January 26th, 2011


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Two-thousand Persons Now Helped Through PA Gaming Control Board's Casino Self-exclusion List

HARRISBURG, PA: The two-thousandth self-exclusion request was received during January for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s voluntary Self-Exclusion Program.

Director of the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling Liz Lanza announced the milestone when she updated the Board at their public meeting today on her bureau’s efforts to help individuals seeking help in controlling their gambling problem.

The four-year-old Self-Exclusion Program assists problem gamblers who choose to ban themselves from gambling at Pennsylvania casinos. Once a person is placed on the Self-Exclusion List, gaming facilities in the Commonwealth must:

  • Refuse wagers from and deny any gaming privileges to a self-excluded person.
  • Deny check cashing privileges, player club membership, complimentary goods and services, junket participation and other similar privileges and benefits to a 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.
  • Notify the Pennsylvania State Police of violations of the ban. A self-excluded individual who violates the ban will be subject to arrest and charged with trespass.

"The Self-Exclusion Program has continued to grow into a very effective and proven tool to assist a problem gambler in removing himself or herself from the temptation of gambling," said Lanza, who also released additional statistics on the program compiled through voluntary information submitted by those requesting self-exclusion:

  • 54% chose a 1-year ban, 20% a 5-year ban, and 26% the lifetime ban (though there is no automatic removal; no one will be removed from the list until they personally request removal).
  • The numbers of males versus females on the Self-Exclusion List are basically equal. The number of males requesting to be on the list total 1,010 and females 990
  • Caucasians, by far, compose the largest group on the list at 83.6%. That is followed by African Americans at 9.3%, Asian Americans at 2.2%, Hispanics at 2.1%, and Native Americans at 0.2%. There was no answer on the ethnic identification from 2.6% of the respondents.
  • Individuals on this list range between 21 and 89 years of age. The age group with the most individuals on the list is 45-54 years with 604. That was followed by 35-44 (505), 55-64 (384), 26-34 (271), 65+ (155), and 21-25 (81).
  • Individuals listed 18 states in which they held primary residence. This includes 1,751 from Pennsylvania, 114 from New Jersey, 39 from New York, 37 from Delaware, and 31 from Ohio.
  • For those that provided responses on this issue, approximately 35% of the self-excluded individuals have sought treatment.
  • For those that provided responses on this issue, 10% have been self-excluded in other jurisdictions such as New Jersey and Delaware.

Individuals who wish to place themselves on the Self-Exclusion List can obtain the request and instructions by visiting the Gaming Control Board web site,, and choosing the Compulsive and Problem Gambling link located under the Gaming menu.

Additionally, the National Center for Responsible Gaming provides additional information on the value of the Self-Exclusion Program through a study titled “Evaluating Self-Exclusion as an Intervention for Disordered Gambling”. The study can be downloaded from the home page of the NCRG’s website,, under the What’s New section.

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