For most people who enjoy the occasional bet at a bookmaker or online casino, the experience is one of short-term elation or disappointment. However, when the bet has been settled or the game is over, this is where it usually stops in most cases.

There are, of course, the few people for whom this is not where the story ends who go on to develop either mild or severe gambling problems. When gambling starts to have a negative impact on other parts of a person’s life, something needs to be done to impose a circuit breaker which can put the breaks on the damage that is being done to a person’s finances as well as their social and professional ties. Let’s face it, not every casino stories ends like the movie casino online.  One solution – the mechanics of which we will explain in this article – is known as self-exclusion.

What Is Gambling Addiction?

In simple terms, gambling addiction is the name given to gambling that is pathological or compulsive. People with a gambling addiction typically have very little control over how often they gamble, how long they spend during one gambling session, and how much money they spend doing it. In most circumstances, this impulse control issue will have moderate to serious consequences for a person and their loved ones.

What Is Self-Exclusion?

Self-exclusion is when a person who feels that they have lost control of their gambling habits asks a gambling provider to exclude them from gambling platforms for a voluntary period of time. This period is typically either six or twelve months, but in some more extreme cases, this can be up to five years.

Depending on the country in which you live, gambling providers will be obligated by law to adhere to a person’s self-exclusion request. A site which is not in the UK may be your best bet.  In some countries, there are even schemes that you can sign up to that have agreements with gambling providers to block the accounts of problem gamblers. One successful example of such a scheme is the British GAMSTOP scheme.

Self-exclusion schemes work in the following way:

  • You submit a copy of your ID that is then circulating around participating betting providers.
  • Betting providers then remove you from any marketing databases and cease to contact you for an agreed-upon period of time.
  • You are unable to leave the scheme under any circumstances until the exclusion period has elapsed.
  • If you leave the exclusion scheme after the initial period has expired, you will not automatically be reinstated in the marketing databases of participating gambling providers.

When Should I Consider Self-Exclusion?

In basic terms, you should consider self-exclusion from gambling if you feel like you are spending way too much time gambling online or at bricks-and-mortar gambling providers. This includes gambling at a casino, sports betting shop, bingo venue or arcade.

If you need advice on whether you should consider self-exclusion or if you just need general help in stopping, call one of the many dedicated gambling hotlines that serve the purpose of helping those in need. Remember that you are not alone – help is just a call away.