PA Gaming Control Board Launches Self-exclusion Program To Help Prevent Compulsive Gambling
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today published on its Web site (www.pgcb.state.pa.us) an application and instructions for people with gambling problems to have themselves barred from Pennsylvania gaming facilities. This practice, known as “self-exclusion,” is used successfully by gaming regulators in jurisdictions throughout the U.S. to prevent and treat compulsive gambling.
Once a person is placed on the state’s self-exclusion list, gaming facility operators must bar that individual from all legalized gaming activities and from collecting any winnings, recovering any losses or accepting complimentary gifts or services or any other thing of value at any licensed facility. Self-exclusion only applies to the gaming floor of the licensed gaming facilities in Pennsylvania.
Nanette Horner, the Gaming Control Board’s Director of Compulsive and Problem Gambling Enforcement, said self-exclusion will be the first of many programs made available to people who may suffer from gambling addiction.
“The Legislature, the Gaming Control Board and the gaming industry realize the need to take responsible measures to assist people who have compulsive-gambling and problem-gambling issues,” Horner said. “Frequently, the person who is in the best position to seek assistance to control the problem is the person afflicted. That is why the self-exclusion program has been so successful in other states which offer gaming.
“The Gaming Act requires the Gaming Control Board to protect the people of Pennsylvania, and the self-exclusion process is one of the most effective tools available to do that,” Horner added.
People may request to be excluded from gaming activities for one year, five years or a lifetime. Once a person is placed on the list, licensed Pennsylvania gaming facilities must:
• Refuse wagers from and deny any gaming privileges to any self-excluded person.
• Deny check cashing privileges, player club membership, complimentary goods and services, junket participation and other similar privileges and benefits to any self-excluded person.
• Ensure that self-excluded persons do not receive junket solicitations, targeted mailings, telemarketing promotions, player club materials or other promotional materials relating to gaming activities at its licensed facility.
• Choose to exclude self-excluded persons from their properties in other jurisdictions.
After a person is placed on the self-exclusion list, a licensed facility must refuse to accept the person’s wagers and will ask the person to leave the gaming floor and the person may be arrested for trespass, Horner said. A self-excluded person who has gambled while on the self-exclusion list may not collect in any manner or in any proceeding any winnings or recover any losses arising as a result of any gaming activity for the entire period of time that the person is on the self-exclusion list, she added. Any winnings issued to, found on or about or redeemed by a self-excluded person shall be remitted to the Gaming Control Board and deposited into the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund, she said.
An individual who wishes to be placed on the self-exclusion list can obtain the application and instructions by visiting the Gaming Control Board web site, www.pgcb.state.pa.us, and choosing the Compulsive and Problem Gambling link located at the bottom of the home page. Additional information and links are also available to assist a person in better understanding Compulsive and Problem Gambling and determining whether a problem exists.