responsible Gambling

Erik Gibbs

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In an expansion of support for individuals grappling with gambling issues, the National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (NVSEP) has announced the inclusion of free services for residents of California.

This initiative, launched by idPair, marks a substantial increase in the program’s reach, now encompassing over 100 properties and 36 online operators across five jurisdictions. These include Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee, and the newly added California.

“California self-exclusion is a critical state program which allows individuals to request that a card room prevent them from gambling at, or in many cases entering, the premises for a designated period. This can be a crucial tool for those battling gambling addiction. However, enrolling in the program in person at a card room’s premises can have a powerful triggering effect, potentially leading to a relapse or deterring the individual from self-excluding entirely.”

California Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Robert Jacobson

Starting this August, Californians will have access to a straightforward and cost-free mechanism to voluntarily self-exclude from gambling activities through NVSEP. This proactive measure is designed to provide individuals with a tool to manage their gambling habits effectively.

According to the California Attorney General’s office, those who opt for self-exclusion will be prohibited from participating in any gambling activities at all licensed establishments within the state. It’s important to note that this ban does not extend to tribal casinos, which are governed by separate regulations.

Additionally, self-excluded individuals will not be able to claim any jackpots or prizes they may win during the period specified in their self-exclusion agreement. This can be a one-year or a lifetime departure.

How California’s system works

Once a person fills out and submits the self-exclusion form, they’ll get a confirmation letter from the California Bureau of Gambling Control. This letter lets them know their application is accepted and they’re now on the self-exclusion list. If they choose a one-year term, the bureau will also remind them before the exclusion period ends.

If someone who’s self-excluded enters a gambling establishment, the establishment must remove them from the premises and report the incident to the Bureau. Any unredeemed winnings (jackpots or prizes) from such a person are taken away and sent to the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Problem Gambling.

The Bureau also keeps gambling establishments informed whenever someone is added to the self-exclusion list. This notification includes the person’s name, photo, date of birth, how long they’re excluded for, and any other details they provided on the form.

There’s also a separate program called Self-Restriction. This is where someone can voluntarily limit their access at specific gambling establishments. This might involve restricting credit access, check cashing, or marketing materials.

Each cardroom can choose to use the state’s form or create its own. Self-Restriction periods vary by cardroom and can range from 30 days to a lifetime ban. Unlike Self-Exclusion, the individual cardroom where the restrictions apply manages these limitations.

Bally’s joins ROGA

In a related development, Bally’s Corporation has become the latest entity to join the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA). It’s now the eighth founding member of this independent body dedicated to promoting responsible gambling practices.

“Bringing on additional operators fulfills ROGA’s commitment to industry-wide collaboration, and I am encouraged and excited for the future of responsible gaming as we work together to enhance consumer protections and collectively amplify RG education efforts,” said ROGA Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Shatley.

ROGA’s stated mission is to foster a safe and responsible online gaming environment through various strategies. The program concentrates on funding of independent research, the establishment of evidence-based best practices, and the enhancement of consumer education and awareness.

Bally’s joins a lineup of founding members that includes industry giants such as bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, FanDuel, Hard Rock Digital, and PENN Entertainment.

A press release from ROGA about the entrance of Bally’s highlighted that its members have collectively contributed over $20 million to support the association’s objectives. These efforts center on five foundational pillars: the advancement of research, the education of consumers and industry stakeholders, the promotion of best practices, the creation of an independent data repository, and the development of a certification program to recognize and endorse responsible gaming platforms.