How to Self-Exclude Properly to Help Problem Gambling
Currently, around one-in-four people in all corners of the globe admit to being gamblers. The scale of gambling across this statistic is not consistent – some people place the odd bet or play an online slot now and again, while others cannot go a day in their lives without gambling. It’s still a surprising statistic though, and that percentage of people who gamble is increasing. In more tech-savvy countries such as the US and the UK, it is thought that as many as half the population could be considered as gamblers.
The problematic gambling statistics
Of the number of people who gamble, between 98 and 99% of them will gamble without any problems whatsoever. You may think then that as so many gamblers are not problem gamblers, problematic gambling is not real. Despite only between one and two percent of gamblers having gambling addiction issues, that still represents 25 million people. That is an awful lot of people whose lives, livelihood, friends, and family are all affected by problematic gambling.
One of the main ways that casinos say they help problematic gambling is via offering self-exclusion services. This is where an online casino prevents one of their users from gambling at their site upon their own request, either for a set period of time or forever.
Unfortunately, it has been proven that self-exclusion as a tool is very ineffective, and below we will show you why. Self-exclusion can help though, but only if done properly and in tandem with other problematic gambling solutions.
Why self-exclusion on its own does not work
If you feel you are gambling too much at your favourite online casino and they self-exclude you, what could you possibly do if you decided you wanted to gamble again? The answer – sign up for a casino where you are not self-excluded.
If you take it one step further and are self-excluded at all online casinos in your jurisdiction, then what could you possibly do if you decided you wanted to gamble again? The answer – sign up for a casino that’s unlicensed, or has a low-tier licence like those from Curaçao.
There are many thousands of online casinos on the internet, licensed and unlicensed, and above board and decidedly dodgy. Self-exclusion from every online casino on the planet is impossible, meaning that a problem gambler will always find a way to gamble if the urge is strong enough.
The casino is some jurisdictions are not very good at self-excluding anyhow. There is always a way around it – a player can create a new account with a new identity easily at some casino, or mask their IP address if their IP address has been blacklisted.
For some jurisdictions offering self-exclusion services is little more than an exercise in public relations. In others though – such as the UK – self-exclusion does mean self-exclusion as sites have to provide stringent self-exclusion measures else risk hefty fines.
Self-exclusion only works globally.
The only way to do self-exclusion work would be for it to be global. All licence providers would have to agree – as soon as a player self-excludes at any site they would be automatically excluded at all sites. This would not be too difficult to achieve as most online casino sites are licensed by only a few licence providers such as Gibraltar, Malta and Alderney.
This does not, however, address the problem of players turning to unlicensed and rogue casinos.
How to self-exclude properly
Self-exclusion is not the complete solution to problematic gambling, but it can help. Here at NewCasinos.org, we recommend that you take a three-pronged approach as the complete solution to your gambling problems:
Self-exclude at ALL the online casinos, slots sites, bingo sites and sportsbooks that you currently use. Do not self-exclude for a period of time, self-exclude permanently – if you feel the need to self-exclude for any time period then you more than likely have a gambling problem, and it’s not one that is going to go away if you self-exclude for a period of six months, say.
Invest in blocking software – these are tools that monitor your internet usage and automatically block you from accessing sites that offer online gambling services. Typically, before a site loads, the software will examine the site and conclude whether it is gambling-related or not. If it is, then the site will not be loaded.
Get help – again; if you are thinking about self-exclusion, you likely have gambling issues. Talk to family, friends and professionals about your gambling, and your desire to stop.
Self-exclusion helps with problematic gambling, but it is not the complete solution. Self-exclusion is like the crutch you use when recovering from a broken leg – it helps you get around, but if you don’t fix your broken leg then when you stop using the clutch you will be right back at square one, facing the problem that you faced in the first place.
Use self-exclusion as part of your recovery from problematic gambling, but don’t forget to use other strategies too.