The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has announced it is creating a new self-exclusion program for problem gamblers, called the iGaming Self Exclusion Program. This allows problem gamblers to exclude themselves from being able to place sports bets on their mobile devices.
Already popular in many European areas, self-exclusion programs have proved an invaluable method of preventing problem gamblers from being able to gamble.
If a player wishes to place themselves on the self-exclusion register, they simply need to sign up and enter a few personal details. Operators are then required – by law – to cross-reference this exclusion register, automatically blocking any players who are found to be on it.
The Gaming Control Board has built the program on a voluntary registration process. In other words, players can only register themselves. They can do this either online, or at the gaming Control Board’s offices. No applications are accepted by mail.
Gamblers can choose how long they want to be on the list for; one year, five years or a lifetime exclusion. The exclusion cannot be overturned until the pre-set time period has elapsed.
Stiff Penalties For Operators Who Accept Wagers From Self Excluded Punters
Once a player has self excluded operators are banned from accepting bets from them or sending any form of promotional materials to them. If an operator is found to be in breach of these terms, they risk paying a hefty fine or – in repeat offence cases – losing their gaming license.
This heavy handed approach is necessary to ensure operators are taking the scheme seriously. Problem gambling is, and continues to be one of the major arguments against the legalisation of online gambling. For a state like Pennsylvania which has brought in billions of dollars from gaming revenue they’ll want to protect their ever-growing industry.